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Ukrainian developer market - Interview with Eliza Kravchenko



I’ve encountered many Ukrainian developers during my career and even visited the country a couple of times speaking at conferences. During each trip, it was surprising to me how vibrant the developer community is there.

To learn about Ukrainian developer market, I am interviewing Eliza Kravchenko from Mobilunity, a local sourcing company.

Can you tell a bit about yourself?

Eliza Kravchenko

My name is Eliza Kravchenko, and I am the lead of the resource management team in Mobilunity. The position links the company, clients, and developers.

My career path started seven years ago within the customer support department. I gained experience working as a shift supervisor, a VIP customer retention manager, and an internal trainer for newcomers during these years.

Having diverse experience working with clients, I arrived in a role that utilizes all the skills and knowledge I have gained during my career.

How would you describe the developer market at the moment?

In recent years the Ukrainian IT market has significantly improved its position in the world market of IT services, so the number of professionals employed in the industry is continuously growing.

I even see it with my friends and acquaintances who are more and more interested in software development and are considering a career change and transition to IT from various other areas (e.g., advertising, sales, SEO, etc.).

Many professionals are now in the early stages of gaining their experience. As the industry grows, within 2-3 years, juniors will get enough knowledge and rise to the middle level and sometimes even above, which is undoubtedly a great opportunity.

At the moment, Ukraine is the second-largest talent pool in Eastern Europe by the number of software developers. As the number of specialists grows, we have high chances to become number one very soon!

How does a developer’s salary get determined? What factors affect it?

The developer’s salary is determined based on the market. The following factors affect this:

  • Years of experience
  • Knowledge of technology and the depth of this knowledge.
  • Domain knowledge that may be a defining factor for the interest in some candidate
  • The quality of the resume/CV and thus, the ability for the candidate to present/sell their experience.
  • Foreign languages and experience in working with foreign customers
  • Managerial/leadership experience.
  • Much depends on the technologies that a person works with, and soft skills are also essential - the ability of an engineer to look at the business side of a technical problem may seriously increase demand in the market.

All these criteria can be used to calculate the market value of the profile. We recommend not only to estimate developers based on buzzwords and seniority but also to pay attention to the problems they have solved. The so-called “portfolio of solved challenges” sometimes could be very much impressive, while at the same time, the person might have only a few years of experience.

What types of developer compensations and benefits are common in the industry?

The salary is usually tied to USD or EUR currency mainly because our IT industry is export-oriented. There is a base salary, and also bonuses depending on the project stages.

Intangible motivation most often includes insurance, English classes (courses) for export-oriented companies, additional compensations for training, conferences, etc.

Product companies now consider giving some stock options incentives, but this is quite rare and a very undeveloped initiative yet, nevertheless one is growing in its popularity quite fast.

How have developer salaries progressed over the years?

In general, salaries for different seniority (Junior, Middle, Senior) have remained almost at the same level, meaning that within a specific seniority level and technology stack, we do not see significant differences in expectations for the pay over the past years.

Simultaneously, a dotted increase in salaries is possible in cases where specific developers, in addition to technical skills, acquire deep domain expertise and become more in demand for niche industries and technologies.

For an average person, while transitioning from junior to middle and senior levels, the experience can increase the salary significantly during each step.

With this being said, the developer’s salary grows in the first four years of one’s career and remains more stable at the senior level. After that, everything begins to depend on how well the person can sell themselves and how they have mastered and enhanced technical and managerial skills.

As the demand for software development services grows globally, the number of technology-related vacancies is also increasing in Ukraine. The salaries form accordingly based on supply and demand.

Fields, such as artificial intelligence, big data, machine learning, and robotization, may encounter enhanced salaries as more of these companies are discovering Ukraine.

As the companies working in these industries understand the Ukrainian market better and leverage it for talent, the demand may exceed even the high rates of our IT industry growth.

What advice would you give to programmers getting into web development?

English skills are fundamental. While starting to get into software development, please do not forget to learn foreign languages.

It is also essential to always keep yourself in technical shape and continuously learn new things. A person who has stopped in their development quickly becomes not in huge demand in the market.

Mobilunity’s clients value above all others its dedication of Ukrainian professionals to business success. So, the Ukrainian tech talent scale, accessibility, high level of education, ease of communication, and commitment to work and success make the world attracted to what Ukraine has to offer.

Who should I interview next?

I would suggest talking to a good friend of mine, Swiss-based Philippe Lautier. He has led local and remote engineering teams for small companies and large corporations in four different countries for the last 22 years. He is an outstanding manager strong both in driving for business goals and setting high vision & ambitions for his people.

Any last remarks?

The Ukrainian IT market is growing at a 20-30% rate annually and continues to be one of the most quickly developing and dynamic segments of our country’s economy. We expect that Ukraine will further strengthen its status as a hub in the international arena. We at Mobilunity are always looking for partners in staffing smart and dedicated IT talents here in Kyiv as we love what we do. :)


Thanks for the interview Eliza! It was interesting to hear your views on the Ukrainian developer market. I’ve seen the same as IT has become a lucrative career path for many and it’s likely a good time to be in the field as it keeps expanding.