Eastern Europe is generally considered to be countries from the Chech Republic to Ukraine, as far north as Estonia to Albania in the south. Over the last 15 years, this geographical area has excelled in the IT industry.
There are several reasons for this; it shares a similar culture to Western European countries and North America, it has a very strong educational system with a further cultural focus on the sciences, math, and IT, as well as the currency and trading commodities.
Experience in Eastern Europe Against Other Countries
Only South Asia can boast more years of experience than other areas across the globe. Both Eastern Europe and Southern Asia are the founders in the industry and have the mass and ecosystem needed to stay ahead of the competition.
Experience is an important factor to consider, as it is a reflection of the maturity of the market, bearing in mind it takes years for IT specialists to reach a senior position
If you look at specific countries, Russia and Romania have the highest number of developers and over 10 years of experience. The Czech Republic and Latvia have the least number.
Naturally, you will want the most amount of experience from your outsourcing company; however, this is not the best solution for all, particularly startups and SAAS companies. Regions with fewer years of experience may have a wider range of knowledge of different industries and new technologies
Specialties in Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe offers a massive range of skilled and specialized technicians. It has grown to be a superb location for new technologies such as IoT, blockchain, AI and many more.
Otherregions, like South Asia, still have a variety of expertise but tend to focuson PHP/MySQL and WordPress because of the better income.
Industry Specialisations inEastern Europe
When looking for financial services, Eastern Europe has a large, highly qualified talent pool. 25.3% specialize in the field. Healthcare and entertainment/media are also significant fields with 17.3% and 13.4% respectively.
On a global scale, only South America comes close to having the same level of financial specializations. However, it’s North Africa that people choose for health care.
If you analyse the specialties per country, Hungary lead the way in finance and banking, Latvia in healthcare and Russia and Poland have an exceeding amount of talent in security.
Countries like Romania and Bulgaria have a good range of specialties and it pays off. Both countries have recently experienced a boom in the IT industry, specifically with startups, meetups, and IT investments.
IT Services Pricing
There is much more to consider than price alone but we can’t deny that it isn’t something that is going to weigh on our decision. Eastern Europe has an average hourly rate lower than Western European and North American rates, as well as those in Oceania.
The varying rates in Eastern Europe are due to many factors. Latvia is a small country but has the highest average rates, thanks to its esteemed reputation and geographical location. Being close to Scandinavia and the UK, it can attract the best clients.
Microsoft, Oracle, and other such companies are attracted to countries like the Czech Republic, Hungry and Romania; creating large development centers. On the contrary, Moldova has a weaker economy, leading to talent seeking work in other regions.
Education and Culture in Eastern Europe
Today’s educational system has a strong relationship with that of the fervent system from the former Soviet Union. There are strong foundations in maths and problem solving, which links to the necessary skills in software development. In fact, Eastern Europe has one of the highest rankings when it comes to education, outperforming a number of countries by 11% in math and 10% in science.
English proficiency is another area that makes Eastern Europe attractive. Not only is English studied from an early age, but many companies in the IT industry also offer employees classes.
Poland was ranked 11th out of 80 countries for its English proficiency, Serbia 16th, Romania 17th, and Hungary 19th. Eastern Europeans are excellent communicators with a clear and straightforward style. There is little small talk but this is not a sign of disinterest, rather focus on the task at hand.
Culture fit is extremely important when it comes to outsourcing and a misfit is one of the first reasons for a project to fail. Eastern European countries have a culture similar to Western Europe and the US. This along with their communication skills encourages successful outcomes.
The Government and the Economy
Political instability in the area has made some companies look elsewhere. That being said, the IT industry is one of the least affected. IT companies need little to set up and function and can normally escape political drama.
Countries in Europe have very strong regulatory quality (they are situated in the 70th percentile across the world). Generally speaking, the weakest area was political stability, notably in Ukraine. The Estonian government scored well in all areas of government efficiency.
The IT Ecosystem in East Europe
It doesn’t all come down to education and communication. There are several other factors that contribute to the highly impressive IT ecosystem in Eastern Europe:
- There is a great deal of interaction between universities and IT companies.
- They are active in organizing meetups, and events and world-class conferences.
- There is a significant amount of investment in local startups, a clear sign of market maturity and a healthy IT ecosystem.
Ukraine leaps and bounds ahead of other countries in Eastern Europe. The ecosystem has taken years of hard work and great effort and now the results are showing.
Belarus and Poland come in equal second. Moldavia, Slovakia, and Bulgaria are the three countries that are struggling to drive forward their IT ecosystems.