By Exporting Bosnian Intellect, They Reinforce B&H’s Economy
The Software Industry – Support to the Country’s Economic Development
The software industry is a true oasis of well-paid jobs in the the desert that Bosnia and Herzegovina often seems like. In the recent years, this industry has experienced steady growth (72% from 2010 to today) and represents a driving force of economic development and the potential for solving one of the biggest problems that we encounter every day – unemployment. In July 2016, in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina alone, the software industry employed 13% more people than in January 2015. Particularly noteworthy is the fact that 60–70% of employees in this sector includ young people – that is those under 35 years of age (The Agency of Statistics FBiH).
The software industry is viable and is worthy of investing in, as is confirmed by the fact that, in the past 10 years, the profession of software engineer has been amongst the top three most wanted professions on Forbes’ list.
The Extraordinary Collaboration Amogst Software Companies in Bosnia and Herzegovina
The software industry in our country is growing day by day, especially thanks to the entrepreneurial spirit of the local software companies. They are building the road to success, with their biggest advantage being the fact that they foster the spirt of unity. In 2014, the ten leading companies (Atlantbh, Authority Partners, codeNest, Green River Media, Klika, Ministry of Programming, Mistral Technologies, PING, Symphony i ZIRA), with their many years of software development experience, have joined forces with the BIT Alliance project. The project was established in order to continuously work on resolving a number of obstacles that hinder the growth of this industry in our country. Today, these companies employ about 700 young professionals, who develop software and distribute it to the world’s largest companies.
“Despite the bad state of the economy in the country, companies that are members of the Association manage to continuously acquire and successfully implement projects for the world’s leading companies. The two generations of BIT Camp, which is dedicated to educating and training young people for work in the industry, has had a total of 1,400 registered students – which speaks volumes of their interest for training in this field. However, the deficit of quality cadre that is graduating from universities is a problem we face every day. We need to approach this systematically, as well as to work on raising awareness for the retraining and training for these occupations – for which we certainly need the government’s help,” stated the President of Bit Alliance, Haris Memić.
Labor Market Paradox
The contradiction that we encounter when analyzing our labor market is the fact that in this potent field lacks qualified personnel. The education system, burdened with an outdated learning system, deprives young people of a practical portion in their curriculum and produces workers without the appropriate skill set that is necessary for successful task completion. In this regard, it is clear that renewal of the system is necessary.
The Development Strategy at the State Level
On the other hand, a review of the state’s strategy for the development of the software industry, which should be a systemic solution for the mentioned problems and the first step in its planned development, opens up new questions.
“It is concerning that the State Strategy for Information Society Development in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 2014, which included software industry development, has for the most part not been implemented, particularly the part related to software industry. (Unofficial estimates suggest that only 9% of this strategy has been implemented.) Additionally, current initiatives do not recognize the software industry as an area that has particular potential in the industry as a whole, which makes development of the business environment harder. We will fight for improvements in this segment in the future,” stated Haris Memić, President of the BIT Alliance Board of Directors.
The Future, Full of Potential
Growth, development, a cooperative spirit and participation in quality projects belonging to the Association’s members, reflect the potential of the entire software industry, which will undoubtedly bring a bright future for young people in our country. A long road is ahead, but with the enthusiasm, hard work and experience of BIT Alliance members, results certainly will not be lacking.