March 5, 2020

Have you ever considered the option to hire Ukrainian developers for your next project? What important details should you be aware of? This country has recommended itself among the top outsourcing destinations over the last 10  years. Ukrainian developers have strengthened their position by providing quality services within required regulations and offering reasonable costs at the same time. Given the great choice, ISVs and enterprises are looking at where and how to hire developers in Ukraine. What do they begin with? These and many more aspects we’re going to address in the article.

List of the Content

Due to the local workforce shortage and increasing software development costs, outsourcing has become a viable option for the US and EU companies. Hiring developers in Ukraine is a common practice for both well-established organizations and startups. But what makes Ukrainian developers such an optimal choice? The answer is quite simple – they are good at quality and reasonable cost. This advantage is actually supported by a great number of other aspects that are tightly related to providing high-quality software services. Developers in Ukraine gain favor by reason of:

Cultural similarities – Sharing the same values and having a similar mindset are the essential steps in gaining a better understanding and perception of outlined collaboration.

Great technical education – Ukrainians are a highly educated nation with one of the highest tertiary education attainment rates provided by 802 universities. For comparison, Germany has 380 higher education institutions. Technical disciplines are strongly supported by the educational system and studied in most universities.

hire Ukrainian developers: number of IT graduates

 

Ukraine is the top European country by the number of engineering graduates – 130,000, including 16,000 IT specialists annually


Convenient geographical location and good time overlap with Western Europe and North America – Geographical proximity of Ukraine makes it possible to contact hired developers during working hours, schedule regular meetings at a convenient time, spend less time and money on business travels.

Flight duration form Kyiv

The average flight duration from Kyiv to the EU countries is only 2-3 hours and it takes about 10 hours to get to New York, the US


Mature and well-developed IT industry – The fact that Ukraine has become a popular outsourcing location is caused by its own fastly growing IT industry. Constant improvements are supported by both business communities and the state government.

Good IP protection law and reputation, low IP risks – Intellectual property is highly protected by different state laws that are regularly revised according to current international regulations. 

Now that we outlined the main advantages of hiring developers in Ukraine, it is quite important to consider each of them in detail and how they influence the quality and cost of provided services.

UKRAINIAN IT OUTSOURCING INDUSTRY

Well-established innovation culture in Ukraine has become a driving force not only for the internal IT industry but brought the country to the top outsourcing destinations in the world. Ukrainian engineers are widely recognized for significant achievements in cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, robotics, natural language processing, IoT, cloud computing, etc. Thus, outsourcing to Ukraine remains a frequent choice for numerous Western European and North American projects.

Ukrainian outsourcing industry quick facts

Ukrainian IT outsourcing industry is growing at a rapid pace and such changes reflect the upwards trends in most fields related to the industry


Increasing revenues

If you draw a comparison between industry revenues for the last 5 years, it has doubled from $2.7 billion in 2015 to $5.4 billion in 2020. Furthermore, it’s predicted to reach the point of $8.4 billion by 2025.

Growing communities

Due to the popularity of IT professions in Ukraine, every third university entrant chooses the technical specialty. The developers’ community has grown from 91.000 developers in 2015 to 220.000 developers in 2020 that shows more than a 100-percent increase. Ukrainian developers’ community is the second largest in CEE according to the Stack Overflow survey.

Providers

The number of companies that provide software development services for a variety of industries currently is over 4000. The companies’ size varies from 30-50 to several hundred employees. In addition, Ukraine is home to more than 100 R&D centers of such global companies as Samsung, Google, SysIQ, etc.

Partnership

Ukrainian IT outsourcing providers state that the main consumers are companies from the USA, the UK, Germany, Netherlands. Canada, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and others. For example, the target market of Ukrainian outsourcing services reaches the point of 81% in the US, 64% – in the UK, 41% – in Canada, etc.

HIGH IP PROTECTION WITHIN UE AND INTERNATIONAL LAWS

State security regulations might differ from country to country, but all of them have to establish legal transactions, protect data as well as guarantee high intellectual rights. Intellectual property rights are strictly monitored across the globe by the members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The member governments operate the set of rules, monitor law enforcement and settle arising disputes. 

Ukraine has been a member of the WTO since 2008 and joined WIPO in 1970. Data protection, information security, and intellectual property are strongly regulated by national laws including the Constitution of Ukraine. Moreover, the overall Ukrainian legislation is going to correspond to European laws since Ukraine has entered the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. Current regulations are constantly updated due to EU standards. For example, it didn’t take that long after the GDPR adoption that the Data Protection Law in Ukraine was already enforced in compliance with the EU laws. Ukrainian government focuses on IP protection enforcement covering EU-like regulations relating to trademarks, patents, industrial designs, geographical indicators.

It is extremely risky to do business without good IP protection. Moreover, partnering with the company that doesn’t enforce required security regulations to the full extension isn’t just unsafe but could have really negative consequences. The real situation of IP protection enforcement reflects in solving IP infringements in a particular country. For instance, in Ukraine IP issues go to criminal courts in opposite to India where most arising matters are just sent to the civil courts. The difference is quite obvious since the stricter laws guarantee penalties including high fines for IP violations in order to prevent any type of infringements. Hiring software developers in the country that enables compliant and secure business collaboration according to the international regulations is a key to success. Therefore, the decision to hire Ukrainian developers has obtained one more significant benefit to go with.

