One of the rare joys of being a software developer is having the opportunity to work closely with people who live in remote parts of the world. Even building friendships with them. And then one day you find out that in that remote place they have cows running across the ceiling.
The remote place I’m talking about is Lviv, a city of nearly 800,000 people in western Ukraine near the Polish border. The place became a household name for me eight years ago when I was starting my career at OMP and learned about this team of 25 IT professionals working for us in Ukraine.
Despite the physical distance, we managed to build a productive collaborative relationship and I quickly began to see them as just another part of my OMP circle of colleagues. Regular business trips further strengthened the bond. I remember the first time I got there: three people welcomed us at the airport, bringing bottles of medovukha, a drink obtained from fermenting honey with spices, hops, berries and a little bit of vodka. Delicious stuff, offered warmheartedly by some fine people.
OMP’s partnership with Symphony Solutions was born in 2010 out of our need for highly skilled IT professionals to support the growing business. What started as a small co-operation project to improve OMP’s user interface, grew to a large team of people, working closely together on many parts of our software. Over the years, the Ukrainian team’s focus has expanded from user interface to foundation code, business logic, and scrum testing.
You’re still wondering where the cows come in? I’ll come to that. The Lviv team in fact comes courtesy of Symphony Solutions, a Dutch company of IT professionals headquartered in Amsterdam which operates delivery centers in Ukraine, Poland and North Macedonia. A few years before our visit, the Lviv offices had been decorated according to a rather peculiar house style, displaying mock-ups of Dutch windmills, traditional dwellings, an Old Amsterdam café, and a few of those typical black-and-white cows, one of which had been turned upside down and attached to the ceiling. Dutch humor in Eastern Europe, how funny is that?
To celebrate our tenth anniversary, Symphony Solutions gave us a fancy jukebox, inviting us to share their work motto #WriteCodeLikeMusic.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 has made an in-person anniversary celebration with the entire team impossible. But we’re looking forward to making up for that as soon as we (safely) can. Cheers!
Joining OMP in 2012 to work on software and programming tools, Mario now manages several development projects focusing on delivering qualitative functionality. He is experienced in research and innovation and also often works with OMP’s Ukrainian team.