This post was updated on Dec 19, 2016.
Talented software engineers are a little like diamonds: they’re hard to find and expensive to get. If software development isn’t at the core of your business, and if your development needs are mostly short-term and not especially complicated, you’ll be just fine asking the nearest development company to help you out.
But what if you have your own software development business, but you can’t find the right engineers for hire locally, or struggle to compete for talent with tech giants who can offer far more impressive salaries and perks? Our article shares a number of ideas on how to hire developers who’ll not only produce high quality software, but will also help you cut your development expenses.
Where should you start looking if you need to hire a computer programmer? Eastern Europe is a good place to start. Ukraine, the largest country in the region as well as the continent, is home to the greatest number of IT professionals in Europe.
Recent stats estimate that there are currently over 90,000 IT specialists in Ukraine, including 50,000 software developers. Our own research has showed that the most common skills among Ukrainian developers are C/C++, Java, PHP, front-end, and .NET development, followed by iOS and Android development.
What’s more, the hourly rate of decent software developers in Ukraine is about $15–$25 per hour. The average Ukrainian developer salary can vary between $2500 and $4000 per month (excluding taxes and social contributions), but if you need an architect with very rare skills, or with years of proven development experience, this figure can rise up to about $5000.
More About Ukrainian Tech Industry:
Good software engineers with solid backgrounds aren’t just going to fall into your lap. These developers are in high demand and receive multiple job offers almost every day. You’ll stand a much better chance at getting them interested in your project while casually chatting with them at tech events or via online communities, rather than sending them a generic LinkedIn message.
Here are a few of the best places to hire a programmer in Ukraine, both on and offline, including:
Conferences are great for meeting developers who genuinely love what they do. In Ukraine, there are numerous tech events happening every month, and below are just a few of them.
Java Day is the largest event dedicated exclusively to Java and Java-related technologies in the country. Java Days take place every year in Ukraine’s major tech cities — Kyiv, Lviv, and Kharkiv.
Stay up to date with news about future Java Days here:
Kharkiv JS — http://kharkivjs.org/
Lviv JS — http://lvivjs.org.ua/
AgileEE, which stands for Agile Eastern Europe, is the largest and most well-known Agile conference in the region. It’s been held annually since 2009 in Kyiv, the country’s capital and largest tech city.
Since 2009, some 2130 guests from all over the world have visited AgileEE, including a wide range of top-tier industry professionals from the US, Canada, and Western Europe.
You can find out more about future AgileEE here:
PyCon Ukraine is a community-run, not-for-profit conference dedicated to the Python programming language. Frequently discussed topics are Python apps, toolkits, frameworks, databases, GIS, and high-load systems.
Find out more about the future PyCon here:
Learn about the future Framework Days here:
SQLSaturdays are local meetings for SQL Server professionals. They’re supported by the global SQL Saturday program, which organizes meetups all over the world. We’re proud to say that Daxx sponsors all SQLSaturday events in Dnipro.
Drupal events are hosted by the Ukrainian Drupal community, which is made up of over 6000 members. Its meetups take place in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Lviv, Lutsk, Rivne, Dnipro, and other cities.
Get updates about the future Drupal events here:
Here are a few more resources that allow you to keep track of all the hottest tech events in Ukraine:
Meetup and Eventbrite list all the events that are held in or near a city you type into their search bars (Kyiv, Kharkiv, Lviv, Dnipro, and Odessa are the most thriving tech hubs, so the majority of Ukrainian tech events happen in these cities). To narrow down your search, select “Tech” as the event category.
A hackathon is an event where IT professionals collaborate non-stop to create new products, as well as an excellent talent-discovery opportunity for those who are looking to hire software engineers. Most hackathons last from 10 to 48 hours. Usually, hackathons are dedicated to a specific theme, so you should only target those where you can expect to meet Ukrainian software developers with the skills that are relevant to you.
Here are a few hackathons that have taken place in Ukraine:
Garage48 “Internet of Things” Dnipro 2016 brought together engineers, developers, software designers, and marketers who were given 48 hours to create a brand new IoT product.
SpinOffHack, which was held simultaneously in Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Lviv in March 2016, enabled Ukrainian Engineering, Software Development, and Marketing students to develop and present their concepts in front of a jury from local tech companies and business incubators.
Media Hack Weekend is a hackathon and an innovative project on the crossroads of media and technology, first launched in 2015. The last MHW, held in October attracted 800 Ukrainian software developers, designers, marketers, and entrepreneurs. Here’s how it went:
Xamathon is a series of hackathons for Xamarin engineers. Organized by Microsoft, this year the event ran in cities across 14 Central and Eastern European countries, including a hackathon in Kyiv in November.
DEV_Challenge was the first ever design and development championship in Ukraine. Now, it takes place twice a year, with the last event attracting more than 3000 web and mobile developers, as well as UI/UX and game designers.
