How to Build an Offshore Development Team in Poland

Outsourcing software development to Poland

Just a couple of decades ago tech experts associated the offshore software development mainly with India or the Philippines. However, today the offshore tech talent pool has extended a lot, embracing the countries of Eastern Europe as well. In this article, we are going to discuss outsourcing to Poland – an Eastern European country that belongs to the world’s top 3 countries with the best developers, according to HackerRank. We are going to find out why Poland is so attractive for tech startup founders and what are the best ways to build an offshore development team in this country.

Map of Poland. Detail from the World Atlas. Selective Focus.

IT Industry in Poland: Statistics and Facts

The IT industry does not stand still in Poland. Here are some proofs that Poland is one of the best countries to outsource software development:

  • Every year about 15,000 students specializing in information and communication technologies graduate from Polish universities whereas about 80,000 students are currently studying to become software developers. It means that the country receives an ongoing, ever-rising tidal wave of tech talents on a yearly basis.
  • Poland is ranked 11th among the top 50 digital nations according to Tholons Globalization Index 2018. Additionally, the same index reports that Krakow belongs to the top 10 super cities in terms of digital innovation.
  • Polish developers are currently ranked 4th in the world in the Top Coder ranking. In 2016, they were in the 5th place.
  • The country is featured in Gartner’s top 30 countries for offshore services.
  • Polish IT market is growing at a stable rate of 5 – 10 % a year.
  • Poland features the greatest number of software developers – more than 250,000 – according to the developer population statistics in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) by Stack Overflow.
  • Global IT giants such as Microsoft, Google, Oracle, Cisco, and Intel have their R & D centers in Poland.

Software Developers in Poland: Personalities and Skills

According to ratings on Clutch, Polish software engineers are known as reliable, honest, and highly professional, with excellent communication skills and high business etiquette standards. Besides, they adhere to the deadlines, provide innovative solutions to complex problems, and use only the latest technologies. Finally, Polish developers do care about the quality of the code.

As for the technology stack, the most popular programming languages and technologies are Java, PHP, C#, .NET, C++, Python, and JavaScript. The engineers in Poland are eager to learn new technologies. They attend the numerous science and tech conferences that take place every month in the country’s major cities such as Krakow, Warsaw, Wrocław, etc. For example, the ACE! Agile conference, the largest event of this kind in Central Europe, takes place in Krakow.

Source: EMPAUA

Why Build an Offshore Software Development Team in Poland?

The following reasons make Poland one of the world’s most attractive destinations for tech talent outsourcing:

  • Competitive rates. The cost of living in Poland is lower than in neighboring Western European countries, so the salaries are 20 – 50 % lower than those in Western Europe or the United States. As for the developers, an average yearly salary of a software engineer in Poland is $ 23,349. This is almost three times lower than the same salary in the US, according to PayScale. However, the quality of the software development services remains the same as in the United States.
  • Convenient location. Located in the heart of Europe, Poland is close to the major European financial centers such as London, Paris or Frankfurt, with convenient flights to those and other destinations. Additionally, the US time difference with Poland can be just 6 hours, depending on the city.
  • EU membership. Poland is a member of the European Union, which makes collaboration with specialists from this country stable, reliable, and secure. The EU membership is especially beneficial for fintech startups because it is important for them that the offshore or nearshore country complies with the EU regulatory structure. Besides, like other EU members, Poland is currently subject to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). It means that the client data will be safe in case of collaboration with Poland.
  • Stable economy. Despite the hard times that the country experienced during its struggle for independence, now Polish economy is the most stable among the Eastern European countries. Additionally, as of 2018 Poland belongs to the top 10 countries in entire Europe that have the biggest GDP. Since 1990, the Polish GDP has increased by more than 7 times, which is the largest GDP growth in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and in Europe.
  • Similar cultural and business etiquette standards. There are no dramatic cultural differences between Poland and the US or Western European countries as it would be with, for example, India or China. There can be some minor differences that will not have a huge impact on the business. Having been a part of the European Union for 14 years, Poland has absorbed the western mentality and now it is ready to collaborate with clients from western cultures. Moreover, most Polish developers demonstrate the excellent knowledge of English, meaning that there will be no communication problems.
  • Favorable tax conditions. Major Polish cities such as Krakow are special economic zones, which grant income tax exemptions to the interested investors. In such a way the government creates favorable conditions for the growth of the technology market.

