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Defense Ministry goes on 'big hunt' for computer programmers

Defense Ministry goes on 'big hunt' for computer programmers
Russian military plan to begin the mass recruiting of software developers with university degrees to man newly founded “science companies”.

Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has called the plan “the big hunt for programmers” adding that he used the term in the good sense and that the military needed a great volume of software products in the next five years.

In particular, the minister said that he had already issued instructions to find the St. Petersburg students who had five times become world champions in computer programming. “We need to work with these guys some way or another because we need them very much,” the official said at the meeting with heads of universities and institutes in Moscow.

The minister added that there were a great number of tasks that required speedy solutions and noted that he would like to see “a new generation of people who would drive forward military science”, pledging to provide such people with everything they needed for their work.

Shoigu promised that young programmers would not be recruited as privates as “they must serve in positions where they must bring maximum good, given their significant scientific and intellectual potential.”

The Russian military is especially interested in movable electricity generators using alternative energy sources and also water purification devices. He also mentioned robots, communications and “all innovations.”

The initiative to organize science companies in the Russian army appeared earlier this year and was one of the first innovations introduced by Shoigu after he was appointed Defense Minister in November 2012.

According to preliminary reports, such companies, 80 to 100 people each, will work inside higher educational establishments and students and professors will be engaged in scientific projects ordered by the Defense Ministry. For students the time spent in science companies would be considered as military service, which is compulsory in Russia, but people who receive higher education are usually granted a delay in conscription.

The first science company will be formed this fall  and in total there will be five such units in the military.

According to the head of Russia’s leading technical school – the Bauman Moscow State Technical University the idea is very popular with students and the competition to join the science company is already five for every place.