IT training in Belarus: These brains are demanded by Google, IBA and Microsoft

IT training in Belarus: These brains are demanded by Google, IBA and Microsoft

Virtual reality is squeezing the usual life out. Some have already got used to virtual existence, with new rules, features and dangers.

The first case of fraud in the purchase and sale of digital currency - bitcoins - has been registered in Belarus for the first time. The digital economy is gaining momentum as the real and virtual worlds are getting intertwined. This topic was discussed at a meeting with the President of Belarus last week. The head of state promised to sign the Decree On The Development Of Digital Economy.

Alexander Matveenko, head of the Minsk office of a company developing programs in the field of computer vision:
This violet bar shows where we need to move and change lanes. The driver's task is simply to follow the line.

Now we are working on technology. Once we understand that the technology we have is working very well, we will integrate it with vehicle control systems. The car itself will choose the lane. You do not need to touch the wheel. It warns about possible accidents.

A famous American company invested in the regional development of this start-up by opening an office in Minsk. Overseas CEO liked the conditions in Belarus as well as Belarusian programmers.

Dmitry Boyarovich, correspondent:
Belarus has - according to various sources - from 30 to 60 thousand programmers. For a country with a population of almost 10 million people this figure is small. But Belarus aims at quality, not quantity.

Every fourth IT specialist in Belarus graduated from BSUIR. Every year, the University trains about 500 programmers. Many of them work for IBA, Microsoft and Google.

Dmitry Boyarovich:
Valery Alexandrovich, how are specialists trained here?

Valery Prytkov, Dean of the Faculty of Computer Systems and Networks, BSUIR, Candidate of Technical Sciences, Associate Professor:
We work very actively with companies. For example, now we are in a room which is supported by one of our partner companies. In such joint laboratories, in addition to training, we conduct company trainings, various seminars in the areas that are in demand by companies.

The training of programmers was one of the key points at the meeting with the President. The strategic goal is to make Belarus an IT country. Alexander Lukashenko assured that the decree providing for the best conditions for the IT sector will be signed in the most liberal version.

Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
The domestic IT sphere needs a new impetus to development, so that capable people here can fully realize their potential. Belarus should be a real center of attraction for talented ideas, successful companies and international corporations. Our country has all chances to become - at least at this stage - a regional leader in the development of the most advanced areas. It will depend only on you.

The 50-page draft decree offers revolutionary changes in Belarus. For example, the regulatory framework for blockchain - the technology that makes transactions on the network transparent. Its emergence is compared with the invention of the Internet.

Belarusian IT businessman Viktor Prokopenya knows about this like no other. The office of a major IT investor was visited by the President at the beginning of 2017.

We talked with the businessman about the prospects of high technologies in Belarus.

Dmitry Boyarovich:
Viktor, it seems to me, Belarus is now on the threshold of a completely new era of IT industry development. This is true?

Victor Prokopenya, an investor of IT companies:
If the Decree is adopted before the 2017/18 New Year, Belarus will be the first country in the world to regulate all aspects of the use of blockchain. Belarus will go down in history as the first state that envisaged and legalized all methods of its application. Of course, this is very good for the image of the country.

Dmitry Boyarovich:
You advocate for the fact that as many as possible Belarusians study programming. Will this lead to distortion of the labor market for programmers (like it was with a lot of lawyers, economists and accountants in the past)?

Viktor Prokopenya:
This is the most terrible myth. Your task as a journalist, if you want to help our country to develop it, is to dispel this myth. A huge number of devices appear in the world every day. They all need programs. The industry needs people who can make products. Marketers are very necessary to the industry too. The industry needs designers very much.

Special position of the High-Tech Park of Belarus will be extended, most likely to 2049. English law will operate on the territory of the Belarusian "Silicon Valley". This will allow investors to conclude deals directly, including using "smart contracts".

Denis Aleinikov, head of a law firm:
In fact, today there are two forms of transactions - written and oral. The "smart contracts", which appeared this year, is a third form. This contract is a computer program. An automatically executing code entails the automatic fulfillment of the obligation of the contract on the conditions laid down in the computer program.

The share of the IT sector in Belarus' GDP is about 5%. The main driver here is the Hi-Tech Park. Over 10 years, the export revenue of the park has grown 40 times - from 22 to 800 million dollars per year. Belarus supplies software to 67 countries. Among them are the USA, Great Britain, and Finland.

Eric Gundersen, IT businessman (USA):
In Minsk, you can now open a start-up as quickly as you need it. The government made this procedure as simple as possible. We do not need to hire lawyers or study local legislation. In addition, the level of development of artificial intelligence in Minsk is staggering. You have very strong engineers and an excellent environment for development.