Company Update: How We Have Been Living for the Last Year

Elitex team in Ukraine
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Blog / Company Update: How We Have Been Living for the Last Year

On February 24, a full-scale war began in Ukraine in connection with russia’s invasion of our country. This day, which changed the stable life of the European country, started a new stage in our consciousness. 

It is now over a year that Ukraine stands against unlawful russia’s invasion. 

For more than twelve months now, Ukrainians have been demonstrating their incredibleness to the world. We have been proving to the whole world that we are capable of the impossible. For more than a year, we have been existing in war conditions while continuing to live fully, creating our future, working for the benefit of the present, and not forgetting the price we pay for one more peaceful day.

What does the inner life of the IT industry and our company look like now? What changes have occurred, and how have we been living in the last five months? Let’s find all the answers in this article.

Elitex stands with Ukraine

Ukrainian IT branch in terms of war

Before the russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Ukrainian software industry branch was rapidly growing. Citizens were swarming to the IT assiduity in droves, universities were pumping out new talent, and a surge of large global technology companies was looking to the country for custom software solutions and dedicated development teams

Major Ukrainian cities, such as Lviv, Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odesa, Dnipro, and others, emerged as notable sources of tech talent. The power source fuelling that talent is a blend of Ukraine’s educational capabilities, economic forces, and distinctive culture.

Ukrainian software industry brags an outstanding display of rankings on league tables that tech leaders follow: first in outsourcing capabilities in Eastern Europe, first in the number of technical high school graduates in all of Europe, fifth in terms of best software developers worldwide, and second in JavaScript, Scala, and Magento developers around the globe. One in five Fortune 500 companies, including Microsoft, Google, Samsung, Oracle, Snap, and Ring, employ the capacity of Ukrainian software solutions. The reasons here are the country’s minimal bureaucratic hurdles, favorable tax policies, and the qualified talent pool in its tech sector.

The war affected all spheres of life and activity in Ukrainian society, including IT. Despite this, Ukraine’s software industry promptly responded to the need for rapid business approach changes. According to the National Bank of Ukraine, it provided a record $2 billion in export earnings in the first quarter of 2022. The Ukrainian tech sector became a substantive contributor to the country’s economy as the third-largest exporter of Ukrainian services.

Ukrainian IT is still skyrocketing despite the war. Effective anti-crisis management, plans for opportunities to grow through the crisis, and risk prediction skills played a critical role in the accelerated normalization of processes and rapidly bringing them almost to the pre-war level in no time.

How ELITEX’s team lives have changed since February 24

From the first day of the war, the company’s management understood the necessity to continue operating on our country’s territory and do it in the safest possible conditions for the team and with the least risk for our partners and customers.

Even though the company is located in Lviv in the West of Ukraine, our team has a sufficient number of people from other regions of Ukraine (Kyiv, Kharkiv, etc.). Employee safety is one of the key aspects of the job, so anyone who wanted or needed it was offered help with relocation abroad or to safer areas of the country. 

26% of our team relocated from their place of permanent residence at the beginning of the war. A large part of people temporarily went abroad, but as of now, almost all of them have returned home. 

Taking into account the possibility of a safe life in the West of Ukraine, as well as the adjustment of all internal processes, our team, including its temporarily displaced members, is currently fully providing 100% of pre-war indicators. Moreover, we continue to increase the team and actively recruit a large number of positions.

Volunteering and support

ELITEX team volunteering

Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, the company has decided to transfer part of the total profits to the needs of the Armed Forces and other units of the Ukrainian defenders.

In addition to monthly transfers of part of the profit to the needs of the Armed Forces, in July 2022, ELITEX also provided a car to one of the battalions on the first line of defense.

We have also joined the Serhiy Prytula Charitable Foundation, financially supported the Azov Battalion, partially covered the needs of two Armed Forces and the Territorial Defense of Lviv units, and supported the project to improve air defense of the Lviv region. ELITEX also financially supports charitable organizations dealing with temporarily displaced from the occupied territories children and their families and provides financial support to the psychological assistance center in Lviv.

We care about the safety of our employees and do our best to enable people to be ready for any critical situations and to understand the order of necessary actions. Regarding our employees’ support, for everyone in Lviv who wants to join the activities, we have provided first aid courses, self-defense training, etc.

Talking with ELITEX members after long months of the war

As a company of more than 50 people, we respect everyone’s individuality and believe that the personal emotions and experiences of each of us make us who we are. We have caught up with a few of our colleagues at ELITEX recently to see how life has changed for them over the last five months.

P. Inna, ELITEX QA engineer

Inna P. QA Engineer

In the first days, I felt like Kevin from “Home Alone” when everyone around you is busy, and you do not know where to put yourself. There was a clear understanding that war had started, but I was confused about what I should do in such a situation. 

My grab-and-go backpack was not packed. Since I do hiking, I was sure it would be easy to collect the necessary things in case of urgency quickly.

But actually, it did not happen so. At that moment, I was too emotional and unfocused. My boyfriend played a critical role in ensuring my mental stability. From the very beginning, he treated the situation with a cold mind and was able to calm my worries. 

Later, my friend and I made an action plan for our relocation in case the situation worsened. However, realizing that Lviv was relatively calm and safe, I rejected this idea and decided to do what I did best: volunteering.

Brief opinion on volunteering

My volunteering journey began over 10 years ago. I led and organized many volunteer activities and worked with vulnerable populations. The moment of community and the social aspect of interacting with people is vital for me. While not actively working on any project, I have a useful resource called time. That is why I joined the UAID volunteer organization, where there was already my acquaintance from former volunteering. 

