Turkey’s economy expanded at a much slower pace in 2022 due to rising domestic macroeconomic and financial challenges following unexpectedly strong economic growth in 2021. Despite this, 2022 brought some pleasant news about major tech companies investing in Turkey. In March 2022, Microsoft opened a research and development center in the country that will employ hundreds of engineers. Moreover, Amazon announced that it would create more than 1,000 jobs at its first logistics center in Istanbul with a $100 million investment.
Named among the top 10 countries with the strongest growth in GitHub contributors in 2020, Turkey could be the next outsourcing destination. This article tells you about the country’s digital transformation and specific hiring models, as well as provides a list of job boards and directories for developers in Turkey.
Table of Contents
Basic Information and Indicators About Turkey
- Capital: Ankara
- Currency: Turkish lira (TRY)
- Official language: Turkish
- Timezone: UTC+3
- Population: 84,700,000
- Average developer’s salary: $54,000 – $88,000/year ⁽*¹⁾
- Business Climate: A4 ⁽*²⁾
- Country Risk Assessment: C ⁽*³⁾
- Political Stability: -1.2 ⁽*⁴⁾
- Ease of doing business ranking: 76.8 (33rd) ⁽*⁵⁾
- Human Capital / Skills: 60.8 (78th) ⁽*⁶⁾
⁽*¹⁾ according to Glassdoor, Senior Software Engineer, 7-9 years of experience.
⁽*²⁾ according to Coface. This characteristic refers to the ease of running a business, the political situation in the country, and whether the legal system provides fair conditions and business protection for companies. Rating scales: A1, A2, A3, A4, B, C, D, and E.
⁽*³⁾ according to Coface. It refers to the country’s ability to transfer currency for foreign payments. Rating scales: A1, A2, A3, A4, B, C, D, and E.
⁽*⁴⁾ according to The World Bank. These statistics show the political stability and absence of violence. It ranges from -2.5 (lowest) to 2.5 (highest).
⁽*⁵⁾ according to The World Bank Doing Business 2020 report. It measures the processes for business incorporation, getting a building permit, transferring property, getting access to credit, paying taxes, engaging in international trade, and enforcing contracts.
⁽*⁶⁾ according to the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report 2019. The Skills performance rate assesses education, skills such as digital literacy, interpersonal skills, and critical and creative thinking.
An Overview of Technological Development in Turkey
This section discusses the development of information technology startups, computer science education, as well as the salaries and English proficiency of software engineers in Turkey.
Startups And Tech Sector Development
Since 2012, Turkish governmental agencies have supported local startup mentors, accelerators, and angel networks by implementing several programs. In 2012, the TÜBİTAK BiGG grant program was launched to help entrepreneurs during the idea development stage. In 2016, the European Investment Fund and the Ministry of Treasury and Finance established The Turkish Growth and Innovation Fund (TGIF). Finally, in 2019, the Entrepreneurship Development Support Program (KOSGEB) was launched to support startup growth.
Hot verticals such as game development, e-commerce, food delivery software, fintech, and deep tech showed the most significant progress. Between 2019 and 2021, 213 new gaming startups were established, with a total of 445 studios as of August 2021. The explosion of gaming startups increased Turkey’s share in the gaming industry to $1.2 billion in 2021.
In e-commerce, Trendyol, an affordable fashion marketplace, has become Turkey’s first decacorn, having raised $1.5 billion in its latest fundraising round, which valued the company at $16.5 billion. Hepsiburada, Turkey’s leading shopping platform, was valued at $3.8 billion during its NASDAQ debut.
According to the latest KPMG report, Turkey’s startup ecosystem reached record-high investment volumes in the first quarter of 2022. Q1 2022 saw an investment of $1.3 billion in 42 deals, which was nearly 20 times greater than the investment volume in Q4 2021. Getir was at the top of the list, having raised $768 million in its Series E round in March 2022. Its valuation reached $11.8 billion, making it Europe’s first grocery delivery decacorn.
The first quarter was also particularly rich in news about Big Tech companies investing in Turkey. In March 2022, Amazon announced that it would create more than 1,000 jobs at its first logistics center in Istanbul with a $100 million investment. That same month, Microsoft opened an R&D center in the country. The software giant, which has been present in Turkey since 1993, aims to recruit hundreds of engineers to develop source databases, cloud systems, and big data processing in the new R&D center.
In 2021, Turkey was ranked 70th on the EF English Proficiency Index, which represents “low proficiency”. This doesn’t necessarily mean that all programmers have insufficient English skills. However, companies that hire them should pay attention to candidates who graduated from the below-mentioned universities that have English-only programs and check developers’ language skills during their interviews.
Computer Science Education
Middle East Technical University (METU) emphasizes research and education in engineering and natural sciences. It is Turkey’s premier university in terms of the number of the European Union Framework Programme projects. It offers graduate programs and degrees in mathematics, design for interaction, and computer and software engineering. English is the primary language of instruction at METU. All enrolled students are required to have a degree of proficiency in English for academic purposes.
Boğaziçi University is another leading university in Turkey offering graduate programs in computer engineering, systems and control, and mathematics. It opened its doors to students in 1863 under the name Robert College, becoming the first American higher education institution to be founded outside the United States. The university is now under Turkish administration, but it still maintains close ties to the American educational system.
