Ukraine is becoming a leading IT outsourcing destination in Europe due to its booming tech ecosystem, large talent pool, and a strong education. Ukrainian software developers are recognized among the strongest IT professionals globally thanks to their solid technical expertise, high English proficiency level, and knowledge of emerging disciplines such as AI, big data, blockchain, etc.
No wonder a growing number of international giants hire developers in Ukraine to build cutting-edge software solutions.
Top reasons to choose IT outsourcing to Ukraine:
- the 1st outsourcing market in Eastern Europe (Outsourcing Journal)
- offshoring destination of 2017 (GSA)
- the 1st in CEE by outsourcing volume (CEEOA)
- among the top 20 offshore locations in EMEA (Gartner)
- among the top 50 countries by the volume of outsourcing activities (A.T. Kearney)
- among top 25 IT service exporters (PwC)
Why globally-recognized brands hire developers in Ukraine:
- 185,000+ IT Professionals
- 36,000+ Tech Graduates Annually
- 1500+ Software Development Companies
- 2,000+ Up-and-Coming Startups
- 110+ Multinational R&D Centers
- A Vibrant Tech Community
- 80% of Ukrainian Software Developers Speak English
- Cultural Compatibility
- Best Price/Quality Ratio
- Favorable Business Climate
- 1 Hour Ahead of Most European Countries, 7 Hours Ahead of the US (EST)
- Only 11 Holidays with Paid Time Off
1. 185,000+ IT Professionals
Software development is the most advanced and popular field in Ukraine. Ukrainian IT industry is expected to reach $10 billion in value by 2020. The local software development community has grown by 27% in 2017 and currently employs over 185,000 IT specialists.
Ukraine ranks 4th in the world by the number of tech workers after the United States, India, and Russia. Moreover, its IT workforce is expected to surpass the 200,000 mark in 2020 (1).
Even more companies prefer hiring developers in Ukraine, as they rank 5th among the best software developers in the world with an average score index of 93,17%. If compared to Europe, Ukrainian software developers take the 4th place. (Skillvalue 2019 Report)
Developers in Ukraine rank 5th among the best software developers in the world
Developers in Ukraine rank 4th among the best software developers in Europe
Popular technologies among Ukrainian software developers
Ukrainian software developers: popular technologies
Front-end software developers in Ukraine
2. 36,000+ Tech Graduates Annually
Ukraine’s 402 universities and colleges (4) boast more science graduates per year than many other countries prized for innovation, like Japan, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, and the Netherlands (5).
Every year more than 36,000 students graduate from local universities with degrees in IT-related fields. What's more, World Economic Forum named Ukraine among the top 10 countries globally by the number of engineering, manufacturing, and construction graduates producing an annual total of 130,000 graduates.
Countries with most engineering graduates
The country also offers various educational opportunities for students willing to join the Ukrainian hi-tech community. In cooperation with local software development companies, regional IT clusters regularly launch educational programs at universities and set up innovation labs at colleges and schools.
For instance, Lviv IT Cluster has recently launched educational programs in emerging disciplines such as AI, Data Science, IoT, and Computer Science at 2 leading universities in Lviv.
3. 1500+ Software Development Companies
Ukraine has 1500 IT companies that offer virtually every kind of software development service, including web and mobile development, UI/UX design, quality assurance, and testing, dedicated team building, R&D services, IT consulting, big and analytics, and much more.
And it’s not just about the quantity. Recently, 13 software development companies that either have a large branch office in Ukraine or are fully local featured among the world’s top IT outsourcing companies (6).
4. 2,000+ Up-and-Coming Startups
The country’s rich tech scene has also fueled the rapid growth of the local startup community. Jooble, DepositPhotos, Grammarly, GitLab, PetCube, Mobalytics, Preply, Attendify, CleanMyMac, InvisibleCRM, Looksery, and Readdle are only a few of the big names that got started in Ukraine.
Global market leaders have already shown their interest in the local startup scene which lead to a number of big acquisitions. Google purchased Viewdle – a facial recognition company, Snapchat has acquired Looksery – a real-time facial modification app, and Oracle has bought Maxymiser – a Ukrainian provider of cloud-based software for marketers.
Ukrainian startup Mobalytics wins the Startup Battlefield at Disrupt SF 2016
Additionally, Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital and major tech hub, has more investors than Warsaw, Vienna, Oslo, and Copenhagen (7). These include AVentures Capital, Chernovetsky Investment Group (CIG), Digital Future, Imperious Group, SMRK, TA Ventures, and Vostok Ventures.
The country’s IT specialists have built strong business relationships with clients from major European hotbeds with venture capital funds such as the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, etc. As a result, the total venture capital investment in Ukrainian startups reached US$258 million in 2017 and US$336.9 million in 2018 and has been growing steadily.
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5. 110+ Multinational R&D Centers
Given the fact that Ukraine is one of the 50 most innovative economies in the world (5), it should come as no surprise that the country is home to more than 110 R&D centers for global tech giants operating including Microsoft, Samsung Electronics, Apple, Skype, IBM, Boeing, Ericsson, Siemens, Oracle, Magento, and Wargaming, just to name a few. Many of these entered the Ukrainian market through M&As, joint R&Ds, or outstaffing companies like Daxx.
