Teaming with Bulgarian developers: talent pool, expertise, education and more
N-iX
2022-02-08T16:08:29+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, Bulgaria, ...

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

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 developers such a valuable asset for businesses around the globe.

Why do leading companies hire Bulgarian developers?

#1 Strong IT outsourcing market

Today, Bulgaria 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.
  • 2019 – Bulgaria ranks 17th in the GSLI, recognized for its favorable business environment and financial attractiveness. 
  • 2020 – Bulgaria ranked 33rd in the 2020 Tholons Global innovation index,  2 positions higher than Germany.
  • 2021 – Bulgaria has managed to keep its position in the top 20 best outsourcing destinations, according to the 2021 A.T. Kearney GSLI. 

IT industry in Bulgaria: number of Bulgarian engineers, and other stats

#2 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 ICT sector currently employs about 100,000 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.

Number of ICT specialists in Bulgaria

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

#3 Solid expertise of Bulgarian developers

Bulgarian IT specialists prove to have hands-on experience and possess necessary industry know-how and practical skills. In the SkillValue ranking, they occupy the 12th place in the world by the level of professional IT skills. And if we analyze the number of certified developers per capita, Bulgaria is ranked 3rd in the world, according to Cisco.

According to HackerRank, which classified countries with the best IT engineers, Bulgarian developers rank 2nd and 3rd with the most experienced Java and Python developers. They are experts 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 developers in Bulgaria.

Apart from highly qualified software developers, Bulgaria also delivers 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.

#4 Profound tech 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 2020, the country saw almost 2,200 university and college graduates, and many of them became a part of the IT outsourcing industry.

ICT education in Bulgaria

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 2021 EF English Proficiency Index, Bulgaria ranks #23 among 112 world countries.  

#5 Growing IT sector

The IT industry in Bulgaria is growing faster than the country’s economy. In 2020, the ICT sector accounted for 2.76% of the country’s GDP and reached over  €1.7B. 

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, outsourcing to Bulgaria seems to be an attractive idea for companies that want to keep up with innovations and want to hire skillful Bulgarian engineers.

#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 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 we analyze the distribution of companies by ownership, 52.4% (250) of all the 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.

IT outsourcing destinations. Market report

Wrap-up

Thanks to its vast talent pool, well-established education, and a wide range of IT 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 developers. In case you have questions about hiring qualified developers in Bulgaria, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experts.

References: 

  1. Women in science and technology by Eurostat
  2. Annual Industry Report 2018 by Bulgarian Outsourcing Association
  3. Future of IT Report by Emerging Europe
  4. 2020  Tholons Global Innovation Index 
  5. 2019 & 2021 A. T. Kearney Global Services Location Index
  6. EMEA’s Business Services Landscape

 

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