Ukrainian software developers share their stories and photos from the war zone

Emotional, Burning, Unlimited Tuned Laboratory

Eight coders based in Ukraine spoke to ZDNet about how they’re holding up in the face of war. These are their stories.

“Our daughter kept asking if we would die.”

Eugene Krupnov, developer of the popular Mac application Unclutter, found himself answering his eight-year-old daughter with a bit of pop-culture gallows humor. “Not today, we joked, quoting Arya from Game of Thrones.”

On February 24, Krupnov and his family evacuated from Kyiv. “As we were fleeing the city, we heard how the shelling escalated, we saw unthinkable traffic across the highways and endless lines at every gas station. It was night time. And it seemed like an apocalypse.”

Krupnov told ZDNet, “A day after we left, an enemy rocket hit a high-rise building not far from our home in Kyiv.”

Ukraine has a very large tech sector. According to Bloomberg, the country boasts a quarter of a million tech professionals, many of whom provide coding services to major players like Apple, Google, Lyft, Ubisoft, Daimler, BMW, Citi, and JPMorgan, among many others. According to the trade group IT Ukraine Association, as reported in the Wall Street Journal, IT export volume, “increased 36% to $6.8 billion last year, up from $5 billion in 2020 and $4.2 billion in 2019.” According to Ukrainian developer outsource firm Daxx, via research from SkillValue, Ukraine’s developers rank 5th worldwide in terms of overall competence. There are also thousands of entrepreneurial companies building their own software products. We spoke to eight of them this week…