Offshore Development Team in Poland: Hiring Options

If you have decided to start outsourcing to Poland, we recommend that you consider several ways of hiring your offshore team of software developers and choose the option that fits you best. Currently, the following options are available:

Consulting the Local Recruiters

You can contact a freelance or self-employed recruiter from Poland on, for example, LinkedIn, and ask them for help in finding a perfect team for your project. Such recruiters collaborate with a wide range of IT companies in Poland, helping them to find clients like you and thus acting as an intermediary between you and the companies or developers. Basically, you will need to do the following:

  1. Send your project requirements and desired skill set to the recruiter.
  2. Wait until the recruiter looks for suitable candidates in companies with which they collaborate or contact individual developers from their talent pool.
  3. Interview the shortlisted candidates.
  4. Hire the candidates that have passed the interview.

Though working with a recruiter can save you lots of time on searching, you can actually spend more time waiting until the team is formed, all contracts are signed, and the project starts.

Collaborating with Software Companies in Poland

This is the most “traditional” way of building an offshore development team. You hire a team of developers who are employed at the Polish software company and have the skill set and technology stack that suits your project. The process typically looks as follows:

  1. You contact the company to give information about the project, set the deadlines, and specify the skill set that is required for the successful completion of the project.
  2. The company’s internal talent acquisition specialist or recruiter interviews the shortlisted candidates.
  3. In some cases, you can personally interview the candidates as well.
  4. You hire the candidates whose skills have been confirmed during the interview.

In the case of working with a local agency, you will often need to cover the overhead expenses such as payroll, vacations, sick leaves, insurance, office space rent, etc. Additionally, you may not be able to scale the team in the course of the project. Finally, it can take you months before the company forms your team and allows you to kick off the project. Therefore, the traditional model of collaboration with offshore software companies in Poland is a bad practice for startups.

Searching the Freelance Platforms

You can compile a team from scratch by looking up the profiles of software developers on freelance platforms such as Upwork or Guru. Here’s how it works:

  1. You sign up for an employer account at a freelance platform.
  2. You search for freelancers by either looking up their profiles and sending them invitations to an interview or publishing a project description and have the freelancers apply for this job.
  3. You schedule the interviews the shortlisted candidates.
  4. After the interviews either via the platform or per Skype you choose the most suitable candidate.
  5. You send a job offer to the developer(s) that has/have successfully passed the interview.
  6. The developer accepts the offer and the contract starts.
  7. You kick off the project with the newly hired freelancers or, if you are already at the MVP building stage, introduce a new team member to the others.

Freelancers are typically self-employed and do not work for any company. Your team members can even be distributed throughout the world, being based not only in Poland. Actually, it is quite difficult to manage such a team. Moreover, collaboration through the freelance portals is not that reliable, as the freelancers are “free” people, not bound by any official agreements. They can leave any time they want, and you have no refund guarantee, so this can harm your project, which is especially unacceptable for a startup.

Collaborating with Web Shops via a Tech Talent Marketplace

YouTeam is a Ukrainian startup combining the reasonable rates that you would get on freelance portals with reliability that you would get from collaboration with an offshore software agency. We offer a tech talent marketplace – an innovative way to connect the clients looking for an offshore development team with the skilled developers from Poland and other leading offshore countries.

Why Choose YouTeam to Build an Offshore Development Team?

