Software Development in Poland: a Guide to IT Outsourcing
Poland is one of the most attractive IT markets in Central and Eastern Europe. With this detailed guide to the IT industry in Poland, it will be easier for you to make the decision to outsource your IT project to a Polish development team.
- Overview of IT industry in Poland: statistics and facts
- Impacts of COVID-19 on the IT industry in Poland
- What is the IT industry in Poland like?
- How to outsource software development to Poland – everything you should know
- Is Poland good for software development?
- How many software developers are in Poland?
- Where are the best software development companies located?
- Cost of hiring software developers in Poland
- Is Poland a good location for outsourcing?
- Why should I outsource to Poland?
- Key benefits of outsourcing software development to Poland
- Why you shouldn’t put on hold the decision to build a development team in Poland
- How to hire dedicated Polish developers?
- Why choose Stratoflow to build an offshore development team?
In today’s competitive economy, the vast majority of companies must deliver smooth and seamless digital experiences, no matter what their core area of business is.
Modern IT solutions and systems are required to deal with large amounts of data in real-time, providing its clients with a superb user experience.
In the face of these challenges, outsourcing the software development process to an external, experienced company may seem like a good idea. Still, how to choose the right software development company to become your IT partner may be critical.
As you familiarize yourself with the IT outsourcing vendor market, you may be overwhelmed by the availability of choices. There are tens of thousands of software houses worldwide and choosing the wrong one can lead to delays, bloated budgets, or, in the worst-case scenario, a badly built app.
This comprehensive guide is aimed to help you make the most informed decision when it comes to outsourcing IT services, and to introduce you to the lucrative Polish IT industry and all of its unique advantages.
Overview of IT industry in Poland: statistics and facts
Poland is characterized by its industrialized, mixed economy with a developed market that serves as the sixth-largest in the European Union by nominal GDP and fifth-largest by GDP.
Since the transformation from the socialist system in the 90’, Poland has enjoyed the stable growth for the last three decades. In fact, it is the fastest-growing economy in Central & Eastern Europe.
What’s more, the country wasn’t as severely affected by the 2008 economic crisis as other western economies, instead, it developed and digitalized at a healthy pace which enabled it to become an aspiring IT hub.
Poland also offers impressive profitability for foreign investments. According to a joint report by KPMG and the American Chamber of Commerce, “every dollar invested in Poland by American companies creates 50% more value than other foreign investments.”
When it comes to the IT industry itself, the Polish software development services market is the 33rd biggest industry in the country, representing about 8% of the country’s entire GDP.
The combined value of the Polish IT market has been growing steadily in the past years, ultimately reaching a value of an impressive 53 billion PLN in 2021.
We cannot forget though, that we are living through very turbulent times. The question, therefore, arises on how the Polish IT market has been influenced by the ongoing pandemic?
Impacts of COVID-19 on the IT industry in Poland
According to SoDA 2021 report, one-third of software development companies in Poland said that the COVID-19 pandemic had an overall positive impact on them. Currently, almost 70% of them have a strongly positive outlook toward the future.
Such reports may seem surprising at first but as lockdowns ravaged global economies, numerous companies and retailers were forced to expand their digital capabilities to meet the rising demands in e-commerce and online services.
All of that resulted in a huge increase in demand for software development outsourcing as organizations all across the world were looking for highly experienced IT specialists.
Thanks to their impressive technical skills and unique location in the central-eastern European region, Polish developers became a very valuable asset for international clients, rapidly moving forward the local IT industry.
[Read also: How to Prepare for Outsourcing Software Development?]
What is the IT industry in Poland like?
Poland offers a large pool of very talented web developers.
In order for the project to go according to the plan and for both parties to be satisfied, the communication has to be swift and effective. Moreover, the way both organizations are managed has to be compatible with one another. What does it look like in Poland?
Nowadays, the way the average Polish software development company is managed is very similar to what you can experience in countries like the UK, Germany, or France. In Poland you will also find a lot of specialized IT outsourcing companies.
Over the last three decades, Polish companies have managed to develop a successful target-oriented way of communicating with business partners – both casually and professionally.
Getting back to communication between Polish development teams and foreign companies. It is not only concrete and logical but also open and person-oriented.
What’s more, on the international software development scene Polish software developers are often perceived as hard-working individuals with a “no-nonsense” approach to assigned tasks.
