Polish IT community accounts for nearly 25% of the entire developer population in the Central and Eastern European region. Poland has several IT hubs spread all over the country: Warsaw (the capital), Krakow, Wroclaw, Katowice, Tri-city (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 take a closer look at:
- Polish IT market overview
- Software developers in Poland
- Software development companies Poland
- How to choose a city for software development in Poland?
- Why do companies choose software development outsourcing in Poland?
Poland is one of the biggest countries with one of the largest tech talent pools in Eastern Europe. This country has numerous recognitions as a reliable outsourcing destination.For example, it is ranked 9th in Tholons Top 100 Outsourcing Destinations. The 2019 A.T. Kearney Global Services Location Index rated Poland as the twenty-fourth most attractive outsourcing location, offering both financial attractiveness and availability of tech experts. Ease of Doing Business Ranking places Poland at the 40 position, recognizing its improved conditions of starting business and contracts enforcement.
Polish IT services exports grew from $1.09B in 2010 to $4.62B 2017 with an average CAGR of 22.9%. Sales of IT services exports continue to grow and are expected to reach $15.5B by the end of 2020.
The overall number of IT specialists and software developers in Poland equals the population of several small European countries like Monaco and San Marino. In 2019 this number reached 295,300 experts all over the country with almost 10% YoY growth [1,6].
Poland has seven major IT hubs employing over 85% of all IT professionals in the country, with the majority of them living in Warsaw and Krakow.
On the chart above, you can also find information about areas in which tech experts and developers in Poland are working. The majority of Polish developers are working in the Global Business Services (GBS) and IT (33% and 32% respectively).
Technical expertise of software developers in Poland
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 skill, 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].
The top three technologies popular among the developers in Poland are JS, Java, and Python, as over 50,000 developers have listed these programming languages on their LinkedIn profiles. There's also a significant number of PHP and .NET developers in Poland. Also, Polish app developers have been ranked as number one by SkillValue.
Also, software developers in Poland are well-recognized for their professional accomplishments. For example, SkillValue places Polish developers among the top 3 experts in the world, along with Slovakia and Mexico.
Polish specialists have a very high English level. They were ranked 11th for English skills , getting ahead of many European countries. Thus, American and European clients find it easy to communicate with them.
Polish Information and Communication Technologies universities and their graduates are well-known for the high standards of education. In 2018, there were 74,000 ICT students and nearly 17,000 graduates available for recruitment.
The universities that have ICT graduates are Warsaw University of Technology, Jagiellonian University and AGH University of Science in Krakow, and Wroclaw University of Technology.
An average salary in Poland equals around €830 per month , while software developers’ salaries can be 3 to 7 times higher. Therefore, the number of people interested in software development is growing, increasing the overall tech talent pool. Let’s take a look at the gross rates in three biggest IT hubs: Warsaw, Krakow, and Wroclaw,
In smaller cities, like Katowice or Poznań, developers receive 5 to 15% smaller compensations, compared to their colleagues from large IT hubs. On the chart below, you can find a comparison of rates for software developers from other areas of Poland.
Typically, software development in Poland is 30% cheaper compared to the US , and 20-25% lower compared to Western Europe or the UK in terms of labor costs. Moreover, in 2018-2019 the dramatic increase in salary rates has stopped, making software development outsourcing to Poland much more predictable in terms of rates.
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 take into consideration.
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 rent index in Poznan is only 10% lower compared to Warsaw.
Let’s take a look at Numbeo.com data that 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 cheaper compared to European locations and over 60% better in terms of cost of living, compared to NY.
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 major expenses are twice lower. 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 the knowledge and expertise will be intact.
Clutch lists over 500 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, Inc 5000 Europe.
IT outsourcing companies located 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.
Overall, there are more than 500 R&D facilities and companies, including global players such as Google, Samsung, and IBM. The entrance of such technology giants as Akamai, Cisco, as well as Capita, one of the biggest UK tech providers, has significantly enhanced the development of the industry as well.
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.
We have created a step-by-step guide on how to choose the software development company where we recommend to learn 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 businesses.
As the capital, Warsaw is home to 65,600 Polish developers. In 2019, Warsaw has 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.
This location has a great transportation system (2 airports, excellent train connection), as well as a large number of available offices. Warsaw is also one of the primary sources of new specialists with over 3,000 ICT graduates entering the market every year.
Krakow is the second-largest city and the first one by the number of software developers in Poland. The tech talent pool exceeded 70,000 experts in 2019. The overall number of Krakow IT companies is lower (compared to Warsaw), resulting in lower competition for tech talent compared to Warsaw. According to ABSL, Krakow scored 2nd in the availability of skilled experts.
Besides, Kraków is home to more than 200 startups, including such well-known companies as Brainly, Callpage, Elmodis, kontakt.io, Estimote. Kraków has also been recognized as one of the top 60 startup- and scale-up cities in Europe .
Wroclaw is recognized not only for its talent pool of 47,500 professional developers. This location is also known for their 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.
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.
Despite being recognized only for its transportation value, Katowice also congregates a rather impressive number of Polish developers. As of 2019, the number of tech experts here reached almost 24,000. This IT hub also has 1,400 ICT grads every year.
IT companies in Katowice work mainly with companies from Poland, France, and the UK.
The area that combines Gdansk, Gdynia, and Sopot has joined a tech talent pool of 25,500 software developers. The region’s growth skyrocketed in the last couple of years. This area has a high quality of public transportation and availability of offices is the highest across the country.
Along with Warsaw, this region works with clients from the US (32%), Poland (17%), and the United Kingdom (18%) . This region is an excellent nearshoring choice for Nordic companies due to geographic proximity.
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.
The 2019 report by ABSL recognises Lodz for both availability of skilled workers and cooperation with local universities.
Poznan has the biggest share of IT companies working with other Polish clients (19%) and one of the largest shares of German IT outsourcing (13% of clients) . It is the smallest city on our list with only 16,800 professional developers.
With a little over 50 IT companies in Poznan, this location would be a perfect choice for small startups and companies that do not need big dedicated teams.
Convenience of the location
All of the cities on our list have at least one airport and a decent number of transborder flights. One can get to 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 coast respectively). Almost 40 airlines operate in the country, providing connections to all the major cities in the US, Europe, and the UK. It means that if you decide to outsource software development to Poland, there will be little to none problems visiting the team.
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 top three reasons to outsource software development to Poland:
- Huge tech talent pool (almost 300,000 software developers in Poland);
- Versatile technical and industry expertise;
- Numerous IT hubs all over the country, and overall convenience of the location.
Reasons to choose N-iX as a software development company in Poland?
- N-iX has a software development center in Krakow (Poland), as well as in Ukraine, Belarus, and Bulgaria.
- We have over 18 years of experience in the IT market and employ more than 900 software developers.
- N-iX has many industry recognitions (Clutch, GoodFirms, OpenText and Microsoft partner, GSA, Inc. 5000, Software 500, IAOP, and many more).
If you have any questions about software development in Poland, contact our experts.
References on software development in Poland
- State of European Tech 2019
- Kraków IT Market Report 2019 by MOTIFE
- Business services sector in Poland 2019 by ABSL
- The 2019 A.T. Kearney Global Services Location Index
- Ease of Doing Business. A Worldbank Group Flagship report
- TopCoder Country Rating
- World top developers: Programming skills assessment by Pentalog
- EF English Proficiency Index 2019
- Statistics Poland / Główny Urząd Statystyczny
- How Much Can a Software Developer Expect To Get Paid? by USNews
- European Digital City Index