CEO at Relevant

How to Hire Remote Software Developers: Everything You Need to Know

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In 2019, the global market size of outsourced services was $92.5 billion, with IT outsourcing generating $66.5 billion of that. It’s safe to say that hiring remote developers remains a cost-effective and efficient way to build software solutions.

The same market was worth half that in 2000, at $45.6 billion. At least one reason for this growth is the number of countries that have prioritized IT education in hopes of earning from outsourcing. Currently, there are numerous countries with excellent outsourcing capabilities, especially in software development.

However, more choices also means you’ve got to be more careful when picking a country to hire remote developers for building custom solutions. So Relevant has done the research for you. 

Continue reading this comprehensive guide to hiring remote software developers, and you’ll discover where to find them and how.

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Best countries to hire remote software developers

Before selecting the country, you will be outsourcing to, consider the following:

  • The cost of development must be sufficiently lower than hiring an in-house team or a team in your own country.
  • The IT education quality must be at a level that produces great talent in the technologies that are most required.
  • The team should be able to collaborate in English.
  • The software company culture must be compatible with your working style.
  • Their time zone needs to overlap your business hours to some degree.

Before you start hiring a remote development team, you should clearly understand which factors matter most to you and to what extent.

Once you decide, you can consider these five best offshore software development countries. They represent the most popular choices based on the factors we’ve discussed.

1. Ukraine

Ukraine’s government realizes the importance of the tech industry and is placing great focus on tech education. A significant factor that works in their favor is Ukrainian software companies tend to follow global trends and have shown expertise in big data and AI, mobile development, blockchain and cryptocurrency projects.

While there isn’t an objective ranking for software talent, HackerRank’s report ‘Which Country Would Win the Programming Olympics’ is a popular benchmark. It’s based on developers who took part in the popular website’s programming challenges. Ukrainian developers had an average score of 88.7%, securing an incredible 11th place globally.

Ukraine is considered a top destination to outsource web development. Java, Ruby, and PHP programming are also their expertise.

The country placed 44th in the EF English Proficiency Index, which isn’t great. However, the IT industry’s common working language is English and is improving every year. Communication is pretty seamless as developers often speak a decent level of English.

While developers’ pay is based on expertise and tech stack, PayScale provides a per hour estimate, converted to US dollars:

  • Software Developer – $12.00
  • Junior Software Engineer – $6.00
  • Senior Software Engineer – $20.00
  • Web Developer – $11.00

Here’s how hourly pay in Ukraine compares with the US, the UK, and Germany.

Software Developer$28.50$21.50$23.75$12.00*
Junior Software Engineer$24.00$12.50$16.00$6.00*
Senior Software Engineer$63.00$64.00$70.00$20.00*
Web Developer$21.00$14.50$18.50$11.00*
(Estimates based on PayScale and DOU data; all pay converted to US dollars)

* Note that the salaries mentioned above don’t equal the cost of hiring software developers through Relevant. Read more about how offshore software development cost is formed in our article.

2. Poland

Poland is another European country that has quickly gained a strong reputation for software development skills. The HackerRank index had Poland in the third position behind China and Russia. Poland works with PHP the most among all programming languages, but Java and .NET are also widespread. The country also excels in quality assurance and usability standards.

Poland scored 63.76 in the EF English Proficiency Index, which translates to ‘very high proficiency.’

The estimated hourly salaries in Poland, according to PayScale and converted to US dollars, are:

  • Software Developer – $16.50
  • Junior Software Engineer – $5.50
  • Senior Software Engineer – $28.50
  • Web Developer – $8.00

3. Argentina

The outsourcing boom is not restricted to Europe and Asia. In South America, Argentina is a great choice. Buenos Aires is among the top 20 ‘Super Cities’ in the 2020 Services Globalization Index by Tholons, and Argentina is in the top 20 ‘Digital Nations.’ The country’s ‘Software Law’ has incentivized software companies with tax benefits, adding to the boom.

Argentina now offers free education, as well, and is investing in expansive schooling. One of the government’s current focuses is implementing computer education in schools. Argentina is also right behind Canada and the US with 95% internet penetration.

Outsourcing firms in Argentina are experienced in mobile development, cloud computing, and DevOps. There’s also a time-zone benefit with an overlap in both the US and Europe. Argentina’s EF English Proficiency Index score is 58.38, which shows ‘high proficiency.’

