20 Years of Independence: Softwired Ukraine
Kyiv, August 23, 2011. On August 24, 2011, Ukraine celebrates the 20th anniversary of its independence. Over these years Ukraine managed to climb up to the 4th position in the world with respect to the number of IT professionals it produces, following the USA, India, and Russia. Ukrainian IT professionals are highly valued on the world market for their creative thinking and analytical skills earning around USD 1 bln on software exports in 2010 alone.
Informational technology entered the phase of rapid development just at the time when Ukraine declared its independence. The newly elected parliament of the Ukrainian SSR adopted the Declaration of State Sovereignty of Ukraine on July 16, 1990. Four months later, on November 12, 1990, Tim Berners-Lee published his idea of the World Wide Web, brought to life by the end of the year.
Twenty years later, Ukrainian IT professionals have become a resource of high value on the international human resources market. While Indian and Chinese IT professionals are known for precise execution of assignments, Ukrainian IT professionals are valued for their creativity and healthy criticism. Several major names in the IT sector are actually Ukrainian. The co-founder of the Apple Computer, Inc. Steve Wozniak is of Ukrainian origin, his parents being immigrants to the United States of America from the Ukrainian region of Bukovyna. Max Rafael Levchin, a co-founder of the revolutionary online payment system PayPal, comes from Kyiv, Ukraine.
Currently, Ukraine is one of the world centers of the offshore programming – the practice of employing foreign IT professionals. Improved regulation, introduction of intellectual property and favorable investment climate contributed to the growth of the IT outsourcing market in Ukraine. Almost 1,000 outsourcing companies are registered in Ukraine and provide services to numerous international companies, including 700 Ukrainians working in the Seattle office of Microsoft. According to the report by the Central and Eastern European Outsourcing Association, 18,100 specialists were involved in the Ukrainian IT outsourcing services industry in 2010.
According to the head of the Ukrainian State Agency for Science, Innovation and Informatization Volodymyr Semynozhenko the IT industry annually grows by 40% and produces 3% of the national GDP. Presently, IT companies in Ukraine enjoy tax relief. Other measures aimed to stimulate the development of the industry are yet in the making.