Software Developers from Eastern Europe in 2024: Which Country Best Suits Your Project

Eastern Europe is now one of the world’s most favorable IT outsourcing destinations. Leading tech companies such as Apple, Google, IBM, and Microsoft opened software development centers in Eastern Europe.

At the same time, smaller tech companies have also shifted their focus to Central and Eastern European developers. Though the custom software development rates in Poland, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, etc., are higher than in India or the Philippines, salaries still remain reasonable when compared to the US or the UK.

Eastern European developers can deliver exceptional quality IT services, have a convenient time zone difference, and have fewer cultural differences than in Asia. Combining these factors with the perfect cost-to-quality ratio makes outsourcing software development to Eastern Europe an ideal option. That’s why more and more brands are switching to leading Eastern European software development companies.

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Software development in Eastern Europe: Top countries to outsource IT projects

Ukraine, Poland, and Romania are the most popular destinations when it comes to software development outsourcing in Eastern Europe, while Serbia, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Georgia are runner-uppers. 

Here are some facts about the IT industry in these countries.


In 2014, the country’s new government started supporting investments from abroad. This led to a boost in investments in Ukrainian IT companies, which continues even during a full-scale war. Kyiv, Lviv, and Kharkiv are the largest Ukrainian IT hubs.

Now, the Ukrainian IT market is represented by over 1,500 software development companies where 200,000 IT professionals are currently employed. Furthermore, this number is expected to grow because the country’s universities release 15,000 tech graduates annually. Several additional facts:


As a member of the EU with the fastest-growing economy, Poland offers favorable conditions for companies that are thinking of outsourcing software development.

With over 400 software companies featuring over 401,000 skilled professionals and the IT market growing steadily at a rate of 5%–10% annually, the country remains the top offshore destination in Eastern Europe. Additionally:


The Romanian government had once created favorable tax conditions for companies providing software development services. The industry has rapidly grown and attracted global tech companies such as Microsoft, Ericsson, HP, and Huawei.

The country now has almost 140,000 IT professionals working at almost 20,000 companies, with an annual increment of 7,000 tech graduates.

Reasons to hire software developers 
in Eastern Europe

Software developers in Eastern Europe: Differences

Earlier, we discussed the software development market in various Eastern European countries, such as Ukraine, Poland, and Romania. This article summarizes and compares our findings and insights into the differences between Eastern European developers from the best countries for outsourcing software development in this region. 

In recent years, Eastern Europe has become a mainstream outsourcing location for software development because it offers an attractive cost-to-quality ratio, though not merely low rates like you can find in India or the Philippines.

Eastern European countries, such as Poland, Ukraine, and Romania, are the top outsourcing countries, according to Tholons and A.T. Kearney global consulting firms.

Geographically, all these countries are near each other and Western Europe. Moldova and Romania have pretty poor infrastructure, while Ukraine is continually improving its transport and road infrastructure. Additionally, the political situation in Eastern European countries varies but is fairly stable overall.

Furthermore, Eastern European software developers are proficient in English and have strong technical and soft skills. As a result, Eastern Europe has recently become a mainstream outsourcing location for software development.

Based on our research and direct experience in Eastern European software development outsourcing, we note the following differences between Eastern European countries:

Criteria Ukraine Poland Romania Moldova
English level* Intermediate to Upper-Intermediate High High Intermediate to Upper-Intermediate
Pricing** $35—57/h $41—87/h $35—65/h $20—29/h
Size of Talent Pool ~ 285,000 ~401,000 ~140,000 ~24,000
Industry focus Startups, custom software development, eCommerce Enterprise FinTech Mid-Size Projects
Core technologies PHP, Python, Java, .Net PHP, Java, .Net PHP, Java PHP

* According to the Future of IT report, 2022

** Please, remember, that hiring a senior developer with exceptional skills will always cost more than average.

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Reasons to outsource software development to Eastern European developers

1. Technical stack

The technical skills of Eastern European developers are well-regarded. All of the aforementioned countries were part of, or are heavily influenced by, the former Soviet Union, which left a legacy of relatively high-quality technically-educated individuals — even if a little too specialized for contemporary tastes. The focus of education in Eastern Europe has made the transition from hardware to focusing more on software in response to the former market expansion and latter contracting.

