Tech Talent in Eastern Europe: Best Countries to Hire Developers
Hiring & recruiting developers

Is Eastern Europe a Good Source of Software Engineering Talent?

Ihor Shcherbinin
VP of Recruiting at DistantJob - - - 3 min. to read

Many of us consider the United States, China, and India as excellence in software development. However, in the past few years, countries in Eastern Europe came into play with talented software engineering talent. As a result, established tech giants like Microsoft, IBM, and Google have shifted their focus to hiring programmers in Eastern Europe.

Why? Eastern European programmers can deliver quality IT services; have a good level of English; and live in a convenient time zone. In addition, the cost of their services is quite reasonable compared to the US and Western Europe.

Let’s have a closer look at why hiring remote Eastern European developers can bring several benefits to your company.

Why Are Eastern Europeans Good At Programming? 

Many reports and rankings have revealed Eastern Europeans as some of the strongest members of the tech industry worldwide. While the United States may be home to Silicon Valley and its well-known employers such as Facebook, Google, and Apple, other countries from around the world are also successful in the tech industry.

However, on a global scale, the United States is far from being one of the best countries to hire skilled developers.

For example, in the Global Skills Index 2021 by HackerRank, Poland, and Ukraine were ranked 6th and 11th, respectively, out of 140 countries for their developers’ skills in domains such as Python, Java, and algorithms.

Also, Eastern European countries are home to several renowned tech hubs and have seen significant growth in the IT sector. For instance, according to the 2020 Tech Nation Report, Romania had the fastest-growing tech workforce in Europe, with a 13.4% increase between 2014 and 2019.

So, let’s have a look at the 3 main reasons why you should consider hiring developers from these countries. 

Eastern Europe Software Development Market Overview

In Eastern Europe, Ukraine, Poland, and Romania are often the top choices for software development outsourcing or staffing while Serbia, Bulgaria, Russia, and Georgia are also on the list. Here are the facts:

1. Growing IT Industry

The recent Software Development Report found 175.000 IT professionals in Ukraine alone. Starting with over 23.000 skilled and hard-working graduates, the numbers of Eastern European programmers will increase yearly. Likewise, the Polish IT market grew three times faster than India’s – counting 160.000 software developers in international companies. Moreover, Eastern European governments are investing in the IT market with incentives and benefits to tech companies and startups. 

For example, in Belarus, there are 54.000 IT experts developing apps in 193 countries. As a result, the region introduced a special taxation system to foster international collaborations and startups. Likewise, Ukraine created a dynamic environment to attract IT employees and employers. In the same vein, Polish executives are promoting tax incentives to lure IT employers into the country. 

2. Tech Education 

Eastern European countries didn’t invest only in the IT market. In fact, the area claims the best tech universities worldwide – to name a few, the National Technical University of Ukraine “KPI;” AGH University of Science and Technology in Poland; POLITEHNICA of Bucharest; or the Warsaw University of Technology.

To clarify, these educational institutions produce 1300-2200 software development graduates every year. Further, Eastern European programmers can update their knowledge with several tech and international digital masterclasses, like the Wolves Summit and IT Arena.

3. Eastern European Countries Excel In Competitive Coding

Thanks to investments in tech education and masterclasses, Eastern European programmers excel in competitive coding. As we mentioned initially, after solid university education, programmers in Eastern Europe can rely on several programs, such as Lviv IT School, and tech hubs, to update their skills. As a result, developers from Ukraine, Poland, Romania, and Moldova often excel in coding competitions. In platforms like Hackerrank and TopCoder, Eastern European programmers have the best ranking for web development and custom software development. 

3. English Proficiency 

Finally, Eastern European countries have the highest rate when it comes to English proficiency. For example, Ukraine and Russia recorded a literacy rate of 99.4%, and most graduates can speak more than one foreign language. And Poland ranks in the eleventh position on the English Proficiency Index in the world.

