IT outsourcing to Ukraine is getting more popular: Ukraine is becoming a leading IT outsourcing destination in Europe due to its booming tech ecosystem, which is predicted to reach US$8.4 billion of industry export volume in 2025, a large talent pool of 200,000 IT professionals, and strong tech education.
Ukrainian software developers are recognized among the 5th strongest IT professionals globally thanks to their solid technical expertise, high English proficiency level (70% speak English at an upper-intermediate level), and knowledge of emerging disciplines (Go, AI, big data, blockchain, etc.)
No wonder the likes of Microsoft, Samsung Electronics, and Apple prefer outsourcing to Ukraine to build cutting-edge software solutions.
12 Reasons Why Tech Companies Prefer Outsourcing Software Development to Ukraine
- 200,000+ IT professionals in the IT outsourcing industry in Ukraine
- 36,000+ tech graduates annually
- 1,500+ tech companies, 2,000+ startups, 110+ multinational R&D centers
- Tech industry is the #1 employment destination in Ukraine
- 85% of Ukrainian software developers speak English fluently
- Ukrainian tech companies are founded by entrepreneurs with a global mindset
- Best price/value ratio
- 1 hour ahead of most European countries
- Only 11 holidays with paid time off
- Ukrainian engineers gain experience faster
- Modern offices with comfortable working conditions
- Ukrainian programmers are creative problem solvers
Amid the 2021 global lockdown, Ukraine’s IT industry is showing a 20% growth and gaining a worth of more than US$6 billion.
According to a PWC report, Ukraine is ranked 5th among the top 25 IT service exporters.
The local software development community grew by 27% in 2017. Currently, outsourcing in Ukraine employs over 200,000 developers.
Why hire Ukrainian software developers for IT outsourcing?
Ukrainian developers rank 5th among the best software developers in the world with an average score index of 93.17%. Within Europe, Ukrainian software developers take 4th place (SkillValue’s 2019 Report).
Ukrainian developers rank 5th among the best software developers in the world
Developers in Ukraine rank 4th among the best software developers in Europe
The core web technologies used by software development companies in Ukraine, according to Clutch.co
In Ukraine, the software outsourcing industry claims the 3rd spot for the number of Node.js, Python, ASP.NET, Ruby, Symfony, and PHP developers.
Ukrainian software developers: popular technologies
High-class technical education is one of the reasons why it’s relatively easy to hire back-end programmers with enough skills to build high-load systems with complex logic.
When it comes to front-end web developers, Ukraine’s software outsourcing industry takes the 5th spot, and there’s no shortage of Android app developers and iOS developers either (3).
Mobile development trends in IT outsourcing in Ukraine
Besides, the Ukrainian tech talent pool has UI/UX designers, business analysts, software testers, infrastructure engineers, DevOps, and many other specialists with world-class professional skills.
Front-end developers in Ukraine's IT outsourcing and in the world
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).
Around 75% of developers in Ukraine have a higher education degree, 6.3% have two degrees, and 1.5% hold the Sc.D degree.
Every year, more than 36,000 students graduate from local universities with degrees in IT-related fields.
What's more, the 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 the most engineering graduates
Tech companies play a vital role in modernizing the higher education system by teaching STEM students custom-built tech courses.
Through joint efforts of LNU and large Ukrainian tech companies, STEM students can now study statistics and data science, cybersecurity, software engineering, sensor and analytical systems, HR management in public authorities and business, and many related subjects from practicing specialists.
Also, Lviv IT Cluster has recently launched educational programs in emerging disciplines such as AI, Data Science, IoT, and Computer Science at two leading universities in Lviv.
While tech universities generate entry-level tech specialists, the more experienced ones are busy educating themselves: more than 85% of Ukrainian developers read professional literature after working hours.
3. The Tech Industry In Ukraine Grows By 20%+ Each Year [1,500+ Tech Companies I 2,000+ Startups I 110+ Multinational R&D Centers]
The volume of IT outsourcing services export in Ukraine has been growing steadily over the last five years: 29.3% in 2018, 31.4% in 2019, and 20.4% during the worldwide pandemic in 2020.
The number of software companies in Ukraine grew from 1,050 in 2011 to 1,650 tech companies in 2020. Many of the top IT outsourcing companies in Ukraine have crossed the 6,000 employee threshold and show constant growth.
So does the versatility of services they offer: web and mobile development, UI/UX design, quality assurance, and testing, dedicated team building, R&D services, IT consulting, big data and analytics, and many more.
Ukraine is home for 2,000 startups among which you'll find Grammarly, Reface, Preply, Ajax, Jooble, DepositPhotos, GitLab, and PetCube.
Top 6 reasons to choose IT outsourcing to Ukraine:
- 1st outsourcing market in Eastern Europe (Outsourcing Journal)
- offshoring destination of 2017 (GSA)
- 1st in CEE by outsourcing volume (CEEOA)
- one of the top 20 offshore locations in EMEA (Gartner)
- one of the top 50 countries by the volume of outsourcing activities (A.T. Kearney)
- one of the top 25 IT service exporters (PwC)
More than 100 Fortune 500 businesses delegate software outsourcing to Ukraine.
Additionally, 18 top IT outsourcing companies in Ukraine are featured in the top 100 best outsourcing companies in the world.
