Which Country Has the World’s Best Programmers? Here are the Stats

best programmers in the world

Remote programmers and developers were a valuable addition to a company far before the pandemic. With the ever-growing digitalization of infrastructures and systems, hiring the best programmers in the world is the priority for thousands of companies. 

How to attract the best programmers in the world? And, considering the infinite possibilities of remote hiring, where to find the programmers in the world? 

Ben Frederickson, a software developer from Vancouver, already tried to answer these questions by researching where to find top talent developers. According to his research, the top 5 countries to find developers are:

  • United States
  • China    
  • India        
  • United Kingdom     
  • Germany

This study is based on GitHub Users Accounts, which are more popular in the US. As Frederickson admits, the data from GitHub cannot give you a complete overview, leaving out great places to consider, like Eastern Europe or South America.  

What Do Entrepreneurs Say?

If you type this question on Quora, you will find many different answers. Some people give general advice. Others share their experiences. 

Among the answers, you can find some interesting opinions based on individual experience. Russian engineers, for example, are well trained but don’t fit well with team dynamics. Or, in Costa Rica, you can find smart developers, but it’s challenging to pull up larger teams. Philippine engineers speak good English, work longer hours, and are excellent in design. On the other hand, the country has weak infrastructures leading to power difficulties, and there is a high tendency to sickness. What concerns Chinese developers is a different story. They are smart workers but don’t speak very good English – and who do it cost three times more. Indians are well trained but usually work in the night a second job, and due to the large population, it’s hard to pick good candidates. 

Where the truth lies? Of course, a personal experience can always contradict general statistics. Or you can find your perfect candidate in a country where developers are less than 10% of the population. However, there are some ways to see which area is the best one to start looking and find the best developer for you.

HackerRank Competition: And The Winner Is…

HackerRank study is a company specialized in hiring remote developers. They released a competition for developers and programmers worldwide. The 2021 test combined 15 different domains, including mathematics, data shell, data structure, Java, etc. 

Programmers from different countries scored different results depending on the domain of the test. On the overall score, China and Russia rank in the top positions with the most talented programmers. For example, Chinese programmers recorded the best performance in mathematics, functional programming, and data structure challenges. The Russians dominated in algorithms, while the US and India ranked below the #20 positions in all domains. 

Following China and Russia on the overall score, other countries like Switzerland, Japan, Tawan, and Italy scored optimal results. For example, Japan holds the expertise for AI technologies, while Italy did excellent tutorials and databases. 

Where To Find The Best Programmers In The World For Each Technology?

Based on HackerRank’s domain expertise, you can see where a programming language is more popular. For example, Ruby is very popular in Japan, followed by Brazil, Mexico, and Chile. Or developers from Malaysia and Pakistan prefer C++, while in Taiwan, Python is more popular. Almost everywhere, Java is the most popular language. 

Which Country Has the Most Tenacious Developers? 

Part of the HackerRank score system looks at those countries that don’t complete the challenge. It might sound like a useless challenge, but when thinking of hiring, it’s something you want to consider back in your mind.

Development projects always have bottlenecks, and you need someone tenacious enough to find solutions. Technical expertise is crucial for programmers, but other soft skills can make a difference. And one of them is determination.

In countries like Nigeria, Malaysia, and Pakistan, developers tend to give more easily. On the other hand, Switzerland and Hungary didn’t leave any incomplete challenges and had the most tenacious developers. 

Which Country Produces the Best Coders Worldwide?

Besides the result of individual countries, Eastern European countries scored excellent results proving many talented developers. For example, Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic rank in the first ten positions of the HackerRank challenge. 

In Eastern Europe, you can find over 5.7 million IT professionals, of which 33% are female tech professionals. In the past few years, local governments invested in the IT market and tech education. As a result, most developers are based in Ukraine and Poland, making Eastern Europe one of the best places to hire a remote developer.

The hourly rate and time zones are the most convenient for most developed countries. For example, in Western Europe, the time difference is about 1 to 3 hours. On the US West Coast it is 10 hours, and on the East Coast is around 6–7 hours.

In addition, Eastern European developers are among the most proficient in English around Europe. For example, Poland ranks #11 on the English Proficiency Index globally, while Ukraine and Russia recorded a literacy rate of 99.4%.

