The harsh truth: imports phase-out of IT technologies is impossible in principle

The harsh truth: imports phase-out of IT technologies is impossible in principle
Opinion

10 May, 15:13
Игорь Драндин
IT-аналитик
Modern software development cannot be isolated in one single country, therefore there are no Russian analogues to Western technologies and cannot be.

Igor Drandin, IT-analyst

A little about how the government and IT companies loyal to the authorities are import substitution.

You probably heard how officials and managers of some companies that receive government orders solemnly promise to develop Russian software instead of imported ones.

Words, of course, are beautiful and many intelligent people even believe in them. But there are problems here.

  1. All Russian developments can only be made in programming languages that have nothing to do with the Russian Federation. There are no Russian development languages.
  2. Modern development is impossible without the use of third-party packages (third-party code). Typically, 60 to 95 percent of the code in an app is code that was downloaded from Github and written by enthusiasts or other companies. Let me give you an example, in one of our web applications, which has been developed for more than 7 years, there are 150 external packages, of which only 5 were implemented in the Russian Federation, while 4 packages were written by us ourselves. That is, modern development provides for large-scale reuse of Open source code. And this code is written by programmers who live in different countries and have unique knowledge. It is impossible to refuse the use of third-party developments. This will require decades and competencies that simply cannot be in any one country.
  3. There is such a company BFT-holding. It is a major software developer for power. This company implements many projects in Golang, Google's programming language. Golang is not only a programming language, it is a whole range of different development tools - a package manager, systems for debugging code, libraries with documentation, and much more. As you understand, projects made on Google technology cannot be called Russian.
  4. Development environments. In order to write code, you need a special program, a code editor that will not only perform syntax highlighting, but also perform real-time code analysis and do many other things that modern development is unthinkable without. The JetBrains company, which just creates such programs, left Russia. There are almost no alternatives to Jetbrains products, except perhaps Microsoft's Visual Studio. There are no Russian analogues and there will not be, since such products are the work of large international teams.
  5. If you make truly import-substituting systems, then in addition to supposedly your own operating systems assembled from someone else's code, you also need to have your own analogues of Docker and Kubernetes. But these products are not so easy to steal and call Russian.

Remember, modern software development cannot be isolated. There are no boundaries in IT technologies.

You just need to call things by their proper names.

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