Why Poland Is A Top Destination To Find Developers
Lead Generation Specialist
Tech Leaders Corner
Why Poland is a top destination to find developers
2021 saw tech investments total €792 million, doubling 2019 and 2020 combined
Agile methodology is a standard for software development, and Poles are a leader in using Scrum
Poland annually produces around 15,000 Computer Science graduates per year – in comparison, the US which is 10x larger produces around 65,000 per year
Poland ranks #3 all-time in IOI
The talent pool in Poland consists of almost 300,000 developers, top in the CEE
High-value services in Poland are at a comparably lower cost than what is expected in Western Europe and North America
What is the work culture like in Poland?
Poland has seen rapid development since joining the EU and can’t really be distinguished from other countries in Europe. Consumer banking is convenient, highlighted with companies such as Blik allowing payments and money transfers using a simple one-time use numerical code. The company saw total transactions reach 763 million last year and started Q1 of 2022 with 250 million transactions totalling $7.5 billion. The payment system has over 10 million active users, over 1/4of Poland’s population.
The accelerated adoption of tech solutions for everyday life and government interactions has also seen companies appify everything from ice cream shops to tool rentals. One notable example is the Polish convenience store chain Zabka. A few years ago, they created a rewards app appropriately name Zappka which has proven popular with their clients. However, their biggest announcement was that of its automated stores and their eventual rollout.
Tech usage in Poland is not an abstract concept and, in some cases, Poles even skipped whole periods of tech evolution during the transition period, like the usage of pager codes. 07734. 1517.
Tech adoption is not the only change seen since their transition to a free-market economy. Polish companies have embraced modern management techniques and use the latest technology in their business practices, making collaboration with a company in Poland seamless. They are also subject to the same legal and regulatory requirements as businesses in other EU countries since becoming a member themselves in 2004.
These business practices were certainly noticed by VCs as investments in Polish startups skyrocketed in recent years. 2021 saw total investments of €792 million, doubling 2019 and 2020 combined. These trending results for VC capital display the constantly growing culture of innovation in Poland.
Communication is always essential when choosing a partner, and the language barrier you might expect from a company in a non-English speaking country like Poland is non-existent. Poles will almost immediately apologise for their non-native English while using better grammar than a native speaker typically would. But don’t tell this to a Pole, they will modestly disagree.
In the IT industry specifically, it is essentially a requirement to have a certain level of English proficiency to be hired. While at the national level, Poland ranks 16th out of 112 countries in the English Proficiency Index 2021.
Cultural fit is always an important factor when teams work together to achieve a common goal. With Polish companies, you won’t feel much of a difference in personal interactions, and you will have no problem aligning standard business practices.
What does development look like?
There are many options for software development, and many companies in different regions can produce a product based on set guidelines. But what if you need a more agile approach to design?
Polish companies shine with their ability to identify problems a product is trying to solve and determine the best approach to satisfy the end users' needs. Agile methodology is a standard for software development, and Poles are a leader in using Scrum in practice.
Method of work is essential, but the partnership you are creating with a Polish company is even more so. Not all companies in different regions have the same end goal in mind. In other regions, you can rely on companies to finish a task effectively, but they provide no collaborative effort. Others would prefer to be heavily involved in the design and execution of an envisioned solution.
An effective technology partner for a business will prove its worth by listening to their clients, analyzing their goals, supplying solutions to problems, and understanding how a company measures the success of its product. A partner is not just a task completer; they are more importantly an invaluable advisor.
Poles are technically skilled, but they are also particularly good at developing and providing strategy and advice. Suppose a project is going in the wrong direction, and there is a more effective path to achieve the desired goal; Polish software partners will devise different options with all the pros and cons to allow stakeholders to make an informed decision for their business. This collaborative approach separates a software provider from a much more desired software partner.
How is the education system?
The Polish higher education system has been around since the 14th century. The first was Jagiellonian University in Krakow which opened its doors in 1364, making it one of the oldest continuously operating universities in the world. Higher education is also free of charge in Poland, giving any citizen the possibility to expand their education.
The most notable computer science departments existing in the country are The University of Warsaw, Warsaw University of Technology, Silesian University of Technology, Poznan University of Technology, and AGH University of Science and Technology in Krakow.
Poland annually produces around 15,000 Computer Science graduates per year. In comparison, the United States graduates about 65,000 each year, a country with a population almost nine times the size of Poland’s.
Poland on the podium of the programming Olympics
Common wisdom would say that the United States has the best programmers and developers globally. With all the start-ups and innovation in the country, and companies that helped bring tech to the masses like Microsoft, Apple, Google, Facebook, and Yahoo!, you would not be at fault for thinking so.
