When it comes to software development, today the world is yours to explore. And in the last decade, a lot of roads have started leading to Eastern Europe.
While the cost-related reasons may be the first to come to mind when you think about expanding your work source to countries like Belarus, Ukraine, Poland or Russia, the IT sector in Eastern Europe has a lot more to offer.
In Ukraine only, according to the recent Software Development Report, the IT industry counts a whopping 175 000 professionals. The number keeps growing, with 23 000 talented and hard-working graduates entering the IT market every year. Neighboring Belarus boasts 54 000 tech experts creating applications used in 193 countries by over a billion people. Poland’s IT sector has experienced breakthrough growth in the last ten years (three times faster than India!), with 160 000 software developers writing top-notch code for clients all over the world today.
IT starts in school
Classes like physics and mathematics are mandatory for all students in high school. The Eastern European countries still benefit from the Soviet emphasis on education, making them the most sought for destinations when it comes to IT.
Ukrainian software developers take at least 4 years to get a bachelor’s degree, longer than in most countries. In 2018 Ukraine was ranked #4 in international students’ competition in mathematics.
More than 90% of software developers in Belarus have at least one degree. Their hard work and talent have made Belarus UK’s #1 IT talent destination.
Russia is also going strong with its education legacy. With 3500 engineers per 1 million people, today Russia has over 1 million skilled IT specialists, leaving China, India, and Japan way behind.
IT continues in the workplace
The abundance and availability of talent in the IT field in Eastern Europe today make the software developers even more competitive and diligent. In order to stay in the race, they have to focus on innovation and permanently work on their skills. The IT talent pool grows by tens of thousands of graduates every year. So if they don’t stay one step ahead, somebody will quickly take their spot in the market.
This impressive supply has its results, with Ukraine and Belarus repeatedly ranked top IT destinations, all factors considered. Poland and Ukraine also made it to the top 10 countries with the best developers according to Skillvalue.
IT has the same culture
Cultural proximity is a simple way to streamline workflow and avoid any possible misunderstandings which cost time and money. The business approach in Eastern Europe is very similar to the Western one. For example, Ukrainians, just like their Western neighbors, are part of a low-context culture. This means that figures, numbers, and deadlines have the biggest impact on the business. Whereas in the high-context culture countries located further East, more attention is given to status and reputation.
A recent study has shown that Eastern European engineers are more prone to working collaboratively, which is a huge speedup for the solution-finding process. The Hofstede Cultural Dimensions Theory places Ukraine and Poland right next to the Western European countries in terms of long-term orientation. This cultural affinity is crucial for big strategies and mutual decision-making for important projects.
The cultural proximity also contributes to overlapping calendars and holidays, making it easier to set long-term goals with your IT contractors.
IT is easy to work with
The governments keep up with the growing IT supply and try to ensure a favorable business climate for both parties. Belarus has taken quite a few steps to support its IT. Introducing special taxation and lifting restrictions on the currency were among them.
Ukraine has an impressively low tax rate on IT services, which is very attractive for both employees and their employers.
Polish executives also encourage their IT talents by introducing tax incentives for their clients. It is as if everything has been implemented to ensure a smooth and steady workflow, without distractions.
IT speaks English
In Eastern Europe, not a single line of code will be lost in translation. The level of English among the IT workers is simply impressive, for example with Poland being #11 on the English Proficiency Index in the world.
Ukraine and Russia have a literacy rate of 99.4% and a lot of graduates speak more than one foreign language.
Companies strongly encourage language improvement from their workers. English classes with native speakers are often given to guarantee a fluid workflow and not waste time on linguistic misunderstandings.
IT is right next door
Poland is located within the same time zone as Western Europe, while Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus are one hour ahead. Major IT locations also often share their working day with the US, which makes it easier to work in the same rhythm.
Minsk, Kyiv, and Warsaw are 2-3 hours away from most destinations in Europe. So the possibility of face-to-face communication is just a quick flight away. Belarus offers visa-free entry for 70 countries. Ukraine boasts a visa-free agreement with the Schengen countries for both inward and outward journeys. Poland is a part of the European Union.
While you may still be thinking about dipping your toes in this talent pool, major companies have already taken the plunge. For instance, Ukrainian developers are behind the software in Boeing, Volvo, Ford, Scandinavian Airlines.
Belarus’ talents have been working with giants like Fitbit and Viber. While Amazon, Lufthansa, and Microsoft entrusted their R&D with Poland’s specialists.
One thing is certain: trusting Eastern European developers with your business is a worthwhile investment that will keep growing. We have decided to take it to a new level and bring the best IT specialists closer. Thanks to our convenient location in the Netherlands, you can have top-level software development right next to you.