Polish IT community accounts for nearly 25% of the entire developer population in the Central and Eastern European region. Poland has five major IT hubs: Warsaw (the capital), Krakow, Wroclaw, Tri-city ( the combined area of Gdansk, Gdynia, Sopot), 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 find out.
This article covers:
- Polish IT market overview
- Tech talent pool
- Software development companies in Poland
- International R&D centers in Poland
- Software developers’ salaries in Poland
- ICT education in Poland
- How to choose a city for software development 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. 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, as it offers both financial attractiveness and availability of tech experts. Ease of Doing Business Ranking places Poland at the thirty-third position, recognizing its improved conditions of starting business and contracts enforcement.
Polish IT services exports grew from $1.09 B in 2010 to $4.62 B 2017 with an average CAGR of 22.9%. Sales of IT services exports continue to grow and are expected to reach $15.5 by the end of 2020.
The overall number of software developers and other IT specialists in Poland equals the population of several small European countries like Monaco and San Marino. In 2018, this number reached 279,800 experts all over the country with almost 10% YoY growth [1,6].
Five major IT hubs employ over 80% of all IT professionals in the country, with the majority of them living in Warsaw and Krakow.
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].
Poland has a very high English level. It was ranked 13th for English skills , getting ahead of many European countries. Thus, American and European clients find it easy to communicate with them.
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 the 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.
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.
Typically, software development in Poland is roughly 30% cheaper compared to the US , and 20-25% lower compared to Western Europe or the UK in terms of labor costs.
The difference in compensation rates might not be significant on its own. However, if you add lower competition for tech talent and shorter staffing period, 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.
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 15,000 graduates available for recruitment.
The universities that provide education to most IT professionals include Warsaw University of Technology, Jagiellonian University and AGH University of Science in Krakow, Wroclaw University of Technology, and many others.
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 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.
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.
Software development in Warsaw
As the capital, Warsaw has the most prominent tech talent pool of 85,800 professional developers. However, the competition for this talent is fierce as the number of IT outsourcing companies and various R&D centers is the highest. That is why this city scored only 2nd in the availability of skilled experts.
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.
IT outsourcing in Wroclaw
Wroclaw is recognized not only for its talent pool of nearly 45,000 professional developers. This city is also known for its cooperation with local authorities to create a healthy business environment. This hub 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 and Poland, but also partner with companies from Switzerland, France, and the UK.
Software development in Tri-city
The area that combines Gdansk, Gdynia, and Sopot has joined the tech talent pool of 23,000 software developers. The region’s growth skyrocketed in the last couple of years. This area has a high quality of public transportation and the availability of offices is the highest across the country.
Along with Warsaw, this region works with clients from the US (38%), Poland (18%), and Northern Europe (17%).
This region is an excellent nearshoring choice for Nordic companies due to geographic proximity.
IT services in Poznan
Poznan has the biggest share of companies working with other Polish clients (19%) and one of the largest shares of German IT outsourcing (21% of clients) . It is the smallest city on our list with only 15,000 professional developers.
With a little over 20 IT companies in Poznan, this location would be a perfect choice for small startups and companies that do not need big dedicated teams.
Software development in Krakow
Krakow is the second-largest city in Poland. The tech talent pool exceeded 60,600 experts in 2018. 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 is the best Polish city in terms of availability of tech talent.
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 startups- and scale-up cities in Europe .
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 tech vendor for companies worldwide.
- N-iX has a development center in Krakow, as well as offices in Ukraine, Belarus, and Bulgaria.
- We have over 17 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 2018
- Kraków IT Market Report 2018 by MOTIFE
- Business services sector in Poland 2018 by ABSL
- The 2019 A.T. Kearney Global Services Location Index
- Ease of Doing Business. A Worldbank Group Flagship report
- State of European Tech 2017
- 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