The Polish IT community accounts for nearly 25% of the entire developer population in the CEE region. Poland has several IT hubs spread all over the country: Warsaw (the capital), Krakow, Wroclaw, Katowice, Tricity (combined area of Gdansk, Gdynia, Sopot), Lodz, and Poznan. What is the tech talent pool in each location? Do the salaries differ? What are the benefits of each of the cities? Let's dive in.

Software development in Poland: market overview

Poland is one of the biggest countries with one of CEE's largest tech talent pools. This country has numerous recognitions as a reliable outsourcing destination. For example, the 2023 A.T. Kearney Global Services Location Index rated Poland as the thirteenth most attractive outsourcing location, offering both financial appeal and availability of tech experts. The Ease of Doing Business Ranking places Poland at the 40th position, recognizing its improved conditions for starting business and contract enforcement.

Software development in Poland in numbers

Software developers in Poland

The overall number of IT specialists and software developers in the country equals the population of a small European country such as Malta. In 2023, this number reached more than 525K experts all over the country [1].

Poland has seven major IT hubs employing over 85% of all IT professionals in the country, with most tech specialists living in Krakow, Warsaw, and Wroclaw. 

Estimated number of tech specialists in major Polish hubs

Technical expertise of Polish developers 

What do you pay attention to while choosing an outsourcing destination? Apart from a large tech talent pool, it is important to ensure that experts have the skills, knowledge, and experience to handle complex projects. The technical expertise of software developers from Poland is well-known beyond their own country or even Europe. Many rankings acknowledge the competence of developers from Poland, as they typically qualify within the top 5 counties based on their knowledge and experience [7,8]. 

Number of tech experts in Poland by expertise

The top three technologies popular among tech specialists in Poland are JavaScript, Python, and Java, as over 291,000 developers have listed these programming languages on their LinkedIn profiles. There's also a significant number of C#, C++, and PHP experts in Poland, as well as .NET developers. While considering Poland for software development, you should also note that there is a significant number of cloud experts and DevOps specialists in the country.

Number of cloud-related tech experts in Poland

Also, software developers in Poland are well-recognized for their professional accomplishments. For example, SkillValue places an average developer in Poland among the top 3 experts in the world, along with Slovakia and Mexico.

Polish developers in international rankings

Polish specialists have a very high level of English. They were ranked 13th for English skills [8], ahead of many European countries. Thus, American and European clients find it easy to communicate with them. 

Keep reading: Software nearshoring to Poland: benefits, tips, and success stories 

ICT education in Poland

Polish Information and Communication Technologies universities and their graduates are well-known for their high education standards. In 2023, there were more than 68K ICT students and nearly 13,400 graduates available for recruitment. 

Polish tech education hubs

The universities with the most ICT graduates are Warsaw University of Technology, Jagiellonian University, and AGH University of Science in Krakow.

Software developers' salaries in Poland

An average salary in Poland equals around $1,830 per month [10], while software developers' salaries can be three to seven times higher. Therefore, the number of people interested in software development is growing, increasing the overall tech talent pool. Let's look at how a Polish developer's average tech salary compares to a similar specialist in other locations.

Сomparison of actual annual gross base salary between Poland and European countries

Typically, software development in Poland is 30% cheaper compared to the US [11] and 20-25% lower compared to Western Europe or the UK in terms of labor costs. However, this highly depends on the skills and level of expertise of tech specialists, as well as the type of contract.

In smaller cities, like Katowice or Poznań, developers may receive 10 to 20% lower compensation compared to their colleagues from large IT hubs. The difference in compensation rates might not be significant on its own. However, if you add lower competition for tech talent and shorter staffing periods, it makes a considerable difference. Moreover, salaries are not the only aspect we need to consider. 

Read more: Offshore software development in Poland: All you need to know 

Cost of living

Traditionally, capitals and large cities are more expensive due to the higher rents and overall expenses. However, the difference between the major cities in Poland is not that impressive. We can see that rates vary within a 10 to 15% difference. For example, the cost of living index in Lodz is only 11% lower compared to Warsaw. 

Cost of living in major IT hubs in Poland

Let's take a look at data, which allows you to compare and interpret the expense rates in major cities all over the world. This system uses the cost of living in New York as a baseline for comparison. Polish IT hubs are twice as cheap as European locations and over 50% better in terms of cost of living than NY.

