Advantages and disadvantages of working as a programmer in Italy. Why is Ukraine better? — Iaroslav Ternovyi, Advanced Software Engineer at Innovecs

July 20, 2021 4 min read

Ukraine’s IT market is constantly growing, and Ukrainian developers are no longer moving en masse to other countries. And some even come back! “Why is it better to be an IT specialist in Ukraine than in Italy?'”— we asked a programmer who lived in Italy for 12 years before returning to Ukraine — Iaroslav Ternovyi, Advanced Software Engineer (React Native) at Innovecs.

Iaroslav, how did you come to IT?

As a child, I loved video games and dreamed of learning to program them. That’s why my path in IT started a long time ago. When I was eight years old, I enrolled in a programming class. After school, together with friends, we programmed on Turbo Pascal for about three hours, and the rest of the time, we played computer games. Later we were sent to national competitions, where we programmed various sites.

Now, I program in more than one language because I work with applications and often have to dig into the code. I need to know a bit of everything — TypeScript, JavaScript, Java, and Swift.


How did you move to Italy?

After 9th grade, I moved to Italy. At school, we had lessons in programming, computer science. Due to the fact that I have been involved in programming for a long time, I was an excellent student, and everything came relatively easily. At that time, in Ukraine, my peers did not have computer science lessons at all.

Italy has a slightly different education system, so after 9th grade in Ukraine, I got into high school in Italy and had to study for another five years. I chose a specialty in the last two years — electronics and telecommunications. We learned to solder and write projects and documentation. It was exciting because we created projects that people use in real life without thinking about how they work. We once made an automatic fence with remote control, which people use in private homes. This little model is still in our classroom.

After that, I entered the University of Padua, majoring in computer science. In addition to taking exams in Ukraine after school, each university has its list of subjects. So at the University of Padua, I studied general culture, logic, and mathematics. General culture is a subject where you need to know when a cultural monument was built, which artist painted a picture with three bears, etc.


What was your first job?

In the last year of university, I started looking for a job. I found an ad, applied, and was chosen from eight candidates along with another guy.

The interview for the junior position was quite simple, and it contained questions about what I know and where I studied. Then we were assigned a test task, which lasted four hours. The task was to write a weather application.


In your experience, where do IT specialists get the highest compensation?

In Italy, most businesses operate in the local market. There are few that operate in the international market. In addition, taxes there are very high, and the more you get, the more you pay. For example, a person who receives 25,000 euros a year gets as much as a person who earns 40,000 euros a year. If I had the same salary in Italy as I have in Ukraine, taxes would “eat up” 60% of it.

People there do not want to earn more. It seems to me that their mentality is such that you make as much as you need to get by. Sometimes, a programmer earns less than a waitress — and that’s normal because Italy is a tourist country.


What are your thoughts when comparing your teams in Italy and Ukraine?

The IT market in Italy is not as developed as in Ukraine. Even the quality of applications made in Ukraine is much higher than in Italy. The approach to programming in Ukraine is much more serious. Even office work is not arranged as comfortably as in Ukraine. I did not even have a kitchen in the office. When I came to Innovecs, I was impressed by the office: massage room, kitchen, seating area, and a comfortable workplace.


What do you miss in Italy?

If there is one thing I really miss, it’s the quality of food in Italy, which is at the highest level. The Italians have stringent rules on product quality. Even if you buy the cheapest product, you can be sure that everything is okay with it. More than one body in Italy monitors the quality of products and the punishment for poor quality is severe.

I also miss garbage sorting. I’m used to throwing everything according to the rules: a piece of paper in one container, a paper clip in another, a package in the third.


You joined Innovecs not so long ago. What are your impressions of the company?

In the north of Italy, people are not very friendly: even close friends you are ready to move mountains with can get lost at the last moment. Actually, this is why it was difficult for me to work there, as we had conflicts with the team lead. And Innovecs employs very CARING and ENGAGED people, and here I have almost everything I need 🙂