Tech growth in Armenia, state of the industry

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The tech industry in Armenia is generating a lot of hype but much of it is written from the non-technical perspective so its mostly fluff and smoke. This short post is intended as a overview of the state of the industry in 2017, what technologies are hot, and what kinds of things you can expect if you move here.

NOTE: Usual disclaimers, this is my point of view, intuitions, etc etc

Technologies and Getting work

Armenia is surprisingly ahead of our many neighbors in the tech stack of many businesses, for example compared to Lebanon we are more advanced. There’s still a lot of PHP and Java jobs but Armenia is picking up in using more modern and hot technologies like React, ReactNative and nodejs (I’d like to think I had something to do with that). Startups are starting to use those cooler technologies, older boring companies will be using the usual boring, soul-sucking enterprise tech.

Now if you are talented and can demonstrate that preferably with public code on github, then you can get a job in 10 minutes so in that respect its like the Bay Area. Most of the companies aren’t large enough to justify having positions like Project Manager so programmers will have an easier time getting a job. If you can’t get a job as a programmer then it means you aren’t good enough yet so take it as an opportunity to improve yourself and learn something more relevant.

There’s also some C++ work but you’ll probably only want to deal with the good C++ places, aka the game developer studios; they are pretty good and at least know what C++11 is.

Problems

The industry does suffer from a lack of experienced, ‘senior’ talent. The tech industry is especially subject to the problems of emigration as people are easily poached once they reach mid-level experience and technical ability. In my opinion what passes for ‘senior’ level person in Armenia is really mid-level or less in the Bay Area and its not because the people are stupid but mostly because the people with the greatest potential physically up and leave the country. This has massive ripple effects as that knowledge is never passed down to others and companies cannot expand their workforce or quality of their code.

The plus side is that if you’re an programmer with real industry experience then you have a big chance to make an impact in a company that would take a bit longer than back home.

Places to hang out

The country is starting to have regular tech events, so you can expect at least two cool tech events each week. These will be mostly at ISTC, iterate hackerspace and at MICArmenia