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“Work-life balance in Belarus is better than in the countries I’ve worked in before”

This is my second move. I studied in Moscow, then worked in South Korea for three years, returned, got my PhD. Quite by chance I got a call from Wargaming asking if I was looking for a job. I decided to consider that option. I knew about “tanks” at the time, heard something about Viber—and that’s it. I definitely couldn’t imagine that Minsk has such a huge IT community.

I can say now that I got quite a big boost in technical development at Wargaming because there’s noticeably less red tape here than in other major companies. I feel my personal impact upon the product: it’s not two lines of code per month that end up in production, but something bigger. Plus, the approach to development involves working with a broader tech stack—this is a feature of the gaming industry.

“Work-life balance in Belarus is better than in the countries I’ve worked in before”

In Moscow, I would spend up to five hours on the road daily; in Korea, people do a lot of overtime just historically. Here I have time and energy for hobbies: now it’s gliding. I used to do sailing, but had to abandon it when I came to Belarus. There’s kind of a ‘sea’ here—however, you can actually circle it on foot.

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Everything Internet-related works fine. I pay my apartment rent in three clicks, whereas in Korea I recall having to install Internet Explorer, a ton of applications and plugins to it, one-time keycards—and all that through the bank branch.

As for Minsk itself, I like the quiet, calm, nice ‘provincial’ atmosphere. Although Minsk can’t be called provincial, it’s just a separate feature. No rushing crowd, much better ecology compared to megacities. I’ve been told that Korea is the safest and cleanest country. Now it’s obvious that Belarus clearly is on a par.

“You can walk around with an open bag without being afraid that something might vanish from it”

Belarus is kind of an island in Europe, because such a situation is rather an exception than a rule.

I like parks near Svisloch—from Drozdy to Nemiga. I live close to one of them and it’s very nice. I like local and Russian cuisine. For example, “Kukhmistr” offers amazing kvass, “Muka” serves unusual dumplings, and the Komarovka market always makes my head go around from the amazing diversity of food offered by local farmers.

Immediately after moving, I bought a car and began driving around, going to all the reachable places. Visited all the cities within a 250-mile radius from Minsk; I totally liked Grodno, for instance. As concerns flights: although Minsk’s geographical location is perfect, you still feel some ‘remoteness.’ We have to fly with layovers: Minsk is certainly not a transport hub.

Upsides
Good work-life balance.
Ecology.
Security.

Downsides
We have to fly with layovers.