4 best countries to outsource software development to

Daniil Kopilevych
Daniil Kopilevych
Marketing Manager
Jul 10, 2018 8 min read
Team Extension
Team Extension Jul 10, 2018 8 min read

Whether it is a new startup project or additional features to a successful product that calls for a team extension, hiring in-house developers and management can get too expensive too quickly. Making wise choices about resources and optimizing costs are important parts of smart budgeting and one of the ways in achieving that is to hire offshore developers.

The cost of outsourcing software development is much lower than in the US or Great Britain. Moreover, managing outsourced software development is simplified by cloud technology and project management tools.

This article will discuss the differences between the top outsourcing countries sectioned by important criteria and help you make the right decision based on your priorities.

Top outsourcing destinations 2018

The global economy and communication channels allow us to find highly skilled offshore programmers worldwide. According to many sources, Ukraine in Eastern Europe, Poland in Central Europe, Argentina in South America, and India in South Asia are the top outsourcing countries. That’s why we will consider them in our further comparison.

Of course, your choice will depend on the project’s finances, requirements, and any number of criteria that can help you make the right choice. Many developers work either on a freelance basis or in an outsourcing agency, all varying in skills, competency and rates. We will cover only the basic criteria that show the general scope of strong and weak suites relative to each country to help you choose one of the best countries to outsource software development.

Criteria for assembling an outsourced team:

  1. Technical education level
  2. Best software developers ranking
  3. Location and time zone differences
  4. English skills
  5. Project complexity experience and product development competencies
  6. Developers’ availability and technology competency diversity


Technical education level

Argentina

Argentina offers free education and has a high, almost 100%, literacy rate and invests a lot of money in education. The latest government is taking measures to incorporate computer education throughout all school programs.

Outsourcing companies in Argentina are experienced with Software and Mobile Development, Cloud Computing and DevOps. 70% of university students combine studies with work and it is easy to find competent staff in any field.

Ukraine

In Ukraine, most of IT education is focused on independent junior and advanced courses. Some companies offer free education on the only condition that the student will continue working for that company. In total, universities and private schools graduate more and more IT specialists every year. Just is 2017 there were 40,000 IT graduates, compared to 30K in the previous year.

In the recent years, Ukrainian companies have shown a lot of interest in Big Data & AI, mobile development, blockchain and cryptocurrency projects. Ukraine is one of the best countries to outsource web development. Front-end development, along with Java, Ruby and PHP programming, is a well-established field with many successful web products. Outsourcing companies have vast experience working on projects for leading fintech companies. The number of Senior Developers in outsourcing business is a lot bigger than Middle and Junior specialists.

India

India has a western approach to education due to its close relations with Great Britain. Although the level of literacy here is relatively low, close to 70%, there is a lot of focus on math studies which facilitates the development of technology.

It is one of the best countries for app development, both native and hybrid. Companies are also involved in Microsoft related and open sourced projects. It is new to machine learning, AI, GIS, blockchain technologies, but these fields are rapidly developing.

Poland

IT education in Poland is in high demand and attracts even foreign students. It ranked first in 2013 by popularity and graduates over 15,000 tech students every year.

Poland has high QA and usability standards. PHP is the most used language here, while Java and .NET are also significantly widespread. Client reviews show that Polish developers have a good work ethic and track record in meeting deadlines.

Best software developers ranking

India has been the leading outsource country for many years, but according to developers’ ranking, it might not be your best option. HackerRank 2016 Programming Olympics showed that Poland and Ukraine are closer to the top positions.

Image source: HackerRank

Location and time zone differences

It is important to weight out all outsourcing software development pros and cons. An apparent question, in this case, is whether it is hard to manage a team when both parties are in different time zones. An outsourcing company always has a management team that will help you communicate with developers. Setting regular meetings is, arguably, the best ways of making sure you are all on the same page on how the project should develop.

Of course, setting up a conference call can prove to be a challenge when you connect to a different time zone, but in most cases, there are hours in a working day that overlap. For example, if you are located in the Standard Pacific Time Zone, best hours for a live call to Europe would be from 8 am and 12 pm. On the other hand, live meetings with Argentina, that is only five hours ahead, allows a more flexible schedule. And if your company is located in London or anywhere in Europe, it is easy to set up a meeting on a nine-to-five working day.

Image source: Wikimedia

You can find out more about managing a remote team, maintaining communication and useful collaboration tools in this article.

English skills

English is by far a universal language of the IT industry. Babbel Magazine states that 20% of the world population speak English, including native speakers. It is also the most popular language to learn. Nonetheless, the level of skill is different in the five global regions of the world. It doesn’t come as a surprise that Europe ranks higher, considering over 90% of people outside of Great Britain are learning English.