WHY UKRAINIAN DEVELOPERS RANK SO HIGH AMONG OTHERS

Regarding the latest IT news, services delivered by Ukrainian developers have received the highest world rankings. Here are some of them:

  • The International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP) has just named 13 Ukrainian companies in the list of the 2020 Global Outsourcing 100.
  • According to the statistics of TopCoder, Ukraine acquires the 6th place in the world country rankings.
  • They got one of the highest scores across All HackerRank Challenges with the 1st rank in the security domain.

Companies that hire software developers in Ukraine emphasize the major benefit of saving costs without losing quality. Ukrainian developers are ranked among the top world specialists due to the following advantages:

Great expertise – Proficiency in up-to-date technologies and familiarity with efficient development approaches enable product delivery for any industry area. Developers in Ukraine have already found a considerable number of solutions for data management, cloud, e-commerce, gaming, finance, healthcare, etc. They are recognized for high productivity, great problem-solving skills, and enforcement of security requirements.

Communication skills – Such vital aspects can’t be neglected in order to establish productive collaboration. Developers in Ukraine have good knowledge of languages, in particular, 79% of them have at least Intermediate English. Mastering skills in both spoken and written English enables communication on all levels.

The simplicity of collaboration – Besides technical and communication skills, many companies acknowledge the simplicity of collaboration and development consistency. Ukrainian developers are good at estimating and delivering tasks on time. Another thing to consider is a degree of overlap in working hours. If the companies located in New York hire Ukrainian developers, it can be 5 working hours in comparison with no overlap at all between working hours in the US and India.

the degree of overlap in working hours

Naturally, Ukraine has almost the full workday operating hours overlap with all the EU countries, Middle East Region, and 2 to 5 hours overlap with the US, which is a great advantage for the outsourcing region


Speaking about hiring developers in Ukraine, it might be helpful to note how the hiring pool is distributed geographically. The great thing is that the IT industry is evenly balanced across the country. This gives the better choice and guarantees fair and open competition in providing good services and reasonable prices.

Commonly, the majority of specialists are concentrated in the capital and cities of regional significance. So what is the best place to hire developers in Ukraine?

The geographical distribution of Ukrainian developers

The majority of IT specialists is concentrated in such Ukrainian cities as Kyiv, Kharkiv, Lviv, Dnipro, and Odesa


On the one hand, popular destinations like Kyiv, Lviv, and Kharkiv have gained the leading market positions with 67 percent of all Ukrainian IT specialists.

  • Kyiv – 45,778 specialists
  • Lviv – 15,643 specialists
  • Kharkiv – 21,847 specialists

These cities are home to many local IT companies as well as international R&D offices. They have great infrastructures like airports, metro, etc, different educational institutions with numerous IT graduates annually, and a big number of available developers. However, the cost of living is quite higher that makes the developers’ rates grow, for example, salaries in Kyiv are 15-20% higher compared with other Ukrainian cities.

On the other hand, such fastly developing representatives like Dnipro, Vinnytsia, Odesa are strong competitors in providing software development services.  

  • Dnipro – 13,213 specialists
  • Odessa – 7,193 specialists
  • Vinnytsia – 4,361 specialists

Along with increasing business opportunities, these cities are also ranked the best places to live in Ukraine. IT specialists favor improving social and economic infrastructure, the average cost of living and a number of job openings. Whereas IT companies keep on advancing development on the new levels and offer the best option to hire Ukrainian developers at the most reasonable costs. Therefore, hiring Ukrainian developers would be suitable and affordable for companies of different project needs and budgets. 

ENGAGEMENT MODELS

Since we’ve discovered that the Ukrainian IT market has a large and talented workforce pool, it is quite important to address the next question. What are the common engagement models? The way the company sets collaboration with the hired specialists will influence the overall development process and delivery of the final results. Defining the pros and cons of each engagement model is the key step to succeed in choosing the best option for your own project. In order to hire developers in Ukraine or any other outsourcing country, companies usually choose among the three most common options – freelancers, direct hiring and dedicated teams.

Hiring Freelancers

Freelancing turns out to become one of the fastest options to find the required IT specialists. If the company isn’t willing to spend time on a long search, they can use popular freelancing platforms like Fiver, Upwork, and others. It is rather convenient, as available developers are classified by experience, expertise and services’ charges. Sometimes it could take just minutes to find the specialists, check their portfolios, and read the feedback on preceding works. Nevertheless, the company needs to take into account the fact that freelancers are less dedicated to the projects, tend to work on several projects simultaneously, and continuously search for better job opportunities. Freelancers are often chosen because of the following advantages:

  • The easiest and fastest option to hire developers in Ukraine
  • Cheaper rates
  • Suitable for one-time specific tasks especially in the rare expertise

However, there are several drawbacks to this model:

  • The lower level of control, including IP protection
  • Absence of continuity 
  • Knowledge retention

While hiring freelancers is a good option if you need a team of one or two developers, this model is proven to be non-workable for larger teams. 

