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You might have read and heard a lot about outsourcing programming services and software development abroad. But what country is the best destination?
There are a lot of factors at play, and we’re going to pick them apart.

Software Development Rates by Country

Yes, the price tag is the primary factor for offshoring and nearshoring software development. But to just say “it’s cheaper” would be an oversimplification.

To be more specific, let’s compare software development rates by country, for a particular technology and across a specific platform. As a Ruby on Rails development company, we regularly check rates for RoR developers in the global independent catalog Clutch.

On average, one hour of development in Poland, where we are headquartered, costs at least two times less than in Western Europe and about four times less than in the USA.

USA

UK

Germany

Poland

India

$100–$300+ 

$50–$149

$50–$149

$25–$149

$25–$300

The table above is based on the rates featured on Clutch. But bear in mind that we didn’t include all of the companies that claim to be located in the USA, the UK or Germany. Some of them sit in popular outsourcing destinations and have a representative or manager in Western Europe or the States. These companies can offer services starting below $25.

For a more diverse picture, you can compare Ruby on Rails developer hourly rates across popular offshoring and nearshoring destinations. For example, many Indian programmers offer work cheaper than their Polish counterparts, while the upper margin in India is two times higher. But let’s expand the perspective.

Let’s check out Clutch for outsourcing rates by country, considering nine common destinations.

Poland

Romania

Brazil

Ukraine

Czechia

Egypt

Argentina

Taiwan

Belarus

$25–$300+

$25–$199

$25–$199

$25–$199

$25–$199

$25–$199

$25–$199

$25–$199

$25–$99

As you can see, Poland offers the widest range of prices, while others represent a relatively plain landscape.

Number of Software Developers by Country

Another reason why companies from developed countries outsource programming abroad is that they struggle to find relevant talent locally. But which destinations have the most talent? Let’s take a look at the number of software developers by country.

Companies on Clutch, 2022 Github accounts, 2018* Github accounts per million (pop.), 2018* No. developers***
Poland 1107 30,928 815 600,000+
Romania 379 10,330 524 200,000
Brazil 250 80,903 390 500,000
Ukraine 919 33,032 734 250,000
Belarus -** 10,182 924.57 50,000
The Czech Republic 111 9,895 937 150,000
Egypt 87 6,467 68 89,000
Argentina 362 14,212 324 115,000
Taiwan 10 13,955 593 N/A

* — source: benfrederickson.com
** — Clutch has suspended operations in Belarus
*** — estimates according to various sources

Each country is different and has specifics to consider — let’s take a closer look.

Poland

Poland does not only belong to Eastern Europe — it is also considered to be part of Central Europe. In fact, 25% of Eastern European and Central European developers live there.
According to this report, Poland is home to more than 600,000 software developers and almost 484,000 software engineers. Is this a lot? See for yourself: Poland has overtaken all other European countries presented on this list in the digital skills gap index (DSGI) (22nd in Europe and 42 worldwide).

Another report shows that 74% of Polish programmers don’t mind working for a foreign company and 54% already work fully remotely. However, 43% are not actively seeking employment while being open to new offers.

All of that made the country a popular nearshoring destination. In the past five years, the programming outsourcing services market revenue in Poland has been steadily growing.

Internet Infrastructure

As for digital infrastructure, Poland is among four European countries with the largest budgets allocated to developing broadband connectivity until 2030. But the same report mentions Poland as one of the two EU countries that haven’t yet assigned any 5G spectrum meeting regional requirements.

Nevertheless, Poland was among the leaders in mobile-only access in 2021, and has one of the lowest broadband prices in the EU. What is more important, it’s one of the safest countries in the world in terms of cybersecurity: it ranks 10th in the National Cyber Security Index.

Top 5 Most Popular Programming Languages

SQL, JavaScript, HTML / CSS, Python, Java (Bulldog Job)

English Proficiency

Poland ranks highest in the EF English Proficiency Index (EF EPI) of all the countries in question. It occupies 13th place (very high proficiency).

