5 February, 2020
If you are a CTO who already decided to outsource your software development, you may wonder where you can look for some top-notch developers. Among a variety of possibilities, there is one particular region of the world – Central and Eastern Europe (the CEE) with some outstanding software companies located in Poland. The article below is a 2020 outsourcing guide for all the CTOs who are yet to decide where to outsource their projects. So, let’s answer the questions: what can you expect when working with Polish software companies and where can you find the best ones?
Software development outsourcing
If you’re reading this – most probably you’re already familiar with all the basics of software development outsourcing. You know that it’s possible to offshore the development (i.e. to employ remote workers from distant countries like India) or to nearshore your project (to cooperate with developers from neighbouring countries). Basically, you can benefit from both, but recently it’s getting more and more popular to choose nearshoring. Why? Because, as Andrada Fiscutean puts it, people start to “focus more on cost-effectiveness and proximity, rather than just low cost”. So, let’s summarise the main differences between the CEE and South Asia – which are the two leading outsourcing destinations.
As you can see on the diagram above, there are almost no differences between the team composition and experience in both CEE and South Asia. Companies in both regions have the biggest numbers of developers available at your service and in both cases, those developers have approximately 20 years of experience.
In terms of industry specialisation – the differences are slightly more visible. Eastern Europe is highly specialised in sectors like fintech and banking. Keeping in mind that Europe is now the centre of the fintech revolution, it’s really not surprising. Therefore, if your company is into e-payments, mobile wallets, shared economy, real estate investment software and such, Central and Eastern Europe may be your perfect go-to place. On the other hand, South Asia is slightly more focused on health care and education.
Fast forward to the most important factor for you as the CTO – money. Even though you should remember that it’s extremely reckless to select a vendor based solely on price, it’s worth knowing why there are differences in average hourly rates.
Eastern Europe is one of the most expensive areas, with developers earning nearly twice as much as their Southern Asian colleagues. Why is it so? Well, one of the factors is that developers in Eastern Europe are so good that their clients can get a way better return on investment which means they are eager to pay more for a top-quality product.
Nonetheless, it may be really difficult for Eastern Europe to compete with lower costs regions such as South Asia. Reading through feedbacks on sites such as Clutch, you can notice that price tends to be one of the primary reasons for companies from the USA or the European Union to hire Asian teams. There are, however, some concerns over time-zone differences and communication issues as well as cultural differences. It’s about you to decide what’s the most important factor for yourself.
If not money, then what makes CTOs all over the world decide to choose a vendor from the CEE area? Let’s discuss it below.
Why to choose a software development company from the CEE
There are a few non-financial factors behind hiring software developers from Central and East Europe: high level of education, exceptional communication and work habits.
It’s about East European culture which puts a pretty high value on learning from early childhood up until university. And then there’s the legacy of Former Soviet Union (FSU) educational system which left many outstanding science educational programs available in this area. It helps producing fistful of excellent IT graduates every year. They are not only IT-focused people with exceptional problem-solving skills but also are proficient in English. All the reports, presented year by year by Education First (EF) make it clear: among the top 20 countries listed in the English Fluency Index, there is always a strong representation of Eastern European nations. As per data from 2019, Poland is ranked #11 with Croatia (#14), Hungary (#15), Romania (#16) and Serbia (#17) close behind. For you, as the CTO, it means that communication during the remote software development gets way, way easier.
Eastern European developers are also well-known for their straightforward communication and “no-nonsense” approach (real-life example coming up in a moment). As the CTO, you may be sure that you’ll get accurate responses for all the questions you may have before cooperation. Also, what may be surprising for some of you, developers from the CEE region will rather avoid misusing small talks on each occasion. They would rather go straight to business to make sure things will be done right and in a timely manner. Of course – it doesn’t mean they’re bossy or conceited. They’ll surely loosen up at some point but not until they’re sure that you’re happy with their work.
Not only are developers hard-working and well organised, but they also take care of work habits. Such issues as workplace etiquette, boldness in communication, the flexibility of process or organizational hierarchy are very important for developers from the CEE region. Tech-savvy team leaders know how to organise the perfect environment for agile development and developers themselves favor open and honest discussions with their bosses, often being able to challenge them to make sure all the potential risks would be avoided to meet the deadline.
These three factors are the most important, non-technical ones. So, knowing why companies are keen to outsource their software development to the CEE, let’s focus on the subject of the article – Poland.
Software companies in Poland
I’ll start with a pretty contrary thesis, borrowed from the article written by Steve Sydenham. “Outsourcing your IT to Poland will ruin your life”. Interesting, right? Well, it turns out that the article’s title is nothing but a clever joke. Steve describes a real-life scenario in which he decided to outsource a project to Poland and found out that it’s too good to be true – “the quality is too good” and the service is “too cheap for what it is”. But why is it so?
