As a company whose bread and butter is building remote teams, we can say that when you hire Ukrainian software developers, you’ll find more common ground than it may seem at first. The cases of our successful collaboration with companies worldwide prove this point, as well as the fact that Ukraine is a hot spot for outsourcing.
Running a remote team can be challenging, because as it happens with all remote collaborations, many barriers can come into play, including physical distance, as well as language and cultural differences. Сommon concerns range from “How do I handle a time zone difference?” to “How do I make sure we understand each other as we speak different languages?”
In this article, we will shed light on the positive aspects of working with Ukrainian teams that are either not obvious at first glance or that are often misunderstood. Let’s dive in.
Ukrainians are mostly bilingual with Ukrainian and Russian as the two most used languages. When it comes to foreign languages, Ukrainians emphasize the importance of English as the lingua franca of international communication. Most students learn English as a second language, starting from pre-school and all the way through school and university.
It means that when you hire Ukrainian developers, you’ll work with specialists who speak English at a decent level. Nearly 80% of IT specialists have mastered the language at a B2 level, which is recognized as “confident” by international standards. Moreover, good spoken and written English is a critical requirement for landing a job at an IT company.
With this in mind, there’s no considerable language barrier between Ukrainian IT specialists and their English-speaking counterparts. At worst, you can run into contextual misunderstandings that typically happen with second-language speakers. You can easily overcome this by backing up spoken communication in writing and reiterating essential things to ensure you’re understood.
While Ukraine is perfectly suited for nearshoring with a few hours difference with European countries, for US and Canadian teams, it seems that it may be hard to find ideal communication windows, but in actuality, Ukraine tends to be in the middle of most time zones, so there is always a way to find overlapping coverage.
Typically, time difference is perceived as a negative when it comes to working in a distributed environment. Yet there’s a positive side to the time zone difference that may not seem obvious. Running teams separated by a 7-12-hour difference provides you significant coverage. In a 24-hour timeline, two teams will work in your project, 8 hours each. This way, you get 16 hours of work on your project per day. If you’re located in the Bay Area, by the time you’ve had your morning coffee, your Ukrainian team will have daily progress to report and your local team will get started based on it.
Of course, it can be a chore to coordinate both teams’ schedules and find ideal cross-hour windows for meetings. There’s a wealth of tools that help distributed teams manage time zone differences, including the good old Calendar that helps everyone stay on top of each other’s schedules. In some scenarios, Ukrainian teams can shift their schedule and start their working day a few hours later to get more cross-over hours with your team.
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When it comes to culture, Ukrainians are unencumbered by deeply ingrained behavior patterns like siesta or the strict social hierarchy pertaining to Eastern countries. As a nation, Ukrainians are closer to Western Europe, both mentally and geographically. Located on the crossroad of European and Eastern civilizations, Ukrainians are known as open-minded people who quickly adapt to other cultures. That being said, let’s have a look at what qualities you can expect when you hire software developers Ukraine.
Open communication. In Eastern cultures, asking your boss anything or questioning their decision is taboo. This statement doesn’t hold true for Ukrainian developers. In Ukraine, many teams follow the American way, where you can ask your manager anything, receive and offer feedback freely.
Ukrainians are honest in their opinions. They won’t just say things you want to hear or try to butter you up with promises just to make you happy. The communication you’ll find here is based on truth, even if it’s harsh. Embracing this communication style can help you avoid risks associated with false promises, as people here will be honest with you right off the bat.
Outspokenness. Ukrainians are more direct than their Western counterparts, which sometimes is mistaken for rudeness. Compared to Americans/Western Europeans who value formal courtesy, Ukrainians often can’t understand the importance of small talk as an “ice breaker,” as it isn’t typical for Ukrainian culture. A classic example here is the “how are you” question that can send the best of Ukrainians into confusion. If they had a bad day, they are most likely to tell you about it. That’s an example of brutal honesty that comes with open communication.
Modesty. Interviewing Ukrainian developers, their modest nature may take you by surprise. It’s true that many Ukrainian professionals, even the most experienced ones, often don’t come off as charismatic. Don’t rush to judge at the face value though. Even if a candidate looks reserved and modest, the problem probably isn’t with their lack of confidence but with the lack of self-promotion skills. The reluctance to stand out from the crowd is a quality inherited by many from the Soviet times, and it still persists in our society.
