Buzzwords, Barclays, and a Ukrainian economic success

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March 22, 2012, 5:48 p.m. | Op-ed — by Leigh Turner
Do you know your C++ from your Sybase? Do you know the difference between SQL and ORM? If you do, high-paying jobs could be yours – in Kyiv, Lviv or Kharkiv. Back in summer 2010 I blogged about how UK-based Barclays Capital, working with EPAM Systems, had chosen Kyiv for its third global technology centre, in addition to Prague and Singapore.

I noted how a combination of highly-trained software engineers and new technology had made it possible to create high-value jobs in Ukraine; and that starting with 70 IT professionals, they hoped to recruit 500 or more people by the end of 2012.

Less than two years later, I recently visited EPAM here in Kyiv to mark the successful recruitment of their 500th Barclays Capital team member together with the 2000th EPAM Ukraine team member.

I met several of the young IT specialists, and was impressed both by their technical savvy (ie I found it hard to comprehend what they were doing) and by their salary levels. With further recruitment on the cards, this sounds like a success story by any standard – both for Barclays and Ukraine.

Incidentally, on a recent visit to Lviv, I was told that Lviv, Kharkiv and Kyiv were Ukraine’s main centres for IT and financial Business Process Outsourcing, thanks to the plentiful supply of capable computer experts in those three cities.

Good to hear – and a reminder that you don’t have to be bolting things together to have a worthwhile and internationally-competitive job.

Leigh Turner has been the British Ambassador to Ukraine since June 2008. You can read all his blog entries at (in English) or (Ukrainian)
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