Ukrainian Software Developers - Stay in the TOP Despite the War
deIt was never easy to find developers who would help launch a project. It requires looking for a qualified partner who will hear your need and help develop a competitive product. This article will tell you how to find the developer of your dream and why despite the war, Ukraine is still the best market for hiring IT specialists.
Also, we will outline the influence of the war on the IT hiring market in Ukraine.
Spoiler: there are no significant changes for the clients.
There are a few simple steps that one should follow to find a technical partner to launch a product, regardless of the industry and niche.
Task: prepare a list of companies that develop the type of software you require to contact them and speak on the launch of your project.
Process: you study the offers on LinkedIn, Facebook, Clutch.co, Goodfrims.co, Upwork, and Toptal. You might also ask your colleagues or partners whether they can share any recommendations, use developer ratings that are in free access, or search for the developers of some products that you used and liked the functionality and the design.
Furthermore, it would be best to look for proficient teams in the industry you require rather than focusing on the good developers. For instance, if you want to launch a cryptocurrency exchange or wallet, you will need an experienced blockchain and cryptocurrency development partner, like Merehead.
Task: shorten the long list to a shortlist
Process: you contact the companies you have previously added to your long list via email or mobile phone. If you decide to contact the company via email, they must answer within 1-3 days. If it takes longer, it can be a warning sign. In case you phone the company, they will either answer immediately and start discussing your product or ask to settle a more convenient time to discuss your product.
During the first conversation with the developer, they will typically ask you to briefly describe your project, the business idea, the target audience, and the benefits of this project to your business. Next, the candidates will explain what they can offer, and according to it, you will see which developers can work with you and which don’t.
Please, pay attention to the next moments to help you understand that something went wrong:
Process: you will have a phone call with all shortlisted developers and ask them to prepare a presentation for their proposal, namely, tell you how they see your project, what solution they can offer, and the approximate time and budget required. This presentation will take one to two hours.
In some cases, if the project is extraordinary and complicated, the developer might change the proposal during the conversation with the clients. It is a common practice.
Task: launching the development.
Process: you thoroughly analyze the shortlisted developers and make your final choice. You discuss the conditions and the requirements, sign a contract, and, if necessary, a non-disclosure agreement.
Here start the development of your upcoming product.
High technical expertise
For years, leading research agencies have defined Ukrainian programmers as one of the best in the entire world. According to the SkillValue report issued in 2021, Ukrainian programmers are in 5th place with an average rating of 93.17% (in 2020, they were the 6th globally) and 4th in Europe.
Fast-growing on-call list
The average hourly rate of a Ukrainian developer is 25 to 50 dollars. The average salary is 1400 to 3300 dollars per month (taxes and social contributions not included). Compared to Poland, Russia, the Czech Republic, and other East European countries, the rate is more than compatible. And it is significantly less than what developers in Western Europe or North America require. An experienced programmer will charge 100 dollars per hour or 150 to 500 thousand a year.
The average salary of a senior developer in Ukraine is approximately 50 thousand dollars a year or $4250 per month, a mid-level developer charges $3000 or 35 thousand per year, and a junior developer will cost 2-3,5 dollars per month or 24-42 thousand dollars a year.
Another crucial advantage of the Ukrainian developers is their knowledge of English. Around 85% of IT specialists know English at an Intermediate level, and 50% speak English at an Upper-Intermediate or Advanced level. Many Ukrainian developers studied and worked abroad.
Furthermore, this is not done on the initiative of the developers. It is the policy of the local software development companies and IT outsourcing; many of them offer free courses of English to their employees.
Most employees at outsourcing companies work 40 to 60 hours a week. The average developer in the USA works 37.5 hours, a German one works 33 hours, and a UK developer spends 36 hours a week at work. Furthermore, there are only 11 paid public holidays in Ukraine, while the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, and Hungary have at least 13, and Bulgaria has 19.
The IT industry in Ukraine grows 20-30% a year, thus demonstrating stability in the development and promises is development. At the end of 2021, there were 5000 thousand IT companies, 2200-2300 service companies, and 1400 startups. The volume of IT export reached 6.8 billion dollars, which is 1.8 billion more than in 2020.
The Ukrainian developers show great curiosity about everything related to IT. More than 75% are excited about their projects at work, and 70% say that they would continue working in IT even if they didn’t need to earn money. It proves that Ukrainian developers are geeks inspired by their job.
Many Ukrainian developers know several programming languages and have the skills required for innovative technologies like blockchain, cryptocurrency, non-fungible tokens, artificial intelligence, deep neural networks, virtual and augmented realities (metaverses), big data, Internet of Things, etc.