You can keep track of all the upcoming hackathons and competitions on the DOU event calendar. Narrow your search using the relevant tags (available in Russian and Ukrainian).
Forums and online communities may be another alternative way to find good quality software developers. Stack Overflow, SitePoint, CodeProject, and other online spaces are where many web and mobile developers, software engineers, and designers, from all over the world share opinions, ask and answer questions, and discuss the newest tech trends.
Registering an account only takes a few minutes, and after that you can easily post your project description and specify what skills you’re interested in. These communities are so large and active that there’s no chance your job offer will go unnoticed. Probably the coolest thing about forums is that you can check the reputation of those developers who respond to your job offer, learn how long they’ve been on the forum, and see whether their comments have been constructive.
Many Ukrainian and Russian-speaking software engineers are present on these forums, but there’s one online community for Ukrainian coders only — the aforementioned DOU.
This community features tech articles submitted by industry experts, a forum, constantly updated information on average Ukrainian developer salaries, a calendar with upcoming tech events, and last but certainly not least if your plan is to hire software engineers in Ukraine — a board for job offers.
Most of the content posted on DOU is in Russian, but you can switch to the English version in the bottom left corner of the screen. Although the website isn’t fully translated into English, navigating your way through the job section should be pretty easy. You’ll have to register your company first, and once you’ve done that, you’ll get the opportunity to post your vacancy.
Note that posting a job offer on DOU isn’t free: 1 job ad will cost you $20 per month, 10 — $190, 80 — $850, and 100 — $1600. But there are a lot of Ukrainian software developers using DOU to keep track of new jobs on the market, so you’re very likely to get a quick response.
You might scoff at the idea of hiring students, but this can actually be a great way to find talented contract programmers. There are plenty of coding schools in Ukraine, so why not contact them and take a look at the work their students are producing?
STEP Computer Academy has 35 branches across 15 countries, including 22 in Ukraine. The school is authorized by Microsoft, Cisco, and Autodesk. At STEP, students can learn software development, design, and cybersecurity.
GoIT has courses covering multiple programming languages, front-end development, iOS and Android development, as well as QA testing and UX design. The school functions in Kyiv and Kharkiv (Daxx is a partner of the latter), and has welcomed over 1500 students.
Brain Academy teaches Python, PHP, C#, Java, Java SE, front-end development and QA engineering. The academy is represented in 8 cities across Ukraine.
IT Education Academy has schools in Kyiv and Lviv. They provide courses covering Java, C++, PHP, Python, as well as those in Android and iOS development, QA testing, and UI/UX design.
CyberBionic Systematics is a Microsoft-supported training center that is predominantly tilted towards .NET development. However, it also features a variety of courses for front-end and back-end developers.
Websites like GitHub provide an online code repository where software developers can collaborate on open source projects. This can help you in your hiring process, because you can look in detail at the code of the engineer you find promising before contacting them.
1. If you want to hire a computer programmer on a freelance basis, you’ll quickly realize that the best of Ukrainian freelancers are booked for months in advance, and the ones who are ready to get started immediately may be newcomers who will need a lot of supervision.
2. Once you’ve found a great software developer, you may think that you have a few weeks to look around before making the final decision to hire them. But this certainly isn’t the case in Ukraine. The demand for Ukrainian engineers is very high, and if you hesitate about whether you should or shouldn’t take them onboard, they’re probably considering at least two or three other job offers that could be more attractive than yours. So act quickly.
3. Although the vast majority of Ukrainian software developers speak English at an intermediate level or higher, most forums, online communities, conferences, meetups, and networking events where you can meet developers are in Ukrainian or Russian. This means you might have to ask a local recruiter or a staffing agency to help you in your search for software development talent.
4. Opening your own office and hiring new people in a largely unfamiliar locale can be quite challenging, partly because you’ll need to get to grips with Ukrainian tax and labor laws.
5. Last but not least, working with a remote software developer means your business processes and workflow should be well-established and suited for a virtual arrangement.
You can try some or all of the strategies we’ve listed above, or partner up with a company like ours to help you hire a dedicated software developer from Ukraine.
If you decide to work with us, all you need to do is specify your requirements and wait a short while for our recruitment team to find and pre-screen the engineers that would make a perfect match for your project. You can then interview the suggested candidates via Skype, phone, or in a personal meeting.
Once you’ve approved the candidates you want to hire, we place them in one of our comfortable offices in Ukraine’s largest tech hubs — Kyiv, Dnipro, or Kharkiv — and provide them with all the hardware and software they need for work.
You manage your offshore software development team directly without any third-party involvement, while we take care of HR, retention, and all the administrative issues. These include the terms of employment for your dedicated developers, such as taxes, payroll, and sick days.
Learn more about our services, or send us your requirements using the contact form below.