An in-depth comparison of the top 5 countries for hiring dedicated remote software engineers: Poland Ukraine, Philippines, India, and Vietnam

Why hire offshore developers?

Acquiring new and dedicated software developers is an intricate process, encompassing phases like recruitment, hiring, and retention, involving significant financial investments but also  strategic planning and execution. Companies can expect to spend $7,500–$28,000 in hard costs to find and onboard a new employee, including job board fees, background checks, and the new hire’s training. Soft costs—such as lost productivity—can add up to as much as 60% of the total cost to hire, according to SHRM.

Conversely, hiring offshore developers emerges as a compelling alternative, offering advantages such as cost-effectiveness, all while still maintaining high-quality deliverables. Businesses, by opting for offshore development, tap into a global talent pool that is not only adept and skilled but also economically viable, breaking free from the constraints of local hiring challenges. 

This approach is not novel or untested, as companies like Coinbase and Shopify have already treaded this path, hiring outside the US to meet their technical role requirements. 

However, where will be the best destinations to find your team of dedicated offshore software developers?

Where to find your dedicated developers: 5 countries to consider

Offshore software development – Rates by region, according to Intellisoft

Employers in higher-paying regions are increasingly hiring remote employees in lower-cost regions. A compelling 300% growth in North American companies employing Caribbean remote workers from 2020 to 2023 underscores this significant shift. Esteemed C-level executives across the United States are not merely adopting but ardently advocating for this strategy, delineating a nexus between top-tier non-U.S. expertise and operational efficacy. 

When working within a constrained budget, businesses can explore opportunities in regions such as Asia, Eastern Europe, or Latin America. These areas are renowned for their dedicated and highly skilled developers who offer their expertise at a notably competitive rate, both in terms of skill and cost, when compared to other global regions.

Poland

Technical Expertise: Poland has firmly established itself as a hub for adept software developers, with a strong emphasis on quality and proficiency in modern technologies. According to data by Stack Overflow, Warsaw, alongside its adjacent tech-centric cities, is home to an impressive enclave of nearly 250,000 software developers, each specialising in various disciplines and collectively elevating the nation’s technological prowess.

Education: Each year, Polish universities proudly produce more than 15,000 graduates specialised in computer and communication technology. Dive into the professional scene, and you’ll find that JS, Java, and Python reign supreme, with nearly 200,000 developers in Poland showcasing these skills on LinkedIn. And the momentum doesn’t stop there. As highlighted in the 2020 report by Dealroom.co and the Polish Development Fund, the country boasts an impressive 401,000 software developers.

Number of software developers in the CEE region, in thousands.

Cost-Effectiveness: Striking a commendable balance between quality and cost-effectiveness, Poland emerges as a compelling choice for software development ventures. While not the least expensive option globally, the value derived from the quality of work is noteworthy. The average junior software engineer earns $4,500 monthly, ensuring access to skilled talent at a considerate cost.

Moreover, Poland’s geographical positioning in Europe serves as a strategic advantage, particularly for collaborations with Western European clients. Proximity in both time zones and cultural similarities facilitate smoother, more efficient interactions and project executions, reinforcing Poland as a sensible pick in the global software development domain.

Ukraine

Technical Expertise: Ukraine stands out as a powerhouse in cultivating skilled software developers with proficiency across various technologies. Recently, the nation has emerged as a premier destination for offshore software development, successfully combining a rich pool of expertise with global demands. A report examining Software Development in Ukraine, Poland, Belarus, and Romania reveals a robust IT environment with Ukraine housing 172,000 IT professionals, and being home to 750+ IT services companies, attesting to a vibrant and growing technical sector.


Cost-Effectiveness: When it comes to fiscal considerations, Ukraine presents a competitive landscape in labor costs, effectively balancing price with programming proficiency, specialist level, and regional factors. For instance, in Kyiv, one of the largest Ukrainian IT clusters, a Junior Software Developer can expect an average salary of $3,625, illustrating Ukraine’s capability to offer quality technical skills at a prudent cost.

Education: Ukraine robustly fosters an environment that annually propels approximately 130,000 engineering graduates into the professional realm, outnumbering counterparts in France, Germany, Poland, and several other European nations. Additionally, with a notable rank of #40 worldwide on the EF English Proficiency Index, Ukraine strides ahead of India, its nearest rival concerning contract rates, showcasing a keen aptitude for language skills vital in the global market.

The country doesn’t just present itself as an outsourcing option, but as a strategic ally considering its advantageous time zone that smoothly dovetails with the working hours of the US and UK. Furthermore, a work culture that parallels international standards, valuing competitiveness and innovation, offers a harmonious collaboration environment.

However, the current political situation between Russia and Ukraine has added a layer of complexity for employers seeking to engage talent from these countries. The ongoing conflicts have unfortunately disrupted the ease of reaching out and securing the necessary assistance, leaving potential employees caught in the midst of these unfortunate circumstances.

