Russian Programmers in Finland: Cultural and Professional Geography

The idea to look at Finland as a migration destination for Russian ICT professionals seems at once obvious and counterintuitive. It is clear from migration statistics that Russians represent one of the largest minorities in Finland. Due to their geographical proximity and cultural familiarity with the country, many Russian-speaking professionals end up employed by the Finnish IT sector. However, for a lot of Russian professionals who moved there, see the country as not particularly attractive or final migration destination.

That puts a question why some Russian ICT professional have preferred Finland to other countries and why have they decided to stay there? 

The idea of lifestyle migration offered by O’Reilly and Benson (2009) looks especially applicable in this case. It seems that the topic of correlation of profession with particular life-style is highly promising in understanding migration of some Russian ICT professionals to Finland.

My research shows that group under investigation share a specific set of values and a certain work ethic, combined with a life-style preference. Thus, through migration narratives, we can discern significant lines according to which Russian ICT professionals in Finland build up a system of their identity and articulate life-style preferences.