Time Difference

WARSAW 08:00, Monday Difference
Los Angeles (PST) 23:00, Sunday +9 hours
Chicago (CST) 01:00, Monday +7 hours
New York City (EST) 02:00, Monday +6 hours
London 07:00, Monday +1 hour
Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam 08:00, Monday 0 hours
Tokyo 16:00, Monday -8 hours
Canberra 18:00, Monday -10 hours

Summary

In sum, a quarter of all Eastern European and Central European programmers live in Poland — a lot to choose from.

The country has one of the most affordable connectivity networks in Europe and is one of the most digitally secure outsourcing destinations. On top of that, it’s relatively easy to find programmers who speak fluent English. All of that makes Poland one of the best countries for outsourcing software development projects.

Polish developers are well-adapted to remote employment but you’ll need to take a proactive approach if you choose to hire them individually. But there is a better way to go about it: work with Rubyroid Labs. Having been in the market since 2013, we have a large pool of talented individuals available for your project — write to us.

Romania

Romania boasts the third largest pool of developers in Central and Eastern Europe. This report contends that around 200,000 people in the country work in IT, making up 2.6% of the entire national workforce.

Interestingly, by DSGI, Romania is 32 positions behind Poland, which is the lowest rank of all European countries on this list. Why would that be so?

The reason could be that many international companies have been opening their branches in Romania lately, thus boosting the demand for developers at home. And that, in turn, may be due to the unprecedented state’s initiatives like the exemption of IT-companies employees from the salary tax.

Internet Infrastructure

Romania has one of the best Internet infrastructures in Europe. The broadband connection across the country is fast (two times faster than the global average) and affordable. In fact, it is so affordable, the country hit first place in the EU broadband price index in 2021.

Speaking of mobile networks, Romania took 54th out of 140 countries by mobile speed in August 2022. The same year, its 5G coverage more than doubled, reaching 24.9%, up from 11.7% registered in 2021. But even in 2021, Romania was among the leaders in Europe by mobile-only access, on par with Poland (22% and 23%, respectively).

Finally, Romania has overtaken Poland in the National Cyber Security Index by three points, taking 7th place and ranking 2nd on this list.

Top 5 Most Popular Programming Languages

Python, Java, JavaScript, C/C++ (BusinessReview.eu)

English Proficiency

A little behind Poland, Romania takes 17th place in the EF EPI, which is ahead of five others on this list.

Time Difference

BUCHAREST 08:00, Monday Difference
Los Angeles (PST) 22:00, Sunday +10 hours
Chicago (CST) 00:00, Monday +8 hours
New York City (EST) 01:00, Monday +7 hours
London 06:00, Monday +2 hours
Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam 07:00, Monday +1 hour
Tokyo 15:00, Monday -7 hours
Canberra 17:00, Monday -9 hours

Summary

Romanian developers are supported by a powerful infrastructure — fast and cheap broadband connectivity and rapidly developing mobile networks. At the same time, the country is in the top ten most digitally secure jurisdictions in the world.

With Romanian developers, you will likely find a strong command of the programming languages that are in high demand with startups today.

Just like Poland, Romania may be the best country to outsource software development if you are located in Europe. The time difference will be minimal, and you can easily come visit your external team and enjoy clear communication in English.

Ukraine

High-quality engineering education has given a platform for IT talent to grow in Ukraine.

The Soviet Union had many disadvantages — but it also left some decent heritage. Pushed by the arms race, the Soviet leadership placed a lot of emphasis on teaching science and engineering and enhancing the prestige of related professions. Ukraine has been able to pick up the baton and adapt it to the modern world.

As a result, Ukraine ranks 69th in the DSGI, which is fourth place on this list after Poland, the Czech Republic and Belarus. Startups like Ajax, RefaceAI, Grammarly and MacPaw were founded in Ukraine and tapped into the pool of local talent.

