How Ukrainian IT companies work in wartimes

As we wrote in our previous article since the 24th of February, life in Ukraine drastically changed. When 2 years ago the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the economy was shocked, everyone was closed at home. But at least the home was a completely safe place. It all looked like everyone decided to work from home (omit the part where people got sick, sorry wartime humor). But warfighting is 100 times worse because there are no safe places anymore. At least safe enough to sit and work. 

Unfortunately, the “work from home” option doesn’t work when there is no more home. That’s a bit harsh, but that’s the truth of today’s life for many people in Ukraine. 

In safe zones, business is reviving

Thanks to the braveness of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, volunteers, and an unimaginable amount of humanitarian, financial, and military aid from the allies, things getting better. Controllable and more predictable, so to speak. Despite the shock and a suppressing crisis, the main Ukrainian centers of the IT industry are coming back into play. Of course, we had some delays in business activity in March and maybe a week or two in April. But now, numerous software development companies including Code Harbor continue to work and do it with redoubled energy. Fortunately, thanks to all the technicians involved, during these 2+ months of hot war, neither the banking system nor internet providers didn’t experience major outages and failures, as well as the power supply system. 

No office – no worries, work where you are

Code Harbor gave up the traditional idea of an office like the headquarters of the company and got used to working from home long before the war. Primarily, because our team was and is scattered all over Ukraine, it’s quite hard to collect everybody in one office. The core team of Code Harbor was located mainly in Kyiv, so we felt all the “exciting” feelings about being a target for Russian cruise missiles. Fortunately, all members of our team relocated to safer places in the western part of Ukraine or even to the nearest neighboring countries.  

Those who stayed in cities, especially in Kyiv, yes, have to interrupt their work on airstrike alarms and move into the corridor with a laptop. But we are higher than this, and we believe in our army. And to confirm our faith, just watch the news. A safe place and stable connection are minimum sufficient conditions for a developer to work. Agility is not an empty word for us. Devs are true digital nomads of our century. Or Digital Cossacks, if we are talking about Ukraine. 🙂  


Agility and flexibility save working capacity

All these peculiarities allow IT companies to keep at least 80% of the operational power and do the full job. We rely on cloud technologies for the safety of critical and confidential data, as well as our developments. We practice short sprints with regular reports each week or two and a regular reevaluation of the job results. Code Harbor plans big but always keeps up with the situation, delivering the product in small pieces stably, thus eliminating the risk of taking the development process in the wrong direction. 

Although we are digital cossacks, Code Harbor has a place in Kyiv, where the core team can visit or conduct a meeting. But we treat it like a co-working space, rather than an office. Our team members use all the benefits of flexible work conditions. Work from anywhere you want, anytime you can, be in touch, meet deadlines, and do quality work. In today’s conditions, doing the job is a number one priority, so if it’s physically possible, the employees of Ukrainian IT companies will do it. 

We are highly motivated digital artisans

The refugee crisis in Ukraine is huge. As we mentioned in the previous article in our blog, over 11 million people were forced to relocate to west regions or even abroad. More or less all the adults, that flee, lost their job, hence their source of income. And here is the interesting thing – Polish, Slovakian and other citizens of countries, where Ukrainians had to relocate, often mentioned, that Ukrainians refuse to take refugee privileges and subsidies. Why? Because if they do, they will be not allowed to work officially! It doesn’t matter how often Ukrainian refugees get the legal right to work in fact. Because only this intention of Ukrainians signals that they want to provide active assistance to their country, and not just sit around and wait it out. And IT specialists are not an exception. Software developers, web designers, software testers, and others are all – digital artisans. Their main toolset is their own brain, a laptop, and an Internet connection. The brain is securely stored, the laptop is portable, and finding a more or less stable connection isn’t so hard. 🙂

Ukrainian IT specialists are highly motivated to work as soon as they have such a possibility. Frankly, a lot of us are used to the war atmosphere – horrifying news digests, airstrike alarms, even the distant sound of explosions. You can’t just sit there and be afraid all the time. At some point, it becomes simply boring to do nothing, and you want to do something productive. The financial reserves are not infinite – you need to feed yourself and your family. 

And also, the uplifting moment. All those Ukrainians who don’t serve in the armed forces or territorial defense, don’t take a direct part in hostilities, do their best to help the army and Ukraine as a whole, by any possible means. To buy some supplies for the army (even socks and cookies), to find some gear (bulletproof vests, infrared visors, night goggles), or even to drive some volunteers or just donate $50 to the armed forces. All these noble actions require money. So, everyone who has the possibility to work and earn uses it to the maximum.

The Ukrainian IT sector along with the entire economy of the country is reviving and using the maximum of the available resources. Needless to say, a great part of the IT sector’s income is generated by cooperating with foreign companies. Those companies, which now pondering how risky it is to continue to rely on services from Ukrainian outsourcers. Especially for the clarity in this issue, we published our previous article “5 Huge Reasons Why You Should Continue to Outsource IT Services to Ukraine”.