The estimated hourly salaries in Argentina, according to Glassdoor and converted to US dollars, are:

  • Software Engineer – $7.50
  • Junior Software Engineer – $5.50
  • Senior Software Developer – $13.50
  • Web Developer – $5.00

4. India

India is the one country on the list that’s most associated with outsourcing, including IT and software development. The country also has an education system that focuses on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM subjects), with 2.6 million graduates each year. Despite tons of talent going overseas, India remains a strong outsourcing location.

India is among the best countries for mobile app development, both native and hybrid. Companies are also involved in Microsoft-related software and open source projects. Indian developers are actively catching up in machine learning, AI, GIS, and blockchain technologies.

The estimated hourly salaries in India, according to PayScale and converted to US dollars, are:

  • Software Developer – $5.75
  • Junior Software Engineer – $2.00
  • Senior Software Developer – $7.50
  • Web Developer – $5.50

5. Taiwan

Taiwan is also not new to outsourcing. The country has a long history of taking on tech projects. The Taiwanese government has invested in turning the country into “Asia’s Silicon Valley.” Their focus is on improving STEM education and IT infrastructure. Taiwanese developers have a number of expertise, including functional programming and data structures. The HackerRank database also ranked Taiwan in seventh place.

Taiwan scored 54.18 on the EF English Proficiency Index, showing ‘moderate proficiency’ in the language. The government plans to remedy this, with English likely to become one of their national languages by 2030.

The estimated hourly salaries in Taiwan, according to PayScale/Glassdoor and converted to US dollars, are:

  • Software Engineer – $16
  • Junior Software Developer – $14.50
  • Senior Software Developer – $21.50
  • Web Developer – $8.75
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Where to find the best remote programmers online

Outsourcing software development is now an established part of software development globally. It’s proven to be a cost-effective and flexible solution for software projects as developers appreciate the opportunity to work remotely. But where do you start looking? We have the answer.

Industry blogs

B2B marketing is as good as it’s ever been. Companies are creating incredible amounts of content—blogs, podcasts, surveys, research papers, etc.—to educate potential customers. So when you’re ready to hire a remote developer, you’re more likely to have too much to go through than having too little. The content could be on their websites, industry-specific publications, or platforms like Medium.

These sources can give you most of the company information, but some things still need your attention like:

  • Technology stack: Most companies will have a wide range of services but look for core competencies.
  • Successfully delivered projects: Read through their case studies to get an idea of the company’s accomplishments over the years.
  • Events and recognitions: Events like hackathons offer companies the chance to build a brand, and good developers like competing.
  • Cooperation models: There are various work models between developers and clients, so you should know which will work for you.

While digging through the content, you’ll also find references from clients, info about the team, and much more. All of this should tell you about the company’s market position and its development expertise. At this point, the best way to continue would be to contact the company directly.

Platforms for hiring agencies

There are B2B research platforms that analyze and list software companies. Leveraging the expertise and engineering talent of a software development agency or a dedicated team is a great option. The platform does the research; you simply use their listing to hire the developers that you want. Also, you can usually hire a company through the platform.


Clutch contains a directory of more than 7,000 companies working in a variety of IT-related fields. The platform publishes only verified client reviews and feedback. They contact the clients and do their own research, giving you the full picture rather than a skewed opinion. Their evaluation is based on several crucial factors, including the quality of work delivered, the provider’s overall services, and their market presence in the segments.


A number of software service providers publish their profiles on Wadline. For you, it’s a straightforward search. You choose what you need done, what tech stack you’re looking for, your budget, and even the location you prefer. Wadline will then produce a list of companies that match your search, including reviews. The best thing about Wadline is they give you contact details for key persons. You can avoid the usual channels and go directly to who matters.


GoodFirms connects you to thousands of companies all over the world from whom you can hire software developers. It’s a list of companies with details like the approximate hourly rate, company size, and office locations. You can filter the listing based on what kind of software development you need and see company reviews, which GoodFirms says are verified.

Besides, the GoodFirms platform offers research on various topics related to the outsourcing of software development. For example, you can find insights on application development time, influencing factors, or challenges within each outsourcing domain.


VenturePact is another platform that reviews and rates companies when hiring software developers. In addition, you also get access to time-tracking tools for remote development, as well as automated code reviews. The platform emphasizes transparency and offers escrow services to protect clients and developers. All teams in their network are supposedly verified for quality, communication, and experience.

