Eastern Europe is a globally recognized outsourcing oasis. Businesses around the world turn to the region's robust technology industry. Not only does it help them cut back on software development expenses but also access a variety of seasoned software engineers they need to grow their business using advanced technologies.
Without a doubt, the driving force behind the region's success is its developers. Constituting a significant part of many global teams, Eastern European developers have long since earned a reputation as reliable, skilled, and trustworthy IT professionals. In this post, we will focus on key aspects associated with developers from Eastern Europe, from their location and tech skills to English proficiency and tech education. If you plan to build your tech unit here, our post will help you complement your vision of the region's potential.
Software developers in Eastern Europe: Location
Eastern Europe entails ten countries, each of them having its own IT sector. However, some countries are seen as more beneficial pools to source Eastern European developers for North American and Western European businesses. These include Poland, Ukraine, Romania, Moldova, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Bulgaria. Overall, the number of developers in Eastern Europe is approximately 1 million. Here’s a country-by-country breakdown of all developers in this region:
- Poland: 300,000 developers
- Ukraine: 250,000 developers
- Czech Republic: 100,000 developers
- Hungary: 80,000 developers
- Bulgaria: 66, 000 developers
- Romania: 77,000 developers
- Moldova: 13,000 developers
Taking these numbers into account, we can say that the majority of Eastern European developers reside in Poland, with the Ukrainian talent pool being the runner-up in terms of the number of software developers in Eastern Europe.
Developers in Eastern Europe: Skills
- 368,000 SQL specialists
- 277,000 HTML developers
- 212,000 Java developers
- 170,000 Python developers
- 149,000 C++ developers
- 139,000 PHP developers
- 60,000 Android developers
- 42,000 DevOps engineers
- 40,000 iOS developers
- 33,000 Artificial Intelligence/Machine learning specialists
- 12,000 React Native developers
This shows that Eastern European developers do not shy away from using the most popular technologies outlined in StackOverflow’s 2021 report.
How skilled are Eastern European developers?
Eastern European developers have a reputation as the most skilled workforce according to many resources. Chances are you may use products not knowing Eastern European developers built them. For example, such products as Grammarly, Petcube, and Gitlab are products built with the brainpower of Ukrainian developers. Prezi is a product developed by a Hungarian company. To top it off, our teams at nCube contribute to Life360 and doTerra, which are world-known products as well.
Eastern European developers are invariable leaders in various rankings of the best developers in the world. In the SkillValue ranking, where developers around the world compete in programming tasks, Moldova, Romania, Ukraine, and Poland have entered into the top 10 countries with the most skilled developers globally.
Eastern Europe also boasts top-quality Python and C/C++ talent residing in countries such as Moldova, Ukraine, and Poland.
Global Skill Report 2022 by Coursera states that Ukraine and Poland have entered the top 10 countries in the world with cutting-edge technological competencies. Among the countries with the most qualified workforce are Poland, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Czech Republic, which are the countries where most Eastern European developers reside.
Finally, we should mention HackerRank's ranking of countries with the most skilled developers, which features Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Bulgaria, and Romania as countries with the best developers in the world.
Tech skills aren't a given – they are always the result of education. Each country we review puts a premium on a profound STEM education system.
In Poland, future tech specialists have an opportunity to study at over 500 universities, two of which are ranked high in the Top Universities ranking. In 2021, over 66,000 Polish students studied Computer Science.
Romanian universities across the country generate more than 7,000 IT graduates annually. Seven universities are included in the world's best Computer Science institutions.
In Hungary, about 3,000 IT students graduate annually on average. More than 70 institutions offer IT and Computer Science education, with 6 universities listed in the Top University Rankings.
More than 2,000 IT students join the job market after graduating from technical universities in Moldova.
Every year, nearly 2,200 IT specialists graduate from Bulgarian universities. Around 220 high schools in Bulgaria offer Information and communications technology curricula.
Ukraine has a strong tech education with more than 20,000 highly qualified Information Technologies graduates annually. Many of the 400+ educational institutions in the country offer IT-related disciplines.
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None of the reviewed countries have cracked the top 10 in the world’s ranking of countries and regions by English skills. On the bright side, Romania, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Bulgaria are among the 30 most skilled countries in the world when it comes to English proficiency. They belong to the pool of countries with solid English proficiency. Ukraine and Moldova are ranked 36th and 40th out of 112 countries, which signifies mid-level proficiency.
Poles belong to the category of the most fluent non-native speakers in Europe. Eastern European developers located in Moldova speak at least 2 to 3 languages at least, the most common being English, Russian, German and French. You can also find many Romanian developers who are proficient in many foreign languages, including English.
The population of Hungary is generally comfortable with the English language as well. Bulgarian students study English as a compulsory subject, contributing to the overall high English proficiency in the region.
Despite the overall moderate level of English nationwide, 81% of Ukrainian IT professionals maintain an intermediate and higher level of English.
Below are the biggest IT hubs where you can source software developers in Eastern Europe in order of the English proficiency you can come across, from highest to lowest, according to Statista:
- Budapest (Hungary)
- Warsaw (Poland)
- Bucharest (Romania)
- Sofia (Bulgaria)
- Prague (Czech Republic)
- Kyiv (Ukraine)
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As a company that builds teams of Eastern European developers offshore and nearshore for years, we can say that most IT professionals speak English confidently. There is rarely a communication gap between the outsourced team and the internal team, as developers have vast experience being part of international teams.
Everything we described above creates the following portrait of an Eastern European developer.
Location: You can access and source Eastern European developers in such countries as Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Moldova, Hungary, Bulgaria, and the Czech Republic. The largest hubs where software developers in Eastern Europe reside are Warsaw, Kyiv, Sofia, Budapest, Bucharest, and Prague.
Skills: Considering rankings and surveys conducted by reputable organizations, we can say that developers in Eastern Europe have proven to have equal or even better skill sets than developers based in other countries, including their North American and Western European counterparts.
Education: Eastern Europe has some of the best tech universities worldwide, generating thousands of IT graduates per year. Eastern European developers can also keep their skills sharp thanks to various programs of continuous learning.
English: Eastern European developers speak English on a decent level, sometimes despite the overall mediocre proficiency level prevailing in their country of residence. Most developers can even speak more than one foreign language.
We at nCube build teams of developers in Eastern Europe, contact us if you need to access this pool of tech talent.