In 2021, the Ukrainian IT Association reported that the number of digital industry professionals grew from 244,000 to 285,000. And this figure is set to increase further, thanks to the government’s decision to exempt software development services from the VAT until the end of 2022.

You may be thinking that the war has disrupted the software development outsourcing market in Ukraine. But consider these figures: 52% of software companies have retained 100% of their contracts and 32% have kept 90-99% of clients.

Internet Infrastructure

As of this publication, almost 50% of Ukraine’s energy system has been disabled by missile strikes, and the situation may deteriorate even further. Nevertheless, some parts of the country are still relatively safe and provide fast, free access to the Internet via Elon musk’s Starlink satellite network.

Speaking of cyber security, Ukraine falls behind all its neighbors from this list in the National Cyber Security Index.

Top 5 Most Popular Programming Languages

JavaScript, C#, Java, Python, PHP (DOU.ua)

English Proficiency

Ukraine ranks 35th (moderate proficiency) in the EF EPI. This is better than Belarus, Brazil and Egypt, but far behind other European countries and Argentina.

Time Difference

KYIV 08:00, Monday Difference
Los Angeles (PST) 22:00, Sunday +10 hours
Chicago (CST) 00:00, Monday +8 hours
New York City (EST) 01:00, Monday +7 hours
London 06:00, Monday +2 hours
Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam 07:00, Monday +1 hour
Tokyo 15:00, Monday -7 hours
Canberra 17:00, Monday -9 hours

Summary

Ukrainian developers have a strong educational background. But more importantly, they have demonstrated resilience and resolve under missile strikes, clinging to their responsibilities toward clients despite all odds. And there are many developers in the country — more than in Romania.

Like other Eastern European countries, Ukraine lies in a nearby time zone if you are in Europe. And you will likely find developers there who speak English good enough to follow your specifications and provide coherent reports. However, consider the risks of the current situation as the country is being constantly bombarded with missiles.

Belarus

Belarus had been able to offer the lowest prices in the region thanks to generous tax cuts until recent events. As a result, a large community of developers grew in the country, reaching about 78,000 IT professionals at some point. However, due to the unfavorable political situation, many developers left Belarus for neighboring European countries.

Just like Ukraine, Belarus has benefitted from strong traditions of engineering education. Belarusian university entrants can choose from 70 IT specializations. Every year, more than 16,000 people graduate from universities with a diploma in STEM, which makes up about 25% of all college graduates.

The country performs well in the DSGI, taking third place on this list after Poland and Czechia.

Internet Infrastructure

In 2022, Belarus overtook every other Eastern and Central European country by number of mobile Internet users. And the mobile Internet penetration rate reached 94.5% in 2021. The same source puts Belarus “among Europe’s leaders in terms of penetration rates for household fiber-optic communication lines.”

In Speedtest rankings, the country scored last on this list by mobile Internet and ranked 7th by fixed broadband speed, outpacing Argentina and Egypt.

Belarus scored 66th in the National Cyber Security Index, penultimate to Egypt.

Top 5 Most Popular Programming Languages

JavaScript, C#, Java, Ruby, PHP

English Proficiency

With 39th place in the EF EPI out of 111 (moderate proficiency), Belarus is 6th on this list in terms of English literacy.

Time Difference

MINSK 08:00, Monday Difference
Los Angeles (PST) 21:00, Sunday +11 hours
Chicago (CST) 23:00, Sunday +9 hours
New York City (EST) 00:00, Monday +8 hours
London 05:00, Monday +3 hours
Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam 06:00, Monday +2 hours
Tokyo 14:00, Monday -6 hours
Canberra 16:00, Monday -8 hours

Summary

There are many well-educated developers in Belarus. Their population is more than Romania’s but smaller than every other country on this list aside from Taiwan (where there’s insufficient data). And the developers are supported by a widespread mobile Internet, though it’s sometimes not as fast as you may want it to be.

The time difference between Minsk and most European countries allows for enough overlapping hours to work together. But before outsourcing IT to Belarus, consider legal and reputation risks, as it’s notorious for its human rights track record.

