Who Are the Software Developers You Can Hire in Ukraine and Why They Can Be a Terrific Fit for Your Project
The world is full of talented folks. There are many good offshore software developers and providers in its different parts: Eastern Europe, South-East Asia, Latin America, and, probably, elsewhere. Really famous and universally known apps originate from locations, scattered around the planet and thousands of miles apart.
Paradoxically, skilled software developers are many, but they are, still, frequently, in short supply in the more well-known, money-soaked IT hubs due to the skyrocketing demand for their services there. The situation in these areas is further aggravated by the significantly higher standard of living and availability of other well-paid engineering jobs that can be a greater lure to young technical talent: a software developer is not an easy lot.
In this sense, what has, over the last couple of decades, become known as offshore software development is both a necessity and a great way for startups and smaller IT players to avoid hiring local mediocrity, spurned by better-heeled competitors and global corporations. If you throw the potential cost savings into the bargain (in the case of Ukraine, they can constitute up to 50% of your total development spend), one will be faced with an option he can barely afford not to explore.
The popularity of Ukraine, as a software outsourcing destination, has been on the rise for a very long time now despite it having several worthy Eastern-European and other competitors. According to the IT Ukraine Association, Ukrainian IT exports grew by 26% in 2019 to reach a formidable US$ 5 billion. Moreover, this figure is predicted to reach US$ 5.4 billion in 2020. Today, one can say with confidence that Ukraine is massively popular as a software outsourcing destination and its IT industry is continuing to show a truly staggering growth rate.
Certainly, this means that Ukrainian software developers are increasingly in demand internationally and have great development skills. The same is confirmed by a whole lot of other facts and statistics on the websites of local IT firms and professional associations sport.
In particular, these facts and statistics include the number of software outfits, presently operating in Ukraine (an estimated total of 3000 and counting), scores of R&D centers of globally leading Western and other firms (Google, Nextiva, SimCorp, Samsung, Huawei, Wargaming, Siemens, Ericsson to name but a few), impressive total number of Ukrainian IT professionals (according to IT Ukraine, around 220,000 in 2020), the fact that the country boasts the 4th largest number of certified software developers globally (according to the Ukrainian Hi-Tech Initiative), and lots more.
While all the above is, certainly, evidence of Ukraine being a recognized player on the international software development outsourcing market, you, as a client, are unlikely to be in need of employing scores of thousands of software developers. Just like it is unlikely that just another big IT name coming to Ukraine can, actually, spur you into developing your product here (unless, perhaps, you are a major IT corporation or industrial giant too). What would, probably, matter a lot more is how the skills, personalities, mentality, attitudes, and ways of the people behind the stats sync with your ways, business practices, and business goals and can help you reach the latter.
Therefore, are there any professional and other qualities Ukrainian developers have that can promote the success of your software development project?
Engineering and Creative Mentality
While in many contexts the terms "developer" and "software engineer" are completely interchangeable, some developers get referred to as "coders", while true software engineers never do. One of Ukraine's principal advantages is that the vast majority of Ukrainian software developers are software engineers who have inherited the nation's long-standing technical culture. They think, act, approach technical tasks and handle them as engineers, and not coders.
If you are a technologist, in charge of implementing a software development project, you may find this to be both supportive and a source of great technical insights. Also, while working with good Ukrainian software developers, you wouldn't, probably, have to be personally tending to the different aspects of your development process the whole time.
If you are a business stakeholder or an IT entrepreneur, you can, as a rule, count on being guided through the different possible technology and implementation scenarios in order to be able to pick the one that fits your app's purposes best: one of the undeniable traits of the majority of Ukrainian developers is their ever-present desire to make things more optimal.
Being Flexible, But Not Afraid to Voice an Opinion
It is human to err and, just like anyone else, you, as a client, can be in error too. It is very important that somebody knowledgeable enough steer you in matters with which you may not be acquainted all too well.
Ukrainian IT providers and their developers don't try to please the client at any cost. Yes, they are, as a rule, very flexible, amenable and cooperative, but they are also very much result-focused. This means that they don't, normally, hesitate to tell you, if they think your vision is incorrect, why they believe so, and what would, in their reckoning, be a better thing to do.
