IT outsourcing in Ukraine has seen a great leap forward in recent years. Ukrainian software development companies attract more and more clients thanks to a vast pool of skilled software developers, proximity to the Western world, and the best value for money proposition.
So, where to find the best developers in Ukraine, how to partner with them, and how to make the most of cooperating with Ukrainian software developers? Let's find out.
In this article, we will discuss:
- Why hire developers in Ukraine?
- Where to find the best developers in Ukraine?
- Tech expertise of Ukrainian software developers
- How to find a reliable vendor to hire developers from?
- What are the benefits of cooperating with Ukrainian developers?
In recent years, Ukraine has consolidated its position in the global IT market. According to Forbes, the number of Ukrainian developers reached 192,100 specialists in 2019, and the IT industry is growing by 25,000-30,000 tech professionals annually.
A vast tech talent pool, competitive prices, and top quality of engineering skills are the primary factors that drive the growth of the Ukrainian outsourcing market.
Also, the country is well-recognized by global awards:
- Global Outsourcing List by IAOP 2019 includes 16 best Ukrainian IT companies;
- The country is ranked #20 out of 50 in the 2019 Kearney Global Services Location Index;
- Over 100 companies on the Fortune 500 list are clients of Ukrainian IT companies;
- Ukraine is referred to as #24 most attractive country in the world for software development according to Ukraine’s role and perception in the Global IT market report.
Moreover, Ukraine boasts a high level of digital adoption: the countries of the region focus their efforts on infrastructure, connectivity, and knowledge. Also, the country was named Offshoring Destination of the year by GSA.
Such tech leaders as Microsoft, Mercedez, Siemens, and others have chosen Ukraine for augmenting their engineering teams and benefited from it.
What are the major hubs of software developers in Ukraine?
DOU survey states that the vast majority of Ukrainian IT specialists (67%) live in Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Lviv. So, let’s view these Ukrainian software developers hubs in more detail:
Developers in Kyiv:
Kyiv is a major administrative, cultural, and scientific hub of Ukraine. So, no wonder that the most significant number of tech professionals (40%) work in the city.
Kyiv is growing at a high pace, and one of the reasons for this is the IT industry development. Many world enterprises, including Samsung, Huawei, Ericsson, NetCracker, and others, have R&D centres in the capital.
What’s more, many businesses opt for outsourcing software development to Kyiv. So, major Ukrainian tech companies, including N-iX, have development centres in the capital.
Kyiv is also a startup-friendly city: such successful tech startups as Grammarly, Petcube, Terrasoft, Augmented Pixels have offices in the city.
Developers in Lviv:
Lviv is the largest city in Western Ukraine, as it houses more than 800,000 people. The city takes third place in Ukraine by the number of programmers - over 20,000 developers are engaged in the IT industry.
The State of European Tech report states that the majority of Lviv developers work for either outsourcing (46%) or outstaffing (11%) companies.
Also, Lviv is home to 317 IT companies, 90% of which provide software outsourcing services.
Developers in Kharkiv:
Kharkiv is the second-largest city in Ukraine that houses 1.5M citizens. The city is one of the most industrialized spots in the whole country. Due to its long-established engineering tradition, well-developed machinery, and electronics industries, Kharkiv is a big business hub.
Software development outsourcing is a well-developed branch in Kharkiv. The city is home to over 25,000 tech specialists and around 450 IT companies. Kharkiv software development outsourcing companies cooperate with the USA clients a lot, and the American market constitutes almost 65% of all IT exports.
We have covered the major outsourcing destinations in Ukraine. But what skills do Ukrainian software developers have?
In this section, we will view the most used programming languages, that developers from Ukraine leverage for different purposes, e.g., commercial, personal preferences, etc. The information is based on the DOU 2019 research that surveyed and analyzed the answers of almost 10K Ukrainian software developers.
However, the picture of the most popular languages in the last eight years looks a bit different. Although Java and C# have made it to the top three most used languages, they are losing their popularity in recent years.
What’s more, Python, TypeScript, Dart, and 1C are gaining popularity.
Tech trends in Ukraine
Ukrainian IT industry is growing at a 26% rate and IT outsourcing companies constitute the largest share of the service market of the countries. One of the reasons for this constant growth is the well-educated workforce and an extensive track record of Ukrainian developers.
Ukrainian tech professionals successfully deliver projects involving Big Data, VR/AR, Data Science, Blockchain, AI, Machine Learning, and other technologies. Let's view these technologies in the Ukrainian IT market.
There are more than 7,700 Big Data professionals in Ukraine and 41 big data analytics companies according to Clutch. The companies include N-iX, CoreValue, DataRoot Lab, and others. Learn more about Big Data outsourcing to Ukraine in this article.