The Czech Republic

Number two in the DSGI among all countries on this list, Czechia is home to some of the top global outsourcing companies. Different sources estimate the number of Czech developers from 100,000 to 150,000. According to this report, 4.6% of the employed population of the country worked in IT in 2021.

In terms of quantity, the country outpaced almost every other European country in overall technology performance in 2021.

Attracted by the access to top-notch developer talent, companies like Google, IBM, Honeywell and NetSuite have established their offices in the Czech Republic. The country has also seen a host of startups being founded domestically, such as Avast, JetBrains, GoodData, Socialbakers, Y Soft and others.

Internet Infrastructure

Czechia has ranked 17th in level of connectivity among EU countries in 2022. It trumped the average EU figures in overall fixed broadband adoption and 5G coverage. Nevertheless, it remarkably lagged behind in terms of 100+ Mbps (27% vs 41%) and 1+ Gbps broadband subscriptions (0.77% vs 7.58%).
In terms of cyber security, Czechia has left behind all other countries on this list, ranking 5th in the NCSI.

Top 5 Most Popular Programming Languages

Java, SQL, Python C++, Ruby (HackerRank)

English Proficiency

With Poland and Romania ahead, the Czech Republic ranks 23rd in the EF EPI.

Time Difference

PRAGUE 08:00, Monday Difference
Los Angeles (PST) 23:00, Sunday +9 hours
Chicago (CST) 01:00, Monday +7 hours
New York City (EST) 02:00, Monday +6 hours
London 07:00, Monday +1 hour
Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam 08:00, Monday 0 hours
Tokyo 16:00, Monday -8 hours
Canberra 18:00, Monday -10 hours

Summary

Data on the number of developers in the Czech Republic is controversial. On the one hand, Github has more Czech accounts per million of the population than others from this list of countries to outsource coding to. On the other hand, there are fewer developers there than in Poland, Romania or Ukraine. But Czechia also has the smallest population of the four countries.

Speaking of infrastructure, the average connectivity in the country remains below the EU average — but is rapidly developing. And although Czechia is not as well connected as its neighbors, expect a relatively safe cyber space in which developers will build and test your software.

Czechia completes our list of European outsourcing destinations. If you’re considering looking for developers in this region, consider Rubyroid Labs. We have all it takes to build a web or mobile app for you. Just drop us a line.

Brazil

The Brazilian IT scene is marked by many billions of dollars invested in related education by the USA. As a result, the number of people working in this field has been rapidly growing. It increased by 3.3% from 2020 into 2021, reaching 1.65 million professionals and making Brazil the number-one talent pool in Latin America.

Meanwhile, the digital technology sector in Brazil has doubled as well — and with it the demand for developers domestically. This has created over 50,000 new vacancies in the sector, which companies have been struggling to fill. The country holds the 96th position in the DSGI, the lowest of others on this list of outsourcing destinations, which mirrors that deficit.
Despite the domestic deficit, Brazilian developers have been actively used by businesses abroad. In 2021, around 500,000 of them worked in offshoring, attesting to Brazil’s status as one of the top software outsourcing countries.

Internet Infrastructure

According to the International Trade Administration of the US, “Brazil possesses a mature policy and regulatory environment for the telecom sector.”

Still, there is room for improvement. For instance, only around 58% of households in Brazil have fixed broadband Internet access at home, compared to Poland’s 69% and Czechia’s 84%. And the number of households with mobile broadband access has even slid down to 14% over the past five years (Poland and Czechia have scored 72% and 60% respectively).

What is a bit worrying about Brazil is its position on the National Cyber Security Index: it ranks 68th. This is behind every other country on this list excluding Taiwan, which isn’t included in the index.
All that, however, didn’t prevent Brazil from developing an impressive tech scene, including 90 technology parks, 35 accelerators and the Brazilian “Silicon Valley” in Campinas.

