6 Tips for Cooperation with a Software Development Company

Hiring an international outsourcing partner can save you time and money, but it often comes with a long transition process: different work ethic, culture differences, or another timezone. Can you avoid or minimize stress when working with a foreign tech vendor? What are some of the tips and tricks to ensure the communication goes smoothly? Today, we’ll learn about 6 important steps for effective partner management in software outsourcing.

Do your research

Choosing a tech vendor is a rather tedious process, but the more time and effort you spend on it, the more satisfied you will be in the long term. There are many things you have to consider when choosing a tech partner, ranging from the tech stack they work with to successful cases and references. Our short guide of things to pay attention to when you want to partner with Ukrainian tech companies is available here. 

Define the scope of work

It’s important to ensure that both you and your partner have clear expectations about the scope of the project. Understanding the project’s details, including tech specification, source code (if applicable), design guidelines, etc. is vital. So is the timeline of the project, and budget expectations. If the project’s deadline changes, you have to notify the partner as soon as possible and mutually agree on the plan of action and available solutions.

Determine realistic goals

Setting the right KPIs for your tech partner both during and at the end of the project is an essential prerequisite for its overall success. In order to maximize your cooperation with the partner’s team, it’s important to continuously evaluate work progress and accurately voice up your expectations. If once the project has already begun, your objectives changed, ensure that KPIs will be adjusted accordingly.

Choose communication channels

Email is a bit old-fashioned, don’t you agree? Take advantage of vendor management software available on the market, or use communication tools such as Slack, Trello, or Jira. Discuss with your tech partner whatever software would be the most convenient for both parties. Messenger apps will allow you to instantly connect with the team and address an issue, but organizing sprint meetings at least every fortnight will allow you to always stay updated with your project.

Appoint project manager

There’s no need to repeat that communication is the key. Having a dedicated manager that will work closely with the tech partner can save you from unneeded stress. The project manager should work closely with the partner’s team lead, overseeing communication plans, project quality, and deadlines. Make sure that the project manager meets with the partner regularly whether on-site or offline to evaluate the project’s progress and analyze the team’s performance.

Be mindful of cultural differences

The tech industry might be one of the most laid-back and flexible, but it’s also one of the most diverse ones. Not only your tech partner might be from a completely different culture, but their team might also include team members from different nationalities and cultural backgrounds. Don’t underestimate the power of intercultural communication, and make sure you are aware of culture-specific holidays, work ethics, offensive behavior, as well as time differences.

While software outsourcing might sound like a challenging process, the tips listed above should ease it out for you. Remember, the project’s success could be in danger without clear communication and expectations. Bear in mind these short tips and outsource your project to a top software development company in Ukraine.

Lviv 2025: How the City will Change in the Next Few Years

The 765-year old city of Lviv has traditionally been known for its cobblestone streets, renaissance architecture and baroque churches. However, in the past few years, the city has been slowly embracing a more modern approach to architecture, urban planning, and mobility. Lviv has set itself ambitious goals for 2021 and beyond, and today, we’ll learn more about some of the most awaited infrastructure projects that will change the landscape of our city very soon. 

When it comes to successful urban projects, Lviv is often referred to as a leader among other Ukrainian cities. In 2020, the second stage of Dvirtseva square reconstruction was completed with high priority given to public transport and the comfort of pedestrians. The square is located right next to the railway station, therefore, arranging comfortable bus and tram stops for both residents and tourists to commute to the city center conveniently was one of the prime concerns. By 2024, Lviv has committed itself to an impressive goal: making it possible to get to the city center from any part of the city in 24 minutes by public transport. The city is definitely hungry for systemic changes in infrastructure, improvements in public transportation and modern architecture. Let’s see what kind of projects will emerge in Lviv in the near future. 

City Archive

In 2017, the best project for the new building of the Lviv City Archive was chosen at the All-Ukrainian Open Architectural Competition. The creative studio KUDIN architects from Kyiv was awarded 1st prize. The winning project’s interior will be split between visitor space with coworking, conference hall, exhibition hall, cafe and the archive maintenance zone. The project will also entail active use of the building’s green roof as a cinema. The total area of the new city archive is 4,03 hectares, the building will consist of 5 floors and a rooftop. Due to the hydrogeological situation and complex utility systems, the height of the building had to be raised, which forced slight changes in the design. The new design is almost finished and will oversee expert evaluation before the construction is allowed. 

Where: Intersection of Truskavetska and Pulyuya St.

