Now that you are convinced that outsourcing is the way to go to support your software development efforts, it is time to decide the crucial aspect — “where to”. The European Union seems to be the best place, though you would be right to point out, that hiring a firm from Germany, France, or Austria would hardly be a good deal.
There is a place, however, that complies with the same laws, its education & professional standards align with those of the Western countries, though labor costs are cheaper - making it a true opportunity for all seeking high quality for less, without a catch. Does that sound weird? Perhaps. Best thing? It’s not.
Poland has the biggest population among the EU’s Central-Eastern European countries. With more than 38 million people, the country has more developers than some countries have people in total.
According to the Polish Statistics Office, the number of people employed full-time in the IT sector currently stands at around 250,000. Data from Stack Overflow says there are more at nearly 300,000. The difference could be based on the type of the contract — Polish official data only factors in those employed full time on an employment contract. Either way, the number is a bit lower than the population of Iceland but higher than the population of Andorra, and Monaco.
You’d think that the more of them, the lower quality our IT ecosystem is. However, this assumption cannot be further from the truth. If there was a global competition such as the “Programming Olympics”, Poland would place 3rd — 2 points behind China, and 1.9 points behind Russia.
Education could be one of the factors behind the very high score. Education in Poland is one of the best in the World. According to the data published by the United Nations, as of 2019, the country’s Education Index is above the average value for the Highest Developed nations.
In the 2020 edition of EF’s English Proficiency Index, Poland ranked at the top of the region. In the previous years, Poland’s position used to be even in the top 10, making the population’s English among the best in the world. The index, in general, showcases the strength of the European education system — out of the top 10 countries, only one is not in Europe.
We know how to speak English, and we are culturally close to the West. If you come here, there is not much of a culture shock — in fact, you probably won’t have one at all. After all, geographically, we are a stone’s throw away — we are neighbors with Germany!
Central-Eastern Europe is within the same time zone as the vast majority of European countries — only the UK, Ireland, and Portugal are not in the same time zone, with a 1-hour difference.
The time difference between Poland and the US East Coast (Eastern Time) is 6 hours (it varies slightly for a couple of weeks per year, but it's negligible). In practice, what this means, is that there can be a two-hour, three-hour, or even a four-hour overlap in working hours between the two countries without any sacrifices. That is not the case with South-East Asia, which exceeds 9.5 hours of difference from the US.
Polish software developer wages are lower than their Western counterparts, in large part thanks to the lower living costs in Poland. They really are, despite the average being the highest among all sectors in Poland. It is a good deal, however.
Not only are our developers among the very best in the World; according to data published by the OECD, Poles work almost exactly as much as Americans — which is more than the average for all member states.
Poland is the member of numerous international organizations: the World Bank Group (WB), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the General Agreement on Trades and Tariffs (GATT), and perhaps most importantly, the European Union (EU).
There are pretty significant advantages for all those conducting business with EU members. This is because all member states of the EU have to comply with European rules and regulations.
What this means, in practice, is that what you expect in the Western-European countries is the same as what you’d expect in Central-Eastern Europe (CEE). Of course, all regulations related to intellectual property, labor laws, and so on, are very similar to our counterparts and we operate in a very similar regulatory environment.
To quickly sum up - we are geographically & culturally close, our developers are some of the best in the world, we work A LOT, it won’t break the bank to work with us to achieve your business & technical goals, our English is solid, and our education even better with a big talent pool.
If you need any more convincing, we are here for you. Get in touch and let's work on your next project together!