Software development outsourcing has long become the new normal. Many of my fellow CEOs choose software outsourcing when they are short on talent, lack in-house expertise or simply want more time to focus on their core activities. But where do they find that perfect outsourcing destinations?
Without exaggeration, 10 years ago Poland was entirely unknown for its tech accomplishments. In recent years, however, I see more and more companies from Western Europe and United States looking for software services specifically in Poland.
That, I believe, happens for the following 5 simple reasons.
#1 — World’s most skilled developers
Quality of software development is where Polish programmers made a name for themselves. Multiple rankings list Polish developers as one of the best in the world, outperforming most of their American and Western European colleagues. All modesty aside, Poles are excellent in algorithms development, Cloud architecture (like Google Cloud Platform), backend programming (Java, Kotlin, NodeJs) and frontend (React or Angular).
High level of programming skills is the result of country’s great technical education. Polish students regularly take first places in prestigious international programming contests such as Microsoft’s Imagine Cup, Google’s Code Jam and TopCoder Rank. Since 1989, Poland holds 2nd highest score in International Olympiad in Informatics with 109 medals — a number beat so far only by China.
#2 — No culture, language or time zone issue
Over the years, many of our clients mentioned that they could hardly feel any cultural difference working with Polish developers. I couldn’t agree more. The way Polish people work and manage their companies is indeed very comparable to the way the business is run in most of the Western World.
A language barrier is also something you would rarely experience when outsourcing in Poland. I am sure I can speak for pretty much every software house in the country — when it comes to the IT industry, English proficiency is a must. And even the nation-wide English level is impressive — Poland ranks 13th out of 80 countries in the English Proficiency Index 2018.
Finally, Poland’s convenient location creates at least two super valuable benefits:
1. Polish companies can occasionally visit their European clients which is priceless for successful project kick-off.
2. The same time zone with most of EU countries makes online communication easy and effective. Zoom, Slack and Hangouts are standard tools for most software houses and, thanks to our mentality, Poles make sure to keep the response time very short.
#3 — Business-oriented approach
Let’s be honest — there are plenty of software companies capable of building a decent product based on your detailed guidelines. What such traditional companies lack, however, is a more sophisticated approach to software development that would also include business and user experience perspectives.
And that’s where Polish software houses bring their A game. Instead of straight away jumping to coding, they begin with defining the problem your product is solving, pinpointing your core audience and value proposition. They understand that even the most exquisitely built solution can fail on the market if it does not satisfy the real needs of the end-users. Therefore, they make sure the final product is not just a pile of features but a carefully designed business solution with real market potential.
#4 — Best choice in value for money segment
Some believe that the point of outsourcing development is to find the cheapest provider. Others would rather overpay to ensure a top-quality result at the end of the day. I personally think that with Polish software houses, you don’t need to make that painful and sometimes disastrous choice between cost savings and quality.
Don’t get me wrong — Polish programmers are not the cheapest in the world and they would definitely charge more than their peers in India or China. And yet, their services are still priced on the lower end of the spectrum.
The average monthly salary of an experienced Polish engineer is around 2,4K EUR compared to 5K EUR and 4K EUR that senior developers earn in Berlin in Paris. Combine that with their excellent development skills and forget about having to compromise the product quality in the name of the low budget.
#5 — Keeping the budget tight
Despite the stable economy, it is fair to say that Poland is still catching up with the rest of Europe in terms of the standard of living. With GDP per capita of $15,7K, Poles on average earn less than the citizens of other European Union countries. This makes us well familiar with the concept of a tight budget.
It is natural for Polish software houses to keep careful control of the costs and even recommend solutions that prevent overspending and save the client’s time. We do pride ourselves in being able to find shortcuts and more efficient ways to get things done.
Instead of developing the product by the book, Polish developers approach tasks more creatively and deliver the project within short weekly sprints. As a result, product development speeds up and its quality increases with each new sprint.
Things to keep in mind!
To balance the outsourcing paradise picture I’ve just painted for you, here is a couple of pitfalls you should be aware of before contracting a Polish software house:
#1 — Go for medium-sized software houses
Small (1–5 people) software houses won’t have enough capacity to deliver a 100% quality result. The giants (100+ people) will most likely treat your project like just another deal. Middle-sized software houses (10–50 people) are happy to grow together with their clients and deliver a more personal and focused approach.
#2 — Don’t expect the cheapest deal ever
As I’ve mentioned before, Polish programmers win in the value for money segment. This means you won’t definitely overpay but reasonable expectations about the costs should still be maintained.
#3 — Read reviews
With 700+ software houses in Poland, it can be hard to narrow down your search. I recommend using resources like Clutch that provide real client reviews (see our own Clutch profile as an example).
#4 — Avoid teams with a narrow skillset
If you hire a software development company where all employees are engineers, you will basically get a product that is good only from one perspective — technical. Choose a software house that has UX designers, business and marketing experts on board to ensure the commercial side of your solution will also be taken care of.