Lem Station

Lem Station is a revitalization project of an old tram depot, named after the sci-fi writer Stanislaw Lem, who was born in Lviv. The project is led by a group of Lviv entrepreneurs as well as international investors. The first stage of the revitalization has already started and is planned to be finished by autumn of 2021. In a few years, Lem Station is supposed to become a new hub of creativity and innovation in Lviv. Lem Station will include a startup incubator, coworking space, maker space, art gallery, event hall, children’s development center, food court and other spaces for study and recreation. The project leaders say that one of their key goals is preserving the authentic elements from the original building (staircases, gates, windows, etc.).

Where: Vitovskoho St. 57

Sykhiv Sports Palace

Sykhiv Sports Palace is another project designed by KUDIN architects. The total area of the project will be 14,6 thousand square meters. The complex will consist of four halls for volleyball, basketball, handball, and rugby. The hall will be able to host competitions, for example, the volleyball hall can accommodate 2,5 thousand spectators. The highlight of the project will be its roof which will simulate a mountain slope; it is planned to be used for skiing and sledding. According to Lviv City Mayor Andriy Sadovyi, the city will use financial aid from the state as well as grant funds so that the project is completed by the end of 2021.   

Where: Chervonoyi Kalyny Avenue

Art School

In October 2020, the jury of the All-Ukrainian Open Architectural Competition chose the best design proposal for the construction of an art school with a concert hall. The Chief Architect of Lviv, emphasized that the project will take into account all the requirements of the surrounding historical environment. The project will make active use of the plot plan with different functional areas not only for students but also for neighboring residential communities. In addition to the art school and concert hall, the project aims to create a completely new public space that can be used for various festivals, performances, etc. in the future. The designed space will provide inclusive access for visitors.

Where: Lychakivska St., 105

Jam Factory Art Center

Jam Factory Art Center is a revitalization project of a former jam factory that will open as a multidisciplinary art center with additional premises for theatre plays, exhibitions, events as well as offices, restaurants and open public space. The history of the neo-Gothic building goes back to 1872, it survived multiple owners and two World Wars. Jam Factory Art Center will focus on promoting various art forms, from contemporary visual art to new music, cinema and education. The revitalization project started in October 2019, with plans to complete renovation by spring 2022. The center was founded by Harald Binder, a Swiss-born historian and entrepreneur from Vienna, who had also founded the Center for Urban History of East Central Europe in Lviv.

Where: Bohdana Khmelytskoho St., 124

Innovation District IT Park

Innovation District IT Park is one of the biggest infrastructure projects in Lviv. The project was launched back in 2018 by the consortium of partners of Lviv IT Cluster and Galereja Centre, and investment companies Brookfield & Partners and Horizon Capital. Innovation IT Park will become a center for the development of the tech industry in Lviv, aiming to support business and science environments. Innovation District IT Park will include modern offices for more than 10,000 tech professionals, innovative computer lab complex for technical students, multifunctional center, green zone with a park, etc.

Where: Ivana Chmoly St., 1

Looking five years into the future, there are many ideas on how to make Lviv a more comfortable city. One of them is the idea of building a cable car road that will connect Pidzamche district and the High Castle. Lviv Urban Planning Department is currently discussing such a project with municipal authorities from Koblenz, Germany and Salzburg, Austria. Both these cities implemented cable car projects at UNESCO heritage sites, therefore, learning from their experience is definitely valuable. The cable car road in Lviv won’t be strictly a tourist attraction, the main goal is to make Pidzamche more accessible, connecting the south and north of the city. Another project Lviv’s residents are looking forward to is the restoration of the Pelchynskyi pond at the intersection of Vitovskoho, Sakharova and Bolharska streets. This project will not only help to create a new public space but also unload and reorganize the traffic in such a busy area. 

Infrastructure preferences are changing but Lviv tries to keep up with the times, adopting more modern and comprehensive practices. Recycling plant, crematorium, quality office spaces and more public areas – these are just a few of the high-priority projects Lviv should see in the next couple of years.

Ukraine Becomes First Country to Legalize Digital Passports

On March 30, the Ukrainian parliament Verkhovna Rada adopted the bill which makes physical and digital passports equal. Ukraine is the first country in the world to legally equate passports. The law will take effect on August 23, 2021. 

