Ukrainian developers are dissolving the myth that IT engineers and programmers who trained in the UK or the US are better than their Ukrainian counterparts. 85% of Ukraine-based workers have a university-level education, which is part of what makes them such reliable and skilled IT engineers. Almost two-thirds of Ukrainian freelancers have a higher degree in computer science, and 55% have more than three years of experience in their profession.
Universities in Ukraine have similar admission requirements to those in the US or the UK, requiring a full secondary school or vocational school diploma with good grades. Over 80% of Ukrainians attend university. The 4-year Bachelor’s and 1-2 year Master’s degrees are awarded in accordance with the Bologna Process, which aims to equalize teaching standards across the EU.
Six Ukrainian universities featured on the QS Top World University ranking – three located in Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital city. When it comes to computer science in particular, Kyiv Polytechnic Institute and the National Shevchenko University stand out as the best, offering a number of courses in computer science, computer programming languages and more abstract computational sciences.
Most Ukrainian freelancers speak English fluently – over 75% at intermediate level or above. So you can look forward to working with well-educated, experienced developers who can understand your instructions and respond in the same language.
Although the cost of salaries for Ukrainian IT engineers has risen noticeably since 2015, they are still a fraction of those paid to IT engineers in the US or UK.
Recent studies show that Junior full stack IT developers in Ukraine expect to be paid around $17,000 yearly, while those in the Canada charge over $48,000, in the UK over $32,000, and developers in Switzerland begin at over $91,000. This price discrepancy is largely due to the very low cost of living in Ukraine, which makes it possible for skilled IT developers to undercut their equally talented counterparts elsewhere in the world. There are predictions that the cost of IT development in Ukraine will start to rise soon, so this amazing market might not stay the same for long.
Some of the reasons why tech startups chose to outsource development to Ukraine include:
- Budget. The vast majority of tech startups bootstrap on a shoestring. Frequently they are self-funding and simply don’t have the capital to spend on an in-house developer. They need the best talent for the lowest price, and Ukraine is where the two converge.
- Management. Outsourcing software development allows startups to keep management teams focused on the big picture of management without the distractions of handling in-house developers.
- Time. All too often, the team that’s the first to come out with their MVP wins the funding. Startups that are competing for investment need to get a prototype on the ground as soon as possible. Outsourcing allows them to find the expertise they need to get it done in a hurry.
Ukrainian developers are among the most diverse of any in the world. Over 90,000 tech workers are skilled in languages and platforms such as:
Regardless of what technologies your project may require, there is no shortage of qualified engineers available to create a solution.
Ukrainians use their skills to deliver a wide range of services, including software engineering, web development, software testing, SEO services, cloud and block-chain development, and app development, just to name a few.
Overcoming the fear of outsourcing to Ukraine
There’s still a stigma about outsourcing development, but it’s not always grounded in reality. Investors frequently demand to know who the tech co-founder is on a project, and there are still venture capital teams that won’t invest when development has been outsourced. It’s true that when handled carelessly, outsourcing to Ukraine remains risky. A startup that has a coding co-founder or a CTO shouldn’t outsource their core code. Sharing core code without putting permissions, database access and other developmental operations into place first is a recipe for disaster.
It’s also vital to make it clear who owns the coding knowledge. When it comes to tech startups, knowledge ownership is power. If that knowledge is handed to remote freelancers, it could be permanently lost to the company. Intellectual property rights are nebulous, although Ukraine is working at strengthening laws in this area.
That said, most if not all of these issues can be addressed with some forethought, and especially with a strong contract. The contract should cover ownership of IP, and include a non-disclosure agreement that prevents remote workers from sharing your secrets. It is rare for a freelancer to run away with IP and sell it to a competitor – it usually is more effort than it’s worth.
It’s also important to make it clear who is responsible for hosting and ensuring that code operates properly. Startups want to avoid finding that the code they paid for doesn’t work properly on the hosted site and that their developers can no longer be found.
When there’s an in-house management team that keeps active control over remote IT engineers, outsourcing development can be very successful. A CTO or other technical officer who takes charge of a remote development team combines the benefits of outsourcing with the positives of keeping control of the knowledge. It’s also a good solution for later updates, once there’s a strong programming architecture already in place.
Perhaps it’s time for you to take advantage of the vibrant market in Ukraine using Stafflance IT outsourcing services. Have a project in mind? Contact us today for a free consultation and quotation.