What you should know before outsourcing software development to Ukraine
The blog you are going to read was written several years before the full-scale war currently unfolding on Ukraine’s territory. We keep updating the text with new statistics and rates to be sure the information is up to date. However, the alterations that took place in Ukraine in 2022 were more significant than a mere change of statistics. For instance, travel limitations and power shortages are now commonplace realities in Ukrainian society that were not discussed in this article.
However, Ukrainian developers have been successful in meeting demands, finding ways to cope, and being productive despite challenges. The IT sector’s impact on the Ukrainian economy is still significant (IT services have been proven to be the most profitable industry during wartime).
Taking this into consideration, we believe that this text can still give an accurate portrayal of the skillset and mentality of Ukrainian developers, as well as provide insights into the country’s IT market.
Overview of Ukraine as an Outsourcing Destination
In this article, I share my experience of having spent several years operating from and collaborating with a wide range of software development companies and working within the IT market in Ukraine.
Many small and large businesses (like Google, Slack, Whatsapp, etc.) use outsourced teams of developers for different types of work. Companies usually hire front-end, back-end, full-stack engineers or an entire dedicated team with project managers, QAs and designers, and security engineers. Businesses can outsource developers because of their expertise and experience working on different types of projects, including IoT, FinTech, and HealthTech.
Over the past few years, I’ve traveled throughout most of Western Ukraine, having been to the capital Kyiv numerous times and have also visited some of the Eastern parts of the country.
have also enjoyed my time here so much that I have even studied its grammatically complex mother tongue (it’s a little different from Australian English) ;).
Ukrainians commonly speak two languages—Ukrainian and Russian. On average, Ukrainians’ level of English is fairly high, particularly in the IT industry—it is almost a mandatory requirement. In Lviv, it became especially important as it became the center for Ukrainian IT —the ongoing war forced many businesses to relocate their offices. It is a key city associated with outsourcing software development in Ukraine now.
Education level & quality are very high as compared with the GDP per capita of the country.
Every year about 15,000 IT specialists graduate from Ukrainian technology universitiesClick to tweet
—Anton Mishchenko, co-founder of YouTeam
That means that the number of software development professionals in Ukraine will gradually increase year to year.
Ukraine also offers one of Europe’s fastest-growing markets for information technology application development.Click to tweet
Companies in Eastern Europe are becoming increasingly more attractive to businesses for their offshore software development. With over 200,000 software development professionals available, Ukraine is one of many Eastern European nations becoming popular as an offshore/nearshore location for Western countries.
The suitable location allows Western companies to hire skilled developers who will be working comfortable hours in the main office in any European country. The time zone difference with the US is about 6 hours, which can affect productivity. However, Ukrainian developers are very flexible and manage their time well to work efficiently.
Personalities & Identities of Ukrainian IT Specialists
An increasing number of Ukrainian cities even now continue to adopt European values, spearheaded by Lviv (cultural capital) and Kyiv (Administrative/Political Capital).
In terms of the personalities of people who work in the tech sector, I would say they are down-to-earth and friendly.
Additionally, when negotiating with Ukrainians, they tend to be more upfront about pricing and setting project expectations than their Indian counterparts, for example—from my experience so far. Many Ukrainian software development companies report receiving requests from clients who have moved on after a less-than-ideal experience with development firms from the sub-continent.
Ukrainian tech companies typically are more focused on establishing long-term relationships instead of trying to make a quick buck. There are countless examples of large companies that outsource software development to Ukraine long-term. Some of these business relationships have lasted for more than a decade because Ukrainians are honest and trustworthy. You will find R&D centers of global corporations like Ericsson, Samsung, Siemens, Magento, ABBYY, and Huawei here.
Ukrainians, especially in the west of the country, are increasingly interested and engaged in what is happening in more developed countries. Many of them used to travel to Central and Western Europe on holiday or to attend tech conferences.
Many of the outsourcing companies are incorporated and have sales offices and client relationship officers in countries like the USA or the UK. Therefore, if there are issues with a project, representatives can be met in person to work out a resolution.
Having spent time here, I note that there is a substantial difference in the mentality of people who grew up in the Soviet Union compared to those born after its collapse. This is particularly evident in the software industry, where the workforce, technologists, management, and executives are relatively young. They are also much more proactive and less socially conservative than their parent’s generation.