It is then up to you whether to defer to their advice or not. But, in any case, under this approach, the odds of you making a costly technical mistake are reduced quite significantly.
Being Well-Educated and Avid Learners
Ukraine is not one of those software outsourcing locations, whose talent pools include a significant percentage of programmers without a relevant university education.
While there are several well-known vocational schools that offer IT training courses, the average Ukrainian software developer holds a BA, or, a lot more often, an MA degree in a relevant technical field from one of the nation's numerous technical universities. Such technical fields can include Software Engineering, Software Systems and Applications, System Engineering, Artificial Intelligence Systems, and others. Talking of examples, most of our software developers, business analysts, and QA engineers hold an MA degree from such traditionally well-known domestic technical schools, as Zhukovsky Kharkiv National Aerospace University, Kharkiv National University of Radio and Electronics, and Kharkiv National Polytechnic University.
However, what can be of no less importance is that Ukrainian IT graduates have ample opportunity to further hone the IT skills they already have and acquire new ones. What should, currently, be several dozen well-established private IT schools for programmers (Lviv IT School, Hillel IT School, Source IT, - just to give a few examples) offer a variety of IT programming, AI, Data Science and DevOps courses, taught by IT experts with relevant practical experience.
Despite their rapidly growing number, most Ukrainian IT schools are very popular indeed, just like are a diverse multitude of IT events, held, mostly, at specialized IT venues, strewn nationwide. That is why, while dealing with Ukrainian developers, you are, most probably, dealing with people who do computer programming for a living not only (and not so much) because of the wages that are, incidentally, significantly higher than in all (or almost all) other branches of Ukraine's economy. For most, programming is both a job and a kind of a hobby, and, as you know, most great things in the world are built by professionally qualified enthusiasts.
Ukrainian software development companies do their best to help young software engineers grow professionally. Just like many other Ukrainian IT companies that offer internships, we do our bit by offering a Java internship to talented IT students and graduates. What we can observe while working with our interns is a great desire to learn, acquire new skills, and make a contribution to the IT field.
Fluency in English
English is not one of the languages, spoken in Ukraine natively. However, there are many people who are fluent in English. The Ukrainian IT industry is no exception. It employs a number of fluent English speakers, many of whom work in Project Management Development Management, Sales Management, Marketing, and other roles.
As far as Ukrainian software engineers are concerned, many are fluent in English too, while most others have a grasp of English, sufficient for successfully taking part in projects for English-speaking clients. It is also worth mentioning that almost every Ukrainian software development company, engaged in offshore software development, offers free in-house English courses. These courses are, usually, hugely popular with both Ukrainian developers and other IT experts these companies employ.
While, certainly, English is not a mother tongue for most Ukrainian software developers, they, may, oftentimes, have an advantage due to their easily understandable English accent. Talking to someone with a clear foreign accent, can, often, be preferable to talking to someone who speaks the language natively, but with an accent, you have trouble understanding, - just imagine this happening at every Scrum meeting.
Ukraine may not be the cheapest software outsourcing option. However, it is, definitely, a software development location with one of the best value-for-money ratios out there. This means that if you want to hire a solidly educated and skilled software developer who meets all your requirements (including the quality of the code) and still be able to save a significant amount in development costs, Ukraine is a great choice. All you need to do is to find a good software provider in Ukraine.
In any event, most assuredly, you will pay a whole lot less if at present you develop your software in North America, Western Europe, Australia, or Israel. Judge for yourself: hiring a middle software developer at a software provider in Kharkiv, Ukraine, will cost you as little as $3700 - $5500 a month, while to hire a person with roughly the same qualifications in the US you will have to shell out $7800 - $10500.
Thus, if you hire developers in Ukraine, you will surely be able to save yourself a fortune as compared with any in-house options.
What of Ukraine vs other, similar outsourcing locations?
Generally speaking, the software development rates in Ukraine and most of the neighboring countries, known as software outsourcing destinations, are roughly the same. Thus, if you are thinking of software outsourcing, Ukraine can be reckoned to be a happy medium in terms of software quality and the costs involved.