We continue to tell the stories of IT specialists who came to live and work in Uzbekistan.
Today we would like to talk about 32-year-old Timur Mindarov from Belarus. He works as a DevOps engineer at Itransition.
He has been with Itransition since July last year. Now his responsibilities include automating the assembly and delivery of software, setting up the infrastructure and troubleshooting. That is, this is the part of the work where the programmer has already finished writing the code, but the application has yet to be put into operation - automate the assembly and delivery of the application, set up the infrastructure in which the application will work, and provide monitoring.
In March of this year, Timur decided to move to Uzbekistan, but he had been thinking to leave Minsk for a long time.
“As I remember, somewhere in 2012, these thoughts first appeared to me: well, I need to move somewhere, at least for a while. Then I considered different options. It is clear that everyone goes to the USA and Europe, but I thought, maybe there is something else. Maybe Uzbekistan? I started looking for detailed information about the country. I remember some picture with a view of the city from an article on the Internet. She impressed me a lot. With this impression, I made a decision to move in 2022.”
Besides the impressive photo, there was another reason that prompted him to choose Uzbekistan.
“Initially, I chose between Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Georgia. My father is from Uzbekistan himself. He spoke little about this country, but it was interesting for me to see the homeland of my ancestors. And dad also says that there are no “normal” melons in Belarus, and I was curious: what are these “normal” melons?”
By the way, the melons did not disappoint him, Timur notes: they are really sweet and now he understands how they should taste.
In addition, Timur wanted to experience what 40-45 degrees is in the shade. As the guest of the column admits, before he could not even imagine how one could endure such a thing.
“Now I understand that it is not so scary and quite tolerable. In Belarus, at 30 degrees and high humidity it becomes unbearable, but here the air is dry. Yes, and I like to take a walk in warm weather.
Our hero did not have any problems with the move.
“IT Park provided a transfer service and issued a SIM card. They also helped me with some paperwork, so everything went quickly and easily. Later, when a friend visited me twice, I was introduced to the self-registration process. And without the help of IT Park, the process would be long and tedious. I know that the organization also helps with finding housing, but I chose the apartment myself.”
According to the expert, the IT sector of Uzbekistan is only developing.
“Compared to Belarus, everything is just beginning here. And now I have the feeling that I have returned to the past. All this happened to us, but a long time ago. But I am sure that everything will change in the near future, because the government of Uzbekistan is doing a lot of work for positive changes.”
He says that here there are very few technology stores and applications that make life easier.
“We have a website in Belarus to search for medicines. It covers the whole country. There you enter the name of the medicine and the map shows where it is sold, how much it costs and what analogues there are. You can even book the purchase of the medicine, and then go to the pharmacy and buy it. This is where I really miss it. There are, of course, bots, but they did not seem so convenient to me. (By the time the article was published, Timur had already found an application that has very similar functionality - editor's note)”
As Timur continues to tell, the same picture is with the applications of banks.
“Some banks in Uzbekistan have applications. You can use it, but the interface is very ‘spartan’. Or, for example, the application looks great, and when you start using it, you understand that the looks is the only good thing about it”
As for the Internet, he likes it.
“I heard a lot of people complain about the internet. Of course, I noticed that there are some differences from Belarus, but for me this is not so critical, in general, it is convenient for working.”
As Timur recalls, he faced a problem with cashing out money.
“I didn’t have time to change money by the time I arrived here and checked into the hotel. When I asked at the hotel if I could pay in dollars, they said no. The problem was that it was before the weekend, I didn’t know that the banks would not work.”
Timur drove downtown hoping to find exchange points. Instead, he found ATMs, which he admits confused him at first.
“I'm used to the fact that there are banks in Belarus that work on weekends or until late in the evening. I was afraid to use ATMs here. It's kind of strange to give dollars to a machine and hope that it will return something to you. And it turned out that it took the dollars from me, but did not give UZS back. I anticipated that…”
But everything worked out well. He took the check and told the taxi driver about the problem on the way back. The taxi driver contacted the bank, explained the problem, and a few days later Timur went to the bank to get his money.
Another problem that shook our guest is driving habits.
“I often see people running across in the wrong place. In Belarus, this happens much less frequently. On the other hand, there are very few pedestrian crossings, and drivers are reluctant to let pass at unregulated pedestrian crossings. Another notable feature of Tashkent is that drivers are constantly honking, which is bad. For example, in our country, if they honk, this is a warning of danger, but here people begin to get used to the constant “beeping” and may not respond to something really serious.”
But the guest is very pleased with the cost of a taxi: you can get from one point to another for $4.
“It makes me very happy, I constantly take a taxi and even learned uzbek phrases “chapga buriling, o’ngga buriling (turn left, turn right)”.
The impression he got about Uzbeks, as he notes are only positive.
“I like one feature of the Uzbek people: people communicate respectfully calling one another “Siz” (“thee”). This makes communication more delicate and in this case it is difficult to act rude or disrespectful.”
He is also glad that he did not have to face the language barrier, because locals can speak Russian or understand it.
He loved Uzbek cuisine especially.
“Since my father is from here, we used to cook plov at home. But I always wanted to try a real plov cooked by Uzbek people. Now I know what it looks like and what it tastes like. It is slightly different from the plov we cooked at home.”
In general, Temur likes it all: fruits, vegetables and food. The only thing he misses is pork.
“Belarus has a huge selection of sausages and smoked meats, pork can be found in every grocery store, and the range of ready-made products is wide. Here it is practically not eaten or consumed in small quantities. But everything else is excellent, tasty and affordable. The Uzbek cuisine is very diverse, I think I have not yet tried all the oriental dishes from the food delivery application.”
As Temur notes, Uzbekistan is a country of contrasts.
“What surprises me here is this: on the one hand, for example, there is a high-speed train Afrosiyab – that is so cool, there is no such thing in Belarus. And on the other hand, when I was traveling back by another train, it was a converted Soviet train, where the cost of a luxury compartment is $ 25, but they don’t serve tea or coffee, there is no air conditioning, and you think: how can this be possible? And then there are cool modern buildings, luxury districts and cars, but at the same time there is, let's say, poverty.”
Timur notes that the country is very beautiful, with a rich history and attention grabbing sights.
In addition to Tashkent, he visited Samarkand and Bukhara.
“We had a Minaret lamp at home. When I visited these cities, I saw how it looks in reality. Everything looks like an oriental fairy tale. Both cities have many attractions. This is a paradise for history admirers. The old city in Bukhara reminded me of the film "The Diamond Arm" (“Brilliantovaya ruka”)with its narrow streets and old, mostly yellow buildings.”
Tashkent’s warm weather does not frighten our guest. On the contrary, he says it is a big plus.
“Usually in winter, in Belarus, I gain weight, and lose it only in summer. And here the summer lasts longer, so I hope I can keep myself in shape.”
To all his friends who want to relocate, Timur recommends to come to Uzbekistan. He tells them about sights, culture and cuisine, as well as about the convenience of moving.
“One of the advantages, if we consider long-term stay in Uzbekistan, is the prospects of the country in the IT. IT hubs, which were, unfortunately, are gradually being destroyed. Specialists from Belarus, Ukraine and Russia go to work in different countries, concentrating new IT competencies there. Uzbekistan has excellent conditions for IT specialists and IT businesses, and this is a country where one can hope for good prospects. The government of Uzbekistan and IT Park are doing a lot to develop this sector.”
Timur wants to take the memories and some souvenirs to remind him Uzbekistan.
“I will stay here as long as I feel that it is the time for change. In the meantime, I enjoy every minute of my life in this amazing country.”