We continue a unique series of materials about Ukrainians who have lost their jobs due to the Russian invasion. These people began learning Java thanks to the CodeGym user donation program.
Millions of Ukrainians have lost their jobs and are losing their money due to the war. Mykyta Shevchuk, 24, is one of them. After his company went out of business and he got stuck in a small city while his savings were vanishing, he was given an opportunity to learn Java and become a developer.
I had a dream
I'm originally from Dnipro, a large Ukrainian city. Since 11th grade, I've been interested in programming but never had enough money to study it. Also, I probably wasn't ready yet. Instead, after high school, I went to Poland for several years and then moved to Kyiv.
For the last two years, I have been working for our family business of dyeing metal products. I was a client manager, so my responsibilities included looking for new clients, supporting current ones, and taking partial care of manufacturing. It wasn't my dream job. I've always loved computers, I enjoyed writing scripts in Excel and playing video games. So, I was still thinking about programming as my dream career.
I started saving some money to achieve my goal and learn how to code. Ironically, when I collected the amount needed and was ready for this step, the war started. Actually, the whole story is full of irony.
Several months ago, our company received an offer. An investor wanted to buy the business and relocate it to the Zakarpattia region, to the town called Volovets (there's a chance you heard this name on the news). The director agreed, and since then, we were moving the facilities to Volovets, preparing the company for the execution of the new big order, etc. We finished all the preparations on February 23, and the next day we planned to go back home to Kyiv. Instead, we woke up in a country in a state of war.
The documents were already signed, but we hadn't gotten the money yet (there was a 60-days period for the payment). And, due to the war, I don't think we'll get them. That's how I lost my job and the money in one day.
Moreover, a few days ago, the Russian missile fell 10 m away from the building where we had relocated the business. It was the first time Russians bombed the Zakarpattia region, and that's why you could have heard the name "Volovets." Previously, this part of Ukraine was considered safe because it was very close to the EU border. But we were "the luckiest" ones to almost catch this only missile.
Nevertheless, the equipment isn't destroyed, but I can't say the same about the building. Now we're trying to get it fixed and thinking about the future of the business. Selling it doesn't seem like a viable option at the moment.
Except for the job, my brother and I lost the places to go back to. My brother's from Vorzel (a small town near Kyiv where the brutal battles occurred), and his house is ruined. I was renting an apartment, and I don't know if it's even there.
Right now, we live in Volovets. Instead of fulfilling my dream, I'm using the money I saved for studying to pay for rent and food. We couldn't find a free apartment, so we've rented an office and live in it.
The future is now
I'm not the kind of person who stays at home crying over losses. I needed to do something to keep myself sane. My brother and I went to the local military commissariat, but they said they didn't need us so far because we had no army experience.
So, we started to think: how could we help, and what were the job opportunities? Now, we're helping to build the orphan house for kids who lost their parents during the war. Our responsibility is to make metal stairs and the furniture for this building. It's small money, but we don't care.
Money isn't our biggest concern in current circumstances. We've been doing many things for free. For instance, helped the military commissariat, built a house for the local unit of Territorial Defense Forces, made "hedgehogs" for the block posts, etc. We take all the orders and do everything to keep ourselves busy.
There's a saying, you get what you give. Maybe that's why here, far from home and during the war, I finally got to study programming. Several weeks ago, a friend of mine told me about the opportunity to learn Java with CodeGym for free. Sure, I jumped on it!
Java was my number one choice when I was thinking about becoming a developer, so it was a lucky coincidence. The only thing I needed to study was the stable Internet. So, I managed to find a provider here in Volovets. Since then, I've been studying whenever I have spare time. I believe if you have a desire, you'll find the time and space to make it come true. I study between jobs, on the weekends, and every single minute when I can make my mind focus on learning.
I really enjoy studying on the CodeGym platform, it's very easy to use and friendly. I haven't had any difficulties: even if I can't understand something, I just make pause, and the obstacle is gone.
I'm a very optimistic person, and I want to look at this situation as a chance to restart my life from scratch, to do something I've never had enough time to do before the war. My plan is to finish the course in 6 months. I see myself being a Java developer in the future. I'm staying in Ukraine, but I want this new career in the field I admire. Hopefully, with CodeGym's help, it's possible.