Image credit: ICEF

English proficiency also differs within the regions based on country and occupation. According to the 2017 Global EF English Proficiency Index the countries in question as follows:

  1. Poland – #11
  2. Argentina – #25
  3. India – #27
  4. Ukraine – #47 

IT professionals are always more fluent than in other fields. Working with foreign customers, the language of communication is English in most cases. Many agencies offer free language courses, that undoubtedly improve the level of skill. In Ukraine, for example, based on local sources, IT and Analytics are most fluent industries. In India, English is an official language and Argentina is the most proficient in South America region, where over half of the population is bilingual.

In this sense, choosing to work with an agency, as opposed to independent freelancers, will be in your favour, since most of the communication will be done through their management.

It is hard to rate English skills among software developers. Most of them speak at Intermediate- and Upper-Intermediate levels. Advanced English is also a mandatory requirement for Team Lead and PM positions in outsourcing companies.

Project complexity experience

India has one of the biggest pools of IT specialists on the market that is quite diverse in their knowledge of languages and frameworks, but also limited to the most popular ones. Mobile app development is the top outsourced field here. If you decide to outsource to India, it is best that you have a well-coordinated and structured project, with strict guidelines. They work long hours, charge cheap, and make it work. If you strive for innovation, you should probably consider other countries.

In 2017, Ukraine has been named Offshoring Destination of the Year by the Global Sourcing Association UK. The U.S. outsources approximately 80% of IT projects to Ukraine, a lot of back-end related work, which means that developers always have an opportunity to learn new technologies and frameworks. According to Crysberry report in 2017, by the number of developers in the world, Ukraine is #1 in C++ and Unity3d, #2 in Magento, JS, and Scala, and #3 in Ruby, Python, Node.js, and ASP.NET.

Poland is a member of the EU and follows the same data protection laws as the Union. That is a huge benefit, especially when your project involves web development. Companies usually outsource to Poland for UI-related jobs, front-end, and back-end development.

The IT industry in Argentina started developing in the 90s, during the dot-com boom. The main advantage it has over other countries is the robust telecom network, which is great for Internet startups. You should keep in mind that Argentinian people are very proud and hard to negotiate with.

Developers’ availability and tech competency diversity

In Ukraine, there are approximately 100,000 IT specialists with over 60% in outsourcing, and the figures are expected to double by 2020. It is leading in the number of C++ and Unity3D developers. Others are highly skilled in JavaScript, Scala, Magento, PHP, Node.js, Ruby, ASP.NET, Python and Front-End development.

According to infoShare, Poland has close to 250,000 software engineers with 20% involved in outsourcing. There are a lot of Java, Python and Ruby offshore programmers.

India has almost 3 million developers focusing on C/C++, Java and web development. This number is expected to double by the end of 2018 due to an increasing interest in Machine Learning, AI and robotics.

Argentina’s universities graduate close to 100,000 tech specialists annually. Most developers are proficient in C, Java, PHP, JavaScript, .NET framework and Data science.

Cultural differences and how to cope with them

There is no right or wrong when talking about culture. Yet, understanding cultural peculiarities of the country you outsource to is a valuable asset that will help you cope with the differences. Frequent communication and structuring teamwork around a certain mindset are the basic points to consider.

Culture influences how people work and collaborate with others. If you have adopted a ‘Western-style’ approach to running your company, Argentina, Poland and Ukraine will be closer in kind to your culture. In these countries, developer teams use frequently use the Agile methodology and rely on words and facts, rather than emotions and strictly defined stages, like in India.

It is also important to remember that some countries are more religious than others, and each of them has state holidays. Argentina and Poland are Catholic and observe most religious holidays, among 19 and 13 state holidays respectively. Ukrainian culture was heavily influenced by the Soviet Union rule, but Christmas, Easter and Orthodox Pentecost are among 18 state holidays (this number varies from year to year). As for India, although it has numerous religious festivals, there are only 3 state holidays. These numbers are only state recommendations. Offshore developers often work even on holidays, but it is something to keep in mind when scheduling a meeting or setting a deadline.

Offshore software development rates by country

While in North America hourly rates range in between $70-180, offshore software development rates are significantly lower. India is the cheapest outsourcing country, while in Argentina the rates are much higher, but still not as high as in the USA.

The rates in each country depend on individual companies, specialist’s experience, location, and other factors. The table below shows average rates in a number of professions, according to PayScale and Glassdoor. Note that information about Argentina is limited.

India Ukraine Poland Argentina
Sr. Software Engineer $8 $25 $25 $7
Web Developer $4 $19 $10 $2
Sr. QA $8 $16 $20 $8
Business Analyst $10 $16 $19 $5
Graphic Designer $4 $8 $8 $10
Image credit: Medium

Closing thoughts

Finding resources for a project isn’t just about raw data, but also communicating your needs and having them be heard by a company that can fulfill your requirements. Each country has stronger and weaker points. High or low country rating can’t tell you whether all outsourcing companies will be good or bad, but knowing what to expect can help you find the best software developers in the world.