The Swedish-Ukrainian IT company, Sigma Software, which has more than 30 offices in 15 countries worldwide, has launched two software development offices in the Lisbon metropolitan area, one in Cascais and the other in Lisbon, and believes that Portugal is a great country for IT.
“Lisbon is a beautiful city with a very developed and unique tech ecosystem. It has a vibrant and very active IT community which we want to be a part of. In general, Portugal is one of the most digitalised countries in Europe. Most people speak English fluently and the country has a very convenient time zone and it’s close to our US customers”, Volodymyr Chyrva, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Sigma Software Group, told The Portugal News.
In addition, he said one of the main reasons they brough Sigma to the country is that “Portugal supports Ukraine and we’re really grateful to this country and Portuguese people for helping Ukrainians in such challenging times”.
As for the option of opening offices in a sector where most employees work remotely, he said that in times like these, they appreciate the “opportunity to communicate and share ideas in person in comfortable locations. At this point, it is really important to feel unity and a sense of camaraderie with our countrymen. This distracts us a bit from all the horrors of the war”.
“After the first week of the war, our employees donated around $340,000 to humanitarian aid and military needs. We have allocated laptops for territorial defense forces and are working on the delivery of and searching for various IT equipment from abroad. We also work on special tasks within the IT Army project. Many of our specialists started assisting volunteer organisations. Some of our specialists have joined the army and territorial defense forces, while others are delivering food and medicine on their own in hot spots like Kharkiv”.
In addition to many other initiatives, “Sigma Software also decided to boost the Femmegineering project, created by Sigma Group, and scale it to emerging European tech markets like Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, and Portugal. The goal here is to support female refugees and local women to join the tech sector and build successful careers”.
Many refugees are physically safe in their host countries, such as Portugal, but it does not mean that they don’t need help or that the work is done for them. Actually, “many need help coping with nervous tension and stress”.
“Some have left loved ones in cities where there is still fighting. That is why we established internal online groups and meetings where we’ve invited top experts in the field to provide psychological support”, the Co-Founder and Managing Partner said.
Founded 20 years ago in Kharkiv, Ukraine, under the name Eclipse Software Programming, they joined Swedish consulting company IT Sigma in 2007.
“Our goal was always to provide premier value IT services and consulting to enterprises and startups and we have always focused on long-term partnerships”, they said.
Looking for talent
This company is hiring new people to join their teams. According to them the Ukrainian IT sector remains stable in spite of the slowdown in the first few weeks due to the relocation of employees to safer territories. “The export-oriented IT companies have demonstrated continued revenue growth and traction, indicating the sector's stability amid the very worst crisis”.
Furthermore, this year they are planning to hire up to 20 employees, mostly Java and Python developers, Big Data and DevOps engineers. At the moment, there are still no Portuguese people working in this company, but Volodymyr Chyrva thinks that may change soon.