It is certainly helpful considering that, according to InfoShare data, almost 80% of Polish software houses’ clients are based in western Europe. In 2021, 72% of Polish IT employees were working in companies that outsource IT services to other organizations.
Poles have exceptional communication and English skills. Over the last 5 years, Poland has always held a place in the top 15 countries that speak English as a second language. This percentage seemed to have grown last year.
According to EF English Proficiency Index, in 2021 Poland scored 597 points, which is considered to be a high level for overall English proficiency.
When hiring a Polish software developer, the language barrier will not be an issue. Neither will competitive salaries nor the well-developed infrastructure. Keeping that in mind, outsourcing IT services in Poland will present itself as a great opportunity.
[Read also: Working environment in Stratoflow: 12 questions to the CTO and cofounder Arkadiusz Drysch]
How to outsource software development to Poland – everything you should know
So we’ve already established that both, Polish economy and the software development industry is well-developed and mature. Moreover, Poland has a large tech talent pool of web developers.
In this part, we are going to go even more in-depth on why this particular region is a great choice for outsourcing the software development process for your project.
Is Poland good for software development?
When it comes to the overall number of software houses with experience in working for international clients, Poland has already surpassed other popular offshore destinations, such as India for example.
Substantial investments, partially supported by the EU, enabled great improvements which have been made in recent years in Polish infrastructure. Thanks to them even rural parts of the country enjoy fast, fiberoptics Internet.
The Polish software house scene is constantly expanding and evolving. We can see that over the years more and more young people are interested in software development and choose IT studies in order to pursue a career as a software developer.
Every year around 78,000 people in Poland graduate with tech degrees. Also, thanks to numerous independent programming schools and boot camps, there are a substantial number of highly experienced programmers. They have a mastery of every field of software development from front-end and back-end all the way to dev-ops, and Big Data.
Polish development teams are familiar with the best project management practices. As the vast majority of them have experience with agile and scrum approaches on a daily basis. They can easily and effectively track project objectives, achieving the best productivity throughout the whole software development process.
Polish software engineers are able to focus on quality as well as the performance of their code. By creating multi-disciplinary teams, and employing the most experienced developers to project manager roles they can take full advantage of the Polish diverse talent pool.
For instance, after an audit our British client praised our team by saying “the code scan is one of the cleanest we have seen”.
How many software developers are in Poland?
Over the years, Poland underwent a digital transformation process that influenced almost all branches of the economy. Thanks to it, the Polish IT market had plenty of opportunities and a lot of room to grow.
According to Clutch data, there are almost 50 thousand tech companies in Poland and over 800 of which offer dedicated software development outsourcing services. It is worth mentioning that more than half of the operating software houses were established after 2011, and only 5% of them were established before 2000.
What’s the reason for such a rapid increase in the number of Polish software houses in recent years?
In the past two decades we have seen a huge progress in the start-up scene in Poland as well as the rising popularity of IT degrees among university students. These factors have fueled the development of tech outsourcing companies across Poland and granted them a substantial level of competitiveness in the global market.
With over 800 software houses specializing in all of the popular programming languages, you can outsource a development team that is catered to your business’ specific needs.
Poland has the overall largest IT specialists pool in the Central & Eastern Europe region what makes it an excellent outsourcing location.
According to the data shared by StackOverflow and Infoshare, Polish developers now account for 24% of all programmers located in Central and Eastern Europe.
Currently, there are over 254,000 software engineers working in Poland. They are specialized in different areas, and they can support you with various challenges at all stages of your software product development process.
[Read also: The Most Common Problems in Software Development]
Going further, this number is projected to steadily grow in the upcoming years.
Poland hosts almost 400 higher education institutions, including over 40 state-funded universities, among which there are more than a dozen of technical universities that get into the top 1,000 QS World University Rankings.
Each year in Poland 78,000 students graduate from tech universities on average. With a formidable educational base and a huge pool of incredibly talented young people, the Polish IT industry is projected to experience stable growth in the future.
Biggest tech talent centers in Poland – where are the best software development companies located?
The diverse Polish startup scene, combined with robust digital infrastructure, encouraged some of the largest corporations from western European countries as well as from the US to move a substantial part of their operations to outsourcing hubs like Warsaw, Wroclaw, Krakow, and the Silesia region.
