Remote work and further globalization have made outsourcing a standard practice in the IT industry. If you can work the same way but with a broader tool – why not do so?
Ukraine has become an attractive option for outsourcing in recent years. You can find experts for every technology or role there, with an impressive background in different projects. One can also expect dedication and adaptive thinking from IT experts.
All of these combined turn Ukraine into a top destination for outsourcing. Learn more about the Ukrainian IT market, why hiring software developers in Ukraine is a great decision, and how outsourcing changed because of the war. We will also provide helpful tips on how to hire Ukrainian software developers and what rates to expect.
Software Development Market in Ukraine: Stats and Facts
The IT industry in Ukraine was growing rapidly, and in February 2022, it reached $839 million which is the highest monthly indicator of export in the history of the Ukrainian IT market. It was 43% more than in that period last year.
In 2021, the country had 285,000 IT specialists, and more than 80,000 students applied to the majors “Computer Science” and “Software Engineering”. It is the second-largest talent pool in the CEE region according to Daxx, it comes right after Poland. The same report states that Ukraine hit 11th place on the list of top offshore software development countries in the world and Kyiv, its capital, was the best city for the startup ecosystem, alongside London, Berlin, Amsterdam, etc.
After the full-scale war started, the market did not change much: in March 2022, Ukraine managed to keep 96% of its computer service exports compared to the previous year.
Ukrainian Software Developer Rates
In 2021, the average hourly rate of Ukrainian developers was $30-60. This data was pulled together by Daxx from such resources as UpWork, Accelerance, Glassdoor, and SourceSeek.
It is one of the broadest branches in the CEE region, meaning that you can find developers, at any rate, it mainly depends on their previous experience. Compared to the starting point in the region, Ukraine has the lowest hourly rate but if we consider the peak rate, Ukraine scores third, right after Poland and Croatia.
Why Hire Ukrainian Developers: Top 10 Reasons
Ukraine has a lot to offer in terms of software developers: from an extensive talent pool to great English proficiency. We have collected the top-10 benefits of outsourcing software development in Ukraine.
#1 Impressive Talent Pool
Since the job in IT is a profitable and a prestigious one, more and more people turn to it. Especially now, when outsourcing does not depend much on the situation in Ukraine and allows developers to earn as much as they used to and donate to the army.
#2 Affordable Cost of Hiring Developers in Ukraine
The CEE region has lower rates than Western Europe or the US due to lower living costs. Compared to the other countries in Central and Eastern Europe, Ukraine has one of the widest branches, with the starting point being the lowest.
Overall, Ukraine offers one of the best cost/value ratios. Even though their rates are lower than what you are used to in the West, the quality of their work is on the same level.
#3 Convenient Time Zone
The time zone in Ukraine is UTC+2 (EET) which is a perfect choice for nearshore development, meaning Europe. It is just one hour ahead of the CET so you can enjoy truly seamless collaboration.
It is a bit different for the US though. The difference is about 7-10 hours. However, you can still work around that: you can meet up at the beginning of your workday and the end of the Ukrainian one and discuss what has been done today.
#4 High Levels of English Proficiency
In Ukraine, children start learning English in the second grade of school, some choose to pass the English exam to get into the university for an IT major. Most future developers start to learn English privately as well since they know how many useful resources are available in that language.
English proficiency is also a must if you want to work for an international company, your knowledge is checked during the interview. Major outsourcing companies in Ukraine even offer additional language-learning resources: they have either English teachers in-house or contracts with local language schools. As a result, 85% of IT specialists have an intermediate or upper-intermediate level of English.
#5 High-Class Education
Every year, 36,000 Ukrainian students graduate from the university with IT-related diplomas. However, it is not only official institutions that teach great skills: there are numerous IT schools with amazing reputations and modernized courses. They are oftentimes based on big IT companies with extensive experience that is being passed to the students. These include Genesis IT School, Projector Institute, Beetroot Academy, etc.