AI is one of the fastest-growing areas of expertise in Ukraine. According to Linkedin, the number of artificial intelligence and machine learning experts in the country exceeds 30,000. Read the article to know more about AI development in Ukraine.
Embedded software development:
Here are more articles on the expertise of Ukrainian software developers:
So, no wonder hundreds of IT projects are outsourced to Ukraine from all over the world annually.
But how to find a reliable vendor to hire developers in Ukraine?
Explore the local IT industry landscape
Research the IT industry dynamics in the region. This is the way to get helpful insights into the local IT market and discover the top vendors to hire the best Ukrainian developers from.
Resources such as DOU, MC Today, Liga Tech, IT ID Lviv, and others will help you find listings of outsourcing companies, vendors’ websites, info on industry recognition, reputation, and employer brands of Ukrainian software development providers.
Check the portfolio of your potential vendor
To understand if the company has the experience and expertise you need, spend some time on their website. Look for the client reviews and testimonials, solutions developed for these companies, case studies, etc. Doing so will help you learn more about the technologies that the vendor specializes in, business domains they serve, and the types and the sizes of companies they typically work with. Search for the vendor that builds solutions that either match your industry or the tech stack you need.
Pay attention to the awards, certificates, and compliances
A trusted vendor you can hire outsourcing developers from typically has certifications from major tech partners. For example, a provider working with .NET needs to be certified by Microsoft, Cloud solutions providers need to be AWS or Google Cloud partners, etc.
Moreover, you should pay attention to industry awards and ratings, such as Global Outsourcing 100 that recognizes the best outsourcing companies, Clutch matrixes, and others.
Last but not least is international security compliances and regulations that ensure cybersecurity. Look for a vendor that is compliant with ISO 27001, PCI DSS, HIPAA law, etc.
Browse websites, news, corporate blogs, and social media of your vendor-to-be
A reliable vendor always keeps their website running. When browsing a vendor's site, pay attention to the latest updates on their blog or in the news section of the provider, their cooperation models and approaches to software development, technologies, services, and expertise they have.
Also, there should be an overview page with the key information about them and a company portfolio.
The social media of the vendor are also significant, as they can give you an inside look into its life. Usually, on LinkedIn, you can find the company's accomplishments, expertise, and experience.
Contact the vendor and assess their communication skills
No expertise can make up for the absence of efficient communication and customer approach. If you see that the provider expresses little interest in your inquiry or replies weeks after the request was sent, it is better to avoid a company like that. Also, outsourcing providers research you as a potential customer, so including important details into your inquiry can reduce the time of processing your request. It also helps the provider understand if they can help you with the services you need.
Evaluate the effectiveness of the communication to choose the partner that takes effort to understand your business needs. If your vendor-to-be sets up extra calls with you and sends you follow-ups, it means that the vendor is eager to clarify all the details and nuances with you and prevent misunderstandings.
Get involved during the engagement process
This part of the process requires a lot of communication with a chosen vendor, so the evaluation of communication skills gets even more critical.
Make sure to discuss details, such as what communication channels will be used, what delivery model will be provided, and within which period, ask about the knowledge transition process, etc. It is also a good idea to ask these questions to reach the final decision.
Define the legal aspects of cooperation
The first and foremost aspect of cooperation with the company you choose to hire outsourcing developers from is the legal base. This area includes liability, insurance, intellectual property ownership, timeframes of collaboration, etc. To know how to sign a win-win contract with your outsourcing provider - read the article.
The terms might change depending on the cooperation model. There are three main cooperation models a vendor can offer you: a dedicated development team, T&M, and fixed price. Each of the models suits specific business requirements.
The dedicated development team model is widely used in the tech branch to run and deliver a project. This model is suitable for both tech companies that need additional workforce and non-tech ones that want to develop a particular product.
You get your team of developers built according to your specific business needs. The outsourcing vendor may assign a team of senior developers, or you may hire middle and junior specialists who will follow the tasks of your senior engineers. The dedicated team is very flexible, so you may scale it when necessary and complement the project with new skills.
In the case with T&M or Time & Material engagement model, the requirements are not clearly defined initially. That is why it is usually applied if the work scope is likely to change in the development process. The team composition is flexible, so it enables involving tech professionals with different skillsets when needed.
The fixed-price model encompasses a fixed quota, fixed scope of work, and fixed time of project delivery. You address the provider with a business problem and your vision of how it may be resolved. Then you go through the discovery phase together with the vendor, during which requirements are established and analyzed, which leads to a clear understanding of the final product and deliverables.
All in all, the final version of the contract always differs from the first draft, depending on the further agreements. However, it is crucial to understand if cooperation is possible at all.
