Interview with Hovhannes Aghajanyan, X-TECH

The April issue of iTechnology.am is dedicated to mobile app development. As always, iTechnology.am conducted extensive research to bring you grassroots stories of the booming Armenian IT sector. This time, we are proud to bring to your attention X-TECH company, which is a  creative studio doing Web , Mobile and Game design and development. Besides they are making Kinect and  Leap Motion applications.

Our readers would remember  from our December issue that CityBugs, the project of X-TECH team, won the “Innovation” category in ArmNet Awards 2012. The Citybugs project, which is supported by Eurasia Partnership Foundation, is directed to detecting and to solving some essential problems in Yerevan. Citybugs.am is a social platform providing unique possibility to ordinary citizens to raise and address crucial issues of their cities and communities.

When is X-TECH going to introduce the mobile version of the Citybugs project? This and other questions are posed to young and creative professional, Hovhannes Aghajanyan, who is the Project Manager at X-TECH. We hope you enjoy our conversation. He has a lot to tell young professionals.

iTechnology.am: Congratulations for winning the 2012 ArmNet Award in “Innovation”  for Citybugs.am. Can you explain your goals and your future development plans for CityBugs.am?

Hovhannes Aghajanyan: First of all we thought about doing something good to our society. As information technologies have become popular, the society somehow becomes dependent on the Internet, social nets, and social media. So our project also was a social one, which aims to provide a piece of good impact in the social sphere of society. We created CityBugs to be the bridge between the society and the government bodies. Our cooperation with the Municipality of Yerevan was successful starting from Hackathon [YAN] Yerevan-2011, where we won Jury Choice for Citizen Reporting. The approval of this successful cooperation are the awards Best Integrator of the Year & The Best Multimedia Project in GITI 2012.

This year our project was represented at Cebit, the world’s largest computer expo. X-TECH CEO, Founder and  director Arman Atoyan participated in this event in Hannover, Germany. Due to this participation we got a number of offers from abroad. Our next step is to expand the project to other large cities of Armenia (Armavir, Gyumri, Vanadzor).

iTechnology.am: Many developers wish to develop websites and mobile apps but don’t because of fear of not making money. How did that effect your development of Citybugs.am and do you plan to make money in the future?

Hovhannes Aghajanyan: Citybugs.am was a non-profit one. It was and remains free for Armenia. We even have some offers to put advertisements in the website due to our high traffic. But we don’t do it as this is our chosen policy. Business goals for this project can be, for example, selling it as a web application to foreign cities. But for Armenia it is free without any expectations of financial returns.

iTechnology.am: Currently, Citybugs.am is a website. Since this issue of iTechnology.am is focused on mobile, do you plan on also developing a mobile version?

Hovhannes Aghajanyan: the mobile app will be available after the integration of the cities, because the project is in the development stageActually we have  a mobile app for Android, and also have something for being developed for iOS. But only after full development they will be introduced to the users.

iTechnology.am: Are you developing with HTML5 or Native Development?

Hovhannes Aghajanyan: We have a HTML5 version, but as we need to solve concrete problems we prefer full native development.

iTechnology.am: X-TECH is one of fastest developing software companies in Armenia today. What type of projects are you working on at X-TECH?

Hovhannes Aghajanyan: Our portfolio contains various types of projects. We have already created more than 150  websites. Besides we concentrate on game development, mobile app development, etc.

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iTechnology.am: Do you see mobile as a major focus or is it just part of the mix?

Hovhannes Aghajanyan:  This is an area which makes life easier but I don’t see the higher level of  IT being developed in this sphere. I am thinking beyond mobile technology and for me   the future is going to be built on Kinect solutions and those kind of “virtual” interfaces technology. We must always be thinking forward.

iTechnology.am: Many of our readers are young professionals in Armenia. As you have worked some years in IT, what are your thoughts about the sector and do you have any advice?

Hovhannes Aghajanyan: Just to share my experience, I can advise to develop something from the point of view of a user. Then I can state that I am always for INNOVATIONS. Of course, at first, the innovative ideas are criticized, even laughed at, but these are the ones which then conquer the world and become the most popular. So I prefer the non-standard approach, which, in my opinion, is essential to being successful in IT.
I will also advise young professionals to develop their entrepreneurship skills. In my opinion people here prefer to work for somebody else more than to create their own company. This is true especially for older generation. This mentality should be fixed.

iTechnology.am: Thanks Hovhannes, iTechnology.am wishes you and your team more and more success!!!