Original article posted at Software Mind blog on 31.03.2017. Software Mind and Netcorp have done several successful projects together.
The past several years have been the period of rapid growth of outsourcing services in the city of Krakow. And there is no accident here. The city known for its long history has just added a whole new chapter to it by becoming a place known for innovation, knowledge and this very specific atmosphere that just makes you want to do great things. Learn why it is also one of the best places out there to find quality software development services.
A study by IDC published by in 2014 estimated the number of software developers in the world to be around 30 million. Indeed, that’s quite a number. There is no denying that with so many developers, there are worthwhile specialists just about anywhere. But then again, there is a reason why people searching for great watch manufacturers focus on Switzerland, while those that shop for the latest fashion trends prefer Paris or Milan. Some places simply make sense as top destinations in specific fields. It’s the exact same case with Krakow and software development outsourcing. Let’s take a look at some of the most important reasons.
1. Krakow is a treasure trove of talented tech people
In Poland, Krakow is right at top when it comes to both quality and quantity of software developers and tech people in general. They are attracted to the city for the most straightforward of reasons – top-notch schools and employment opportunities.
Krakow has a large number of universities with a total number of students estimated to be around 170,000. The AGH University of Technology, the Tadeusz Kościuszko University of Technology as well as the Jagiellonian University are all considered top destinations for tech talents. A lot of them are hoping to get hired by large tech companies located in Krakow. Those include Allegro, IBM, Cisco and Motorola.
2. In Krakow, companies from the most developed markets feel right at home
Years of successful cooperation with foreign companies (not limited to the tech industry) developed a business etiquette that is much more similar to what companies from markets such as Germany, the UK or the US are used to than in most of Eastern European locations. This etiquette can be observed in the mentality and ability to quickly understand the expectations of the business partner. The 2015 edition of the Tholons Top 100 Outsourcing Destinations saw Krakow rank 9th – the highest ranked European destination.
3. Krakow’s location makes sense for long distance cooperation
For the vast majority of companies that typically search for software development outsourcing, Krakow’s location makes remote cooperation much easier. With European companies, it’s a no-brainer as the minimal difference in the time zone means that working together can be synced just about perfectly. But even for companies located in the U.S., Krakow has a major competitive advantage over contractors from India or Pakistan in this aspect as it is only six hours ahead of the East Coast. You can use this time zone converter to easily find the time difference between Krakow and any other location.
4. Krakow is easy to get around
Regardless of how convenient cooperating remotely can be, you may be interested in visiting Krakow. The good news is that not only can Krakow be easily reached by plane, but it is also easy to get around. For a city so full of opportunities, it’s relatively small so that you can get to any place quite fast. The infrastructure is fine and the food is splendid as well as pleasantly cheap for individuals arriving from countries such as US, UK or Germany.
5. Krakow’s startup ecosystem that speaks for itself
It’s no accident that a large share of founding members of the Startup Poland organization comes from Krakow. The abundance of tech talent and business opportunities translated into a thriving and very energetic startup ecosystem. A large number of startups are naturally accompanied by software houses of all kinds. All this helps shape this specific culture of Krakow that just loves innovation. You can find it in all the conferences and local meetups that are organized here on a daily basis. Some of the most revered products of the Krakow startup ecosystem are the beacon powerhouses Estimote and Kontakt.io.
6. The best of the best of Polish software developers
Only recently, Poland has been ranked 3rd in the world for the quality of its software developers. The countries are ranked by average score of their developers in HackerRank challenges. It’s just one of many testaments to the quality of Polish developers. And for all the reasons mentioned previously, as far as Poland goes, you can hardly find a better place than Krakow to get the most out of this tremendous potential.
7. You don’t need to convince anyone to go agile
Have you ever heard of the ACE! series of Agile conferences organized by Paul Klipp? It’s the biggest event of this kind in Central Europe and it takes place in Krakow. It’s but an example of how serious about agile software companies in Krakow really are. How important it is when it comes to developing innovating software and establishing a mutual understanding between the two parties engaged in software outsourcing – we don’t really have to explain.
8. Or to adapt to your specific needs
The wealth of small and nimble companies and all of the conditions specific to them have somewhat forced the young and talented workforce of Krakow to develop a holistic and comprehensive approach to product development. For Software Mind, it expresses itself in the Agile Toolbox – a set of practices we developed to easily adapt to any outsourcing partner – regardless of how different their structures and habits may be.
9. The price-quality ratio is fantastic
As great as all of the advantages mentioned so far are, they would not mean a thing if local software developers didn’t offer a good return on investment. Luckily, it’s not the case. Not by a long shot. As a matter of fact, it can be argued that Polish software developers provide the very best price-quality ratio you can get. According to Numbeo, the cost of living in Poland expressed in the price of some basic food items would be in the region of 28£ – much less than about 54£ one would expect to pay for the same items in the UK. At the same time, the hourly cost of a developer estimated to be in the region of 25-50£ is a lot less that what you would have to pay for a local developer in the UK or US. The relatively low costs of living and a great quality of developers make for a tremendous ROI potential.
10. And so are the English speaking skills
Poland has always been mentioned among countries that speak English well. Krakow and Polish developers in general are no exceptions. It is well understood that without sufficient English skills, proper cooperation or even the full understanding of documentation can’t be achieved. The often dreaded problem of having to cooperate with outsourcing partners that speak English poorly is virtually non-existent in Poland.
11. The laws are boring… in the most wonderful of ways
As a member of the EU, Poland provides legal protection to all companies that is in every way on pair with what you would expect in your country of origin. This is one area where you don’t have to expect any kind of surprises. And that’s definitely a good thing.
Since Krakow is an ever expanding treasure trove for companies searching for software development outsourcing, where all the necessary ingredients come together, we expect to be able to expand our list of reasons really soon. If you want to add your own story to the growing collection of success stories of companies that entrusted their outsourcing to a Krakow software company, contact us and tell us what you and your project are all about.