Four countries to outsource software development

Anastasiia Vlasova
Marketing Manager
Nov 12, 2018 8 min read
Team Extension
Team Extension Nov 12, 2018 8 min read

Software development outsourcing has long since proven to be successful for the majority of the businesses globally. A qualified dedicated team or team extension can be a perfect match for both a new start-up project or a ready-to-go product. Making a wise choice about sourcing and cost optimization is a vital part of smart budgeting strategy and one of the ways of achieving actionable outcomes.

Cost optimization is considered one of the main advantages of the outsourcing of software development. Among others, one can name the pool of experts, flexibility, time-saving, accessibility alongside the fact that managing outsourced software development is simplified by cloud technology and project management tools.

Relevant Software analyzed the peculiarities of the top outsourcing countries by the criteria that help you make the right decision based on your priorities.

Top outsourcing destinations of 2018

The global economy and communication channels allow us to hire highly skilled offshore software engineers worldwide. According to various sources, Ukraine in Eastern Europe, Poland in Central Europe, Argentina in South America, and India in Asia are the top outsourcing countries. That’s why we will focus on those in our further comparison. Your choice, of course, will depend on a number of other factors as well, like financial implications, project requirements, etc. Many developers work either on a freelance basis or for an outsourcing agency, all varying in skills, competency and rates. There are going to take a look at the basic criteria that show the general scope of strong and weak points related to each country to help you make your initial choice one of the best destinations to outsource software development.

Main criteria for an outsourced team assembling:

  1. Technical education level of the resources
  2. Software developers ranking
  3. Location and time zone differences
  4. English language skills
  5. Project complexity-related experience / product development competencies
  6. Resources availability/tech competency diversity

Technical education level of the resources

Argentina

Argentina offers free education opportunities investing a lot in schooling. The government is taking measures to incorporate computer education throughout all school programs. Stats says that 70% of university students combine studies with work and it is relatively easy to find competent staff in any field.

Outsourcing companies in Argentina are experienced with Software and Mobile Development, Cloud Computing and DevOps.

Ukraine

In Ukraine, though offering a vast educational opportunities, a prominent part of the IT education is focused on extracurricular junior and advanced training courses. Some companies offer free education with further employment opportunities. In total, more and more IT specialists graduate from the universities and private schools every year. Just is 2017 there were 40,000 IT graduates, compared to 30K the year before.

Ukrainian software and IT companies follow the global trends and tend to focus on science-based technology advancements exhibiting a lot of interest in Big Data & AI, mobile development, blockchain and cryptocurrency projects. One more peculiarity of the destination is the prevailing number of Senior developers over Middle and Junior software specialists. The expertise level of the specialists allow outsourcing companies to contribute to the success of the projects for leading fintech companies. Ukraine is also considered one of the best countries to outsource web development. Front-end  skills along with Java, Ruby and PHP programming are well-established areas with numerous successful web products.

India

Due to historic implications, India offers western approach to education. Although the level of literacy here is relatively low, there is a growing focus on math-associated studies which facilitates the development of technology.

It is considered of the best countries for app development initiatives, both native and hybrid. Companies are also involved in Microsoft and related technologies and open source projects. It is new to but actively incorporating machine learning, AI, GIS, blockchain technologies.

Poland

IT education in Poland is in high demand attracting students from all over Europe. It topped the popularity rank in 2013 with the number of graduates reaching 15,000.

Poland excels at high QA and usability standards. PHP is stated to be the most used programming language here, while Java and .NET are also widespread.  According to clients’ reviews, software engineers there demonstrate a good work ethic and minimum cultural differences.

Software developers ranking

India has been the leading outsourcing destination for quite some time but according to the latest rankings of developers there is a vivid shift towards Eastern and Central Europe. HackerRank, a platform scoring  engineering skills according to their coding skills, showed that Poland and Ukraine are closer to the top positions.

Image source: HackerRank

Location and time zone differences

Handling time zone differences when cooperating with the outsourcing model is an apparent question. An outsourcing company normally provides a management team facilitating your communication with developers and engineers. Regular communication proved to be the best practice in order to ensure smooth project development and successful collaboration at every particular stage.

Of course, there are some hurdles when connecting with a team in a different time zone, but in most cases, business hours overlap and flexibility of the engagement model presupposes suitable working hours.

Image source: Wikimedia

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

English language skills

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

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

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

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

The majority of the software engineers working in the outsourcing have at Intermediate- and Upper-Intermediate levels, while Advanced English is a mandatory requirement for Team Lead and a PM positions.

Project complexity experience

India offers one of the biggest pools of the IT and software specialists on the market, quite diverse in their knowledge of languages and frameworks, but also limited to the most popular ones. Mobile app development is the top field outsourced there. If you decide to outsource to India, it is best that you have a well-coordinated and structured project, with strict guidelines and precise requirements. 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 businesses from the USA outsource approximately 80% of IT projects to Ukraine; a lot of back-end related work which identifies the developers’ capabilities to learn new technologies and frameworks. According to Crysberry report, Ukraine is #1 in C++ and Unity3d, #2 in Magento, JS, and Scala, and #3 in Ruby, Python, Node.js, and ASP.NET by the number of developers in the world.

Poland is a member of the EU and follows the same data protection laws and regulations as the Union. That is a huge benefit, especially when your project involves web development. Companies usually outsource to Poland for the 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. Clients claim that, due to certain cultural peculiarities, some people there might be hard to negotiate with.

Resources 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 software engineers. Others are highly skilled in JavaScript, Scala, Magento, PHP, Node.js, Ruby, ASP.NET, Python and Front-End development.

According to infoShare, Poland offers close to 250,000 software engineers with 20% involved in outsourcing with prevailing Java, Python and Ruby competencies.

India outsourcing market with almost 3 million developers is focused 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.

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

Cultural differences. Do they matter?

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

Culture influences how people work and collaborate with others. If you think of adoption a ‘Western-style’ approach to running your business project, Argentina, Poland and Ukraine will be closer in kind to your required attitude and performance. In these countries engineering teams 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 take into account some aspects of local religions and the related work routine. Argentina and Poland predominantly observe most religious holidays adding to 19 and 13 state holidays respectively. In Ukraine there are also some main religious holidays among 18 state ones. As for India, although it has numerous festivals, there are only 3 days of state holidays. But all the listed above are only recommended by the states. Offshore developers tend to work even during 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 between $70-180, offshore software development rates are significantly lower. India is the cheapest outsourcing destination, while in Argentina the rates are much higher.

Location, individual’s professional experience, company’s policy among others are the key factors defining the cost rate in every particular country. So, when thinking about costs you will have to research and explore every single opportunity to suit your needs best.

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

And finally

Allocating resources for a project isn’t just about raw data, but also communicating your needs and having them heard by a partner company that can fulfill your requirements. There are more and less appealing factors regarding every destination. The ratings and descriptions are pretty subjective and can not offer you an exhaustive picture but knowing what to expect can be the initial vital step towards your success.