Lviv IT Tour: 3000 km and 7 Days of Adventures

Lviv IT Cluster has decided to see with its own eyes how IT professionals live and work in other cities all around Ukraine. The planned meetings in 6 cities have turned out to be an adventurous trip full of new people, sharing thoughts and experiences as well as great surprises. For the whole week, the Cluster along with the representatives of IT companies has traveled around Ukraine on a big branded bus, exploring new cities, interesting people and partners in Vinnytsia, Odesa, Mykolaiv, Mariupol, Dnipro, and Kharkiv.

The Cluster took interesting speakers along on the tour to tell in different corners of the country what is going on in Lviv, what kind of projects developers are working on there and which projects Lviv IT Cluster is implementing.

Vitalii Kyryliv, designer of the most popular Ukrainian startup Senstone talked about the idea of the device, history of its creation and design. The startup is known for having raised over $300 000 on Kickstarter, which is an all-time record for Ukraine. Ivan Kutuzov, Software Engineer at SoftServe spoke about a rather new programming language – Golang, how different it is from other languages and what is the demand for professionals working with Golang nowadays. In the meantime, Maksym Shestovytskyi, Project Manager at GlobalLogic taught the attendees everything about Agile management and keeping the motivation of team members.

Stepan Veselovskyi, Lviv IT Cluster CEO shared experiences on how Lviv transformed into the city of new technologies, as well as presented large-scale projects of the Cluster, including Innovation District IT Park, IT House, launching new modernized Bachelor’s Programs Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things and projects aimed at promoting IT among students and high-school students – IT Expert and IT Future.

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The tour began in Vinnytsia. It’s a city with 373 thousand of inhabitants, which is developing at extreme rates and is becoming more modern. IT industry here is represented by 10 medium-sized companies, as well as a big number of smaller ones. Recently Vinnytsia has started working on creating their own IT Cluster, which has all chances to become the key organizer of interesting IT projects and events in the city. The development of IT industry would fit really well into the general strategy of the city’s developments. The participants of IT Tour were really happy to see the full house at Artinov creative space.

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Odesa became the second city of Lviv IT Tour. Usually, it’s difficult to work in cities close to the sea, but Lviv IT Cluster has met a lot of people for whom the sea is not an obstacle in doing important things and developing IT. A million people city already has a few IT environments –IT Cluster Odessa, Terminal 42 as well as IQSpace, which host interesting events, discussions, talks which united progressive people around them. Odesa has chances to become an IT center if there are more reasons to come here apart from the sea.

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Mykolaiv, with 500 000 inhabitants became the next city. IT industry here is rather big, and consists of 45 IT companies and more than 2000 professionals. It the only Ukrainian city with a city mayor who has some IT background. Oleksandr Senkevych has joined the meeting and spoke in front of the attendees. Mykolaiv has big ambitions to develop IT environment in the city. They are already doing first steps in this direction, for example, recently a local IT Cluster was created there.

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The fourth city of the trip was Mariupol. The city with 470 thousand inhabitants lies not far from the war zone. This fact surprised the participants the most because even though it is so close to the war zone, the city is alive and developing. Recently the first creative space Vezha was created there. It’s a revitalization project of an old water tower right in the center of the city. IT industry is not big in Mariupol: there are only 10 companies, freelancers as well as a few large factories, which also have developers working there. It is estimated that between 600 and 1500 IT employees are currently working in Mariupol.

The meeting in Mariupol was held at Pryazovskyi State Technical University. Moreover, the Cluster has visited school №53 and brought multimedia equipment for school students. Meeting high school and university students was really important for the Cluster, since they wanted to give them an understanding of the perspectives this industry has to offer, encourage and inspire them.

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Dnipro – the fifth city of the all-Ukrainian trip of Lvivites. IT Cluster is actively working there with 13 IT companies representing the industry. The city hosts one of the best tech conferences ITEM, which was named the best Ukrainian tech conference with up to 800 attendees for two years in a row. There was a full house at the meetup in Dnipro, and long interesting discussions continued well after the meeting. Dnipro – an active city of progressive people, with a formed brand, which left only nice impressions among the participants of IT Tour and now they are willing to visit the city again.

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Lviv IT Tour has ended in Kharkiv, the biggest IT center of Ukraine. One of the most powerful IT Clusters works in the city, uniting 33 IT companies. Kharkiv IT Cluster helped to co-organize the event. In total, there are more than 300 companies in Kharkiv, with 25 thousand people working in the industry. One more speaker has joined the meetup in Kharkiv – Serhiy Tersiyan from Program-Ace who spoke about AR / VR /Mixed Reality.

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It was great to see that Lviv and Kharkiv Clusters are moving in similar directions trying to develop IT in Kharkiv and Lviv. Hopefully, the cooperation of two associations will continue in the future and more great projects will be implemented together.

Lviv IT Tour became a great occasion to visit other Ukrainian cities, meet new people and understand how they live and what interests them. After all, to tell about Lviv and invite others to visit it. It seems like the goal has been achieved – we made friends with local IT Clusters, as well as local activists, people that are truly changing their cities. We discovered Central and Eastern Ukraine and understood that we share the same goals and vision of the future.

It was great to participate in Lviv IT Tour since our company likes to share our experiences. I think Ukraine has a great potential and we need to finally start doing more Ukrainian projects and products here. IT Tour gave me a chance to tell more about my work and maybe inspire others to start their own business. I really liked Dnipro, it’s the city of contrasts. I will also remember Mariupol – the city with checkpoints and a rather Soviet thinking of people. We really need to change this, so it’s a great idea to make more meetings like that so that high school and university students start thinking critically and creating their future” – shared his impressions one of the IT Tour speakers, designer of Ukrainian startup Senstone and co-founder of design bureau Houchu Rayu, Vitalii Kyryliv.

“I agree. We really need to communicate more. It’s a common thought, that life conditions and challenges are the same throughout the country, but we still need to work on that. During the talks, talking with the audience, I reconsidered the purpose of my presentation, changed its content, adapted it, as well as opened new perspectives for myself. I thought there will be more speakers, but it was impossible due to the format of the meetings since they started at 18:30, and there was maximum an hour and a half for the talks. This makes the problem of selection even harder. It was cool that we complemented each other, and told about different areas IT. Each of us influenced the audience in a different way. Lviv IT Tour – was a chance to share your experiences with the community and learn more about your homeland. I also improved my public speaking skills, learned how to prepare in different conditions, received and worked with feedback as well as” – tells Ivan Kutuzov, IT Tour speaker and a Software Engineer at SoftServe.

bez-imeni-2Hopefully, the experience of Lviv would be helpful for other cities. We’re definitely coming back!

See you soon!