Below, I’ll try to explain why Polish software development companies are so desirable, basing on eight reasons why you should consider outsourcing your software development to Poland.
Strong work ethics
As mentioned above, Poles, as the other CEE developers, can be characterised as hard-working individuals with a “no-nonsense” approach. It was one of The Software House developers’ characteristics mentioned by Matthijs Piëst in the success story of WieBetaaltWat. Polish developers always strive for more, making sure to find the best solution even for the toughest problem and to meet the deadline.
Being the CTO, you probably know how crucial it is to know the economic situation of the potential partner. Poland looks like a perfect choice in terms of economics with stable GDP growth and low unemployment. What’s more, as we know from recent history, Poland seems not to be easily affected by any economic crisis.
Plenty of IT graduates
This is connected with the aforementioned legacy of the FSU education system which used to be highly focused on technical studies. There are 18 technical universities located in Poland with over 74 000 ICT students. It means plenty of specialists to work on your project development. If you also consider the fact that STEM education in Poland is generally believed to be at a very high level – you have yet another reason to hire Polish developers.
A very high English Proficiency Index
As I mentioned above, Poland is one of the most proficient countries in using the English language on a daily basis. Poles are considered to have a very high EF EPI index, which places them on 9th position in Europe and 11th in the world. It means that you may be sure that communicating with Polish developers won’t be a problem if you decide to outsource your software development to Poland. It’s worth adding that, because of the way that education in Poland works, most of the ICT graduates can also speak some other European languages like German, French, Spanish or Italian.
Location and time zone
Time zones and potential cultural gaps are among the most common concerns which appear when speaking about outsourcing. That’s why you, as the CTO, should rather look for a partner in a neighbouring time zone and in similar cultural circles. It can help you minimize the risk of misunderstanding. Performing research on the outsourcing destinations popular among the companies in your region may be helpful. As one of my colleagues wrote in one of his articles, Nordic companies have recently changed their attitude towards outsourcing. Instead of employing software houses from countries like India, they often choose to hire the closest neighbours in Central and Eastern Europe. One of these countries is Poland. Looking for a nearshore partner may help you avoid any inconvenience in setting in important conference calls with an outsourced partner. That’s why cooperation with Polish developers means flexibility that is almost impossible when thinking about, for example, Asian vendors.
Ever-growing, tech-savvy region
Poland is not only a place full of developers ready to take over your project and help you emerge your business. It’s also a real nest of innovative and successful tech startups that can compete on the Western European and American markets. Also, Poles are known for being opened to learn about new technologies and introducing all the newest tools, libraries and frameworks.
Top-quality software for a reasonable salary
Remember the article from above? The one about outsourcing to Poland being able to ruin your life? The author, Steve, mentioned that he was able to find a top-notch Polish software development company that was able to build a top-quality product for less money than his initial budget. As per the newest data, Polish developers earn an average salary of 2800$ per month. It’s almost twice less than their fellow developers from the UK or pretty much any other Western European country. Contracting a top-performing Polish outsourcing company can turn out surprisingly cheap in comparison to IT companies from the other parts of Europe or the USA.
Data protection compliance
Poland, being a member of the European Union is obliged to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Software development companies in Poland must be up to date with all the requirements regarding data privacy and personal data processing. That’s why being compliant with all the regulations and legislations is not a problem for Polish developers.
Now you know the most important reasons why you should hire a Polish development company when planning to outsource your software development. So, let’s answer the final question…
Where to find the best software development companies in Poland?
In one of my articles about how to avoid the risks of software development outsourcing, I’ve pointed out the threat of low quality of the product to be especially important. You may think that there are so many software development companies that it’s really difficult to choose the one which offers the best quality. Well, that used to be true years ago, however, it has changed lately.
Nowadays, you can read through the actual client reviews on review aggregators like Clutch. This way, you can check whether the company is using the newest technologies and quality management standards. There are over 1300 software development companies in Poland (as per the aforementioned Clutch) and for you, as the CTO, choosing the proper tech partner shall be based on a few factors. The most important ones are vendor’s experience, service quality and its price. The key to success for you and your project is to perform thorough research, contact the selected vendor and agree all the details about future cooperation.
At The Software House, we offer free consultations and initial estimation of the project (describing the team composition, timeline and the approximate cost). Also, you can expect a free-of-charge code review if you have an existing system which you’d like to refurbish.
Having any more questions about software development outsourcing? I’ll highly recommend reading our free e-book, “Developing your software abroad”. You’ll find there some additional insights, thorough analysis and other useful content about software development outsourcing. If any more questions appear after reading the e-book – feel free to contact us. We’ll be more than happy to discuss your ideas and any concerns you may have.