YouTeam can be compared with Amazon where you can buy software development services. Amazon cooperates with thousands of e-commerce shops that sell their products via its platform. Amazon customers use the platform for free because this e-commerce giant gets revenue from the shops that it collaborates with. Likewise, YouTeam collaborates with the web dev shops that provide high-quality software development services. We feature the profiles of web shop developers at our platform so you can look through those profiles and choose the talents that suit you best. With YouTeam, you pay only for the development services while all other expenses are covered by web shops. Other benefits are as follows:

Strict Selection Criteria for Vendors

We evaluate the vendor web shops that would like to join YouTeam according to the following criteria:

  • Proven track record
  • External ratings
  • Expertise
  • Technology stacks
  • Legal documentation
  • A successful personal visit to the company
  • Internal multi-stage interviews with software developers at a webshop

Any discrepancies between the advertised skills and actual performance of the developers are totally unacceptable for us. If this still happens, we block the account of the responsible vendor at the platform and give the client a refund for the recent invoicing period.

Dedicated and Scalable Teams

YouTeam does not collaborate with freelancers, though the vendor developers can work remotely. Each software engineer profile at YouTeam is related to a specific web shop which employs them on a full-time basis and completely legally. Each webshop is responsible for the featured developers.

The developers whom you hire through YouTeam will dedicate all of their time to your project. You can find only the upper-middle and senior developer profiles on YouTeam. It means that in most cases they will deliver the work of exceptional quality. Finally, you can scale the team whenever a need arises – just notify us within a two week period so we can quickly help you extend the team.

It’s Fast!

As we have already mentioned, traditional models of hiring an offshore development team in Poland may take months of your time but this is not the case with YouTeam.

  • When using the traditional outsourcing model, you will have to wait for days until the teams are shortlisted. With YouTeam, it will take you minutes.
  • Under the traditional model, it may take you weeks to sign a contract. With YouTeam, it will take you one day.
  • The traditional model allows you to kick off the project within several months. With YouTeam, it will take you a couple of weeks.

Two-Week Refund Policy

The vendor gets paid through the YouTeam platform only after the client approves the delivered work according to the assigned milestone. We give refunds within two weeks’ notice.

No Recruitment Fees

YouTeam is not a recruitment agency, so we are NOT going to charge you a 15 or 20 % fee for the salary of each hired developer. Instead, we offer free access to our platform where you will pay only for the software development services.

The Bottom Line

Poland belongs to the world’s top 3 countries with the best developers and attracts the tech startup founders because of the following reasons:

  • A great number of IT and communication students graduates from Polish universities each year.
  • Poland belongs to the top 50 digital nations according to Tholons Globalization Index 2018 and is featured in Gartner’s top 30 countries for offshore services.
  • Polish IT market is growing at a stable rate of 5 – 10 % a year.
  • Global IT giants have their R & D centers in Poland.
  • Polish software engineers excel both in personal and tech skills. They have a western mentality and know the business ethics. They also demonstrate the advanced knowledge of English.
  • Developers in Poland offer affordable rates because of the relatively low cost of living.
  • Poland is located in the heart of Europe and is close to the major European financial centers.
  • Poland is a member of the European Union.
  • Polish economy is the most stable as compared with the other Eastern European countries.
  • Polish government provides favorable tax conditions for the IT sector.

There are several ways to hire an offshore development team in Poland, such as collaboration with local recruiters, traditional software development agencies, freelance portals, and tech talent marketplaces. YouTeam is a unique tech talent marketplace that gives its clients access to a large pool of programmers.

  1. We collaborate with the web dev shops and feature the profiles of web shop developers at our platform so you can choose the talents that suit you best.
  2. Each and every webshop that joins YouTeam is subject to a strict vetting procedure, during which we shortlist the best vendors.
  3. It will take you only a couple of weeks to shortlist, interview, and hire the developers as well as kick off your project.
  4. You will get your money back within two weeks’ notice if you are dissatisfied with the delivered work.

YouTeam is probably the best alternative to other offshore team hiring methods. This is because we combined the reliability of traditional software agencies with the flexibility and pricing of freelance portals. So if you’ve got not that much time to show your first MVP to investors, consider YouTeam as an option to collaborate with offshore software developers. Contact us today and we will gladly answer all of your questions.

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Anastasiia Myronets

Anastasiia Myronets

Technical writer, IT copywriter, content manager, translator with 12 years of experience.

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