In recent years, many influential sources have placed Ukraine among the top countries for software development outsourcing. Despite the russian invasion, Ukraine’s IT industry has managed to weather the storm and remain strong. Through careful preparation and execution of contingency plans, most software development teams from Ukraine were able to maintain a 95% service delivery level. As a result, Ukraine remains a popular destination for outsourcing software development among businesses all around the globe.

But what can you expect from partnering with a software development team from Ukraine? Let’s explore the local talent, look at the services and expertise they specialize in, and learn about the best cooperation methods that will help you reach your business goals as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.

An overview of the Ukrainian IT talent pool

Ukraine boasts one of the largest tech talent pools in Eastern Europe–a major location for software outsourcing. As of 2023, there are more than 298,000 ICT specialists in the country. Let’s look at what you can expect from hiring a development team from Ukraine.

1. Specialization and experience

According to DOU, the local talent pool is dominated by software engineers, who take up over 50% of all experts working in the IT industry. The 2nd place belongs to QA engineers–approximately 16.6%. The rest are somewhat evenly distributed among those that either have a more narrow specialization (DevOps, Data Science, UI/UX design, etc.) or non-tech experts (marketing, HR, sales, etc.).

Specialization distribution in the Ukrainian IT industry

The Ukrainian IT sector has been around for many decades. As a result, it’s full of specialists with 5+ years of experience that know all the ins and outs of the industry. On the other hand, the country’s well-developed education system constantly produces skilled ICT students. This allows any business to hire a software development team from Ukraine that keeps a healthy balance between senior specialists and junior up-and-comers eager to learn the tricks of the trade. 

Experience of specialists in the Ukrainian IT industry

2. Domain expertise 

Years of cooperation with clients from all over the world have allowed Ukrainian engineers (and vendors as well) to accumulate experience in a wide range of industries. If you hire a software development team from Ukraine that has worked with clients from your domain, it can not only ensure a smooth and productive project execution but also provide useful insights and suggestions based on their prior successful cooperation. This, in turn, will enable you to go beyond your initial needs and reach your business goals even more effectively

When it comes to a typical software development team from Ukraine, it can offer experience in e-commerce, fintech, mobile, media, healthcare, telecom, etc. Many industry leaders are benefiting from cooperating with local teams, for example, Samsung, IBM, Microsoft, LG, BBC, Lebara, and many more. 

Domain specialization of Ukrainian software developers

3. Availability of outsourcing talent 

Even the most skilled software engineers will find it difficult to bring value to your project if all of their experience is based on working for a product company instead of an outsourcing one. Luckily, you will not have to face this problem if you decide to hire a Ukrainian development team. Indeed, nearly half of all local engineers work for companies that specialize in software outsourcing

Services offered by Ukrainian IT vendors

How to choose a cooperation model that benefits your business the most

Now we have a better understanding of what the local talent pool is all about. So, let’s look at the most common cooperation models that will prove to be the most advantageous to your business.

Team extension

This is the simplest and the most common way to hire a software development team from Ukraine. It involves acquiring experts and integrating them into your own tech team. The management, task distribution, and day-to-day operations are handled on your side. The vendor helps you find and recruit the right candidates and takes care of providing them with a suitable workspace. 

The main draw of this cooperation model is its flexibility. It allows you to quickly acquire additional developers to expand your development capabilities or add particular expertise. Moreover, it provides you with an additional level of control since you can easily scale the team up or down.

Managed team

If you want to give more autonomy and responsibility when you hire a software development team in Ukraine but retain full control of the delivery organization, then a Managed Team (also known as a dedicated development team) is the perfect option. In this cooperation model, you acquire a self-sufficient team of engineers and put them in charge of developing a specific part of your product (building a feature, migrating to a new platform, etc.) While the day-to-day operations are handled by a dedicated manager provided by the vendor, maintaining the product vision and roadmap remains your prerogative. 

The benefit of a managed team is the general lack of micromanagement that you have to handle. You simply communicate with the team and the manager, receive progress reports, and discuss plans.