Eastern European development teams can offer years of experience in different programming languages and in various niches, such as healthcare, e-commerce, blockchain, artificial intelligence, and IoT. Additionally, Eastern European software engineers are proficient in mobile app, web development, and QA testing. Web development implies creating interactive web pages while iOS and Android developers are building mobile applications for given operating systems.

2. Language proficiency

The English level of software developers is essential for successful cooperation. Overall, developers in all reviewed countries have a good grasp of English, which is a mandatory requirement for the IT industry.

Eastern European developers work primarily with international companies where a high or, at least, moderate proficiency in English is an essential requirement. The second most in-demand foreign language among developers in Poland is German, while French is almost as widespread as English in Romania.

3. Profile education

In Eastern Europe, software engineers acquire computer science degrees at both bachelor’s and master’s levels, with a focus on theoretical computer science, telecommunications, artificial intelligence, and software engineering. 

For example, Ukrainian universities such as the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv and Lviv Polytechnic National University are highly ranked in computer science, and are considered major centers of advanced learning and progressive thinking.

In Romania, both public and private universities offer computer science programs. Such institutions as The Technical University of Cluj-Napoca and the University of Bucharest offer programs in applied automation, computer science, information security, and communication networks.

Whereas in Poland, Warsaw University of Technology offers computer science programs focusing on advanced algorithms, distributed computing, knowledge representation and reasoning, and data mining.

Additionally, developers in Eastern Europe are receiving advanced training to keep up with new technologies. Training opportunities organized by private companies such as PRJCTR, Hillel, robot_dreams, and Lviv IT School are becoming more common. The most popular programming languages that developers in Eastern Europe are improving include JavaScript, Python, SQL, and Java.

Constantly striving for knowledge, developers in the region achieve successful results in online competitions and high scores in course evaluations. For example, Coursera has compiled an average score by country in business, technology, and data science domains. The study found three Eastern European countries — Belarus, Ukraine, and Poland — ranked in the top 10 for technical proficiency, making Eastern Europe a cutting-edge region for reskilling technical talent.

4. Development rates

In terms of offshore software development rates compared to Eastern European countries, their developers offer fairly low prices compared to their Western counterparts. Software development in Eastern Europe is typically two or even three times less expensive than in the US. The highest rates for all types of developers among the reviewed countries are in Poland—$50–$99/hour, which is still lower than Western European rates.

The lowest prices for outsourcing software development are in Moldova—$20–$34/hour. Ukraine and Romania offer intermediate hourly rates of $35–$49.

Let’s also compare the annual salaries for in-house Java developers and hourly rates for freelancers and contractors in different countries as of 2024:

Annual salary, based on the data from,, and

Country Junior Java Developer Middle Java Developer Senior Java Developer
United States $70,000 $104,700 $180,000
United Kingdom $58,000 $78,450 $149,500
Poland $30,000 $48,000 $63,000
Ukraine $24,000 $46,000 $58,000
Romania $18,000 $35,000 $52,000
Moldova $14,000 $28,000 $45,000

Hourly freelance rates, based on the data from

Country Junior Java Developer Senior Java Developer
United States $30 $80
United Kingdom $30 $130
Poland $35 $95
Ukraine $30 $82
Romania $20 $80
Moldova $20 $70

Median hourly rates among contract developers who listed technology as a key skill. All years of experience. Data source: YouTeam

Technology Ukraine Poland Romania
AngularJS $45 $49 $50
Java $45 $58 $50
JavaScript $44 $55 $55
Node.js $46 $55 $60
PHP $41 $60 $50
Python $46 $55 $55
React.js $45 $55 $55
React Native $45 $55 $55
Ruby on Rails $45 $73
Unity $42
WordPress $39 $48 $42

5. Cultural value set (culture fit or “culture add”)

Despite the communist past of all of these countries, developers’ culture can be defined as western and progressive. Most of the developer communities are young people with more of an open mindset. In the context of mentality and personality, Romanians and Moldavians tend to be more risk-averse, which sometimes leads to a lack of innovative approaches.

Ukrainian and Polish developers, in turn, have more comprehensive experience working with global technology companies and top software development companies in Europe and other countries.

