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Nikiforov: we want a million programmers and for all software to be Russian

0 19 August 2014

Communications Minister Nikolai Nikiforov has announced that ‘no quicker’ than in 3 years the ministry plans to develop such a strong IT sector that the country no longer needs foreign software.


“We are aiming for total IT sovereignty in Russia. And it’s achievable in principle. Russia has always been renowned for its programmers. We have world famous IT companies like Yandex and We are preparing a set of measures which, step by step, year after year will help to develop a whole software sector which will replace what we are importing. This is a long road, which will take 3 years, or in some cases 5-7. This country needs “1 million programmers”. Currently we have 350,000. The ministry is working towards ensuring that as soon as possible the figure will grow.”

This isn’t the first time Nikiforov has discussed his ambitious plans to cultivate Russian IT workers. Early in 2013 the ministry of communications announced an initiative to create an IT micro region in Moscow. The idea was to save time being wasted by IT workers travelling to work, and to keep IT companies in Moscow. According to the ministry’s plans, homes and office buildings were to be built there for the 25-30,000 IT specialists and their families. All of the homes were to be for rent, and would be built alongside services such as nurseries, schools and medical centres. However, the plans never got past the ideas stage.

In autumn 2013 the Communications Ministry suggested relaxing the requirements for immigration, believing that this would help bring in 150-200,000 IT specialists. In March the government agreed to the proposal.

In less than a year the Ministry’s appetite has grown considerably. In autumn 2013 they planned to train 700,000 IT workers by 2020, now they are talking about 1 million.


Top image via Shutterstock

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