#6 Adherence to Western Standards
It is true that some processes in Ukraine may seem a little bit old-fashioned but the IT industry is extremely modernized. Since the majority of Ukrainian software developers work in outsourcing companies, they adopted all the Western working practices.
As a result, they are dedicated to the projects and their teams and know how to work independently, rather than follow a strict hierarchy. They communicate their ideas or problems without hesitation too. So when you hire a full-time developer in Ukraine, you may not be afraid of the cultural differences, in the working practices at least.
#7 Fast Onboarding Process
As we have mentioned, the majority of Ukrainians work in outsourcing companies. It means that they change projects often and learn how to adapt to new teams and new circumstances faster. They already know what questions to ask to get around the new workspace and projects faster. Tech professionals have also worked with the majority of communication tools and tried different communication models with different cultures and time zones.
#8 Extensive Industry-Specific Experience
Since outsourced Ukrainian developers have changed many projects, they worked with different industries. As a result, they know typical problems for different kinds of industries and, consequently, can draw solutions from their previous experience.
#9 Lots of Creative Thinkers
Ukrainians are known for their creative thinking. They know how to find a new perspective on the problem and how to use regular tools in an unusual way that can save you time and money. They have a great feeling of personal responsibility for the project and, therefore, want to deliver the best results on time.
#10 Regular Schedules
Ukrainians work five days a week, eight hours per day which is similar to most Western countries. The schedule varies from company to company, with some working strictly from 8 am till 6 pm and some offering flexible schedules from 8-11 am till 6-9 pm. In Ukraine, there are no more than 13 public holidays per year and 24 days of paid vacation. Keep reading to learn what are the risks of hiring software development team in Ukraine.
What Are the Possible Risks of Outsourcing to Ukraine?
Outsourcing has risks in any country but its scale and nature vary. Here are three aspects you should consider before outsourcing software development to Ukraine.
Time Zone Differences
It is extremely important for some companies to stay in touch with the development team at all times. They often have emergency meetings or just like to watch over how the working time is spent. If your working ethics are like that and you are outside Europe, it may be difficult for you to outsource to Ukraine due to time zone differences.
However, most Ukrainian outsourcing software development companies solve this problem by having their developers work in adherence to the client’s timezone. Moreover, most outsourcing vendors are very flexible in their policies and always do their best to meet clients’ needs to the fullest extent.
Ukraine Is A Non-EU Country
Ukrainian legislation and payment processes are quite different from European ones. It shows money transfers, taxation, and data protection. Money transfers usually include currency problems like double conversion or hidden conversion fees. You have to calculate everything right to transfer the sum that you have promised.
The taxation system is different too, considering that Ukraine has private entrepreneur status. You have to know how to sign this kind of contract and make sure that everything is legal and there are no black letter payments.
Although you should keep in mind the fact that Ukraine is a non-EU country, it should not be an obstacle to your cooperation with Ukrainian vendors. Local companies always have a team of highly-qualified international legal councils who are well aware of all legal regulations. Thus, you will be provided with a good-structured NDA and all needed legal support.
Unstable Political Situation
The war has been raging in the East of Ukraine for 8 years but has now turned into a full-scale invasion, with the East and South being temporarily occupied for now. It may influence the developer’s ability to work and have access to the Internet connection. The country’s economy may be unstable too, especially when it comes to currency fluctuations.
This challenge is also being successfully solved by most of the Ukrainian outsourcing vendors as they relocate their employees and their families abroad. Moreover, by working with Ukrainian companies you support the local economy and make your contribution to establishing peace in Europe.
How to Find Programmers in Ukraine?
If you are ready to face the challenges for the sake of a good value/cost ratio, here is how you can find software developers in Ukraine.
Find the Right Vendor
You can work with freelancers but it is more difficult in terms of legal documents, developer engagement, and security. Therefore, it is better to find a reliable local recruitment agency that can find a fully dedicated software development team in no time. They will pre-select developers for you, according to your needs, as well as check their coding and English proficiency in advance.