Job platforms to hire remote developers

If you’d rather hire a remote developer and not a team, it’s better to use a job board or platform. The gig economy has taken off in the last decade, providing plenty of reputable websites where you can hire remote developers and engineers searching for new jobs or projects.


Upwork is well-known with millions of users. It’s used by talented freelance developers and makes hiring much easier for startups. To hire a remote developer, you can either search their database or post a job ad with your requirements and let them come to you. Upwork is among the most efficient in terms of being an intermediary between the client and the remote developer. All payments are processed via Upwork, which protects both parties.

When it comes to proposals, yours can be as detailed as you want. For instance, if you’re looking for a JavaScript developer with excellent communication skills in English and a success rate of over 90%, you’ll get thousands of results. 


Freelancer has tons of developers for hire, but the database is smaller than that of Upwork, and the expertise may not be as good. It’s still a very popular website where potential employers can post their requirements and select from developers offering services. Freelancer also processes payments to ensure the contract is fulfilled.


Toptal is a platform that specializes in software developers (unlike Upwork and Freelancer, which also feature other segments – marketing, design, writing/editing, etc.). They claim their custom business intelligence screens all freelancer applications available in the system and selects the top 3% to interview for your job posting.

Toptal offers customers a risk-free trial version and only sends a bill if the project tasks are completed successfully. To have the platform involved is a win-win option for both the employer and the developer.


RemoteOK is a straightforward job board for remote workers, including software developers. They believe everyone should have the choice of being a “digital nomad,” living wherever they want while earning money remotely. If you’re looking to hire, you need to post a job with all the requirements and wait for developers to apply. RemoteOK charges $299 for a 90-day job posting with access to a million remote professionals.

Remote puts the focus on how easily you can hire a remote developer while covering all legal requirements, including IP ownership and protection. You have the choice of either browsing developer profiles or posting a job and waiting for applications. But there’s also a third option—you can trust an AI-powered algorithm to verify and choose the most suitable candidate for you. The AI analyzes several factors, including skill level, project duration, the payment model, and the position’s description.

The plans are also flexible. You can choose the free option with basic services or pay to have access to a larger talent pool, AI assistance, and direct contact with developers. There’s also a custom pricing option, say if you want to choose from top talent. However, the platform charges a fee – 10% of the project cost – for services provided.

5 common factors that may cause a custom software project to fail

Developing custom solutions costs money and takes time, and sometimes the project fails. However, there are things you can control. If you’re hiring remote developers, you need to be aware of what might cause your project to fail. Here are five common factors.

factors that may cause failing of your project if you are hiring remote software developers

The project isn’t as useful as expected

Companies should be sure they need a custom software solution before getting into the development process. If you plow forward without confirming it’s something you actually need, you could end up wasting lots of time and money while pushing a development team to build an unnecessary product.

The solution to this is simple. Company owners and top management should conduct a thorough business analysis. You can also consider hiring a professional software consultant to help. Focus on the exact problem your custom solution will solve, and decide if the investment is worth it. Sometimes, there’s a turnkey solution already out there.

Unrealistic budget and time expectations

Software projects take time and money. Companies can calculate a pretty good estimate, but you must tell the software development team exactly what you want. You should also factor in the possible risks that come with custom software development.

Once everyone understands the requirements, both parties need to be on the same page concerning the project’s timeline and cost. If you estimate either of these incorrectly, you could end up with a defective or inadequate solution. If there’s a change in budget, be sure to tell the developer immediately.

Inconsistent communication

Poor communication results in confusion, which could lead to a less than satisfactory product. Be sure you choose a communication model that suits both your client and developer. Discuss the frequency of updates, the nature of updates, the best communication software or tool, and set a clear schedule to be in touch. These steps will help each side manage expectations.

Poor legal agreements

This might seem obvious, but you need to set a legal framework for your interaction with the software contractor. The last thing you need is a legal dispute in the middle of your development process.

To put this in place, create a detailed and transparent contract. You can use contract templates or find an expert to draft one. In either case, it should address these elements:

  • Specifications of the software design
  • Development timeline
  • Development process
  • Testing process
  • Software deployment and integration
  • Support and maintenance
  • Schedule for updates, patches, and releases

Lack of quality testing

A defective or buggy solution will only irritate the target audience and negate all your efforts. Try to hire software developers who pay attention to testing. Discuss in advance all the nuances of the development process, including testing details.

