Tech talent gap is one of the key bottlenecks for businesses from the US and Western Europe. ManpowerGroup reports that 7 in 10 companies already admit to having staffing issues. The lack of well-versed specialists takes a considerable toll on the IT industry. With the tech workforce shortage limiting digital potential, more and more enterprises seek alternative solutions for the issue. One of the possible ways out of the talent crisis is outsourcing. According to Statista, the total value of the outsourced IT services has already exceeded $413.7B in 2021. 

So, where can you look for experienced engineers and tech providers for your custom software development? One of the hidden gems in Europe is Croatia, an emerging hub for digital innovations in Southeastern Europe. What is the local talent pool size, which expertise do developers in Croatia specialize in, and which industries do they cover? Get in-depth insights into the local tech market in our new article.

Software developer in Croatia: a portrait of a tech specialist

In terms of tech talent availability, Croatia is an attractive destination for outsourcing software development. Over recent years, the country has experienced major growth in the tech workforce. In 2016, experts estimated the local tech talent pool at around 50K ICT professionals. As of May 2022, the country is home to more than 60K well-versed specialists [1]. 

Diverse tech specializations of local ICT professionals

Outsourcing to Croatia gives you access to the talent pool of experts with multi-dimensional expertise. The country has enough specialists to fill both managerial and technical positions. According to LinkedIn, the number of software developers in Croatia reached 13K, with around 25% of them having the Senior qualification level. Around 2K local engineers have indicated their current qualification as Junior.

In addition, Business Analysts make up a considerable part of the Croatian IT market—over 4.5K of local ICT experts. They are engaged in conducting market analyses, evaluating business processes, anticipating requirements, and searching for improvement areas. 

Some other ICT roles available in the Croatian market include QA engineers, System Architects, and DevOps developers. The local tech talent pool counts over 900, 600+, and 500+ experts with such qualifications.

Tech specializations of Croatian ICT professionals

The most popular expertise areas among Croatian IT specialists 

Diverse expertise of Croatian engineers helps them deal with the most complicated tech requests and satisfy the most challenging business cravings. According to LinkedIn, the three most popular technologies in Croatia are JavaScript, Java, and Python. JavaScript is the main programming language for over 10,000 Croatian software engineers. You can count on their JS expertise for web and server application development as well as the implementation of frontend and cross-platform mobile applications.

You may employ the most skilled of 10+K Croatian Java developers to build high-performance solutions for a wide range of platforms. Local engineers possess sound knowledge of Java best practices and implement them during web app development, desktop application, and Big Data systems development. Some other uses of the Java stack encompass the development of cloud-enabled software, enterprise systems, IoT, and more.

Python closes the top three of the most popular expertise vectors in Croatia. LinkedIn roughly estimates a talent pool of 8,000 Python developers, well-versed in prototyping and end-to-end web development. Moreover, they can effectively apply Python for projects that require ETL, Data Science, and Machine Learning skills. 

Croatian ICT specialists, by expertise

Education prospects for software developers

ICT specialists in Croatia have many possibilities to develop their tech competencies. The most famous higher educational institutions that offer CS courses are the University of Zagreb, Algebra University College, the University of Dubrovnik, and the University of Split. Some of these universities provide software engineering, multimedia computing, and other courses both in Croatian and English. In Croatia, more than 7K students are studying for their ICT degrees every year, and around 2,000 graduate from CS programs in Croatia annually [1]. 

English level of Croatian tech experts

English knowledge is essential for fruitful cooperation between international businesses. An advanced level of English among your remote team members will prevent miscommunications in cross-cultural interactions. According to the EF English Proficiency report, an average developer in Croatia has very high English proficiency. Croatians learn English during all stages of academic education, starting from primary school. Croatia ranked 10 on the English proficiency list, meaning that the average level of English in the location is around C1. Since 2018, Croatia has gone 7 positions up in the rating, leaving Hungary, Romania, the Czech Republic, and many other European countries behind.

Software development companies in Croatia: a sectional market analysis  

Croatia has experienced considerable development in the IT industry since it joined the EU in 2013. Still, the country hasn’t unraveled its full potential in digital yet. According to Clutch, there are around 140 Croatian firms that provide offshore software development services, which is much less than in some of the Eastern European countries.