Flexibility. Generally speaking, Ukrainians are sticklers to rules and process, but at the same time, Ukrainian developers are also inquisitive and prone to searching for out-of-the-box solutions. They are flexible enough to offer a solution that’s not on the surface. Thus, if you’re looking for a source of fresh ideas, you can rely on the problem-solving mindset of Ukrainian developers.
Perfectionism. Ukrainian developers are known for high standards of work and bringing everything to perfection, as they genuinely root for the project’s success. We can even go as far as saying that the Ukrainian IT industry wouldn’t be what it is today without the strong work ethic that engineers in Ukraine possess. The perfectionism can be explained by the fact that most Ukrainian IT companies clone the culture, methodology, and communication patterns of European, US and Canadian companies, as they partner with Western companies to build an extension of their local units.
READ ALSO: Fall in Love With Outsourcing to Ukraine
Strong education and rich technical expertise. The success of Ukrainian developers in the global IT scene stems from a robust education system with a strong focus on STEM. The majority of Ukrainian developers have one or several degrees in Computer Science or related fields. Moreover, the popularity of IT education is currently in bloom, resulting in a larger pool of talented graduates entering the IT workforce.
Solid command of the English language. The majority of Ukrainian developers possess full-working English proficiency, which means they have adequate writing and speaking skills to work in an international environment.
Adherence to the best practices of software development. Ukrainian developers play strong when it comes to providing high-quality software. With years of exposure to varied projects and collaboration with global teams, many IT specialists have gained valuable experience and have a strong grasp of industry standards. Besides that, Ukrainian developers tend to keep their skills sharp by staying updated with recent industry trends by taking part in IT workshops and conferences, for example, a well-known IT Arena.
Well-deserved reputation. Ukrainian developers stand out in the global outsourcing scene for their proven high levels of professionalism, and reliability. They boast strong work ethics, dedication, and commitment to delivering high-quality work, which contributes to the overall success of the projects they work on.
To sum up, below is a shortlist that will hopefully help you realize the positive aspects of hiring developers in Ukraine.
If you have any questions about hiring a remote development team of Ukrainian developers, let’s talk.
Despite the challenges of the ongoing full-scale war, the IT sector in Ukraine remains resilient, with many global companies continuing to operate within the country and hiring Ukrainian developers. The industry continues to make a significant impact on the Ukrainian economy, solidifying its status as the most profitable industry during wartime.
Between 2021 and 2023, the number of programmers in Ukraine reached an impressive figure of 270,000. This is the second-largest pool of tech talent in Eastern Europe, exceeded only by Poland. If you want to weave Ukrainian programmers into your organization, it’ll be helpful to learn about the ways you can source the best-in-class developers in Ukraine. As a company that augments European and North American companies with programmers in Ukraine, we thought it’d be a good idea to share some bits of advice to help you tap into the pool of developers in Ukraine.
We may admittedly be a bit biased here, but we believe that the best way to source programmers in Ukraine is through a staff augmentation firm like nCube. As experts in this model, we can say that staff augmentation allows the client to reap all the benefits of working with programmers in Ukraine. The key benefit of this model is that you won’t have to go through the trouble of the recruitment process, as the firm will take care of providing candidates. Moreover, the model assumes direct access to all programmers on your team. An approach like this puts you in the driver’s seat in terms of the software development process and team management. As a result of such collaboration, you’ll always know what you’ll receive and when, which lends itself to predictable results and transparency.
So how do you hire a programmer in Ukraine? To give you an idea, we will reveal several channels that our specialists dive into when helping our clients hire a programmer in Ukraine.
Local job searching resources
Many programmers in Ukraine create groups in social media messengers, such as Facebook and Telegram, to communicate and seek professional advice. Typically these groups are invite-only, but we can pull some strings, as our managers are acquainted with many developers who can match us up with the right kind of specialists. This helps us a lot when our clients have a request for a developer in Ukraine with a rare set of skills.
LinkedIn (Ukraine region)
LinkedIn is a common way to source a programmer in Ukraine. Our managers post vacancies for programmers regularly, duplicating them on our Careers page that you can check out and see for yourself that we are actively hiring developers in Ukraine for global organizations. As of November 2021, 90,000 members identify themselves as “developers in Ukraine,” which makes it a valuable source for backfilling vacancies. However, relying solely on LinkedIn may not be the best strategy, as the competition is fierce in this channel.