Istanbul Technical University is the world’s third-oldest technical university dedicated to engineering sciences. It is the first nationwide educational institution in the field of “Engineering and Technology” and second in “Natural Sciences,” according to QS World University Rankings. The university’s Faculty of Computer and Informatics offers degrees in Computer Engineering, Information Systems Engineering, and Game and Interaction Technologies, as well as the Artificial Intelligence and Data Engineering undergraduate program.
Software Engineer Salaries
Turkey attracts companies due to engineers’ expertise, its large tech community, and cost-effectiveness. The average developer salary in Turkey is significantly lower than that in the U.S. or Western Europe because of the differences in the cost of living and tax rates.
Women in Turkey are underrepresented in decision-making positions in the public sector. However, improvements were reported in the private sector, where the percentage of women in senior management is around 31%, up from 25% in 2011.
Despite these improvements, since the majority of Turks are Muslim, they may downplay the influence of a woman in a managerial position, that is, they may not perceive her as a leader. This is not a nationwide trend and may only appear in individual cases, but companies need to pay attention to this when hiring Turkish developers.
Hiring Remote Developers From Turkey
As remote working options have become the new standard, companies are increasingly looking at hiring models that provide an alternative to hiring local employees and tap into the global talent pool. In this section, we have collected available hiring options, their advantages, and where to find software engineers in Turkey.
Hiring In-House Remote Developers
Tech companies use this option to build their core software development team and culture with full-time remote employees. The earliest-hired employees go into the details of the product as they are more interested in stock options. They usually stay longer and are committed to developing the software solution and growing the company. However, this hiring model may be expensive, as the company has to cover vacations, bonuses, taxes, and health insurance.
Employers can find full-time developers by posting jobs on an online board like Indeed and Glassdoor, which are popular in the region, or Jobs in Ankara, which provides jobs for English-speaking professionals in Turkey. They can also search for candidates on LinkedIn by filtering by location, industry, and service category.
Companies use outsourcing services when they want to assign entire projects to outside development services managed by their CTO or product owner from the in-house team.
Outsourcing entire projects won’t allow companies to gain full control over their engineers. However, with this model, companies do not have to worry about a developer’s lack of English proficiency. If they can write quality code but are not fluent enough in English, a project manager who is fluent in both Turkish and English can be the link between the remote team members and the customer.
When choosing a reliable outsourcing company in Turkey, employers should ask for recommendations from their network, or at the very least, turn to review aggregators such as Clutch and GoodFirms to get unbiased validation of the IT service provider.
Hiring Remote Contractors via Staff Augmentation
A model called staff augmentation offers full-time software developers from outsourcing agencies to expand the company’s existing in-house team. However, unlike handing over an entire project to an outsourcing company, employers manage software engineers and communicate with them directly.
The hiring process, in this case, is quick because developers are already employed, and their technical skills and experience have been vetted. Additionally, the company doesn’t need to bother with retirement contributions or paying for health insurance, vacations, office rental, or workstations as they do for in-house employees.
Companies can hire remote contractors on YouTeam.
The freelance model is suitable for short-term projects, simple tasks, and companies with limited budgets. In contrast to in-house engineers and contractors, freelancers are often responsible for several remote jobs, and the quality of their output could be subpar to that of a client’s specifications. Furthermore, because these developers are often involved in multiple projects, employers don’t have the same control over a freelancer as they do with a contractor or in-house employee.
Companies can search for talent, post a job, or let recruiters handpick Turkish engineers on Upwork.
When looking for a freelancer on Upwork, companies can choose to filter by country. In addition, we recommend using the following filters:
- Job success – 90% & up;
- Earned amount – $10k+ earned (to exclude specialists who have little practical experience they can confirm. For a similar reason, recruiters can also use the Hours billed filter);
- English level – Fluent.
By setting such a bar, the employer will get a selection of senior software engineers who speak fluent English and bring tasks to the desired outcome.
Why Choose YouTeam to Hire Remote Developers From Turkey
YouTeam’s talent pool consists of 50,000 engineers with diverse skills. Our staff augmentation on-demand model uses full-time employed tech talent from software development agencies to expand an existing in-house team. Compared to project outsourcing, YouTeam contractors work directly with the in-house team, while the customer retains full control of the development process.
Here are some advantages of using YouTeam to expand development teams:
- Staff augmentation will allow employers to address skill gaps quickly with additional expertise. YouTeam provides a verified list of candidates within 48 hours of contact.
- YouTeam pre-interviews middle and senior developers to ensure that they are the best fit to meet customers’ requirements.
- YouTeam automates contract signing and billing between customers and software development vendors. There are no commitments before this point.
- The contract ensures the secure IP transfer from the engineer to the vendor and from the vendor to the company.
- Companies pay remote workers a fixed monthly or hourly rate, and the notice period is usually one month. YouTeam’s contractors do not have to be compensated for contract termination.
- A dedicated Customer Success Manager helps with onboarding and answers any legal or financial questions.
Median Hourly Rates for Software Development Services in Turkey by Technology, According to YouTeam
|Median Hourly Rate, USD
Average Hourly Rates for Software Development Services in Turkey, According to YouTeam
|Junior Software Engineer
|Middle Software Engineer
|Senior Software Engineer
Although English proficiency in Turkey varies from case to case, the country emphasizes research and education in engineering and natural sciences. Moreover, the salaries and rates of software engineers in Turkey are significantly lower than in the United States or Western Europe. This makes tech talent from Turkey attractive to companies that are looking for cost-effective solutions but require a high level of education.