Teaming with Bulgarian developers: talent pool, expertise, education and more

Teaming with Bulgarian developers: talent pool, expertise, education and more
N-iX
1970-01-01T10:01:57+00:00

A lot of international businesses have already benefited from thriving Eastern European tech talent pools leveraging both their profound engineering expertise and moderate prices. Technology companies and enterprises alike partner with IT outsourcing providers in Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, ...

Teaming with Bulgarian developers: talent pool, expertise, education and more
By Marta Hlova March 04, 2019

A lot of international businesses have already benefited from thriving Eastern European tech talent pools leveraging both their profound engineering expertise and moderate prices. Technology companies and enterprises alike partner with IT outsourcing providers in Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Bulgaria, and other countries to increase their development capabilities and bring new products to market faster. Bulgarian software engineers, in particular, present a stiff competition on the market and are one of the driving forces behind the region’s success. In this article, we reveal 6 compelling benefits that make Bulgarian software developers such a valuable asset for businesses around the globe.

Why leading companies hire software developers in Bulgaria

#1 Strong IT outsourcing market

In not-so-distant past, Bulgaria was deemed the Silicon Valley of Eastern Europe as it was historically the largest supplier of IT services to the former USSR states. Today, it enjoys the status of one of the world’s most attractive IT outsourcing destinations, accelerating at the average rate of 17%. Thanks to its well-established traditions in software development as well as stable IT market growth, Bulgaria is able to maintain a stronghold in the international rankings for several years in a row now. Here we have highlighted the key achievements of the Bulgarian IT industry in recent years.

  • 2014 – Bulgaria ranks 9th on the Global Services Location Index.
  • 2015 – Bulgaria wins the Global Sourcing Association award for Offshoring Destination of the Year.
  • 2016 – Bulgaria takes the 12th place in the HackerRank as the country where the best developers live.
  • 2017 – Bulgaria ranks first among all SEE destinations on the A. T. Kearney’s Global Services Location Index, 15th worldwide, and second in Europe after Poland.
  • 2018 – Bulgaria wins the 50th place in the World Bank’s ranking of ease of doing business among 190 economies. The country also ranks 47th out of 180 economies on the Economic Freedom Index in the world.

#2 Growing IT sector

The IT industry in Bulgaria is growing faster than the country’s economy. This year, the IT industry is already projected to see its revenues surging to more than EUR 2.5 bn. And by 2021, it is expected to generate EUR 4.0 bn and contribute 7.9% to the national GDP.

Operating revenue and employment in the Bulgarian outsourcing industry by sectors

The Bulgarian IT sector has been showing positive dynamics since 2013. And in the upcoming years, it’s not going to lose its steam. Therefore, Bulgaria seems to be an attractive location for hiring software developers for businesses that want to keep up with innovations.

#3 Solid expertise of Bulgarian software developers

Bulgarian developers prove to have hands-on experience and possess necessary industry know-how and practical skills. In the SkillValue ranking, they occupy the 14th place in the world by the level of professional IT skills. And if to analyze the number of certified developers per capita, Bulgaria is ranked 3rd in the world, according to Cisco.

Software engineers from Bulgaria deliver first-class BPO services like customer care, human resources, accounting, data mining, and more. In 2016, Bulgaria came in 2nd in Europe and ranked 7th globally among the most attractive BPO emerging destinations on the Business Process Outsourcing and Shared Service Location Index. Since then, the country has continued developing its BPO expertise and now it boasts the most skilled BPO specialists in Eastern Europe.

According to HackerRank, which classified countries with the best IT engineers by domain, Bulgarian developers rank 2nd and 3rd with the most experienced Java and Python developers. They are expert in both back-end and front-end technologies. According to the research by Sofia’s Software University Co-Founder Svetlin Nakov, C#, Java, and JavaScript are the most popular programming languages among Bulgarian software developers.

Popular programming languages among Bulgarian developers

#4 Profound education

The Bulgarian government puts a particular emphasis on training young people for the career as a software developer. This includes solid technical education as well as foreign languages proficiency.

There are about 51 universities across the country, and 38 of them offer majors related to the IT industry. In 2017, the country saw more than 55,000 university and college graduates, and over half of them were specifically suitable for the needs of the IT outsourcing industry.

What concerns foreign language education, more than 66% of the students study English or German. About 60% of the working-age population aged 25-64 speaks fluently at least one foreign language. According to the EF English Proficiency Index, Bulgaria has a score of 57.34 and ranks #25 among 88 world countries.  

#5 Growing pool of Bulgarian developers

An average Bulgarian software developer is relatively young. 90% of all IT workforce is up to 35 years old with an average job experience of 3-5 years.

The Bulgarian IT industry currently employs about 70,000 people. And around half of those working in the country’s technology sector are women. Interestingly, Bulgaria ranks 1st in Eastern Europe by the number of women in tech, according to the Eurostat.

Bulgarian capital Sofia is the most vibrant IT hub in the country. This is where more than 72% of Bulgarian developers live and work as of 2017. Among other popular IT locations are cities like Plovdiv, Varna, and Burgas.

As the latest report by Bulgarian Outsourcing Association states, Bulgarian outsourcing sector will create 18,400 new jobs by 2021, and the number of IT specialists will reach 79,000 people.

#6 Wide variety of software development companies

According to the BOA 2018 Annual Industry Report, more than 51% of the surveyed tech companies work as BPO vendors, while the rest 49% focus mainly on ITO services. Compared to the last year’s industry report, Bulgaria now boasts 88 more software outsourcing companies. And by all experts’ projections, their number will only increase in 2019.

If to analyze the distribution of companies by ownership, 52.4% (250) of all IT companies in Bulgaria have Bulgarian owners, according to the country’s Commercial register. The remaining 227 vendors have foreign shareholders from 47 different countries. More than half of all foreign-owned Bulgarian IT companies have stakeholders from the UK, USA, Netherlands, and Germany.

This year, N-iX has joined the growing Bulgarian IT community by opening its office in Sofia. Both Ukraine and Bulgaria are among the top destinations for IT outsourcing in Eastern Europe. We are happy to be a part of the Bulgarian tech ecosystem and contribute to attracting more foreign investments to the region.

Wrap-up

Thanks to its vast talent pool, well-established education, and a wide range of software development companies, Bulgaria has enjoyed huge success in recent years. It has come a long way towards becoming a powerful IT outsourcing country in Eastern Europe. It’s true, the country’s economy still needs reform and innovation, but thanks to its booming IT sector, it has opened up a myriad of opportunities.

Now that you are abreast of the IT dynamics in Bulgaria, you can make informed decisions about outsourcing software development to Bulgarian software developers. In case you have questions about hiring dedicated developers in Bulgaria, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our specialists.

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About N-iX

N-iX is an Eastern European provider of software development services with 900+ expert software engineers onboard that power innovative technology businesses. Since 2002 we have formed strategic partnerships with a variety of global industry leaders including OpenText, Novell, Lebara, Currencycloud and over 50 other medium and large-scale businesses. With delivery centers in Ukraine, Poland, Bulgaria, and Belarus, we deliver excellence in software engineering and deep expertise in a range of verticals including finance, healthcare, hospitality, telecom, energy and enterprise content management helping our clients to innovate and implement technology transformations.

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