Philippines

Education: With the rise of IT professionals graduating from top technical universities across the Philippines, the country is now able to meet the demands of rising industries: Annually, over 30,000 graduates, brimming with expertise in IT and technical fields, step into the professional sphere, enriching it with their skills and vigour. A significant 92% of Filipinos converse in English, thereby not only amplifying the nation’s internal communication but also positioning it as one of the largest English-speaking countries globally, facilitating effortless international collaboration.

Cost-Effectiveness: The Philippines emerges as a reservoir of cost-effective software development without compromising on work quality. Engaging a software developer from the nation could cost a mere fifth of what their counterparts in the western world might charge, aligning economic prudence with quality output. The cost spectrum for hiring a proficient developer from the Philippines gracefully costs about $1.974 per month, presenting a wide array of options that cater to diverse budgetary allocations, and yet, ensuring a steadfast adherence to a commendable standard of work.

India

Availability: India is a popular outsourcing destination with a fast-growing software developers and programmers base. The driving force behind this growth is the nation’s urban populace – a cadre that’s not only highly educated but also semi-skilled, with a considerable chunk of the youth veering towards IT as their career of choice. The statistical charm is equally compelling: every year, India welcomes approximately 120,000 IT professionals into its ever-expanding workforce. Plus, communication effortlessly flows, thanks to its status as the world’s second-largest English-speaking nation.

Technical expertise: Indian developers demonstrate a keen acumen in aligning with global tech trends, often opting for the most prevalent programming languages. In a 2020 survey, a striking 35% of Indian respondents flagged Python as their programming language of choice, followed by stalwarts like Java and C++. This not only underscores a proficiency in pivotal technologies but also mirrors a conscious adherence to global technical trajectories.

Cost-Effectiveness: India stands out as an unparalleled hub offering the most economical outsourcing rates for software developers globally. To dive into the specifics: an Indian software developer, on average, commands a salary of merely $600 per month. This intriguing blend of cost-effectiveness, coupled with reliable technical expertise, staunchly positions India as a formidable player in the global IT outsourcing arena, delivering quality without imposing a hefty financial burden.

Nonetheless, the Indian IT industry encounters a significant hurdle: Aspiring Minds reveals that a scant 5% of candidates can accurately compose custom code, suggesting that upwards of 95% of developers might not meet global job qualifications.

Vietnam

Technical Expertise: There must be a reason for Forbes to call Vietnam a “Small but mighty powerhouse” for IT outsourcing services. Armed with an adept command over pivotal programming languages, namely Javascript, SQL, Java, and CSS, Vietnamese software engineers emerge as not just competent coders but strategic solvers of digital puzzles. Vietnamese software developers harmoniously navigate through diverse technological needs, catering to global enterprises with a depth of knowledge and a breadth of expertise. Be it in conjuring visually and functionally user experiences as front-end developers, ensuring seamless, under-the-hood operations as back-end developers, or intertwining both as full-stack developers, they can handle all. 

Cost-Effectiveness:  Vietnam has become a go-to place for affordable IT services without skimping on quality. Imagine hiring a skilled software engineer for about $1,311 a month – and that’s entirely possible here, according to the TopDev 2023 IT Report. Labour costs in Vietnam significantly undercut those in both Western and other Asian countries.

But it’s not just the attractive prices that are turning heads. The savings are significant, especially when you compare costs with countries like China or Singapore. This has not gone unnoticed by Korean SMEs —31% of them choose Vietnam when they’re looking for skilled engineers from overseas, primarily due to the substantial cost advantages over their Korean counterparts.

Skill Development: In Vietnam, the collective efforts of the government and private sector in elevating skill development and education are noticeably shaping a vibrant and talented pool of software developers. Engagingly, the EF Education First English Proficiency Index of 2020 places Vietnam 65th globally and a notable 13th in Asia for English proficiency. This language aptitude is a crucial asset, especially in the global IT landscape. With over 400,000 adept software engineers and an impressive circle of approximately one million workers in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector, Vietnam proudly secures its spot as the 8th in the world.

Time Zone: With reliable air connections to tech hubs like Singapore and Japan, collaboration and travel are streamlined. Furthermore, the time zone of its bustling urban centers like Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, which are about 7 hours ahead of the UK and between 12-15 hours ahead of various US states, presents a workable overlap. IT workers in Vietnam can conveniently align with the US daytime work hours, ensuring smooth, real-time collaborations across seas and screens. This melding of skill enhancement and geographical convenience propels Vietnam as a notably appealing destination in the global IT outsourcing domain.

Bottom line

Finding the right balance between quality, cost, and easy teamwork, businesses are at a key point where making smart choices can create successful international partnerships. The hunt for skilled software development goes beyond just looking at numbers. It’s about really understanding the culture, economy, and tech skills in each possible location. Using this article as a guide, we hope businesses now have more choices in mind when looking to find the right place to hire offshore software developers. Keep in mind that enlisting the expertise of a local recruitment agency can further streamline your journey, ensuring both cost-effectiveness and time savings in your global collaborative endeavours.

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