Cost of living index in Poland and worldwide

Combined with the salary rates, this proves that even with 25-30% lower salaries, software developers in Poland are more likely to be satisfied with their income as their expenses are twice as low. Thus, such experts are less likely to leave the company or the country. What does it mean for your business? Software developers engaged in your project are more likely to stay for a long period of time, so their knowledge and expertise will be intact. 

Software development companies in Poland

Clutch lists over 1,290 software development companies all over the country. Several IT outsourcing companies from Poland were included in the Top 100 Global Outsourcing Companies by IAOP, Software 500, and Inc 5000 Europe. 

Explore top IT outsourcing companies in Poland

IT outsourcing companies in Poland keep growing and evolving towards more advanced processes and services. Together, they make up a decent market share in the Polish talent market. Another aspect to consider is the service markets Polish software companies cater to. Most vendors have experience working with Western European businesses. A large share of Polish providers partner with North American and Nordic brands, as well as Southern Europe. A significantly lower number of companies list APAC, Middle East, and Africa as their target regions. 

Geographic scope of services delivered by regions of the world

However, this should not be the defining criteria unless you have specific restrictions or unique expertise (for example, experience with local regulations and standards within your industry).

International R&D centers in Poland

Next, let's take a look at some tech companies in Poland. Overall, there are more than 500 R&D facilities and companies, including global players such as Google, Siemens, and IBM. The entrance of such technology giants as Akamai, Cisco, and Capita, one of the biggest UK tech providers, has significantly enhanced the development of the industry. 

R&D and IT outsourcing centers in Poland

Also, Polish R&D activities are often financed by the private sector, thus fostering interest among global market players. For instance, companies like ABB, Google, Siemens, Motorola, Delphi Automotive, Intel, and McKinsey opened their R&D centers in Poland.

How do you choose a city for software development in Poland?

We have created a step-by-step guide on how to choose the software development company, where we recommend learning more about the chosen location. In this section, we will focus on software development in Poland in terms of factors that define the convenience of location for doing business, as well as the tech and labor potential of each major IT hub in Poland.

Ranking of locations as a place for doing business

Software outsourcing in Warsaw 

As the capital, Warsaw is home to 95,300 Polish developers. In 2019, Warsaw witnessed a significant flow-out of software developers to other destinations across Poland. The competition for talent is fierce as the number of IT outsourcing companies and various R&D centers here is one of the highest in the country.

Countries that outsource software development to Warsaw

This location has a great transportation system (2 airports, excellent train connection), and a large number of available offices. Warsaw is also one of the primary sources of new specialists, with around 6,500 ICT and engineering graduates entering the market every year. 

Software development in Krakow

Krakow is the second-largest city and the first by the number of ICT and tech specialists. The talent pool exceeded 98,000 experts in 2024. The overall number of Krakow IT companies is higher (compared to Warsaw), resulting in higher competition for tech talent than in Warsaw. According to ABSL, Krakow scored the first in the availability of skilled experts.

Countries that outsource software development to Krakow

Besides, Kraków is home to over 150 startups, including well-known companies such as Brainly, Kontakt.iom, CallPage, Airly, Estimote, and SALESmanago. Kraków has also been recognized as one of Europe's top 60 startup- and scale-up cities [11]. Overall, software development in Krakow has become well-known beyond Polish borders.

Software development outsourcing in Wroclaw 

Wroclaw is recognized not only for its talent pool of 63,400 professional developers. This location is also known for cooperation with local authorities to create a healthy business environment. This city is also known for its collaboration with local universities and the availability of offices across the city.

Countries that outsource software development to Wroclaw

IT companies in Wroclaw typically work with clients from the USA, Poland, and Nordic countries but also partner with companies from Switzerland, France, and the UK.

Software development outsourcing in Tricity

The area that combines Gdansk, Gdynia, and Sopot has joined a tech talent pool of 37,900 software developers. The region's growth skyrocketed in the last couple of years. This area has high accessibility by train, and the availability of offices is the highest across the country. 

Countries that outsource software development to Tricity

Along with Warsaw, this region works with clients from the US (37.9%), Poland (16%), and the UK (6.8%). Due to geographic proximity, this region is an excellent nearshoring choice for Nordic companies. 

