Eastern Europe is known as one of the world’s top IT outsourcing destinations thanks to its quality-to-price ratio and growing talent pool. Apart from cost-saving, many US and European companies choose to hire developers in Romania, Ukraine, Poland, Hungary, and Bulgaria for their skills, experience, and ability to work well in cross-cultural teams. In this article, we will explore Romania and Ukraine—one of the largest countries in the region.
The choice of the developers that you hire depends on many factors, including technical skills, talent availability, as well as the business ecosystem where they operate. Therefore, let’s explore:
- Availability and talent inflow of Ukrainian and Romanian software developers;
- Hard and soft skills of engineers in Romania and Ukraine;
- IT infrastructure where these experts operate.
Number of software developers in Romania and Ukraine and talent inflow
Both Romania and Ukraine are in the top three countries by the number of software developers in Eastern Europe. The Ukrainian talent pool, which in 2023 numbered over 291,500 developers, has seen steady growth over the years. However, the full-scale invasion forced nearly 20% of the country's IT experts out of the country, though most of them continue to work from safe locations across the world.
There are around 202,000 developers in Romania as of 2024. The number of people pursuing a career in tech is growing rapidly, since just a few years prior, in 2020, there were roughly 140,000 software engineers in the country.
Local talent pools can boast of having highly-skilled experts. Romanian developers are ranked 23 by SkillValue and 12 by TopCoder, while Ukrainian developers occupy the 5th and 7th positions, respectively.
Hard skills of Ukrainian and Romanian developers
Ukrainian tech talent pool includes around 43,000 Java developers, 94,000 JS experts, 34,000 PHP developers, 39,000 Python engineers, 24,000 C++ experts, and 18,000 .NET developers.
There are also over 18,000 Cloud engineers in Romania. Ukraine has a slightly larger pool of cloud specialists, counting a little over 24,000. A similar difference is in the number of DevOps experts - 7,800 and 10,000 respectively.
For Romania and Ukraine, the industrialization of the second half of the 20th century resulted in a boom in technical education. With their strong educational background, Ukrainian and Romanian developers are able to get an upper hand in the global software development market.
Over 40 Technical Universities in Romania annually provide around 9,300 engineering and computer science graduates. Furthermore, with tens of thousands of students enrolling every year, the local talent pool is experiencing a continuous influx of experts, making it easier for companies to hire Romanian developers.
When it comes to Ukraine, even the effects of the war could not hinder its strong educational system, with approximately 22,500 ICT and engineering grads joining the Ukrainian talent pool every year.
Ukrainian and Romanian developers have strong communication skills and sufficient knowledge of English. Romania holds 17th place in the global EF English Proficiency ranking. Additionally, a lot of high school students also learn additional foreign languages, such as French, German, or Spanish . This makes Romanian IT developers an attractive option for companies around the globe who are looking to outsource development to Eastern Europe.
Ukraine holds 35th place in the same ranking. However, if you look at the IT sector specifically, the situation is a bit different. According to DOU.ua, the percentage of Ukrainian IT professionals with fluent English skills is 52%, and of those with intermediate level is 35.7%. The competition among professionals in the field is high, and English is a must-have requirement for most experts.
Cultural affinity with the US, EU, and UK clients
Cultural compatibility and mutual understanding with your engineers is an important point to consider when outsourcing software development. The good news is that a typical Ukraine or Romania software developer has a close cultural affinity to the UK, US, and EU.
Furthermore, both Ukrainian and Romanian programmers are known for their positive and flexible attitude, high responsibility, and a good sense of teamwork. They have experience in communicating with foreign clients, mostly from the US, the UK, and Western Europe. Many of them have international education or experience working abroad. Together with general emotional intelligence, it makes a great combination to deliver high-quality software products.
Software developer rates in Romania and Ukraine
Deloitte has confirmed that cost reduction is once again one of the top reasons for IT outsourcing. As a result, many companies are looking for tech specialists that can offer high-quality services within a lower price range. Let’s take a look at the comparison of the average annual developer rates in the US, Canada, the UK, and Europe.
Both in Ukraine and Romania, developers are paid 20% to 50% less as compared to European or American markets. At the same time, the quality of provided services remains uncompromised. Eastern European countries have a lower cost of living and taxes, and IT specialists can operate at lower rates there.
More on the topic: Going far and near to find software developers? Explore Eastern Europe
Business climate and software industry overview in Romania and Ukraine
While the Eastern European IT sector has seen continuous growth over the last decade, it is hard to deny that the invasion of Ukraine in 2022 has had its impact. However, despite the fact that many experts had to relocate to stay safe, both locally and abroad, the Ukrainian IT market remains strong. Most clients have hardly felt any impact on their business. Thanks to the determination and professionalism of Ukrainian developers, local vendors were able to maintain their service delivery levels above 95%. As a result, the IT services market of Ukraine did not experience any significant decline and was valued at $6.8B in 2022.
The IT services sector in Romania has seen steady growth over the last couple of years, reaching an impressive $7.9B in 2023.
Services provided by Ukrainian developers have received 42nd place in the Global Services Location Index, while Romanian developers have helped their country reach the rank of 30.
Next, let’s take a look at the number of IT service providers in both countries – just to understand the number of potential tech partners that you can count on. Clutch lists 29 companies with 250-1,000 Romanian developers on board and 13 companies employing over 1,000 software developers in Romania. Ukraine also has 14 firms that have more than 1,000 contractors, but over 45 vendors that employ from 250 to 1,000 engineers.
Most developers in Romania (around 75%) work for foreign clients located either in other European countries or in the US. In Ukraine, the share of engineers who work for foreign clients is even higher, over 90%. Still, most of their clients are also from Europe or North America.
Leading enterprises hire developers in Romania and Ukraine to form strong R&D centers
Many tech giants from all over the world seek to hire Romanian developers and Ukrainian engineers to boost their tech capabilities. Samsung, Ericsson, Boeing, Oracle, Siemens, IBM, Adobe, Intel, Google, Cisco, and other leading enterprises from a variety of industries, including telecom, manufacturing, and ecommerce, have formed their R&D centers and offices in Romania and Ukraine.
Many American and European companies choose Eastern European experts to augment their onsite IT departments. The main reasons why include lower rates and high qualifications of local engineers, as well as a well-developed infrastructure of the countries’ vendors.
Providing services of the highest quality, software developers in Romania and Ukraine are successfully using a chance to show the global IT community what they are capable of.
Why choose N-iX for hiring Romanian programmers and Ukrainian engineers?
- N-iX has a talent pool of over 2,200 tech experts. Our recruitment team consists of around 60 experts that can help you hire developers in Romania and Ukraine;
- We have a strong employer brand, which helps us attract top tech talent;
- With 21 years in the market, the company has formed long-term, strategic partnerships with businesses from the USA, UK, Germany, Nordic countries, and other locations;
- We have been recognized as a trusted vendor by Zinnov, IAOP, GSA, Inc. 5000, Software 500, Clutch.co, and others. N-iX has been repeatedly recognized by CRN among the leading solution providers in North America in their ratings, including Solution Provider 500 and CRN Fast Growth 150;
- N-iX is a certified Advanced AWS partner, a Microsoft gold certified partner, a Google Cloud Platform Partner, an OpenText Services silver partner, and a SAP partner.
- Emerging Europe Future of IT Report 2023
- TopCoder Country Rankings
- Over 95% of Romanian secondary school students study at least two foreign languages by Romania-Insider.com