How to Hire Ukrainian Software Developers: A Brief Guide

April 7, 2022

The IT landscape in Ukraine has grown 46% over the past two decades as business owners all over the world continue to outsource their development services to this country. During that time, companies like IT Delight have helped startups and enterprises from the West create excellent projects at affordable prices.

But before banking on the services of Ukrainian software developers for your project, you need to understand the country’s tech prowess and overall ecosystem. 

This article provides a step-by-step guide to hiring developers from Ukraine. And we’ll start by discovering why Ukrainian developers are a great addition to your workforce.

Why you should hire Ukrainian developers

In the past, the safe bet for any business owner or CEO would be to hire a software company from established tech bastions like Germany, Canada, and the USA. But today, outsourcing markets like Ukraine measure up to the “big guns” in terms of workforce proficiency. 

Here are reasons why hiring Ukrainian developers can benefit your project.

Education and English proficiency

Data from 4ICU rankings shows that Ukrainian universities live up to global standards. With institutions like the Kyiv Polytechnic Institute (#1226 worldwide) setting the standard, Ukrainian IT professionals remain on level pegging with their Western peers. 

Apart from that, most institutions compel students to brush up on their vocational English proficiency before graduation in order to transition into the global workforce smoothly. As a result, young IT professionals in Ukraine enter the workforce with a good grasp of the language.

Professional values

In the eyes of outsiders, Ukrainian companies still rely on stereotypical post-Soviet, ironclad bureaucracies. But this can’t be any further from the truth. In reality, Ukraine is closer to Western European countries like Germany, Poland, and Austria in terms of professional values and overall worldview.

In essence, Ukrainian developers are well-versed in modern development and management methodologies such as Scrum, Kanban, Agile, Lean, and DevOps.

Even with the time zone differences, developers from Ukraine don’t find it difficult to sync with their colleagues in Australia or North America. Some even argue that these developers perform better under pressure than their colleagues from other countries, owing to a tenacious work ethic.

Skills and expertise 

Ukraine can boast of skilled software engineers with expertise in languages like JavaScript, Java, C++, PHP, Python, and more. According to HackerRank, Ukraine ranks 11th globally.

But let’s not focus on numbers only and look at successful real-life cases. Grammarly, the famed writing and grammar tool, is a Ukrainian export. Also, Monobank (the country’s first virtual bank) and Petcube are products of Ukrainian tech companies. And they’re amazing.

Rates

Compared to the West, hiring developers from Ukraine is a more cost-effective option. Whether you’re working with a dedicated team or using the Time and Material model, you can hire Ukrainian developers for rates lower than the EU and North American standards.

For example, Glassdoor estimates show that a software developer in Kyiv makes around $35,000 annually, while the average rate in Berlin is $60,000 per year. That means you’d get the same quality service for nearly half the price.

Ukrainian software developers: How to hire the best

Since you are getting into the uncharted waters of Ukrainian tech, you need to follow a systematic approach to protect your business from unforeseen pitfalls. Here are the mandatory checkpoints to cross before hiring developers from a Ukrainian IT company.

Define your goals

As a general rule, always flesh out your project’s ideas and vision before approaching any company. 

Answer these key questions:

  • What is my budget for this project?
  • How many experts should I hire?
  • How much time do I have to complete the project?

By figuring out the answers to these questions, you’ll end up fine-tuning the project requirements to generate a clear-cut pitch for the outsourcing company.

Conduct market research

Ukraine’s tech ecosystem is not a homogenous hub of professionals; the industry features diverse company values, workplace cultures, and business philosophies. These factors affect the cost of software development services. 

Also, developers’ geographical locations determine their hourly rates. For example, a Java developer in Kyiv or Kharkiv is more likely to charge a higher hourly rate than their counterpart in Zaporizhia. Although they might both be on par in skill level, the cost of living and access to resources makes them slightly different. 

To find the best Ukrainian web developers, extend your search to companies in Lviv, Ternopil, Dnipro, Odesa, and Vinnytsia.

Check the target companies’ core values

After narrowing down your options to 2-4 software companies, take the extra step to find out more about them. 

Verify each company’s track record, core values, and experience in the industry. Conduct extensive background checks for every company to see if they have any closeted skeletons. 

Another option is to read reviews on Clutch and GoodFirms to spot the highly-rated Ukrainian software development agencies. To bolster your findings, read user reviews on LinkedIn and other independent review platforms.

Ultimately, review the company’s completed projects to get a better feel of how they approach challenges and solve their partners’ problems.

Interview the company’s representatives

Don’t stop your research after viewing a company’s portfolio. Contact them to establish a personal connection with the company’s reps. 

During the interview, discuss the following key points:

  • What kind of management structure is in place?
  • Are there other development models besides DevOps and Agile?
  • What technologies are available?
  • How do they protect user data?
  • What cooperation models can they provide?
  • What government regulations should your company be worried about?
  • How do they approach compliance and licensing?

Covering these core questions will help you determine if the company is the best option for hiring Ukrainian developers

Finalize your decision

After gathering all the information and contacting the target company, consult with your internal team to decide whether to work with them or move to other options.

To be on the safe side, work only with companies and business owners whose values are similar to yours. If the development philosophy doesn’t align with the one you follow, you’ll end up spending more time re-integrating the new team of developers into your workflow.

Also, make sure that the legally-binding contract covering the terms of cooperation includes the following:

  • Warranty clause—a contractual promise that specifies the expected quality of deliverables.
  • Privacy clause—to protect your intellectual property.

Sometimes, companies extract the Privacy clause into a separate non-disclosure agreement. You can also outline penalties in case one party doesn’t fulfill its end of the contractual obligations.

Once you sign the contract, you can start working with Ukrainian software developers.

Key takeaways 

When hiring Ukrainian developers, follow the steps mentioned in this article to ensure success and guarantee top-notch results. Before you make a final decision, explore the market to find out how selected candidates fit into your visions for the project. 

Most importantly, you should only go into a contract after confirming that the potential partner has a clean track record of providing unerring excellence.


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