Direct Hiring in Ukraine

This engagement model supports long-term working for a certain company. In other words, it offers a full-time position for the candidate including such benefits as paid vacations, sick leaves, health insurance, wellness benefits, etc. Direct hiring requires more selectivity and is often done with the help of recruiting or staffing agencies. Another good possibility to hire Ukrainian developers is to attend some local recruiting events and job fairs held by most technical universities annually. Consequently, choosing this approach companies benefit from:

  • Long-term collaboration with qualified employees
  • Opportunity to hire top developers in Ukraine
  • Saving time as the recruiting process is handled by professional agencies

On the other hand, this engagement model foresees:

  • The highest services’ charges as it has to cover recruitment fees, developers’ salaries along with other employees’ benefits
  • Less flexibility
  • Suitable only for long-term projects

Hire a Ukrainian Development Team

The dedicated team is the most preferred model in IT outsourcing. Companies favor the possibility to manage offshore developers just like members of the in-house teams. The main benefit is that they can hire Ukrainian developers according to the need of the projects and fully involve them in the development process. At the same time, the services vendors take care of onboarding, providing a suitable working environment, paying for equipment, utilities, and taxes. If you decide to hire a dedicated development team in Ukraine, you can always visit review aggregators like Clutch, GoodFirms, and others. They provide a comprehensive overview of a number of trusted companies with detailed profiles, customers’ reviews, etc. Like any other model, it has exceptional advantages like:

  • Commitment to delivering high-quality services
  • Reasonable services’ cost
  • Good level of control covering security requirements
  • Flexibility
  • Suitable for both short-period and long-term projects

As for the disadvantages, we could mention just a few:

  • Requires time to find a suitable team
  • Slightly higher cost by 10 – 15% because of the service provider’s fee, which is, however, compensated by the fact that the provider handles management, hiring, administration, employee retention activities, etc.

Considering all of the above, we can say that each model has its own pros and cons, but the final choice still depends on the project’s needs and budget. For instance, the ongoing project with a variety of needs is always better to delegate to the dedicated team that will be able to join the process right away and deliver workable solutions under the management of the in-house team and the vendor if required.

COST TO HIRE UKRAINIAN DEVELOPERS

As for the answer to the most frequently asked question “What is the cost of hiring developers in Ukraine?”, you might come across different variants. 

  • It depends on the specialists’ qualifications and engagement model.
  • It is more expensive than in countries like Pakistan or India.
  • And it’s cheaper than the services of Mexican or Polish developers.
  • Reasonable rates for good quality development service.

Only by combining all the responses we could receive a comprehensive answer to this question. The local IT industry aims at delivering an excellent business environment and presents one of the best world market propositions for outsourcing. The cost of hiring Ukrainian software developers fully justifies the service’s cost while meeting project needs and user expectations.

A lot of successful companies share their experience in outsourcing and how they benefit from it. For instance, Samsung, the South Korean multinational conglomerate, opened R&D Institute Ukraine (SRK) in Kyiv in 2009. The study of intelligence security, artificial intelligence, AR/AV areas, computer vision have become the primary focus of SRK to enhance brand competitiveness. 

When it comes to digital banking, such financial institutions as Deutsche Bank, Nordea, Murex, Australian Investment Bank applied for the services of Ukrainian developers, in particular developing banking applications. The software implementation covers the usage of the latest technologies like AI, cloud solutions, IoT, big data, etc.

In light of the latest news, Google acquired CloudSimple with the office in Kyiv at the end of 2019. This way it becomes the 3rd office in Eastern Europe as Google has 2 more offices in Poland and Hungary.

In terms of numbers, we’ve checked the actual data on the current software development rates in Ukraine. According to the latest survey conducted among companies that hire Ukrainian developers, the average monthly developers’ costs mainly vary due to the technology stack and specialists’ qualification:

Technology stackJunior developerMiddle developerSenior developer
.NET$2000/m$4300/m$5600/m
Java$2000/m$4300/m$5700/m
Ruby$1800/m$4300/m$5400/m
PHP$1800/m$3600/m$4700/m
Python$2500/m$4500/m$5400/m


Therefore, we can estimate that services of juniors could cost on average $2020 monthly, middle developers with 3+ years of experience – $4200 and seniors with 5+ years of experience – $5360. 


IN CONCLUSION

The number of outsourcing destinations increases regularly. But the fact is that only a few of them can withstand the market competition and get the highest world rankings over the years. We’ve just discovered some important strengths of Ukrainian developers and how ISVs and enterprises could benefit from outsourcing here. A growing number of developers, great expertise in various technologies, and simplicity of collaboration are mostly favored aspects. A combination of these and many other points enable companies to hire Ukrainian software developers within the perfect balance between services’ quality and reasonable costs.

If you want to hire Ukrainian developers, you are welcome to contact Existek. We are an outsourcing software development company that has been delivering services since 2012 and provided a great number of solutions to our customers. Feel free to visit our contact page for further consultation or just use the chat widget to start the conversation right away.