Top 5 Most Popular Programming Languages

JavaScript, Java, PHP, SQL, Python (Clutch)

English Proficiency

Ranking 58th in the EF EPI, Brazil only overtakes Egypt in its command of English.

Time Difference

SÃO PAULO 08:00, Monday Difference
Los Angeles (PST) 03:00, Monday +5 hours
Chicago (CST) 05:00, Monday +3 hours
New York City (EST) 06:00, Monday +2 hours
London 11:00, Monday -3 hours
Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam 12:00, Monday -4 hours
Tokyo 20:00, Monday -12 hours
Canberra 22:00, Monday -14 hours

Summary

Brazil boasts Latin America’s largest developer pool. Meanwhile, domestic demand is high (and growing), and the region’s largest number of programmers are already working for overseas clients.

The country’s Internet infrastructure is developing under “mature” regulations and policies, but remains wanting. Finally, you need to factor in security concerns if you decide to go with Brazil. But this piece of advice generally applies when outsourcing to developing countries.

Egypt

The Arab Republic of Egypt is marked by “large developer population, strong startup ecosystem with a strong funding environment, and stable socio-economic conditions.” (Google).

According to the same study, Egypt is in the second tier of most digitally-developed African countries, whereas the first tier is presented solely by South Africa. But it’s also noted that the Egyptian government has been showing much stronger support for the digital sector than that of South Africa.

In 2021, the country had 89,000 developers, which is a 2% growth from the preceding year. But the demand for IT professionals is still acute, with Egypt taking 82nd place in the DSGI, only leaving behind Brazil from this list.

The government has been attempting to change this situation. In 2022, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) launched a new program: “Our Future Is Digital.” The program is aimed at training 100,000 professionals in the IT sector.

Internet Infrastructure

Egypt topped the list of African countries by fixed broadband Internet speed in 2019.

Nevertheless, according to Speedtest, the country occupied 88th place out of 181 by fixed broadband median speed in September 2022. And this is behind every other country on the list we are considering. But Egypt trumped Ukraine and Argentina by mobile speed over the same period of time, taking 81st place vs. 83rd and 86th out of 139, respectively.

Currently, about 44% of Egyptian households are equipped with fixed broadband, which is behind every country on this list. But Egypt left Brazil behind in terms of mobile broadband penetration in households (58% vs. 14%). Another important issue is the development of 5G in Egypt: it’s been slow and is slated to become available late in 2022.

Last but not least, Egypt takes third lowest place in the National Cyber Security Index of all nine countries: it ranks 55th.

Top 5 Most Popular Programming Languages

JavaScript, PHP, Java, Swift, SQL (Clutch)

English Proficiency

Although Egyptian developers are in demand, the country’s 85th rank in the EF EPI is the lowest on this list.

Time Difference

CAIRO 08:00, Monday Difference
Los Angeles (PST) 22:00, Sunday +10 hours
Chicago (CST) 00:00, Monday +8 hours
New York City (EST) 01:00, Monday +7 hours
London 06:00, Monday +2 hours
Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam 07:00, Monday +1 hour
Tokyo 15:00, Monday -7 hours
Canberra 17:00, Monday -9 hours

Summary

There are fewer developers in Egypt than in most other countries on this list — but even that is a lot for the region. And the Egyptian government appears to be proactively supporting programming education and the Internet infrastructure to make this number grow.

The infrastructure, however, has a long way to climb. The lack of Internet adoption by households is staggering, and the connection speed is rather low compared to the other outsourcing destinations — as well as the level of cyber security.

However, if you are located in Europe, you will enjoy minimal time difference. Just make sure to check the English skills of your prospective outsourced software development team.

Argentina

Argentina supplies a massive programming workforce as an outsourcing destination. Around 115,000 developers there work in an offshoring capacity.

That said, it’s noteworthy that the country has still been struggling to fill technology vacancies domestically. In the DSGI, Argentina takes 75th place on par with Romania, which is the third lowest of this list. Like in Brazil, this could be due to domestic demand for programmers growing faster than supply.

