Hey everybody, I’m Dave Hecker and today we’re going to talk about outsourcing to Ukraine. Ukraine’s been on the news a lot lately and a lot of people are calling us and asking is it safe? So before we get to that, let’s just talk about Ukraine in general and how it is before the political unrest started to happen. Ukraine is the number one outsourcing destination in Eastern Europe, there are over a thousand companies operating in Ukraine, it’s a big country. They have a very very good educational system, it’s sort of a leftover from the Soviet Union and their style of education is very exerting, it’s very rigorous and they’re really good at problem solving, they’re very good at math and engineering and in their culture, and this goes for most of Eastern Europe, especially the former Soviet Union. They put a lot of value on solving technical problems, science and math and things like that. So, this yields a huge number of graduates from great universities who are going to be fantastic software developers. It’s been 10 years plus at their outsourcing industry, it’s been doing really well. So it’s fair to say there are tonnes and tonnes of great developers in Ukraine. The skills are really excellent. The culture is also good because Russians, Eastern Europeans and Ukrainians as well, they like to solve problems in a very aggressive way. They will attack a problem they’ll take it head on. So when you run into a coding problem or a very, very difficult challenge, the Ukrainian developers usually are pretty happy about. They’ll really work hard on it and they’ll be head down for a while and they’ll be very proud when they come up with the best possible solution. They’re really into it also Ukraine is good cause the infrastructure’s great, the internet connectivity’s really good, the airports are good, the electricity stays on, it’s pretty easy to fly over there it’s very easy to got into Kiev, you don’t need a Visa if you are American, it’s pretty convenient and it’s a decent airport. If you’re going to Kharkiv or to Donetsk or something like that, or Odessa, other places. It’s a little harder, it’s a big country so you have to make a connection or take a train which takes a while but generally speaking it’s pretty easy to get around and it’s fairly safe. Working with Ukrainians is pretty much the same as working with Russians and anyone from the former Soviet Union. The Russian Soviet style is to treat everything as if it were a space launch, they are not lighthearted about anything, even on a small project, they want to do an elaborate design they want it to be perfect everything very, very serious. When you ask a Ukrainian developer do you think you can do this? The answer is always going to start with no because in everything has to be qualified in terms of risk so if you ask an American do you think you can do this? They are going to say yes and you will say were there any risks and they will say well maybe this or this will happen a little bit of risk, if you ask a Ukrainian it’s going to be the opposite can you do this they are going to say well no because the sky could fall, our computers could explode, so we can’t guarantee for sure that we can do it but if we can over come some of these risks then we actually can do it. You have to learn to deal with these answers they will some times seem hot headed to people that are used to working with them but they are not they see this kind of mannerism as being very responsible and forthcoming, and they dig in to find risks and obstacles which can be a great thing in software. As a result, the cloudy is really, really good. Ukrainians are very good at doing agile, because they understand the agile mentality. Which consists of a lot of speaking up. You don’t want quiet agile developers, you want people that are going to identify problems and they are going to come out and talk about them, and they are going to be forceful. Ukrainians are great at that, and they love to be in control. In Asia, you have to lead the developers, it’s hard to make them agile because they are very hierarchical. In Ukraine, if you tell fellow developer listen I want you to speak up if you have any thoughts, they’re going to do it. So, it works out pretty well. Some minor annoyances, they are not part of the EU, so you have to deal with some of the classic legal and privacy, [xx] for property, risk and concerns that happen in Eastern Europe. Not so bad, not as bad as Russia. The banks aren’t too bad. It’s a little bit cumbersome wiring money back and forth, invoicing and some legal not too bad, but it’s a little bit of a pain, and the English is pretty good amongst younger people, it’s a little bit spotty especially when you leave Kiev, those who do speak English tend to do it pretty well, the accents aren’t too bad, but you will find a lot of developers that can write English but don’t speak it, things like that, but generally speaking, there’s good reason that they are the number one outsourcing destination in eastern Europe, they are really good, they are very, very mature, and I would highly recommend them. So onto the recent political unrest, it is now July of 2014 and there is somewhat of a war going on in Ukraine. I’m not going to get into the politics of that, but in regard to the safety of sending projects there, I would categorize it as it’s pretty safe, I’m not worried about it, Just this morning we sent a project to a company in Donetsk which is kind of the epicenter of where everything is happening right now. The great thing about IT work is that in the end you’ve got a bunch of people that go into a building they hang out on the building for a while and then they come out, and there’s no shipping, there’s no logistics, there’s no operations, there’s no trucks coming back and forth, it’s fairly simple, as long as the internet and the electricity are working, and people can get to the office, you’re going to be OK. So, to interrupt the IT industry, it takes sort of an open war, the power has to go out, there has to be fighting in the streets. My prediction is that that’s not going to happen in Ukraine, but I am not making that as an expert, that’s just my feeling. If you’re going somewhere like Kharkiv or to Donetsk where there is really a lot of conflict, it’s a little more dicey than it would be in a place like Kiev which is really pretty stable, but overall I’m not worried about it, and there is somewhat of a fire sale going on in Ukraine this summer. I’m getting a lot of calls from vendors I haven’t heard from in a long time, and they’re saying hey, have you got any work? They’re not saying it like that, but they’re hungry, a lot of Americans have been scared off, and they’re really feeling it. So, generally speaking I think Ukraine is a fantastic location, it’s a little bit pricier than some of your other Eastern European locations, but the quality is fantastic, and I give it a big green light even with the current civil unrest, just be careful the further east you go. Ukraine is a great destination. Feel free to send your projects there.