Why Hire Eastern European Developers

From their exceptional technical prowess to their ability to seamlessly integrate into international teams, Eastern European software developers bring immense value to the table, ensuring successful outcomes for your business, and here are the facts proving it:

  • Tech Ecosystem: Eastern European countries, such as Poland, Ukraine, and Romania, have a strong emphasis on technical education. They produce many skilled software developers with a solid foundation in computer science, mathematics, and engineering. These developers often possess expertise in programming languages, frameworks, and technologies commonly used in the industry. Just consider Romania. In the region, you can find 6 software developers for every 1.000 inhabitants – that’s approximately 116.100 developers. Likewise, Poland counted 279.800 developers in 2018. And Ukraine has an average of 4 developers for every 1,000 inhabitants – hiring remotely in the area sounds like a good strategy to cope with the developer shortage, doesn’t it? 
  • Strong Work Ethic: Eastern European professionals are known for their strong work ethic, dedication, and commitment to quality. They tend to be diligent, detail-oriented, and proactive in their approach to work. This mindset often leads to high-quality deliverables and efficient problem-solving.
  • Language Proficiency: Eastern European developers generally have high English proficiency. Many of them are fluent in English, which makes communication and collaboration with international teams smooth and effective. Clear communication is crucial in software development, especially when working with clients or colleagues from different regions.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Compared to developers from Western Europe or the United States, Eastern European developers often offer more cost-effective solutions. While their rates may be higher than those in some other regions like India for example, they are still generally more affordable than their Western counterparts. If the average IT salary increases by $71,342 in the US, in Ukraine, it is $30,000 per year and in Hungary is $20,000 per year. In addition, for you, remote hiring means saving costs on relocation and VISA procedures.
  • Time Zone Compatibility: Eastern European countries are located in time zones that are convenient for collaboration with both Western Europe and the United States. This proximity minimizes the impact of time differences and allows for real-time communication during overlapping working hours, facilitating agile development methodologies and effective project management.
  • Diverse Talent Pool: With over 5.7 million IT professionals, Eastern Europe doesn’t offer just a high number of candidates. Their talent pool holds other records. In fact, Eastern Europe has the highest female participation in tech-related events and job positions. For example, in Albania, 33% of tech positions are occupied by women, and Lithuania and Romania follow with 28%. 

Which European country is best for software developers?

Skill Value Report (2019) analyzed +550 technical assessments to determine the top regions to hire software developers. But for Mexico, European countries dominate the rank.

programmers in Eastern Europe

According to this report, 5 out of the 10 top countries are in Eastern Europe. But why are these 5 countries the best to hire software developers?

Software Development in Eastern Europe: Best Countries to Hire From  

1. Slovakia

Slovakia has the highest score for software development skills worldwide. In the last decade, the country grew in both software development and computer technologies. Also, the Slovak IT sector has over 92% of professionals who are fluent English speakers. 

2. Poland

Poland’s tech industry generates over 29% of jobs in the Polish labor market, with over 250,000 programmers. In 2019, the IT market revenue in Poland reached $11.79 billion. Predictions estimate that by 2021 the revenue will grow up to $12.1 billion. 

3. Hungary

The software development industry represents about 6% of the Hungarian economy. Around 80,100 people work in this sector. Regarding education, Hungary has approximately 2,700 high education graduates every year. According to the Hungary Information Technology Report, IT services are expected to grow by $993 million during this year. 

4. Ukraine

By 2020 the number of software developers in Ukraine will reach up to 20,000. The IT industry in Ukraine is growing approximately 26% a year – and during 2019 the revenues reached $5 billion. One of the main reasons for this exponential growth depends on the high investments of the country in its tech education systems. 

Salary: The average salary of a software developer in Ukraine is approximately $30,000 per year. 

5. The Czech Republic 

The Czech Republic’s IT sector earns $3 billion in annual revenue and currently employs approximately 155,000 people. The country has over 180 service companies, most of them located in Prague. It also has a rich software talent pool because most of its tech professionals are fluent English speakers. 

