The Ukrainian IT community proved to be resilient even during the war. As a company hiring in Ukraine since 2016, we want to share SD Solutions’ view on Ukrainian IT during blackouts.
Prepare to be blown away by these staggering statistics: In 2022, Ukraine exported IT services worth $2 billion compared to $1,44 in 2021. No doubt the war effecter the IT cluster in Ukraine, and in the first quarter of 2023, the number is $1,68 billion, which is still more than pre-war statistics. These numbers provided by the National Bank of Ukraine talk on their own. If you wonder how this is possible, this article will clear it up slightly.
According to Statista, in 2021, the number of IT professionals in Ukraine reached 284 800 specialists. This figure is among the highest talent pools in Europe, which made Ukraine one of the most attractive offshore and nearshore staffing partners. Such a large and well-established community is hard to weaken. In October 2022, when cities went dark, Ukrainians found ways to work.
IT companies implemented anti-crisis plans, switched to flexible work models, relocated teams, and adapted offices in Ukraine while setting up new ones abroad. Businesses adjusted their infrastructure by putting critical systems in the cloud, changing Internet providers, including the Starlink global satellite system, and installing fuel generators in office buildings.
As SD Solutions, we dare to say that during blackouts, we have been working and even growing in Ukraine. How have we been facing new challenges? Let’s dive deep into the SD Solutions Blackout experience.
Stable sources of electricity
Today most of our developers are provided with power stations that can charge laptops, phones, and Wi-Fi routers. Among our team, we heard of many ingenious lifehacks like using a car as a recharging station. Let’s keep in mind we are talking about engineers. Some programmers, though, decided to move out of the city and stay in rural areas, where electricity is not switched to the urban system. Many engineers who couldn’t go to the office during power outages found coworking spaces with generators near their homes, and local communities cohesion was helpful here: every cafe gym became a coworking hub this winter.
Additionally, many of our team found the solutions by buying generators of different types: fuel, pedal and solar panels. An amusing amount of different solutions managed to cover the electricity problem. The next step was to provide a stable internet connection.
Smooth Internet with Starlink and Fibre
The simplest solution was fibre optic internet. It can work autonomously if connected to a source of electricity, which can be a power station. Starlink has become an alternative solution for Ukrainian developers to get a stable Internet connection; many of them have already bought it. It was challenging to install them in apartments, but our creative engineers found a way to do it; look at the photos below. Satellite internet technology has become armour on both the front line and the economic war, ensuring the IT cluster didn’t stop providing income to Ukraine.
Support from our Partners
As soon as some electricity issues appeared, our Partners were ready to lend us a hand. Investing in a dedicated team in trouble always pays off. From SD Solutions’ side, it was the highest priority to provide Partners with around-the-clock access to a database of their employee’s location, working conditions, and devices needed (like power stations and similar). Based on this information, each company had their own way of supporting its Ukrainian
mates. Finaro bought the Starlink and the Eco Flow items for the team. MAЁLYS and Pepperi equipped every team member with power stations too. Stars Group (Flutter) and Perion supported their teams with additional payments. These examples show that outstaffing partnership is more than remote work. It’s real teams cooperating and finding solutions.
The office saved the day
Besides all other ways to deal with blackouts, the SD Solutions team had a full “blackout package” office on its back. Two fuel generators have been installed in the Kyiv office, so electricity will always be there. Also, we ordered another bigger generator to give all our developers stable lighting and a comfortable place to work.
We have Eco Flows and power banks to charge devices in any situation. Mobile Internet is always available at the office as we prepared some mobile modems and got contracts with different Internet providers for good access to the network in any circumstances.
Throwback to the past shows bright perspectives for future
As you can see, Ukrainians win and rebuild their country day by day. Neither power outages nor blackouts can interrupt Ukrainian developers from the work they love. Hiring Ukrainian talents, even during the war, is not only about the high quality of their services but also about the high standard of results and motivation.
Besides all mentioned above, the main reason we overcame blackouts this winter is the Ukrainian people, who are headstrong and willing to work in Ukraine despite anything. “Will we handle it?” was never a question. We work with people looking for how to do it, support the economy, pay taxes, and donate to the Ukrainian army, and SD Solutions is proud to be part of this resistance.