However, China and Russia have a reputation for producing talent when comparing international competition results. While Poland has proven to have a history of producing top-level programmers in their own rite.
According to the Competitive Programming Hall of Fame, a sort of almanac for individual coder accolades, Poland ranks #3. Behind Russia at #2 and Belarus at #1. Not taking away from Belarus as a whole, but they also have someone who could be considered the Michael Jordan of coding, Gennady Korotkevich.
The competition for the country with the best programmers does not end there. Polish have ranked well in other competitions as well. Poland has taken 1st place twice in the Google Code Jam and ranks #4 overall, behind Russia at 3 and China at 2. Belarus once again takes first with you guessed it, Korotkevich placing 1st six years in a row.
Central & Eastern Europe has become a premier destination for software outsourcing over the past two decades. The region offers an extensive variety of skills and specializations, making it attractive for companies looking to tap into emerging technologies.
The talent pool in Poland consists of almost 300,000 developers, top in the CEE, followed by our friends in Ukraine who have approximately 200,000 developers. Along with the amount of talent, the average length of experience is 8 years. These two variables combined to produce a solid base to handle a wide range of projects.
Industry specialization in Poland consists of a wide range of industries which displays the mature IT ecosystem in the country. Fintech, Security, Energy, and Education, showcases the diverse technical specialities and experience in different industries of developers. SourceSeek has broken down these specializations in their report below analysing the software marketplace in Central & Eastern Europe.
IT ecosystems in countries are another factor you should consider when understanding the value of the experience of the engineers in each country. Included in the earlier cited report from SourceSeek are values by region and Central & Eastern European countries.
Poland's IT ecosystem ranks as one of the highest in Central & Eastern Europe.
Why is this significant? Education is always important, but experience and knowledge sharing are even more so.
SourceSeek classifies IT ecosystems as:
Integration between IT companies and universities: Throughout the region, universities are involved in everything from graduate recruiting and job fairs to event sponsorship.
Events and meetups: Every year a growing selection of conferences attract software professionals from around the region and the globe.
Entrepreneurs, startups, and investments: A sure sign of a healthy IT ecosystem is the presence of capital investment and local startups.
Software development is a complex undertaking and in this field experience is key. With the ability to collaborate in various industries, live and work with evolving tech, and the ability to share knowledge with mentors and other highly skilled industry colleagues, developers in Poland are much more likely to reach a higher level of expertise in their careers.
Value over cost
Over 300,000 software developers work in Poland, and if you're reading this post, we're assuming you might be on the lookout for a trusted development partner to hire. So, we'll focus a little bit on this business decision topic to finish up.
When looking for a partner outside your company, payroll savings tend to be one of the main factors that plays a role. There are, of course, cheaper sources of talent than in Poland, but the reputation for the quality of Polish programmers has been well documented.
The average salary of developers in Poland is on the higher side of rates in Central & Eastern Europe but cost alone should not be the primary indicator for deciding on a trusted tech partner.
The high-value services you are receiving in Poland are at a comparably lower cost than what is expected in Western Europe and North America. If you factor in the time and resources for recruitment and in house training, you are looking at an even larger expense overall to hire in house.
What are the pitfalls if you base your decision solely on the sticker price? For starters, you might not actually get the product you want, due to security flaws, architecture failures, small project teams with high employee turnover, or your partner not possessing the technical knowledge to complete the product.
Whatever the reason, the result is usually an unsatisfactory product that is unfit for the desired purpose or doesn’t meet your business or user needs. All these factors could end up meaning a higher cost for you in the long run. This is not to say Polish developers are infallible, but your chances are lower if you based your decision on a combination of factors.
When working with a Polish technology partner, you are receiving competitive rates, trusted advisors with experience in many industries, and highly educated software engineers. Their business methods and market expertise are invaluable when you need to produce results with your investment.
Given the data, Polish candidates are some of the most talented globally. Their competition accolades, experience with various technologies, education level, and daily interaction with tech in Polish everyday life give them an edge.
Countless developers work in software development companies and agencies, and their many qualities create a high demand for their services. Work culture, limited language barriers, and familiar ways of handling projects and business make collaboration with them seamless.
Choosing a partner can be challenging. You want to secure a company that will supply a product and talent to help you achieve your target goals. There is an understood requirement that you will receive what you requested.
When you achieve that milestone and you need to move to the next project, the trusted partnership you have established will be worth way more than any cost savings you'd have if your main selection factor were the price.
360° IT Check is a weekly publication where we bring you the latest and greatest in the world of tech. We cover topics like emerging technologies & frameworks, news about innovative startups, and other topics which affect the world of tech directly or indirectly.