Vasyl Soloshchuk
18 March 2022

From a Powerhouse to Economic Stronghold: A New Chapter for Ukrainian IT

It’s also a new chapter in a story of how remote work and technological progress save economies.  

As the pandemic has ramped up a trend for working remotely, IT companies based in Ukraine found it easier to relocate their employees when the war has put local R&D offices at risk. Back at work after a pause of approximately a week, most specialists join their compatriots who are still in Ukraine in keeping the country’s economy up and running.

A phoenix has to burn to be reborn. Ukrainian IT simply paused to resume its work. Below, we explain how the industry stays afloat and what the other countries’ IT sectors can learn from Ukrainian experience.

Ukrainian IT before the war

93% in technology skill—that’s the score of the Ukrainian information technology sector workers among other European countries, according to Coursera’s Global Skills Report 2021. Along with competitive prices for IT services and strong tradition of tech education, this was one of the many reasons why Ukraine has become a leading contributor in the global technological development. So, how did it all begin?

  • The dawn of Ukrainian IT dates back to the mid-1990s, when the first companies sprung like mushrooms as the country broke free from under the rubble of the USSR.
  • In 2018, the growth of the Ukrainian IT industry beat the global average, especially in regard to the rise of the country as a major outsourcing haven. While at first the driving force behind the boom was the cost, in time, the focus shifted to a solid expertise of Ukrainian tech talents.

Ukraine ranks high in software engineering databases software development,

  • Amid the COVID-19 turmoil in 2020, the country’s IT industry saw exports surge by 20.4 percent in a prompt recovery from a slowdown, while local markets across the world were pulled down by the crisis.
  • In 2021, IT exports soared, bringing more than 5 billion USD. At the same time, the number of IT experts crossed 200,000. 
  • By 2022, Ukrainian startups such as GitLab and Grammarly grew into unicorns, having conquered the world.