How to Hire Remote Software Developers and Get Your Money’s Worth

If you decide to develop a custom solution, you must make the difficult choice of hiring a contractor. To minimize risks, we recommend you hire professional development teams with relevant experience. The wrong choice can cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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Be sure the team you choose will give you the most valuable solution, tailored to the needs of your business. Here’s what you can do to select the most qualified team:

Pick a team that deserves your trust

To get started, compile a list of teams that suit you. You can do this on thematic directories like GoodFirms. Select companies that have high ratings, but also read the customer reviews carefully. Look for consistency in how the team has built software products. Make sure to go through the bad reviews as well, paying attention to customer complaints.

5-star feedback about hiring remote software developers at Relevant Software

Hire remote software developers with appropriate experience and skills

Now that you’ve confirmed the teams on your list are more or less trustworthy, you need to know who on the list has the necessary experience and skills to implement your project.

To research this, visit the sites of these companies and read through their portfolio. Check if your potential contractor has experience working with clients from your industry. Also, pay attention to the results of their work. Reduce your list to the teams with the most relevant experience.

Communicate with the developers and make your decision

It’s time for you to contact potential contractors. Tell them about your project and ask detailed questions. Try to learn as much as possible about their work, the team’s experience, and your specific needs. Here are some questions you should be asking:

  • How many customers have you had from the same industry as my company?
  • Can you tell me more about your projects in this sector?
  • How long will it take to develop my project?
  • Will you support my project after development? If so, for how long?
  • How will your team adapt if I make changes to the business requirements during development?
  • How often will we communicate? What software will we use?

After this conversation, spend time reflecting on their responses. Did their answers meet your requirements? Did they seem honest? Were they polite? If you have reservations about the team, it’s better to keep looking. After all, your money and time are at stake, and you should feel confident with your choice.

Hire Relevant’s developers

Relevant can build a team for your decision of outsourcing to Ukraine, providing specialists in the tech stack you want. We are organized to be efficient and transparent. Here is how we work.

1. Gathering requirements: We start by hearing out your requirements. This includes a project description, job descriptions, team size, and desired workflow to assemble the right specialists.

2. Assembling the team: If specialists are available in-house, they can start working immediately. If they aren’t, we will hire the experts you need, which can take about a month. However, if you need experts fast, we have access to a talent pool from partners who are available in under a week.

3. Talent selection: Our HR team assesses candidates to learn their background, tech skills, English proficiency, and soft skills. Once we have chosen the most qualified candidates, you will host the final interviews.

4. Integrating the team: Based on years of practice, we integrate our team into your ongoing project. However, you can choose your preferred management approach and tools. We recommend meeting with the team in-person by inviting them to your office or by visiting us.

5. The result: You’ll get a team of specialists working directly for you, just as an in-house team. The only difference is the team works remotely, and we handle all the administration.

Hire handpicked and pre-vetted developers

We can provide you with custom-selected and the best software developers that go through the 5-steps selection process.
Just tell us what skills you are looking for.

Hire software developers

Projects we’ve completed successfully

We invite you to look through some of the projects we’ve completed to get a better idea of our accomplishments. The following projects represent a variety of applications and expertise.

  • Hyko: An iOS application that lets you play and control a Hyko Bear smart-connected lamp.
  • Biderator: Biderator is an auction platform for construction work that connects contractors and clients, providing them with a transparent bidding process.
  • FirstHomeCoach: FirstHomeCoach is a UK-based fintech company whose product navigates buyers through the complex steps of purchasing property by connecting them with trusted advisors to help them secure a mortgage, get insurance, and handle all the legal paperwork.

If you liked this blog post, have a look at the guide to hiring dedicated developers as well as dedicated iOS programmers and Android teams. We’ve compiled everything you need to know about dedicated software development teams and staff augmentation there.


Outsourcing software development has and will continue to grow as tech talent improves globally, especially in countries like Ukraine. Remote work is more efficient than it has ever been with new software tools and improved management techniques. 

Whether you’re a startup looking to scale quickly or an established company needing to extend its expertise, managed remote development teams is a proven solution. Contact Relevant, and we’ll assemble a dedicated development team for hire time.

Written by
Andrew Burak
CEO at Relevant
My company has helped hundreds of companies scale engineering teams and build software products from scratch. Let's connect.

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