Conferences and events
Programmers in Ukraine like to get together to share ideas and engineering practices they harbored on their career paths. We at nCube go over the lists of upcoming tech events and organize visits in the hopes of establishing connections with domain experts and senior-level specialists who are mainly among key speakers. Moreover, such events are great sources of solid programmers in Ukraine.
Since we have the needed expertise, we want to shed light on the key things we pay attention to when helping our clients hire developers in Ukraine.
We prioritize candidates with a STEM degree
Although Ukraine has plenty of educational opportunities, both formal and informal, we believe that a pro developer should undergo formal training. In fact, 95% of developers at nCube have a university degree in one of the tech disciplines. In general, 80% of programmers in Ukraine hold a STEM degree. The local educational system yields up to 35,000 tech graduates per year, so hiring a developer in Ukraine with a strong educational background has become easier than ever.
We only target English-speaking programmers in Ukraine
The language barrier can factor in your processes when you’re working with developers from non-English speaking countries. We do our best to ensure that it doesn’t become a hindrance when it comes to communication. With that in mind, we test each candidate to make sure they can read, write and speak English adequately. English is the lingua franca of the IT sector in Ukraine, with 80% of programmers in Ukraine maintaining an Upper-Intermediate English proficiency level.
We look beyond CVs
Portfolios and CVs of programmers in Ukraine will tell you no more than the names of the projects they have worked on in the past. If you want to really evaluate the skills of developers in Ukraine you want to hire, it’s best to dive into other resources as well, such as GitHub or Stack Overflow profiles or any other code repositories. Thus, we always ask candidates to tell us about apps/websites they have worked on to better evaluate a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses.
The hiring decision is always yours
We believe that the client should know who they are going to work with. Moreover, we provide each client with direct access to each team member who will work under your leadership and report to you. That way, we contribute to the transparency of collaboration, ensuring a predictable outcome.
We prescreen all candidates for soft skills and culture fit
We believe that communication, teamwork, and problem-solving matter most in your collaboration with programmers in Ukraine. Here’re several signs that a developer from Ukraine is likely a good fit for your organization:
Additionally, we always ask clients to share their vision of the ideal candidate so they lose no time speaking with irrelevant candidates.
With over a decade of experience in building tech teams in Ukraine (and other countries in Central and Eastern Europe), we can attest that our clients are extremely satisfied when hiring a Ukrainian development team. There are several reasons why companies worldwide choose to hire developers in Ukraine. To understand what kind of talent you can source here, let’s review several key characteristics of Ukrainian programmers.
A diverse skillset
Ukrainian programmers also provide a wide range of services thanks to their extensive expertise – from web and mobile development, UI/UX design, and quality assurance (QA) services to game design & development, project management, analytics, research and development (R&D), IT consulting, and more.
IT is all the rage among graduates in Ukraine, capturing the attention and interest of many aspiring professionals. Ukraine provides solid STEM education, with universities churning out up to 20,000 IT graduates each year. Ukrainian students typically engage in part-time employment to gain valuable experience in the industry. As a result, when you hire developers in Ukraine, you will work with professionals who have gained commercial experience in software development, even if they are at a junior level.
Ukrainian programmers are appreciated for their excellent communication. Most specialists have years of experience interacting in an English-speaking environment, being a part of North American and Western European companies. When it comes to English proficiency, most Ukrainian programmers are strong English speakers, with Upper-Intermediate or Advanced levels.
Suitable time zone alignment
If you’re based in North America and plan to hire a Ukrainian development team, you can be sure that Ukrainian programmers will be flexible to adapt their work processes for uninterrupted workflow across time zones. By the time your US team calls it a day, your Ukrainian programmers will start working, bringing you the benefit of two teams delivering results in a 24-hour timeline. When it comes to European countries, hiring Ukrainian developers is a suitable solution for flawless nearshoring thanks to the 1-2 hour time difference.
Ukrainian programmers can be a valuable addition to your team both as team players and as independent contributors. When you hire Ukrainian developers, you can be sure they will handle the most challenging tasks in tight collaboration with your core team. That way, you will get remote employees who will be deeply invested in your project and treat them as their own. They are not afraid to take personal ownership and measure their success by the success of the project. When you hire a Ukrainian development team with such a level of commitment, you can be sure that it will go the extra mile to deliver exceptional results.
If you have a project you need to bring up to speed and you are looking for a programmer in Ukraine, we are ready to step in and help you source high-quality specialists in line with your requirements. We always aim to build teams of developers in Ukraine you’ll work with for as long as you need. Contact us and let’s discuss your needs.