Programmers in Argentina have demonstrated an outstanding command of computer programming, database management and mobile development. In data science, they excel at data analytics and statistical programming.

Internet Infrastructure

One of the few things we could dig up on Argentina’s connectivity is the country’s Internet speeds. It ranks 86th in Speedtest’s fixed broadband speed connectivity, which is just five positions ahead of the anti-leader Egypt. In terms of mobile speed, Argentina lags behind every other country on this list.
Speaking of cyber security, the Latin American republic has overtaken Brazil, Egypt and Belarus, and took 6th place on this rating (44th globally).

Top 5 Most Popular Programming Languages

JavaScript, Java, PHP, SQL, Python (Clutch)

English Proficiency

Argentina is confidently in the middle of the list when it comes to English proficiency, ranking 30th in the EF EPI.

Time Difference

BUENOS AIRES 08:00, Monday Difference
Los Angeles (PST) 03:00, Monday +5 hours
Chicago (CST) 05:00, Monday +3 hours
New York City (EST) 06:00, Monday +2 hours
London 11:00, Monday -3 hours
Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam 12:00, Monday -4 hours
Tokyo 20:00, Monday -12 hours
Canberra 22:00, Monday -14 hours

Summary

If you’re an American or European company building a mobile app, Argentina will be one of the best countries for offshore software development. You will likely have no problem communicating with them in English and have enough overlapping hours.

However, finding a programmer may not be easy, as the domestic software development market is already hungry. And you should also consider the country’s Internet connectivity specifics and security concerns.

Taiwan

Software developers in Taiwan have been increasingly employed through hybrid and fully remote schemes lately. This means you will likely have no problem working with programmers located there. Google, Intel, Meta, AMD, Amazon and other large international players have been actively hiring staff and opening their R&D centers in Taiwan.

It’s also significant that vacancies in Taiwan have been actively filled by skilled workforce from its neighboring countries like Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia.

Internet Infrastructure

Taiwan boasts wide Internet penetration. The rate for fixed household connectivity has topped 65%, and mobile penetration has reached 81.5%. And the Internet is fast. Taiwan trumped every other country on this list by mobile speed (27th place) and is only second to Romania by fixed broadband speed (18th, Speedtest).

Unfortunately, Taiwan isn’t included in the National Cyber Security Index.

Top 5 Most Popular Programming Languages

JavaScript, SQL, Python, PHP, C# (Clutch)

English Proficiency

Sadly, the EF EPI does not include Taiwan. But it includes Hong Kong and China as one, placing them in 31st place (high proficiency).

Time Difference

TAIPEI 08:00, Monday Difference
Los Angeles (PST) 16:00, Sunday +16 hours
Chicago (CST) 18:00, Sunday +14 hours
New York City (EST) 19:00, Sunday +13 hours
London 00:00, Monday +8 hours
Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam 01:00, Monday +7 hours
Tokyo 09:00, Monday -1 hour
Canberra 11:00, Monday -3 hours

Summary

Finding statistics on Taiwanese developers is relatively difficult. What’s for sure is that the country has a decent Internet infrastructure, both mobile and fixed. And if you choose to go with Taiwan, you will be in good company. The presence of the googles and metas of this world indicates it’s one of the top IT outsourcing countries.

So, What Are the Best Countries To Outsource Software Development?

IT outsourcing abroad isn’t just a way to save a few bucks. You can also find developers with scarce skills and strong academic background.

If you operate in Europe and value cultural affinity and comfortable time difference, consider countries like Poland, Romania, Ukraine and the Czech Republic. American companies looking for more overlapping hours may check out Argentine and Brazilian talent pools.

We hope this post has helped explain why companies outsource computer programming abroad. If you want to do so too, consider working with Rubyroid Labs. We have been building web and mobile applications for clients from all around the world since 2013. Just let us know how we can help.

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Daria Stolyar is a Marketing Manager at Rubyroid Labs. You can follow her at Linkedin.

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