Global tech giants such as Amazon, Microsoft and Google have all established R&D facilities in Poland. Some of the notable IT hubs which greatly contribute towards expanding the Polish IT sphere include:
- Warsaw– R&D facilities for Samsung and Microsoft,
- Wroclaw– large offices for Nokia and IBM,
- Krakow– development centers for CISCO, Google, Fujitsu, and UBS,
- Katowice– corporate offices of Kroll and Hyland.
The same goes for the overall number of software developers in Polish cities. According to this year’s BulldogJobs IT market assessment, almost a quarter of all Polish developers work in Warsaw, where 14% and 12% of them work in Kraków and Wrocław respectively.
It is also worth mentioning that the IT market, more than any other, was influenced by COVID-19 when companies were forced to move rapidly towards remote work.
What is interesting, numerous Polish software houses found out that a lot of their developers have been satisfied with working remotely, and overall productivity and code quality has not decreased despite fears of many managers. Because of that many Polish software houses have moved towards a permanent hybrid work model.
According to SoDA research, almost 9 out of 10 software developers instead of having a fancy and modern office, would rather not have to appear there at all.
As a result of shifts both in working conditions and in the mindset of managers, a regular office changed its traditional role from a place of everyday work to a more casual co-working space, a meeting place for teams, and an administrative center for organizations.
Cost of hiring software developers in Poland
In terms of offshore software development rates compared to other European countries, Polish developers offer fairly attractive prices.
An average Polish software developer earns quite a lucrative monthly salary, considering the cost of living in Poland. Still, on the European market, the same salaries are considered extremely competitive from a point of view of a company looking to offshore software developers.
According to the 2021 report by the Sedlak & Sedlak consultancy, Java Junior Software Developers in Poland earn between $1,000-$2,000 per month, depending on their abilities, knowledge, and location.
Mid-level developer’s salary is usually somewhere between $1,900-$2,680 per month, while a senior software developer earns $3,800 per month on average.
Experts with multiple years of programming experience and extensive knowledge of various technologies can earn over $4,300 per month.
Given the current turbulent economic landscape, it is logical that organizations are looking for ways of optimizing their cost bases. Offshoring the IT services can minimize the costs of hiring developers. As well as establishing a well-attuned team with the proper technical education which is catered to the specific business needs.
It is worth remembering that professional software development is never cheap, even when outsourced to an external company in a more competitive market. Polish software houses can be extremely competitive, while still being within a two-hour flight to any European destination.
Is Poland a good location for outsourcing?
Poland’s unique location on the map of Europe makes it a strategic gateway between East and West, always within an easy reach of a short international flight.
Currently, the Polish startup scene ranks 30th in the Global Startup Index 2021. This is a much higher place than other countries from the eastern European region like Hungary (49st), Belarus (67th), or Ukraine (34th). The Polish capital city of Warsaw took the notable 78th spot in the global cities’ ranking.
Poland is also seen on the international scene as a great place for foreign investments. In 2019, the VC funding for Polish startups increased by 800% compared to the previous year.
Going further, in the first half of 2021, Polish startups acquired an impressive sum of over $243 million from investors. This represents an increase of more than 55% over the previous year.
Why should I outsource to Poland?
According to various studies, Polish software developers are considered to be one of the world’s best and most qualified. There are a lot of good reasons why they’re the most sought-after developers in the international market.
Polish developers often take the highest spots in various international programming contests, such as Google Code Jam, Microsoft Imagine Cup, or the Central European Programming Contest (CEPC). They are currently ranked 5th in the world according to the Top Coder ranking.
As stated in HackerRank article, if they held a hacking Olympics today, their data says Poland would take third prize.
According to the latter, they excel in Java programming language skills, as well as SQL and Python.
There is also one more aspect of software development that we cannot forget about – data security. Poland is a member of the European Union, therefore it’s obliged to follow the same laws as any other EU country. What’s more, the General Data Protection Regulation was introduced in 2016, resulting in even stricter policies toward protecting sensitive information.
Poland’s IT industry is booming. Key benefits of outsourcing software development to Poland
There are a lot of vital global IT trends that Polish software developers successfully realize in their work. First and foremost, Polish software companies are highly experienced in the development of financial systems and applications.
The number of digital financial services has been steadily growing within the last years, and this development has only been further expanded by the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Online banking, online shopping, loans, accounting platforms, mobile brokerage applications – the rise in popularity of all these solutions have fueled the development of fintech companies in Poland.
