March 14, 2005. A group of Russian nuclear-physicists formerly involved with the creation of nuclear weapons have completed a computer skills program designed to retrain them as Java programmers and software testers. The program is managed by LUXOFT and sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and Moscow’s Kurchatov Institute, the development site of the Soviet Union’s first atomic bomb. The specialized training runs for five months and concludes with official Sun, Oracle and Software Testing certification exams. The program has now been completed four times with the latest class all passing the exams with exceptionally high marks; now they are Sun certified Java Programmers, Oracle Certified Developers and Certified Software Testers.

LUXOFT’s specialized training program lasts for five intensive months and involves more than preparing the nuclear-physicists to pass certified exams. Just as importantly, the participants are taught the development processes and procedures essential to commercial projects. Training participants must complete two stages, the first of which takes three months and involves courses teaching the fundamental principles of modern software development projects including instruction covering RUP, business models, requirements management, and more. The first stage concludes with the students participating in a training project that in every possible resembles an actual LUXOFT commercial software development project. The final two months represent the second stage and consists of intensive preparation for the certification exams.

With all program participants passing their certification exams with flying colors the next step is to integrate them into the private sector IT work force. LUXOFT actively assists with this process, finding work for participants among its own ranks and in other Russian software development companies. Past experience shows it won’t take long to find jobs for these highly intelligent and well trained professionals.