Physicists, chemists, mathematicians. Software developers increasingly frequently need their knowledge. Innovation House found out what kind of work Ukrainian IT companies are able to offer to scientists and why the demand for them is growing.
The average salary of the employee of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine is about UAH 4 thous. ($147). The average salary of the ordinary developer of Ukrainian IT company is about UAH 40 thous. ($1470). The scientists have deep knowledge in specific fields, but far from always they may be applied in business. At the same time Ukrainian developers successfully sell their services to companies from Europe and the USA and create products of various complexity. The more complex the tasks become, the more often developers turn to external experts for help, namely to the scientists.
What job is offered by IT companies
Digital medicine, Internet of Things (IoT), fintech, biotechnologies, and nano developments, artificial and augmented reality, artificial intelligence – technical expertise alone is not enough to develop products in these fields. We need here deep understanding of physics, chemistry, genetics, biology, sociology, electronics, automatics and other scientific fields too.
“From time to time we are in need for the scientists in ten fields – that is true,” – SoftServe R&D Director Vasyl Mylko said. But in order to get the next tranche for the study or project, we need those, who succeed in commercialization of their researches within one year, having observable progress within each quarter. In other words, we are talking about commercial researches in small product companies or major outsourcing companies, rather than fundamental researches, for instance.
SoftServe has available vacancies for the scientists for the positions of Lead Researcher and Research Engineer. In 2008 researchers will work here in three main fields. First of all, this is artificial intelligence, namely machine empathy, emotional intelligence. Secondly, Internet of Things, design and programming of “smart” devices. Thirdly, quantum programming, namely optimization on D:Wave quantum computers and programming of higher level algorithms on stable qubits. Key fields of work for 2019-2020 may vary.
SoftServe has attracted research scientists to the work on their BioLock product. This is basically the driver identification system using the electrocardiogram. Sensors embedded into the steering wheel read off the heartbeating and only when this is done car engine starts. Driver identification is performed within 30 seconds with an accuracy of 70%. “To develop BioLock we had to be well-versed in biosignals, electrocardiography, bioimpedance (measurement of body indices considering its electrical resistance. – Editor’s note.),” – Vasyl Mylko said.
Moreover, SoftServe works with photoplethysmogram, galvanic skin resistance, eye retina, vessels location. Therefore, the company’s R&D Department is searching for the persons, having deep knowledge of necessary branches of knowledge and wide range of interests. After all, innovative solutions are always at the “intersection” of traditional branches of knowledge, professions.
GlobalLogic company is specializing in comprehensive R&D projects for various industries too. Its portfolio has projects that require both experts having sound practical knowledge, and those, who have the expertise in scientific and technological researches. For instance, academic degree in the field of physico-mathematical sciences will not to come amiss.
Development of comprehensive mathematical models, optimization and adaptation of complex algorithms are among the tasks dealt by such experts. Andrey Yavorsky, Vice President of Engineering at GlobalLogic, shows for illustrative purposes the projects of cars with self-driving capabilities or warehouse logistics robotic systems. For instance, package of goods dispatch algorithms on warehouse pallet, considering the variations in size, weight, strengths, – this is non-typical mathematical problem. In case with the car projects, research team is dealing with algorithms optimization for car positioning on the move and algorithms development for the safe handling of autonomous car in the emergency stop cases.
“De jure, these engineers are engaged in the same software development, but in practical terms – they are dealing with the complex innovative problems solving, which, on its own, encourages and motivates our technical experts,” – Andrey Yavorsky said.
The scientists also cooperate with Sigma Software. According to Delivery Director Anatoliy Kochetov, they are mainly former mathematicians and physicists. Basically, as of today they hold major positions of Senior and Team Lead, and work on rigorous scientific database. Their projects cover artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data. Moreover, they partly participate in various projects for the aviation industry and work on embedded systems.
R&D Centers of world’s technological giants offer many scientific and research tasks to their employees. Ukraine, for instance, has Samsung Research and Development Center. However, as yet Ukrainian office of Samsung company could not tell us in details about their expertise in working with scientists.
Salary and cooperation conditions
Cooperation conditions with scientist may vary depending on the company and each specific project. SoftServe attracts experts both on a contractual basis and on a full-time basis as well. The company holds in confidence their salaries, but Vasyl Mylko appraises them as the “competitive in the field”. Expert’s remuneration depends on his expertise, as well as on the demand for this employee at a definite time period.
According to Konstantin Vasyuk, IT Committee Executive Director at European Business Association, orders constantly change and are placed from various fields. Therefore, the personnel of service company shall be flexible as much as they can and shall be adaptive to the needs of the customer. “From a practical perspective, there is no actual rationale for the companies to have a highly specialized researcher on a full-time basis,” – explained he. On frequent occasions companies additionally train their developers for them to understand how the program or process design solution for the specific industry will work.
The scientists are involved in the projects of information service companies as the advisors working under the temporary contract (part-time employment). Such experts may reach up 1% of the total staff of the IT company.
Why there are so few scientists in business
Vasyl Mylko believes that such insignificant number of scientists in IT field is associated with the various work approaches in scientific and business environment. After all, fundamental researches and research work in companies are two different sorts of things.
Research work performed by the scientists on their own projects may last for years, and publication of the results in some scientific periodicals will witness its successful completion. Business researches are quite a different matter. They are built on understanding of the potential topicality, on the value of one or another decision. “While dealing with innovative developments, we shall understand who may the potential purchaser of such technology, to what extent its potential is significant and long-lasting. Our projects shall be commercialized within a year. Therefore, the speed of work, creativity, mental flexibility are more important to us compared to the researches as such,” – SoftServe R&D Director said.
He believes that the scientists and researchers within the classic meaning of this term will hardly ever enter IT field, until the Ukrainian companies have their own laboratories, like Google or Facebook do, for instance.
Trend or randomnicity?
Konstantin Vasyuk from the European Business Association points out that thanks to the diversified focuses and directions of domestic education, and thanks to good technical back up that was inherited by Ukraine, our IT experts are highly rated on the international market. After all, software developers are not only able to write any code considering the parameters of the customer or based on the questions posed to him, but may also offer alternative solutions, entirely different slant on the issue.
“For instance, we had a talk with Indian IT experts, who currently work on the software support in one of the American banking corporations. It is remarkable that this software for the bank was written by Ukrainian software developers,” – Konstantin Vasyuk said.
Anatoliy Kochetov from Sigma Software added that these days Ukraine receives more and more projects that require R&D, scientific approach and deep academic knowledge in application area. We evidence the gradual perception transformation of our country from cheap European outsourcing to location full of unique engineering experience. As a consequence, there is a growing demand for the developers performing scientific and research tasks.
This trend is confirmed by Andrey Yavorsky from GlobalLogic. He said that this occurs due to growing confidence both in our experts and in country as a whole. “Some time ago the customers of service companies rarely entrusted their partners with complex science-based problem solving. Nowadays, we are the one, who are increasingly frequently entrusted with this task,” – he said.
As of today, digital technologies transform entire industries, therefore, according to him, in the future we will see the growing demand for developers-scientists of the most diverse specialties.