We had already closed several fundraising campaigns and were able to provide many of the defenders with essential items and equipment. We also held charitable auctions, yoga classes, lectures about finance, etc., to collect funds needed to defend our country from invaders.

I am inspired by the feedback we get from our heroes on the front line. Understanding that you can help someone with your actions is probably the best feeling for me at the moment. My position: as long as I am in a relatively safe place, as long as I can be helpful and provide help – I will do it. I try to focus only on what I can control. 

B. Petro, ELITEX front-end developer

Petro B. Senior Front-end Developer

The war caught me abroad. I clearly understood that I would return home, and this decision was made instantly. Before it even started, the leisure trip ended with a long drive home.

Kilometer-long queues of cars with people fleeing from danger and an empty road to enter Ukraine were vivid memory from the first days.

Having a clear pro-Ukrainian position, I knew I would be more useful in Ukraine. I immediately understood that being a non-military person, I would still enroll in territorial defense and volunteer. At that time, I was pleasantly surprised by the number of active, caring people ready to help.

I spent a lot of time volunteering at the Lviv railway station, which became a hub for internally displaced people. At that moment, I  understood that people need people – to talk to someone, to get emotional support. The greatest pleasure for me was to feel useful. I was inspired by people and by my ability to help them.

The company introduced emergency days off. It helped, in the beginning, to gather my thoughts and understand how to live. On the 5th day of the war, I felt that I had the strength and desire to work. At night I volunteered at the station, and during the day, I focused on work – this helped me to some extent to escape from reality and maintain mental stability.

Work-life balance has changed to a work-war-life. It is surprisingly easy for me to concentrate on work. My productivity, on the contrary, has increased during this time. I try to focus my attention on small tasks and do everything gradually. All this gives an understanding that life goes on. I feel motivated, and I feel that I am doing something useful both for myself and for the state in which I live.

K. Vira, ELITEX human resources manager

Vira K. Human Resources Manager

I had suspicions about the beginning of the war. There was no panic. I clearly knew that my husband, daughter, and I would stay in Lviv.

I see the biggest changes now in my child. Instead of learning the names of animals, she learned the words “siren” and “alarm.” I understood that my emotional state directly affected her, so I tried always to be calm and explain everything that interested her in the form of a game.

During the war, there were also changes in my work. Before that, I worked part-time, and now I am back full-time. It helps me to distract myself and allows me to donate more often.

I found good friends during the war. Even before the war, our company cooperated with one confectionary. After some time, we stopped working together, but I still had her contact.

As it turned out, during the war, her husband joined the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. I first contacted her by volunteering to deliver items that people from our team were collecting for her husband. From this began our close communication, which grew into a strong friendship.

War takes away the bloom of our nation, but life goes on. Now we all have to live not only for ourselves but also for all those who gave their lives for our safe nights. Although the russian invasion slowed down our plans, my family remains in Ukraine and will continue its life and development here.

R. Mykhailo, ELITEX software engineer

Mykhailo R. Software Engineer

I am from Kharkiv, and as of February 24, I lived in the central part of the city. The war began for me with a call from my friend, who reported a full-scale invasion.

We lived in that area for the first two weeks. When we realized that enemy aircraft had started flying over us, my partner and I decided to change our place of residence. At that moment, we understood that, after leaving the house, we might not return there.

By my nature, I am a pragmatic person, so I did not feel confused. In the beginning, there was only an internal fear of the unknown. At the end of the first month of the war, I already had a clear understanding of the situation and knew what to do and how to live on.

Work helped me to concentrate. It became the island of normality that remained from the time before the war. The work process helps me recharge and focus on something else. I also understand that thanks to the opportunity to work, I can do something good, donate to the army’s needs, and support the country’s economy.

My priorities were kept the same, as my family always came first. Now I am inspired by people close to me. They give an understanding that there is someone to live for and to keep together.

I understand that life goes on, I make plans for the future, and I definitely connect them with Ukraine.

M. Oksana, ELITEX project manager

Oksana M. Project Manager

The war caught me at home. I did not panic, and on February 24, I even managed to promenade through the sunny center of Lviv.

In the first week, my friends and I actively volunteered, looking for the necessary clothes, equipment, and medicines needed on the front line.

Also, thanks to my knowledge of two foreign languages, I helped to translate and distribute news about events in Ukraine on information resources for foreign countries.

I wanted to try living abroad for a long time. Although I cannot call this phenomenon the most useful for self-development, the war helped me implement this plan. This wasn’t an attempt at temporary relocation due to russia’s military invasion but rather an excellent opportunity to test my mettle in a different environment. I spent two and a half months in Germany. I also contributed to translating the city’s website for temporarily displaced people there.

You should start with yourself in order to change the world for the better. This phrase now has a special meaning for me. Being abroad, I had a perfect opportunity to communicate with different people and convey important things about the situation in Ukraine, our roots, and our history. 

At one point, I realized that I wanted to return home. Returning to Lviv was a breath of fresh air. I joined a charitable foundation and started working on a project regarding online education for temporarily displaced children and ones from occupied cities. The project is supported by a Swiss university and involves 5 leading Ukrainian teachers from Kherson and Kharkiv regions.

Having a flexible schedule is now the best opportunity for me to combine volunteering with work with maximum benefit. Involvement in volunteering is what inspires me now. It allows me to move forward and feel purposefully in my activities.”

We continue to work and are proud to be a Ukrainian outsourcing firm

On behalf of the company, we would also like to express our gratitude to all our teammates, who continually demonstrate incredible results in their work, and to each of our clients for fruitful cooperation. It is essential for ELITEX not only to provide quality services and solutions for the customer’s product but also to maintain a long-term partnership.

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