Because younger professionals run the vast majority of Ukraine-based software development companies there are no significant cultural barriers in communicating with Ukrainian developers.Click to tweet
Although younger Ukrainians have quickly become more open-minded, their communication skills and social competencies could be better developed than some of their western counterparts.
Overall, Ukrainians tend to be more introverted and humble, so they can seem reserved and distant. At the same time, developers in Ukraine are aware of their limits and abilities and are able to communicate and manage expectations during negotiations.
Having traveled to Belarus and Moldova, I can see that more sophisticated Ukrainians, often those involved in technology, think more independently. They do not just accept and adhere to stereotypes. They question what’s in the media and tend to apply critical thinking. These are very important characteristics to look for when selecting effective team members to extend your development team.
Soft and Technical Skills
Ukrainian developers have very strong skill sets in technology and problem-solving. Additionally, they are tech-savvy and up to date on recent innovations. In spite of this, Ukraine still offers more competitive outsourcing rates. Their project management skills are decent but less advanced than in the UK, for instance.
Below you can see the list of top tech skills and programming languages among Ukrainian developers:
- UX Design;
- Big data analytics;
- Web development;
- Mobile app development (Android and iOS);
In terms of soft skills, such as communication and strategic thinking, Ukrainian IT professionals don’t quite match their Western counterparts. However, in most cases, their skill levels are adequate for the job at hand, and if you need to hire more advanced staff to provide you with high-quality software development services, they can be sourced relatively easily from within Ukraine. Ukrainian developers often have advanced soft skills, which help them to be great team members.
Due to their location, Ukrainians do not completely understand Western business practices—but this is changing.
Hourly Rates of Ukrainian Developers
Software development companies in Ukraine charge intermediate prices of $48-$65/hour for their software developers—less than engineers from other eastern European countries. The highest rates are in Poland– $52-$99/hour, which are still lower than in Western Europe, but way higher compared to Moldova, which offers $36-$49/hour for outsourced software developers.
The average hourly rate on the YouTeam platform varies from $59/hour for developers with 3-4 years of experience and $90/hour for engineers with 7+ years of relevant experience. All of the programmers are thoroughly recruited by software firms that are hand-picked and pre-vetted before being included in our talent pool, so employers can expect high-quality results.
For example, a YouTeam Back-End/Full-Stack Ukrainian developer with four years of experience would cost you $65/hour.
A senior developer with five years of expertise in Front-End with the upper intermediate level of English will require $64 per hour. If you consider niche technologies like blockchain, the rates range from $55 to $106 per hour.
We’d like to mention that with the ongoing war in Ukraine, we encourage our clients to support the country and hire Ukrainians for their needs. Thus, the platform fee is waived for companies contracting developers from Ukraine while the war continues.
Software Companies in Ukraine
Ukraine has a large number of software development companies growing year over year. Here are some of the top companies we’re proud to partner with.
One of the largest providers of software engineering talent in Western Ukraine is Intellias. Since 2002, they’ve been helping to lead European and North American technology companies to create software products by assembling software development teams in Ukraine. Currently, Intellias has five offices with more than 200,00 Ukrainian developers.
- Andersen is another Ukrainian company with six development centers, more than 3,400+ technical specialists, and 57 quality-assurance experts with significant experience and knowledge. Its expertise in managing projects of various types allows for delivering innovative solutions for companies worldwide.
- Vakoms is a one-stop Ukrainian software engineering company offering a full range of solutions and services, including IT consulting and comprehensive product development. They are continually looking for talented and ambitious software engineers to join their team—which has completed more than 300+ projects.
- Aimprosoft is a Ukrainian software development company that has been opening the doors of its tech pool with a customer-oriented approach for over 18 years. They offer software development and customization services, consulting, and quality assurance for startups working on their MVP and for enterprises. The company has relocated its office to Western Ukraine (Ivano-Frankivsk) and several cities in the central part of Ukraine.
- Archer Software is a premier IT company partnering for success with the most dynamic and successful startups and enterprises in healthcare, the automotive industry, education, and social media. Currently, Archersoft is managing 45+ projects with the help of more than 180 Ukrainian developers.
YouTeam makes it easy and secure to find a perfectly matched and dedicated team of engineers for any type of project. We carefully hand-pick the best Ukrainian software development companies to make sure our clients are selecting from the best Ukrainian developers.