6. A Vibrant Tech Community
Agile Eastern Europe Conference, PyCon Ukraine, iForum, IT Arena, and DEV_Challenge are only a few of Ukraine’s major tech events giving the country’s IT professionals the opportunity to network with their peers, share experiences, and pick up on the best practices of the industry leaders. According to a recent survey from developers.org.ua, 60% of Ukrainian developers regularly attend specialized IT events.
The largest conferences attract over 7,000 attendees and international speakers from global corporations such as Skype, IBM, HP, SAP, Intel, and Dell, to name a few. On a more local level, smaller tech events take place all the time, covering the hottest topics like AI, big data, virtual and augmented reality, data science, blockchain, etc.
7. 80% of Ukrainian Developers Speak English
Eighty percent of Ukraine’s tech workers report having an intermediate or higher level of English proficiency (9). The majority of software development and IT outsourcing companies in Ukraine offer free English classes for their employees which increases their English fluency levels.
English proficiency of Ukrainian software developers
8. Cultural Compatibility
The work ethics dominating the IT outsourcing industry in Ukraine is very similar to that of Western businesses. Ukrainian developers aren’t just performers. They’re open to challenges and confrontation, get personally involved in the projects they’re working on, and are interested in facilitating their success. This is especially true if you communicate with them directly, without any third-party involvement.
9. Best Price/Quality Ratio
Compared to Poland, Belarus, and the Czech Republic, Ukraine offers more competitive outsourcing rates paired with a much larger tech talent pool.
The average hourly rate for software development is within the $25–50 range, with the average software developer salary between $1,400 and $3,300 per month (excluding taxes and social contributions).
IT outsourcing services: average hourly rates for software developers by region
Admittedly, these rates may seem higher than in some other popular IT outsourcing countries. But they’re still significantly lower than those in Western Europe and North America, where a software engineer of similar caliber could cost close to $100 per hour, or even more.
Additionally, the recent reforms in licensing have dramatically improved the ease of doing business in the country.
10. Favorable Business Climate
Year by year, Ukraine is harmonizing its international policies and moving towards a more thriving business environment. The country has reached its GDP growth of 4,6% in the second quarter of 2019. The Ukrainian government has already approved its Strategic Action Plan 2020, which includes cancelation of 450 outdated regulations, support of innovation initiatives, focus on the enhanced corporate governance of state agencies and privatization, and much more.
Moreover, Ukraine has gone 32 positions up over the last 5 years in the World Bank’s ease of Doing Business 2020 ranking by introducing a number of regulations. It simplified the process of dealing with construction permits by reducing fees. The country also made paying taxes easier by introducing a lower flat rate of 22% for the Unified Social Contribution tax paid by employers (which replaced the previous rates ranging from 36,76% to 49,7%).
All of this contributed to the growth and development of the local IT community and stimulated numerous business owners to choose Ukraine for IT outsourcing.
11. 1 Hour Ahead of Most European Countries, 7 Hours Ahead of the US (EST)
Being only 1 hour ahead of most European countries, Ukraine is an incredibly convenient location for nearshoring, as it enables smooth communication and workflow between geographically dispersed teams.
A direct flight to major European IT cities from Ukraine takes no longer than 2-3 hours.
Ukraine International Airlines offer regular direct flights from Ukraine to London, Berlin, Amsterdam, and other major European tech hubs. For instance, Ukraine's capital Kyiv provides at least 3 direct flights per day to London's biggest airports (Heathrow, Gatwick, and Luton) from Ukraine International Airlines or British Airways. To avoid overspending, you can travel to London from major Ukrainian IT hubs like Kyiv, Kharkiv or Lviv with Ryanair or Wizz Air UK for as little as €18 or €22. On a regular basis, you can also take a direct flight from Kyiv to Amsterdam or Berlin offered by Ukraine International Airlines, KLM, or Wizz Air.
The country also makes for an attractive offshore choice for North American companies, since the 7-hour time difference between Ukraine and the East Coast provides the opportunity for much more convenient shared working hours compared to India, Vietnam, the Philippines, and other low cost IT outsourcing destinations.
Today, Ukraine International Airlines offer regular direct flights to New York from Kyiv starting from €488. This allows Ukrainian developers to be within easy reach to their clients and arrange regular on-site trips.
What's more, Ukraine made traveling to the EU clients even easier by approving a visa-free travel regime for Ukrainians in 2017.
IT Outsourcing: Regular direct flights from Kyiv to major European tech hubs
12. Only 11 Holidays with Paid Time Off
In Ukraine, there are only 11 universally observed public holidays. Whereas in other Eastern European countries such as Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, and Hungary there are at least 13 paid public holidays and in Bulgaria their number reaches 19 days.
- Ukraine Digital News and AVentures, IT Ukraine: IT services and software R&D in Europe’s rising tech nation, February 2016.
- DOU.UA, Programming language popularity ranking, January 2016.
- Daxx, How Many Developers Are There in Ukraine, Really? April 2016.
- Including all the country’s higher education institutions and scientific research institutions. Source: Ministry of Education of Ukraine.
- Information technology and innovation foundation, Contributors and detractors: ranking countries’ impact on global innovation, January 2016.
- The 2017 Global Outsourcing 100® by IOAP.
- Techstars, 540+ VCs and €23,8B in the Last Two Years, September 2016.
- Bloomberg Business, These are the world’s most innovative countries, January 2016.
- DOU.UA, Developer salary report, December 2015.
- Out of 190 countries. Source: World Bank, Doing Business 2017, June 2016.