Engineering companies in Croatia: the size of IT firms

When choosing a software development company in Croatia, pay attention to the size of your potential outsourcing partner. Midsize and large companies usually have optimized development processes and available tech talent. Therefore, we recommend looking for an engineering company with 250+ tech specialists on board. 

As of the moment of writing, such tech enterprises make up less than 5% of the Croatian IT market. The majority of Croatian software development companies (130+) are small vendors that employ up to 250 tech specialists.

Croatian IT companies, by size

Croatian tech companies: the most popular service lines

Local tech experts can assist you with various services, depending on your business requirements. An average software development company in Croatia offers help with custom software development, web solutions implementation, mobile app development, and other services. Moreover, tech vendors in Croatia provide IT strategy consulting (20+ companies), application management and support (around 15 firms). Local tech vendors also handle projects that cover Artificial Intelligence and Cloud expertise. Up to 10 engineering vendors in Croatia have IoT development, Business Intelligence, and Big Data consulting on their service lists.

Croatian IT companies, by provided services

Software development companies in Croatia: key expertise areas

Croatian outsourcing vendors provide wide-ranging expertise that covers all the most popular programming languages. Most often, local engineering companies base their projects on the JavaScript stack—over one-third of IT firms in Croatia deal with JS development. Java is the second most popular language for coding, used by around 30 tech enterprises. Usually, the technology list of an average software development company in Croatia also includes Python and .NET, as well as C# development. 

Croatian IT companies, by tech expertise area

Croatian IT enterprises: industries serviced

Croatian tech vendors handle projects for a wide variety of industries. The key domain is finance, with more than 30% of software development companies in Croatia having experience with the fintech domain. Healthcare and business services are the other two most common industry vectors in Croatia. Around 30 tech vendors in the local market dedicate their efforts to the projects in each of the industries. Among the other most widespread domains are e-commerce, consumer products and services, telecommunications, and hospitality. Each of them comprises around 15% of the Croatian industry expertise. Energy and natural resources,  government, and manufacturing domains close the top ten of the most popular domains in Croatia.

Key industries serviced by Croatian IT vendors

Tech vendors in Croatia: analysis by the client type

The portrait of an average client of the software development company in Croatia is another aspect that can illustrate the market capacity. In these terms, the Croatian engineering potential is distributed among clients with all types of revenues. According to Clutch, more than half of software development companies in Croatia cooperate with small and midsize businesses (<$10M- $1B). Simultaneously, around 50 Croatian IT firms deliver projects for large enterprises with revenue that exceeds $1B.

Croatian developers vs Eastern European engineers 

When choosing the vendor for outsourcing software development, make a decision based on your business needs. Before entering into a partnership, prepare the checklist of technical project requirements and assess markets in different locations according to your criteria. Pay attention to the key industries serviced and most widespread expertise areas. It would be a huge plus if engineers in your outsourcing destination have experience in exactly the same or related domain. To help you with the research, we prepared a comparative table that includes key market characteristics and the most popular expertise of developers in Croatia and selected Eastern European countries:

Software development Croatia vs Poland vs Ukraine vs Romania

Keep reading: IT development outsourcing guide: How to partner with the best provider?

Why choose N-iX as your credible software development partner in Eastern Europe?

  • N-iX is a reliable European software development company with rich experience in custom software development for telecommunications, manufacturing, retail, healthcare, agritech, and other industries.
  • The vendor has over 21 years of market presence and during that time has opened its offices in Poland, Ukraine, and Bulgaria.
  • N-iX engineering team counts 2,200 specialists skilled in Cloud development, Data Analytics and Big Data, Business Intelligence, the Internet of Things, Embedded development, and many other services.
  • Our client list includes such top global enterprises as Currencycloud, Fluke, Gogo, AVL, Messer, and others. Moreover, N-iX has established cooperations with many Fortune 500 companies.
  • N-iX complies with the international cybersecurity guidelines, including GDPR, PCI DSS, ISO 27001:2013, and ISO 9001:2015.
  • N-iX is well-recognized in many industry rankings, including the IOAP Global Outsourcing 100 rating, CRN Fast Growth 150 list, and other international rankings.

Access top tech talent in Eastern Europe now

1. Emerging Europe, Future of IT Report 2022

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