Software development in Katowice 

Despite being recognized only for its transportation value, Katowice also congregates a rather impressive number of Polish developers. As of 2024, the number of tech experts here reached approximately 32,000. This IT hub also has 3,600 ICT and engineering grads every year.

Countries that outsource software development to Katowice

IT companies in Katowice work mainly with companies from Poland, France, and the UK.

Software development in Lodz 

Contrary to other Polish cities, the biggest share of clients among the IT companies in Lodz belong to Asian countries. Local specialists also have experience working with clients from Nordic countries. 

Countries that outsource software development to Lodz

The 2023 report by ABSL recognizes Lodz for both the level of wages and cooperation with local universities.

Software outsourcing in Poznan 

Poznan has the biggest share of IT companies working with other Polish clients (16%) and one of the largest shares of German IT outsourcing (21.9% of clients). As of 2024, the city is home to 26,300 professional developers.

Countries that outsource software development to Poznan

With over 130 IT companies in Poznan, this location would be a perfect choice for small startups and companies that do not need big and dedicated teams.

Convenience of the location

All the cities on our list have at least one airport and a decent number of transborder flights. One can reach Poland within 1.5-2.5 hours from any part of Europe. It takes nearly 11 to 14 hours to get to Poland from the US (from the East and West coasts, respectively). Almost 40 airlines operate in the country, providing connections to all the major cities in the US, Europe, and the UK. So, if you decide to outsource software development to Poland, there will be little to no problems visiting the team. 

A note on WFH/returning to office tendencies in Poland

The global pandemic led to a forced switch to the work-from-home (WFH) model for many industries across the globe. Poland and its BPO and tech industry were no different. And while in Q2-Q4 of 2020, working from home was a predominant option as very few people had access to vaccinations, the situation changed later in 2021. The 2021 ABSL survey showed that almost 42% of employees worked from home full-time, and almost 28% worked primarily from home (with an available office). In 2022, the situation changed, and the share of full-time WFH shrank to 24.1%, with a major increase in mixed form (WFH+office). Finally, in 2023, the lion's share of Polish employees (57.2%) combined work from home and from the office, with only 8% of people choosing WFH mode on a full-time basis.

Work from home and a return to the office in Poland

However, if we zoom in on the tech sector (IT outsourcing and software development) a little closer, we will see a different picture. Over 80% of specialists are working from home, with the lion's share having the option to visit the office. 

Work from home and a return to the office for IT sector in Poland

Companies have successfully adapted to the challenges of WFH and established effective security and communication protocols, allowing their specialists to choose the most convenient option. 

What does this mean for you? With a global shift to WFH, more and more employees are opting for mixed work and WFH options. However, it means that you are no longer limited to only the tech talent pool of the city in which your vendor has a development center. You can cast a wider net and hire the top talent from the whole country.

Why do companies choose software development outsourcing in Poland? Recap

Software development in Poland has been rapidly developing over the last decade. This country has both human capital and versatile expertise to become a reliable outsourcing destination for companies worldwide. Here are the top three reasons to outsource software development to Poland:

  1. Huge tech talent pool (over 525,000 tech experts in Poland);
  2. Versatile technical and industry expertise;
  3. Numerous IT hubs all over the country, and overall convenience of the location.

Hire top tech talent in Poland today

Reasons to choose N-iX as a software development company in Poland

  1. N-iX has software development centers in Krakow and Wroclaw (Poland), as well as the ability to find experts throughout the country. 
  2. We have over 21 years of experience in the IT market and employ more than 2,200 software developers in 25 destinations worldwide.
  3. N-iX has many industry recognitions (Clutch, GoodFirms, OpenText and Microsoft partner, GSA, Inc. 5000, Software 500, IAOP, and many more).

References on software development in Poland 

  1. Future of IT Emerging Europe 2023 Report 
  2. Kraków IT Market Report by MOTIFE
  3. Business services sector in Poland 2023 by ABSL
  4. Business services sector in Poland 2022 by ABSL
  5. The A.T. Kearney Global Services Location Index
  6. Ease of Doing Business. A World Bank Group Flagship report
  7. TopCoder Country Rating
  8. World top developers: Programming skills assessment by Pentalog
  9. EF English Proficiency Index 2023
  10. Statistics Poland / Główny Urząd Statystyczny
  11. How Much Can a Software Developer Expect To Get Paid? by USNews
  12. European Digital City Index

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Uliana Batiuk
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