6. Romania

The Romanian government promoted multiple tax incentives for companies providing software development services. As a result, companies like Microsoft, Ericsson, HP, or Huawei started hiring in the country, contributing to their IT market’s fast growth. Nowadays, Romania counts 100,000 IT professionals working in 20,000 companies. Further, tech graduates are increasing by 7,000 annually.

What’s The Average Salary For Eastern European Developers?

As we mentioned initially, hiring from a well-developed country like the US or North Europe means paying a lower salary rate. Usually, low price means low quality. However, when it comes to Eastern European programmers, there are other elements to consider. 

To start, living costs in Eastern Europe are more affordable than in the US, for example. From healthcare, rental/buying properties, food, and tax regulation, monthly costs for East European residents are less demanding. As a result, average developers’ salaries in Eastern Europe range from $35,958 to $41,170 a year—compared to $68,543 in the US.

Here is a short comparison between the US and the countries we listed: 

programmers in Eastern Europe


Take into account that these numbers are an average estimation. In the single case, the salary will vary depending on the experience, responsibilities and work arrangements. So, let’s look at the two most popular programming languages. For example, for Python developers, the lowest average salary is in Ukraine ($27,780) and the highest in The Czech Republic ($43,299). Likewise, for JavaScript developers, the lowest rate is in Ukraine ($26,400) and the highest in Czech ($40,549). Rates can depend on the region and the types of skills. 

How to Hire Programmers in Eastern Europe?

These are 4 of the best strategies for hiring remote Eastern European devs: 

1. Check Freelance Platforms 

These are good places to find developers to work on a single project or task. Yet, if you are looking for committed employees who integrate into your company’s culture, avoid these chaotic platforms.

Here are the 5 best platforms to hire freelance Eastern European programmers:

  • Upwork
  • Toptal
  • MoonLightWork

2. Check Job Boards

These are fast solutions if you are in urgent need of hiring a developer. Candidates can connect directly to your company and apply.  However, there is no vetting, so you could spend time and resources interviewing many candidates with no guarantees. 

Here are 5 good job boards to hire remote programmers: 

  • RemoteOK
  • We Work Remotely
  • Working Nomads
  • Jobspresso

3. Via Social Networking

Social networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter have tons of talented developers seeking jobs. Whether in communities or private groups, it’s easy to identify who is looking for a job. However, the downside is that it’s a time-consuming process.

In addition, you can check dev communities like: 

  • GitHub
  • StackOverflow

5. Remote Staffing Agencies 

If you want to build a long-term relationship and grow your team, you should consider hiring a full-time remote position. These agencies aren’t limited to one area when seeking qualified applicants; they search worldwide and headhunt the best developers. And you get the tech talent you are looking for. In short, a developer who fits your professional requirements and your company’s culture.

Here are some reliable remote recruiting agencies for your hunt: 

  • Reintech
  • YouTeam
  • Working Nomads
  • RemoteHub
  • DistantJob

PS: The last remote agency on the list is us! To be precise, we are IT headhunters specialized in remote hiring and tech talent. With over a decade of experience, we know everything about making the perfect match between companies and candidates. And we take care of everything for you from figuring out candidate skill sets, time zones, language proficiency, and cultural affinity. So, you tell us what type of candidate you are looking for. And we will headhunt the best options to present to you – in only two weeks. 

Looking to hire a developer from Romania, Poland, Serbia, or another country in Eastern Europe? Contact us today by accessing our hiring page.

Ihor Shcherbinin

Ihor, is the VP of Recruiting at DistantJob. He specializes in sourcing and placing top remote developers for North American companies. His expertise covers the entire recruiting cycle, from pinpointing job needs to finalizing hires. Known for his skill in remote staffing solutions and offshore team integration, Ihor excels in matching the best tech talents with U.S. organizations. His approach to virtual developer hiring is marked by insightful candidate selection and strategic offer negotiation, ensuring the right fit for every role.

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