Finally, Romania ranked 20th on the HackerRank list, but it’s still one of the best places to look for developers. According to A.T. Kearney Global Services Location Index, Romania is the 18th country for financial attractiveness, skill levels and availability, and tech business environment. Romania’s government also offers excellent benefits for employers in Western Europe and North America in addition to convenient time zones and language proficiency. 

Best Countries to Find Programmers For Specific Coding Languages

In 2019, the SkillValue SaaS platform organized multiple competitions for developers with algorithm exercises in different programming languages. According to this test, Mexico is the top country if you need an expert with Java and JavaScript, while Ireland has the best .NET developers. Once again, Eastern Europe dominated the competition with other coding languages. Serbia excels in C/C++, Hungary with PHP, and Slovakia with Python. 

For what concerns Europe, the Eastern side is definitely the best place to look at. Otherwise, France and Italy are also slowly appearing on the scene. Both countries are making significant transformations in their education system to improve programming education. Since 2014, France has offered programming classes in elementary schools, following the Polish example. Likewise, leading companies like Apple are investing in Italy to bag the best programmers in the country – which ranked 10th in the HackerRank challenge.

When it comes to the HackerRank competition, developers working with Java are mostly from Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Switzerland, and Taiwan. For C++ programmers, countries like France, Russia, Italy, Hungary, and Switzerland have the best performance. 

China performed well in multiple domains, beating other countries in data structures, functional programming, and mathematics. Russia won the algorithm challenges. While HonkHong, Poland, Bulgaria, China, and Russia dominated with Python.

Based on the results of these different challenges, you can get an idea of which countries produce the best coders in different programming languages.  

Here are the results from both research: 

IT & Innovation 

The innovation index helps isolate where countries are investing in innovation and the IT market – producing skilled and updated developers. it’s an efficient method to start looking at where are the best programmers in the world.

According to Bloomberg Innovation Index, the best Indicators for the Innovation Index are the capacity to invest in Research and Development, patent activity, overall productivity, and higher education. Following this research, the best 10 countries for innovation are: 

  • Germany
  • South Korea
  • Singapore
  • Switzerland
  • Sweden
  • Israel
  • Finland
  • Denmark
  • United States
  • France

In addition, it’s important to consider the local Digital Competitiveness in the global market. In this sense, the IMD World Competitiveness Center evaluates 3 factors in a country:

  1. Knowledge: Capacity for technological learning
  2. Technology: Investments for developing digital technologies
  3. Future Readiness: Financial plans for digital transformation

According to their system of research, the top 10 countries in 2020 are:

  1. United States
  2. Singapore
  3. Denmark
  4. Sweden
  5. Hong Kong SAR
  6. Switzerland
  7. Netherlands
  8. South Korea
  9. Norway
  10. Finland

However, the fact that a country invests in digital evolution doesn’t mean that it produces great programmers. Finland and Norway, for example, have great technology infrastructure but didn’t shine in any of the competitions mentioned above. 

Top 10 Countries With The Best Programmers In The World

best programmers in the world

In his attempt to understand the world, German philosopher Friedrich Hegel organized history following the thesis-antithesis-synthesis pattern. The order of these categories, however, is never chronological but logical. For historical events, for example, it’s never the date that matters but the impact on the current society. 

What’s the use of this point here? We can use this perspective as an inspiration. While some countries didn’t appear in the HackerRank list, some places keep high standards for remote development. Combining other lists and general stats, it’s worth mentioning other counties. 

Following Hegel’s example, the countries listed here aren’t from the best to the worst. Here is a list of 10 places where language proficiency and education systems make each of these countries a great place to find the best remote developer for your team. 

As we mentioned in the beginning, HackerRank created a challenge with different tests and domains. Some countries didn’t rank well in the overall result but did an excellent performance on single challenges. When you look for your remote developer around the globe, keep in mind the specific skill you need for your project.  

1. Ukraine

As we mentioned, Ukraine is one of the top places to hire a remote developer in Eastern Europe. The IT industry counts around 175.000 tech professionals in Ukraine, with over 23.000 skilled and hard-working graduates entering the tech market. 