Dedicated development center

This is the most advanced form of outsourcing offered by software development companies from Ukraine. Teams formed under this model usually operate on a larger scale as compared to the previous two and represent a more strategic form of partnership with your vendor. Furthermore, these types of partnerships are prone to last many years. 

Instead of scaling your own tech team or hiring a development team in Ukraine that will build a part of a product, dedicated development centers focus on building end-to-end software solutions that transform or solve entire business challenges. They require minimal involvement from your side and only need your vision, acceptance criteria, time, and scope of the final solution. You receive regular updates about roadmap progress, achieved milestones, project budget, etc., while your partner takes care of the rest. 

It is also common for such partnerships to begin with a Product Discovery–a process during which the vendor makes a rigorous analysis of your business and its needs, as well as the market and the competition. This helps prove the validity of the client’s product concept, shape the scope of the solution, and ensure a smooth transition from the planning stage to actual implementation. 

Cooperation models of Ukrainian IT vendors

How you can benefit from all three models

While each of the cooperation models offered by outsourcing providers, including software development teams from Ukraine, serves its own purpose, a business can actually benefit from all of them. 

Indeed, each model can serve as a stepping stone in the process of forming a long-lasting partnership with your vendor. You can start out with Team Extension, during which you get more familiar with your tech partner and the experts it provides. After you have built up some trust, you can form a Managed Team and make your vendor more involved in your delivery process. If both organizations enjoy a fruitful and productive relationship, you can then take the next step and form a dedicated development center that will help you in achieving sustainable business goals. 

Sounds too good to be true? Let’s explore a real-life example when a client hired a development team in Ukraine using a regular Managed Team model, and transformed that cooperation into a strategic partnership that resulted in the formation of a dedicated development center. 

How to hire a Ukrainian development team and build a long-lasting partnership: a success story

Lebara–a leading European mobile virtual network operator–aimed to hire a software development team in Ukraine on a Managed Team model. This team would take some strain off of their own tech experts during a comprehensive digital transformation that the company was going through at the time. 

They partnered with N-iX, who provided a single development team that assisted Lebara with several projects. These included migrating the Hybris-based B2C platform, BI solution performance optimization, and Azure microservices development. 

After successful cooperation on the initial projects, Lebara decided to expand its partnership with N-iX and involve it in additional digital transformation streams. Several new specialized teams were formed, each offering different expertise, such as data or cloud. Additionally, the company initiated an audit of its development teams and requested assistance from the N-iX Solution Group. This team of highly-skilled solution architects, business analysts, and product managers provided a data-driven report with recommendations on how to boost efficiency and optimize costs. This helped the company address the pain points and build a strategic roadmap for their IT department.

As our cooperation continued, Lebara gradually delegated all R&D capabilities to N-iX. This has led to the formation of a full-fledged dedicated development center, which counts over 100 experts. This cooperation, which began in 2016, is still going strong to this day. 

Read more: Faster time-to-market with full-scale digital transformation in telecom

What makes N-iX an ideal partner to expand your software development capabilities?

  • Significant outsourcing experience

N-iX has been providing software development outsourcing services for over 20 years. With more than 2,000 employees, we are experts in forming partnerships based on any cooperation model, be it extending the client’s tech team with top experts, forming self-sufficient managed teams, or building entire R&D centers.

  • Wide industry specialization

We have successful cooperation with over 160 industry leaders and Fortune 500 companies, for example, Lebara, Fluke, ZIM, Gogo, and Saks Fifth Avenue, to name a few. This has helped us acquire a deep specialization in various industries, including telecom, manufacturing, automotive, healthcare, and more. 

  • Deep technical expertise

Through a rigorous recruitment process, N-iX ensures the hiring of the top 2.6% of tech talent. This allows us to offer profound technical expertise that can cover any need, be it Data Analytics, AI & Machine Learning, Cloud, Embedded Software & IoT, or something else.

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