You can ask around your colleagues for recommendations. You can also surf the Internet: every company has a website and a team you can contact for more details. Pay special attention to when the company was founded, what kind of services they offer, its rating on different platforms, and whether they have guarantees. You can also ask their previous clients about their experience with the vendor.
List Your Requirements
After you find the perfect vendor, you have to be prepared for the first meeting with them. They will usually ask about what kind of developers you need, what technologies you will use in the projects, and what kind of software you want to develop. You can also list your expectations in terms of team size, working ethics, and English proficiency levels.
Choose Candidates and Conduct Interviews
The recruiter will send you a couple of CVs to choose from. You can also ask them to provide any additional information you may need. However, it is easier to choose an employee during the interview rounds. You can discuss in advance how many interviews you want to have and with who, and how many stages you need to select the right team. Make sure to inform the recruiter about who will interview the candidates.
After the interviews, it is important to share your feedback with the recruiter. You can inform them about how well the candidates met your criteria and what other skills you expect from them.
Sign the Contract
After you shortlist all the candidates, you can go ahead and sign a contract. Make sure to read all the clauses and ask in advance about any extra costs, payment options, their legitimacy, etc.
Where to Look For Software Developers in Ukraine?
Ukraine has several prospective development hubs. They are situated in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Lviv, Dnipro, Odessa, Zaporizhya, and Vinnitsa. The first three ones host the most developers.
However, after the war started, many businesses had to relocate to the West of Ukraine. Such cities as Kharkiv, Zaporizhya, and Odesa have noticed the most transfers. As a result, the majority of developers are in Lviv, Uzhhorod, Chernivtsi, and Ivano-Frankivsk. It is safer to work with these cities as the frontline is very far away from them. Kyiv has no close frontline as well.
What Will Change With the Hiring Developers Due to the War in Ukraine?
The war has changed a lot of industries in Ukraine but the IT industry is one of the most stable in the country. This stability is also encouraged by the government since it supports the country’s economy and the Armed Forces specifically: the tech professionals have already given away UAH 806 million for charity.
Companies have managed to maintain most of their workers and contracts. On average, only 3% of the IT experts have joined the Armed Forces. More than 52% of vendors kept 100% of their contracts, 32% of companies – 90-99% of contracts, and only 16% lost 10% or more clients.
More than half of companies even expect growth this year by 5-30%, others just expect to stay at the same level, and only 3% expect a drop of 50% or more.
So the IT companies stay and expect to grow and open new offices soon. It is recommended, however, to cooperate with businesses that are further away from the frontline and those who have relocated to other countries.
Our Experience in Outsourcing Software Development to Ukraine
Uvik has been helping businesses to outsource to Ukraine since 2015 and already has more than 50 professionals on the team.
We completed one of the projects with the US company Vantage Point. They are a B2B cybersecurity platform and they were looking for 2 Python/Pyramid developers. We have managed to find and agree on the professionals within two weeks. The company is satisfied with the cooperation. They expressed their surprise by how Ukrainian developers managed to follow the strict timeline and never dropped the quality of work.
The other recent project we had was with Drakontas. They were developing a collaboration software with a high level of data security and were looking for a big team: 4 Python developers, 2 React developers and a DevOps engineer. We managed to find the right professionals and the company is extremely satisfied. They say that Ukrainian developers are very self-sufficient and do not need anyone to oversee them. So the time zone difference between Ukraine and the US was not a problem at all.
Ukrainian IT professionals are dedicated, hard-working, and self-sufficient. You can expect remarkable tech knowledge and high levels of English proficiency due to the great tech education in Ukraine. The majority of the developers have a lot of experience in working on outsourcing projects and, consequently, international cooperation. All of these factors make Ukraine an attractive outsourcing destination.
Even though there is a war in the country, the industry continues to work and shows not only stability but growth. As long as you choose vendors from the West of Ukraine, Kyiv, or areas of relocation, you can expect the same level of cooperation as in other CEE regions.