Arrange the recruitment process
There are several recruitment scenarios while working with an outsourcing vendor.
- Trust the vendor to carry out all the screening and interviewing on your behalf;
- You can interview all the candidates yourself;
- If you need a big team and don’t want to waste your time on all the interviews, you can hire a core team that will continue the recruitment process.
No matter what scenario you choose, it all starts with recruitment and HR activities. It is of utmost importance to gather a core team of loyal and productive IT specialists. So, you should choose a vendor that has a strong recruitment team that interviews applicants thoroughly and goes beyond what is written in their CV to make sure that a new hire will be a good fit for the client’s team.
That’s why N-iX has 30+ experienced recruiters who conduct on average 3,700+ tech interviews annually.
If you want to scale up a team quickly, go for a vendor with a powerful employer brand.
Such a vendor is able to find experts for the project promptly and scale-up teams efficiently. Thus, before partnering with an IT vendor, check whether it provides employees with comfortable working conditions, professional growth, fair compensation, etc.
These were the most important stages of cooperation with an IT outsourcing vendor.
Ukraine is a country where developers boast strong tech education. As reported by DOU, 69% of Ukrainian software developers that study or have technical degrees would recommend Ukrainian universities for future students. What's more, 82% of men and 87% of women have an academic degree.
STEM-education is also widespread among Ukrainian software developers: 41% of women and 61% of men have STEM-related degrees. Moreover, Ukraine has one of the most significant shares of STEM and computer science graduates in Europe, namely 9.8% out of all grad students.
Also, 67% of Ukrainian software developers report that they dedicate time to self-education: 67% read professional literature, 57% go for online courses and training, and 34% attend IT-related events regularly.
Most of the Ukrainian software developers start working before graduation, so they already have work experience by the time they graduate.
If we compare the age and experience of the DOU survey respondents, only 1% of IT professionals over the age of 30 have less than a year of experience in IT. Most of the outsourcing developers in Ukraine (29%) have three to five years of experience.
Developers in Kyiv are more experienced than in Kharkiv, Lviv, and Dnipro. The share of developers from Ukraine with up to 2 years of experience is 42%, 45%, and 48%, respectively, in Kharkiv, Lviv, and Dnipro.
The distribution by titles remained unchanged. In Kyiv, the share of juniors is 22%, while in Lviv, it reaches 33%. Kyiv is also the only Ukrainian city where the percentage of Senior specialists exceeds Juniors.
Ukrainian software developers have virtually no cultural differences with their clients from North America and Europe. Also, minor issues can be tackled via traditional communication channels, as most moral norms and values are similar to the American and European.
Ukrainian software developers have the ability to overcome cross-cultural differences and provide smooth communication regardless of the partner’s cultural background.
Read this article on the cultural compatibility of outsourcing developers in Ukraine to know more aspects of cooperation with them.
Many companies that search for outsourced developers from Ukraine wonder if the country is safe in terms of economy, business climate, and information security.
Legislation on data protection and info security in Ukraine focuses primarily on cybersecurity in the state sector. In June 2010, the Ukrainian government passed the Law "On Protection of Personal Data." In July 2013, Parliament passed amendments to the Data Protection Law and made it more up to date.
Also, Ukrainian IT companies pay attention to their information security, and legal teams take the lead in complying with international regulations, following best security practices, and meeting clients' demands.
And, most importantly, HackerRank places Ukrainian software developers in the first place in terms of security.
Most testers and developers in Ukraine have a good command of English - Intermediate and Upper-intermediate levels.
Business analysts, project and top managers speak the best English among other tech professionals.
52% of IT specialists in Lviv speak Upper Intermediate level English and above, whereas, in Kharkiv, this figure is 44%.
Why choose N-iX to hire developers in Ukraine?
- N-iX has over 1,000 professionals on board and offices in Ukraine (Kyiv and Lviv), the USA, Poland, Sweden, Malta, and Bulgaria;
- The company has 18 years of experience in the global IT market and builds long-lasting strategic partnerships with its client;
- N-iX builds and manages dedicated development teams from 5 to 50 experts and development centers from 50 to 100 experts, helping companies to scale up and grow their business in the long-run;
- The company is well-recognized by many awards, such as Global outsourcing 100 by IAOP, GSA UK 2019, and more.
Ukraine is an excellent outsourcing destination and cooperating with Ukrainian software developers can bring lots of competitive benefits to companies that are looking for experienced software engineers. Ukrainian vendors boast a big talent pool of developers that can build cutting-edge solutions and provide services to meet the most specific business requirements. They are eager to participate in challenging projects applying the latest technologies and never stop learning.
So if you are looking for professional developers to provide high-quality development services at moderate prices, opt for Ukraine.