Both Ukrainian national IDs and biometric passports for foreign travel are available in the Diia app, developed by the Ministry of the Digital Transformation of Ukraine. Such digital passports can be used to confirm identity without a physical copy required. Mykhailo Fedorov, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Digital Transformation says: “Ukraine is the first country in the world to launch digital passports and legally equate them to ordinary documents. Diia users will no longer face situations when the digital passport is not accepted. This is not just a landmark event in the history of modern Ukraine and a big step towards the introduction of the “paperless” regime. This is a unique global case that we can and should be proud of.”

Bill 4355 “On the Unified State Demographic Register and documents confirming the citizenship of Ukraine, identity or special status” was supported by 302 MPs; it will take effect on August, 23. It includes the definition of the terms “e-passport” and “e-passport for international travel”, and states that such passports are formed free of charge and can be used on the territory of Ukraine for identification and proof of citizenship. When crossing state borders or the boundary line of the occupied territories, a physical passport will still be required.

Diia has already been downloaded by over 20 million Ukrainians. Digital passports are used on daily basis, e.g. in banks, post offices, supermarkets, as well as on trains and in airports within Ukraine. 

Countries like Poland, Finland, UK, South Korea, etc. have already seen similar projects being carried out. However, Ukraine is the first country where digital passports will have the same legal status as physical ones.

5 Things to Consider When Looking for a Partner in Ukraine

In the last decade, Ukraine has become an attractive destination for software development outsourcing and outstaffing. Highly-qualified tech talents, convenient geographical location, and cost-effective prices make the country a promising tech hub. However, choosing a tech partner abroad is always a challenging process. This article outlines key points one should consider when hiring a Ukrainian tech partner.

Tech market size in a city

According to the latest reports, 67% of all Ukrainian tech professionals live in three cities: Kyiv, Lviv, and Kharkiv. A number of midsize cities, including Ivano-Frankivsk, Vinnytsia, Zhytomyr, etc., are also seeing a surge in tech specialists. The biggest number of tech professionals (about 90k) is located in Kyiv, and respectively, the highest salaries concentrate in the capital too. With 492 tech companies and a $2100 median salary of mid-level software engineer, Lviv is the second-largest tech hub in the country. Lviv boasts an active tech community driven by Lviv IT Cluster, lower office and apartment rents, and an extensive low-cost flight network. If you want to hire a tech partner in Ukraine, we advise you to make thorough research on which city suits your interests best.

Cost of living

Even though Kyiv hosts the biggest number of tech companies and specialists, the city is relatively expensive. When comparing the ratio between average salaries and cost of living, Lviv is a more reasonable destination. According to Numbeo, without rent, Lviv is 10.33% less expensive than Kyiv. Rent in Lviv is, on average, 39.15% lower than in Kyiv. Correspondingly, office rent, eating out and related activities are also cheaper in Lviv. These factors might be important if you are considering relocating temporarily to Ukraine to explore the tech market better, or you’d like to open an office there.

Tech partner’s expertise

Depending on what are you looking for, the tech expertise of your potential partner is the core. According to Clutch.co, Ukrainian outsourcing companies work primarily in e-commerce, fintech, edtech, and healthcare tech. JavaScript is the most popular programming language in Ukraine along with Python, TypeScript, and Kotlin. If you prefer a specific tech stack, it is reasonable to choose a partner that specializes precisely in it. With the help of Lviv Tech, you can easily browse tech companies and filter them according to your needs. 

English skills

Most likely, you will use English as the language of communication with your potential partner. Make sure the partner’s team speaks English fluently to avoid any misunderstandings in the future. While Ukraine is ranked 4th in the Global Skills Index 2020 in tech skills, the country’s English proficiency comes in 44th place according to EF. However, the internal survey by DOU reports that 81% of the Ukrainian tech professionals have an intermediate and higher level of English. English proficiency is a basic requirement at most tech companies, many of them also host internal weekly English classes to ensure smooth communication with the client.

Successful cases 

Such global companies as Samsung, Google, Siemens, Huawei, etc. opened R&D centers in Ukraine. Over 100 Fortune 500 companies picked Ukrainian tech services for their projects, which shows general satisfaction with the tech expertise of Ukrainian engineers. However, when deciding between a few prospective partners, check the previous cases they worked on as well as references from former clients if applicable. A decent partner definitely has a wide portfolio of past projects, with information conveniently available via the Lviv Tech platform.

Choosing a vendor abroad is a long-term process that requires a lot of research. Hopefully, this article will be helpful for any of you embarking on such a journey. Remember that via Lviv Tech you can browse available partners, filter them by area of expertise and connect easily. Make your business thrive with a trusted partner from Lviv!