Fintech owners know the benefits of outsourcing software development to countries within the European Union because of the need to be compliant with the EU’s regulations.
According to Deloitte research, Poland was estimated to be the biggest fintech hub in the CEE sector with an estimated value of €856 million. All of that shows that Polish software architects have a lot of experience in developing high-volume, high-performance systems for financial markets following current fintech trends.
During the pandemic, Poland has turned into one of the major healthcare tech hubs in Europe.
It became possible largely due to the abundance of highly specialized software developers with expertise in Machine Learning (ML), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Big Data fields.
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly influenced hospitals and medical facilities across the world which, in turn, gave a substantial boost to the private healthcare sector. This led to an increased demand for IT services and software development. Polish programmers followed this trend.
What’s more, Poland is also gaining popularity as a significant contributor to the world’s game dev industry. Probably everyone heard about CD Projekt – Polish publishers of extremely popular Witcher and Cyberpunk2077 franchises.
Poland also houses a variety of smaller independent game dev studios and the mobile sector which play an important role in this market.
According to The Game Industry of Poland 2021 report, there were over 470 game dev producers and publishers in Poland in 2021.
Why you shouldn’t put on hold the decision to build a development team in Poland
One of the largest advantages of Poland as an outsourcing destination are very competitive salaries among developers at least compared to the western market.
This situation is currently somewhat changing. According to this year’s BulldogJobs IT market report last year, 56% of the developers confirmed that they had received an increase in relation to 2020, but this year as many as 75% expected an increase in their salaries.
The pandemic, rising inflation, and a substantial increase in demand for IT services translated into an increase in earnings for as many as 79% of IT employees in 2022.
All of that means that even though right now Polish software developers offer a unique mix of extremely competitive salaries, great communication skills, and sublime technical knowledge this certainly won’t last forever.
If you are considering cooperating with a Polish software house on your next project, you’d better hurry up before their salaries catch up with the rest of western Europe.
The Average Software Engineering Salary in Europe (source)
How to hire dedicated Polish developers?
If you have decided to start outsourcing the custom software development to Poland or mobile app development, there are several ways to hire offshore developers and you can choose which one is best for your specific needs.
Collaborating with Polish Software Houses
One of the most popular platforms for searching for software houses is the review aggregator Cluth. You can customize your search and read the actual client reviews as well as learn what field each software company specializes in.
This way, you can check what technologies each company is using or read about their level of quality management standards when delivering software development solutions. It is also worth noting what industry the company specializes in, for example, fintech, e-commerce, healthcare, travel, telecommunications, etc.
Consulting the local IT recruiters
You can approach a freelance recruiter on platforms like LinkedIn, and ask for help in searching for good Polish developers for your specific project.
Such recruiters develop a huge network of highly experienced IT specialists as well as work directly with tech companies in Poland. They are helping them to find clients and act as a sort of a middle person in establishing new business relationships.
If you have a very complex project with requires an extremely specific skill set you can form a dedicated team from scratch by directly searching for Polish developers on freelance platforms or local job boards such as Guru or Upwork.
Freelancers by definition are self-employed and do not work for a single company. They are employed by various organizations on temporary contracts for the purpose of completing specific projects.
By selecting this approach you can create a development team consisting of members located all over the world, but that can potentially result in all sorts of problems like operating in different time zones or problems with communication.
Because of that, this approach is usually advised when dealing with projects using obscure or niche technologies.
Why choose Stratoflow to build an offshore development team?
When outsourcing software development and looking for specialists with the extensive knowledge of Java programming language you cannot have found a better partner than Stratoflow.
We are Stratoflow, a custom software development company. We firmly believe that effective communication is key in delivering complex software projects. That is why we provide our clients with the support of highly specialized, dedicated teams. We specialize in building enterprise software projects and integration systems for clients located in Western Europe and the US. Our main office is located in the beautiful city of Wroclaw which is considered to be one of the main tech hubs in Poland. This allows us to create high-performance Java applications and programs capable of processing vast amounts of data in a short time. As a result, the solutions designed for our customers contribute to their business development. We specialize in travel, ecommerce, and fintech industries. In addition, we are taking low-code to a new level with our Open-Source Low-Code Platform.
If you have a development project that you would like to discuss, don’t hestitate to contact us.
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