Ukraine has become an increasingly popular software development outsourcing destination, especially for the North American and Western European countries. The Ukrainian IT industry is booming and it has grown by 27% in 2017.
The most significant asset of the Ukrainian IT market is the tech talent pool. The country boasts the high level of technical education and a large number of qualified software developers. According to Stack Overflow, there are over 166,000 developers in Ukraine, which is the second largest number after Poland in the CEE region.
Ukrainian software developers have delivered a plethora of software projects for different companies worldwide. Thus they have won the reputation of highly skilled professionals around the world.
So what are the typical Ukrainian developers like? What are their skills, working experience, reasons to work in the IT sphere, and the level of satisfaction with their job?
Every year, DOU.ua, the largest developer community in Ukraine, surveys Ukrainian IT specialists to build a detailed profile of a typical Ukrainian software developer. This website is an extensive source of IT news, articles, job vacancies, company ratings, and industry trends. Founded in 2005, the platform has grown its community to over 65,000 members. During the survey, they gathered 8,638 answers from the Ukrainian IT specialists covering multiple aspects of their professional development, experience, hobbies, and more.
We have outlined 20 facts about Ukrainian developers based on the 2018 DOU survey. So this article is aimed at giving some insight into the Ukrainian IT talent market and helping businesses start successful cooperation with Ukrainian engineers.
- The average age of a software developer in Ukraine is 21-29, while an average quality assurance engineer is 23-29 years old. The youngest are the designers and front-end developers. The oldest are system administrators, project managers, and top managers.
In general, developers in Ukraine start their professional career sooner than their peers in Western Europe or the United States. For instance, according to the Developer Survey by Stack Overflow, an average developer in the USA and the UK is 28-29 years old. Also, it can be explained by the fact that in recent years, there has been a massive influx of tech graduates on the Ukrainian IT market due to the increasing popularity of IT professions.
- The women share in the Ukrainian IT sector continues to grow. While in 2016 there was 16% of women working in the industry, in 2017 this number reached 20%. Today, this figure is even higher – 23% of IT specialists in Ukraine are female. The most popular IT professions among women are quality assurance (24%), software development (23%), and non-technical jobs such as HR, PR, and Sales (20%).
- Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Lviv are the three cities with the largest number of software developers in Ukraine. 40% of the respondents live in Kyiv, 15% are from Kharkiv, and 12% live in Lviv.
- This year, the number of those who work in IT outsourcing and those employed by IT product companies is almost the same in Kyiv (36% and 35% respectively). Dnipro and Odesa have a similar distribution. When it comes to Kharkiv and Lviv, more people provide IT outsourcing services in these cities.
As far as product development is concerned, it is not as wide-spread in Ukraine as in the Western European countries and the USA. The development of the IT sector in Ukraine is primarily driven by outsourced services. The country has a lower cost of living than other European countries and thus offers more competitive rates for software development services. However, we could see this trend change in the recent years.
- While in Kyiv the share of junior and senior software engineers is almost the same (22% and 21%), other key IT cities have got 2-3 junior programmers per 1 senior engineer.
- Most Ukrainian IT specialists have around 5 years of professional experience (56% of the respondents in total). The most experienced are top managers and system administrators (more than 40% have 10+ years of experience). In addition, around 30% of QA engineers have 3-5 years of experience.
- On average, a QA engineer tests the work of 4 programmers while 1 PM manages 9 developers and 2 QA engineers.
- Three most popular reasons for working in tech are the interest in technologies (78%), high salaries (61%), and professional growth prospects (50%).
- For Ukrainian software developers, the most important factors in choosing a job include salary and bonuses (78%), interesting tasks (65%), professional growth prospects (57%), comfortable work conditions (29%), flexible working hours (22%), the possibility to work remotely (13%), office location (8%), and an employer image (4%).
- Most Ukrainian IT specialists enjoy their work. 32% of respondents find their current job truly interesting, while 52% consider it rather interesting. Front-end developers and system administrators make up the highest percentage of those who consider their job boring, while the majority of top managers and non-technical specialists find it fascinating.
- In general, Ukrainian developers are satisfied with their salaries. Front-end developers, system administrators, and designers are among the most dissatisfied with how much they get paid (twice more than other IT professionals).
- Apart from the main job, many Ukrainian developers are running or planning to launch their own projects. Every fourth software developer, system administrator, designer, or a top manager has a personal IT project besides a permanent job. Meanwhile, most of the QA engineers, non-technical specialists, business analysts, and project managers devote themselves solely to their main job.
- The majority of Ukrainian IT professionals (80%) are office workers. Only 8% of respondents work from home, 5% work remotely from different places, and 1% prefer co-working spaces.
- Open space offices are as popular in Ukraine as everywhere else. Two out of three IT specialists work in an open space office and most of them (62%) are satisfied with their workplace.
- Many Ukrainian IT specialists work more than 40 hours per week. Top managers make up the biggest number of workaholics as they put in over 60 working hours per week.
- Almost half of the respondents (48%) see themselves as senior specialists or leads in 5 years. Mostly, this is a common vision among business analysts, QA engineers, designers, and front-end developers. Project managers and non-technical specialists aim to become top managers. Still, many software engineers are interested in starting their own IT business in the future.
- Despite a relatively high work and salary satisfaction level, many Ukrainian developers are thinking about moving to work abroad. Software developers and other IT professionals, project managers, and QA engineers are more likely to leave Ukraine for a job in a foreign country.
- 87% of female respondents and 82% of men have higher education. Whereas 58% of women and 64% of men who work in the IT sphere in Ukraine have relevant STEM education.
- When it comes to the English language proficiency, women show better results than men: 54% of women and 43% of men engaged in the IT industry have the upper-intermediate level or higher. Also, top managers, project managers, and business analysts are more fluent in English than other Ukrainian IT professionals. Meanwhile, front-end developers, system administrators, and designers have a bit worse command of English.
- Most of the Ukrainian software developers find time for self-education. 70% of the respondents read professional literature, 60% regularly attend IT events, and 57% take online courses. Only 11% of the respondents do not have time for professional self-development.
The survey shows that most Ukrainian software developers, as well as IT companies, are engaged in software outsourcing services. Most of them live in the biggest Ukrainian cities such as Kyiv, Lviv, and Kharkiv. Ukraine’s long-established system of tech education provides the constant inflow of the qualified specialists to Ukrainian IT market.
What is more, most Ukrainian IT specialists love their job. The majority of responders chose a career in tech because of their interest in technologies. Although the high salary is the major factor that affects their choice of the employer, other motivations include interesting tasks, professional growth prospects, and comfortable work conditions.
If you are thinking about cooperating with Ukranian software developers and would like to learn more about outsourced software engineering in Ukraine, consult with our experts.