6. Convenient location and time zone

Another important thing to consider is the ability to synchronize and cooperate with the outsource developers. For example, engineers from Eastern Europe are located about two hours from London, while New York’s eastern time zone puts them seven hours ahead of their US counterparts. These two elements allow for an established development process with both in-house and outsourced employees.

Even though the time difference may be somewhat inconvenient for workers, it is still possible to have several hours overlap during which they can schedule important meetings or spend time discussing the workflow or urgent tasks.

7. Talent pool size

The talent pool size is an essential issue in choosing an outsourcing location for software development in Eastern Europe. However, it is often hard to estimate the number of software developers because local agencies tend to provide reports about their countries’ stats only once every few years.

According to Statista, the information and communications technology (ICT) industry employs 401,000 software engineers in Poland, 139,000 in Romania, 200,000 in Ukraine, and 30,000 in Moldova. There are also software developers from Ukraine who have chosen to work in Poland, as well as Moldovan developers, who are often recruited by Romanian software development companies.

Each of the observed countries has something specific to offer in terms of expertise in software development. For example, Romania is well known for its engagement in fintech, Poland is perfectly suited for R&D departments of global technology companies, Ukrainian developers are well-prepared to work with the most cutting-edge technologies, and Moldova is a fairly good choice for midsize projects to outsource.

Offshore software development in Eastern Europe: How and where to find a company

If you’re thinking of hiring Eastern European developers for your project, the following is a good place to start:

  • Look up the profiles and read the reviews of software agencies on platforms, such as Clutch, LinkedIn, and Upwork.
  • Contact local recruiters so they can assist you by choosing the developer(s) from their curated talent pool.
  • Open an offshore development center in an Eastern European country with the help of a local software agency.
  • Reach out to local IT communities that connect the clients with the best outsourcing companies in Europe.

So which Eastern European country is the best for software development?

If you are hesitating about which country to select for your project, here are some tips:

  • Evaluate the tech stack required for your project. Each Eastern European country has its own strengths regarding the tech skills of local software engineers. For example, HackerRank reports that Ukrainian developers are first in security and belong to the top five in mathematics and distributed systems. The same report shows that Polish engineers rank first in Java and belong to the top five in the following domains: algorithms, tutorials, Python, and Shell.
  • Evaluate your budget. The hourly rates of developers in different Eastern European countries vary slightly because of the different costs of living, but it does not impact the quality. Check the custom software development rates per country and choose the one that best fits your budget.
  • Is your company an established business or a startup? For example, Ukraine is the best place for startups, while Polish development houses tend to focus on enterprise solutions, so this point is also important to consider.

Speaking of top software companies in Europe, no matter which country you choose for your outsourcing software development needs, it is important to make sure you have thoroughly screened and pre-vetted your offshore partners.

Software developers from Eastern Europe: FAQ

What are the best countries to outsource software development to in Eastern Europe?

According to experts, the three top locations for IT outsourcing in the Eastern European region are Poland, Romania, and Ukraine. Poland and Romania are members of the European Union; hence, the European standards in data protection and intellectual property are applied to each software development company in these countries. Ukraine, alternatively, is not a member of the EU but is known for its highly-skilled IT specialists and affordable rates.

What online collaboration tools are required to work with remote developers?

Unlike traditional collaboration tools for remote working, such as Slack and Zoom, distributed development teams require lots of additional software. For instance, code management tools—GitLab and Bitbucket—are critical to the success of any product. Read our blog about the collaboration tools that are essential for your development team to work together effectively.

Up to you: each Eastern European country has pros when it comes to software development

The best way to optimize this hiring process is to create a due-diligence checklist that will prevent you from losing sight of important points.

Usually, decisions regarding outsourcing software development to offshore locations (including Eastern Europe software outsourcing) are made based on recommendations or showcases. The birth and evolution of the British product can be an example of such a product success being developed by Ukrainian developers.

We at YouTeam make it easy and safe to find a perfectly matching team of engineers for any type of project. Over 50,000+ vetted devs from 32 countries, including top software companies in Europe, are available on our marketplace. We can compile a list of candidates available to start working on your project next week in 48 hours or less.

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Written by
Tristan Senycia

Tristan Senycia is an ex-Product Manager at YouTeam.

He is also the founder of LeverPoint Advisory, which consults in the areas of commercialisation management, go-to-market strategy, High-Tech marketing strategy and customer development. 

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