MOSCOW, September 13 (Itar-Tass) - Russia’s software developers are marking their professional holiday on Friday. It is symbolic that they celebrate on the 256th day of the year, precisely this number of integers may be expressed through one eight-bit byte. The holiday became official in compliance with a presidential decree four years ago.
Initially, the idea to mark the day was proposed by the head of the Computerra publishing house, Dmitry Mendrelyuk, in July of 1996. In 2002, staffers of the Parallel Technologies Web-Studio company officially suggested its celebration.
Russia’s software developers have a strong lead in global ratings. This year was Russia's first hosting of the final of the World Software Engineering Cup. The team of St. Petersburg State Research University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics won the competition for the fifth time.
According to the IDC analytical company, Russian software represented 14% ($4.8 billion) of the country’s total information technology market. This year’s software market is projected to rise by seven percent, although the increase is down on the 13% in 2012. About 60 percent of Russian software products go for export.
Software developers report losing vast amounts of money due to the spread of pirated products. But experts say penetration of counterfeit software dropped substantially in 2003-2011 though still reaching 63% in 2012.
The Communications and Information Technology Ministry pays much attention to supporting Russia’s software engineers. In July, the ministry submitted to the government a roadmap for developing the domestic IT sector up to 2018. Notably, the document formalizes the term IT Industry, which has not been legally described that way until now. Under this document, IT Industry is a system of companies involved in the development of software, delivery of IT services and design of hardware with high-cost software.
The ministry is drafting an IT Industry Development Strategy for up to 2020 and beyond, devising new legislation on tax benefits for small IT companies.
Software experts consider Joseph Marie Jacquard’s loom of 1804 as the first programmable device, making it possible to manufacture textile patterns using punched cards.