Being such a fruitful soil for tech initiatives, Ukraine offers a well-balanced quality/value ratio which attracts the world's tech giants.
IT in Ukraine counts 110 R&D centers of global tech giants including Microsoft, Samsung Electronics, Apple, Skype, IBM, Boeing, Ericsson, Siemens, Oracle, Magento, and Wargaming, just to name a few.
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.
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.
Ukraine'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.
Above-average salaries and ability to work with foreign tech businesses make the tech industry the most desirable employment destination among Ukrainians.
While it's getting more and more complicated to join the tech industry due to growing expectations, the software development industry in Ukraine is currently seeing a powerful influx of talented specialists from related fields.
Tech specialists show the highest rates of work motivation: 92% tech/team leads say that they find their job interesting and challenging and the same is seen among senior PMs, product managers, HR managers, and data science engineers.
Mind that when we speak about tech specialists, we include all kinds of tech professionals: software and infrastructure engineers, quality assurance specialists, project managers, Scrum masters, product managers, business analysts, graphic designers (UI/UX), marketing specialists, content makers, and others.
85% 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 level.
English proficiency of Ukrainian software developers
And it really shows in the way tech companies organize their processes, communication, and corporate policies.
In general, Ukrainian tech companies share Western business culture: despite stereotypes, Ukrainian programmers are diligent problem solvers and great communicators.
They’re open to discussion, get personally involved in the projects they’re working on, and are interested in facilitating their success.
Middle and senior programmers perform better when given a certain level of independence.
The tech industry in Ukraine got rid of some ineffective aspects such as strict adherence to hierarchy and formalized communication.
Also, many Ukrainian companies such as Daxx have been founded by entrepreneurs from Western European countries and the United States.
The majority of them are headquartered in the EU or the US, which significantly simplifies the process of development outsourcing to Ukraine from a legal standpoint.
Compared to Poland, Belarus, and the Czech Republic, Ukraine offers more competitive rates for programming outsourcing and 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 being 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 a similar caliber could cost close to $100 per hour, or even more.
The average developer salaries in Ukraine are significantly lower than in neighboring Poland.
For instance, a middle software engineer in Ukraine earns around $30,000 per year (PayScale) while a senior software developer gets $48,000 annually.
Monthly salaries of Ukrainian developers range between $1,300 for a junior developer and $4,600 for a senior engineer and vary depending on the technology.
Average Salary for Software Developer in Ukraine
Additionally, recent reforms in licensing have dramatically improved the ease of doing business in the country.
Located only an hour ahead of most European countries, Ukrainian programmers share 7 out of 9 business hours with the majority of Western countries.
Just to compare, a tech company from London working with programmers from the Philippines shares only three business hours.Geographic proximity makes Ukraine 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.
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 an 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 $350. This allows Ukrainian developers to be within easy reach for their clients and arrange regular on-site trips.
What's more, Ukraine made traveling to 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
Just like an average full-time employee in the US (37.5 hours), in Ukraine, the majority of developers in outsourcing companies spend between 40 and 60 hours at work each week.
In Germany, an average full-time employee works 32.77 hours per week, while in the UK — 36.04 hours per week.
In Ukraine, there are only 11 universally observed public holidays. Whereas in other Eastern European countries such as the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, and Hungary there are at least 13 paid public holidays, and in Bulgaria, their number reaches 19 days.
The majority of software developers work in tech companies that provide IT outsourcing services.
Being a part of an IT outsourcing company means that specialists can gain hands-on experience in diverse technologies, industries, and business niches.
By doing so they earn a high level of expertise in a shorter period of time than their colleagues in Silicon Valley or any other world-class tech hub.
In Ukraine, junior programmers usually have 1–2 years of experience, middle tech specialists have 3–4 years, and senior tech professionals have 5+ years of experience.
Tech companies in Ukraine pay special attention to creating a comfortable environment for their software developers.
Engineers work from spacious offices with noise-isolated meeting rooms, fully-equipped working stations, and a stable internet connection.
Daxx’s office in Kharkiv is one of the vivid examples: it occupies 2.5 floors, has security systems between stores, separate working spaces for dedicated teams, common areas with armchairs and sofas, kitchens, and comfy corners to play billiards, table tennis, or PlayStation.
In 20+ years of working with international clients, we’ve repeatedly heard that Ukrainian developers have an exceptional capability of resolving issues and that they are always ready to put extra effort to make things work.
During interviews, many of our clients highlight the fact that working with Ukrainian software developers has significantly improved their performance. A CEO at an IT Company from Germany recommended a Ukraine-based outsource software team on Clutch:
"As a company, we’ve definitely learned, grown, and improved because of their team."
Ukrainian programmers combine two valuable characteristics — the feeling of personal responsibility for results and the ability to communicate with team members, which makes them so good at reaching goals within deadlines.
"We have been very happy with their performance and they’ve done more than we expected", says Daniel Taiber, VP R&D at InsFocus.
Interested in hiring software developers with Daxx? Just drop us a line and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
- Ukraine Digital News and AVentures, IT Ukraine: IT services and software R&D in Europe’s rising tech nation.
- DOU.UA, Programming language popularity ranking, February 2020.
- Daxx, How Many Developers Are There in Ukraine, Really? 2020.
- 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.
- Out of 190 countries. Source: World Bank, Doing Business 2017, June 2016.