In the HankerRank challenge, Ukrainian developers reached an average score of 88.7% across all the challenges. In addition, the country is home to the largest community of C++ programmers, and 80% of their IT professionals speak English fluently.

2. China

China is #1 in the HackerRank challenge and without surprises. The vast country is home to the fastest growing IT companies, producing 4.7 million tech graduates every year. Unlike Eastern Europe, only 10 million of China’s 1.3 billion residents speak English. In addition, it is essential to consider their restricted policy on Intellectual Property (IP) laws – which you can turn around by hiring remotely. 

3. Poland

Poland is #3 in HackerRank, ranking first in Java assessments and in the top five with programming languages like Python, Shell, and Ruby. In addition to a convenient time zone, 30% of the Polish population speaks English as a second language facilitating communications.  

4. The Philippines 

The Philippines is one of the largest English-speaking countries globally — over 92% of Filipinos speak English. In addition, the local government highly implemented educational reform in the last few years, focusing on a specialized STEM high school system

While for more complex projects, China or Ukraine is a better fit, for a single project, the Philippines are a great choice. 

5. Romania

As we said earlier, Romania is one of the places to hire in the IT market. Romanian government highly implemented IT infrastructure over the past years, and almost 90% of Romanian developers speak English and many other foreign languages. 

6. Brazil

There are almost 6.18 million fluent English speakers in Brazil, and the government implements technology education infrastructures. In addition, the Brazilian IT workforce is relatively young – 38.18% of the population is under 24 years old. Like the Philippines, Brazil is a great place to find junior developers for small projects. 

7. Taiwan

Taiwan is #7 in the HackerRank list, with top performances in functional programming and data structures. In the last few years, the local government launched a program to become “Asia’s Silicon Valley,” improving STEM education and IT infrastructure.

However, in Taiwan, it is hard to find IT professionals proficient in English. The government is improving this aspect, considering making English one of their official national languages.

8. Czech Republic

The Czech Republic counts 7,000 tech university graduates per year. The average salary tends to be higher than in Ukraine or Romania. However, it is still one of the most convenient places to hire because of the lower salary rate, especially hiring from the UK or US. 

9. Canada

Canada counts 18.6% of Canada’s annual graduates with STEM degrees. Even ranking #21 in HackerRank, cities like Toronto, Calgary, and Halifax have plenty of talented developers. Especially for US companies, Canada is an English-speaking country and has a similar time zone. As a developed country, however, Canada has a higher annual salary rate. 

10. India 

India didn’t rank well in the HackerRank challenge, and the country is suffering competition from Europe and South America. However, even with challenges and limits, India remains probably the first most popular country when it comes to remote IT talent. 

As the second-largest English-speaking country, Indian developers are the first choice for US or UK employers. Additionally, the Indian education system focuses on mathematics producing 2.6 million STEM graduates each year.

Hire The Best Programmers In The World By Going Remote

As we mentioned initially, you can find the best programmers in the world following different approaches and lists. HackerRank made this list from various challenge types and determined the domain preferences for each country. According to them, Chinese developers took part in mathematics competitions while Czech developers, for example, preferred to partake in shell competitions. If you need an expert with shells, then Serbia is the place you need to start with. 

Generally speaking, most programmers participated with Java, except for Malaysia and Pakistan (C++) and Taiwan (Python). Developers from Malaysia and Pakistan preferred C++, while those from Taiwan preferred Python. However, according to SkillValue, Slovakia is the first country for Python programmers and Serbia for C/C++ languages. If you need a master of these two languages, East Europe is the best place to start the research. 

On the other hand, if you need a junior developer position, the Philippines or Brazil is a better option. Based on the specific need of your project, this list can help you select where to start your hiring process. And if you still have some questions on how and where to find the best world programmers, we are here to help! 

DistantJob has been an IT outstaffing agency for over a decade. We know where to look for the best programmers for your team and how to navigate the screening and hiring process. Contact us, and find the top programmers in the world and the best fit for your business! 

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Costanza Tagliaferri

Costanza Tagliaferri

Costanza Tagliaferri is a Writer and Content Marketer at DistantJob. She has covered a wide range of topics, and now she is focussing on technology, traveling, and remote work.