It is a fact that 75% of Ukrainian developers have higher education (6.3% have two higher education, 1.5% have a DTS degree). Nonetheless, about 85% of programmers regularly take various courses to get new skills and qualifications. Furthermore, they visit seminars and lectures and participate in professional online and offline events.
The Ukrainian IT community is united and active. IT clusters in many cities unite developers, companies, schools, and municipal governments to develop the industry. Moreover, meetups are held in the country every day, so the interested professional always has the opportunity to spend his free time productively.
The Ukrainian time zone is 1-2 hours ahead of most European countries; hence, European clients can comfortably communicate with Ukrainian developers without altering their working schedules. Suppose the client is located in the USA, Canada, Japan, or Australia; they can also contact the development company when they need it since Ukrainian teams easily adjust to their clients' schedules.
What is the current situation? Despite the horrors of war, the IT industry in Ukraine managed to get back to standard workflow rapidly. According to the survey of the biggest suppliers of IT services in the country, 90% of the employees returned to the former schedule within a month. Furthermore, their productivity is equal to pre-war times, before the invasion of Russia in Ukraine at the end of February.
The IT freelance market shows similar trends. According to the biggest job search platform — work.ua, the number of resumes of IT specialists in March fell almost three times - from 9 thousand resumes on February 22 to 3 thousand resumes on March 8. However, by April 5, their number increased to 8.7 thousand, i.e., it almost returned to the norm. A similar trend is observed by employees of another central Ukrainian staffing portal, grc.ua: in February, the number of resumes of IT specialists dropped by -58% compared to February 2021 and -80% in March, then there was a relatively rapid recovery to typical values.
Did something happen to the salaries? For Ukrainian developers, nothing changes since their salary is paid in dollars. It was relatively more minor compared to the USA and Western Europe, and it is still so. However, things can change since many programmers from Russia and Belarus moved to Ukraine; hence in the long-term, the offer on the IT recruitment market in Ukraine will be higher, and the salaries might become lower.
What is the situation with the relocation? Many Ukrainian developers didn’t move to other cities. Only professionals from the Southern part of Ukraine and some from Kharkiv had to move to a safer place. Only a tiny part moved abroad: 20% of the employees of big companies and 5-7% of the employees in smaller companies.
What is the state of orders? At the beginning of March, there was a pause in processing new orders and fulfilling old ones. But now, the situation has leveled off. Moreover, many customers from the EU and the United States want to support Ukraine, and therefore when choosing a technical partner, they hire Ukrainian companies. Problems are observed only for those suppliers of IT services, which were focused on Russia and Belarus and the domestic market (here, the decline is by 40-60%).
There are about 5000 technical companies in Ukraine and 1500 focus on IT outsourcing and custom software development. These can be websites, online shops, mobile applications, video games, or corporate ERM systems. Most Ukrainian companies work with clients from the USA, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Western Europe.
Ukraine is one of the leading suppliers in blockchain development, cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets, and tokens development. Furthermore, there are numerous developers specializing in NFT. For instance, since 2015, Merehead has offered extensive technical support to help develop products in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry. Here are several examples of our recent projects in these sectors.
BigFan - it is a platform for selling sports NFTs using ERC-1155. All tokens are issued in cooperation with sports teams and players or their official representatives.
Vleppo - this BaaS platform provides freelancers and enterprises with a solution to manage and transfer their digital assets, create smart contracts with integrated escrow features, and take a loan with cryptocurrency collateral.
Wide Wine - a logistic blockchain platform that helps trace the supply chains of wine and verify the authenticity. Study the case.
Coinbird/CEX - cryptocurrency exchange with high-level security and safety. Furthermore, it supports operations with fiat currencies. Study the case.
AltcoinsHub - it is a P2P exchange that helps to trade all popular cryptocurrencies.
Ukrainian developers also study the metaverse development and related project. What is a metaverse? How does it function? How can it help your business? You will get the answers to these questions and even more in the following article: “Metaverse Development | Hire Metaverse Developers”.
Artificial intelligence and deep machine learning are among the fastest-growing areas of expertise in Ukraine. According to Clutch, there are nearly 150 AI/ML companies, such as Merehead.
On the other hand, LinkedIn's data shows that the number of AI and machine learning professionals in the country exceeds 30,000.
According to Clutch, there are about 7700 professionals in Ukraine who work with Big Data and 41 company that does Big Data analytics. There are held numerous conferences on Big Data in Ukraine, for example, AI Ukraine Conference, AI & Big Data Day, JEEConf, etc. Local communities arrange events and seminars for Big Data experts and analytics.
Despite all difficulties that war has brought, Ukraine is still one of the best countries for IT services outsourcing because of the best price/quality offer, the hardworking nature of Ukrainian specialists, and an extensive on-call list that is swiftly growing.
Boris Johnson said: ‘Nothing will break Ukrainians!’