Eastern Europe provides five of the top 20 countries listed in AT Kearney’s 2016 Global Services Location Index and it’s becoming one of the most attractive destinations for companies that want to outsource software development. Poland, ranked at 10th position, is the top one of these countries. It is also the only European country that appears twice in the first 30 of the Tholons Top Outsourcing Destinations for 2016 and the only Eastern European country listed there in the first 10!
If you’re a small or medium-sized enterprise searching for a development team to work on your product, then Poland is almost certainly the best choice. And here is why:
Polish developers are one of the best programmers in the world
Polish development teams are widely recognized as the best developers in the world. They get the highest ranks in international programming contests, such as Google Code Jam, Microsoft Imagine Cup, the Central European Programming Contest (CEPC), TopCoder, they are currently ranked 5th in the world in the Top Coder ranking, and 3rd at Hackerrank.
But what does it really mean? Basically, these competitions consist of various algorithmic puzzles that require different programming skills to be solved. They check the proficiency of the developers both at using different technologies but also their problem-solving approach, abstract thinking, and teamworking. The winning teams are therefore considered as skilled to take actual development projects and deliver the results successfully.
They have a strong educational background
According to New York Times, almost 40% of Polish people aged 25-34 have university degrees. This puts Poland in the second place in that category among the nearly three dozen countries listed (the United States, at 35 percent, ranks 11th). And they make around 10% ICT specialists of all university graduates in the European Union.
Moreover, thanks to the strong educational emphasis on STEM areas (science, technology, engineering, mathematics), the market of software development services is growing really fast there. This translates directly into good capabilities – it’s relatively easy to find skilled people in Poland and build dedicated teams of software developers.
They focus on using cutting-edge technologies that are really up-to-date
As the history of software development services in Poland is relatively new, the majority of software development companies there don’t have a strong IT legacy (like some longer-experienced countries, e.g. France or the UK). They use the latest tools and technologies, they work with modern practices, and they care about code quality. In Neoteric, for instance, our fully automated Continuous Integration and Deployment (which ensure the stability of the system) includes Quality Assurance at every step of the development process. Our average code coverage is 80% (compared to the standard 15-20%).
Using the latest tools and technologies, staying up-to-date with the recent technical trends, the developers are forced to constantly learn and improve their work. But apart from the self-development aspect, it also has a direct impact on the products they build – with every update they can get safer, faster, and more efficient.
They offer a variety of outsourcing services in different outsourcing models
There are a lot of good developers in Poland, they are specialized in different areas, and they can support you with different challenges at different stages of your product development process. They can support you with the whole process of product design and web app development – from UX design, through the early prototype, MVP, to maintaining a fully featured product.
Moreover, with a wide choice of companies available there, you can choose to work in different outsourcing models depending on your current needs – build a new team or treat their teams rather as a team augmentation, work in a fixed-price model or time-on-material.
They work smart and effectively
Most of the Polish development teams (especially the ones working in the outsourcing companies) are familiar with the best project management practices. Working with agile and scrum on a daily basis, they closely align with their clients’ teams to achieve the best productivity during the whole process of application development.
By creating multi-disciplinary teams, they have a wide overview of the project, and they are able to focus on its quality, performance, design, user experience, but also on the process of development and your experience as a client. Working on numerous projects, they develop the best product development practices that contribute to faster and more efficient delivery.
Working with them is easy as there is practically no cultural gap
If you are from the US or Europe, there are no big cultural differences, as compared to India or China – the top two software outsourcing destinations. Also, you don’t have to worry about the communication problems. Poland was ranked 9th in the world for English skills in the EF English Proficiency Index 2015, and 10th in the 2016 edition, getting ahead of most Eastern European countries. Both cultural differences and language barrier may be too big an obstacle when it comes to software development, but luckily these are easily avoidable. And successful communication contributes to successful development, so you should never overlook it. Make sure that you and your outsourced team understand each other well.
The time difference is acceptable
Offshore software development is always kind of a challenge. When working with any remote software development company, you need to make sure that you don’t experience communication problems related to a big time zone difference. The bigger gap there is, the more attention you should pay to the transparency of the development process, a clear project roadmap and regular updates with the team.
There is a 9-hour difference between San Francisco and Warsaw. Even when working with a company from the US, it is not difficult for Polish companies to find some time for a call that suits both sides. It doesn’t have to be the whole working day (after all, you decide to outsource to be able to focus on your core business, and not to spend the whole team with the developers, right?). For closer destinations, the difference is even smaller, making it even easier to find some time for a call.
Having clients from different continents, we learned how to deal with time zone differences in order to make cooperation a good experience for everyone. With the right approach, the different time zone really isn’t that big of a problem.
They have high-security standards that fulfill the EU standards
Charles Parks, a partner and outsourcing specialist at Pinsent Masons, says that companies looking for a contractor in custom software development outsourcing should consider issues around data protection. Especially when it concerns customer records or invoice details, he advises choosing countries within the EU – such as Poland or Hungary – which abide by the same data protection legislation as the Western European countries. With GDPR coming into force, the importance of data protection was brought to everyone’s attention. GDPR gives companies guidelines on how they can operate and manage the data.
Their price is relatively low
Although prices per man-hour here are not as low as those found in India or China (in fact, they are often similar to the US or Western European rates, they are definitely), the contractors from Central and Eastern Europe usually provide high-level skills and a better product quality. What does it imply? The apps are delivered faster, they are more efficient and performant. Also, the quality of the code makes it is easy to develop the app further by any other software development team – e.g. if you decide to grow your own in-house team. According to Dave Hecker:
Most startups want the absolute best developers and they would be willing to pay premium prices, but in reality many startup companies can’t afford to hire top U.S. developers – that’s why clients go offshore in the first place. For these startup clients who need to take advantage of overseas savings but are still willing to pay rates near the top of the market, Polish software developers can be an excellent choice.
We also need to remember that the price per man-hour is not a quantifiable indicator as it doesn’t include the length of a project. Using better technologies and procedures may significantly reduce the price difference on the whole project.
Software development is a challenge itself. You have to find (or build) a dedicated team, plan their work, be able to review that during the development process, iterate, at the same time working on your core business, getting new clients, entering new markets and making this business more and more profitable. By outsourcing software development to a reliable and experienced team, you can overcome at least some of these challenges and focus on what matters to you most.