Software development is perhaps not the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks about Romania, that nation at the very edge of the European Union. Yet, with an estimated 90,000 versatile IT specialists, Romania does have a significant role to play in the context of software development and outsourcing. Romania is, in fact, one of the top five countries in Eastern Europe in terms of the sheer amount of software developers.
Romania currently is one of the most attractive European nations for big corporations to do business in. The article delves into what makes Romania such a valuable offshoring location.
Romania is close to many European countries (it borders seven nations, most of them members of the European Union), and the time difference (with European countries) is almost negligible. This simplifies the task of coordinating remote teams in Romania. Though time difference with the United States and further afield is more significant, Romania still stands as a very viable outsourcing location because of lower costs and other factors.
Let's look at a few relevant figures.
This graph shows the software developer professionals across countries in Central and Eastern Europe, including Romania.
This graphic shows the distribution of IT specialists across major Romanian cities, including Bucharest, Iasi, and Timişoara.
Bucharest is one of the fastest-growing tech cities in Europe. The Romanian capital is geographically close to Western Europe, and shares its cultural values. There are regularly scheduled direct flights from London or Paris, for example, which makes connectivity easy.
The city's infrastructure is of a very high standard too, which serves to attract business.
Iasi is the second-largest city in the country, featuring 5 public universities and 2 private ones. The city's airport is the second largest regional airport in Romania, offering connectivity to 22 European destinations.
Sited on the western side of Romania, Timisoara has strong ties to western culture. And it's also a major educational hub, featuring a number of tech universities and colleges. The software development community is also well-prepared to take on outsourcing projects, as 98% of IT specialists speak English, and many are also fluent in German, French, Spanish, and Hungarian.
Sometimes referred to as the Silicon Valley of Eastern Europe because of its rich technological environment, this city -Romania's fourth largest- hosts no fewer than twelve universities that produce about 1,700 new IT graduates yearly. About 15,000 IT specialists are currently active in Cluj-Napoca.
All things considered, Romania a pretty well-rounded location for outsourcing. Well-prepared workforce, good location, and affordable costs.
Romania is home to a raft of universities, colleges, and other educational institutions that promote IT literacy among its student population.
Seven out of the country's forty one technical universities are ranked among the best institutions for computer science tuition, for example. The Polytechnic University of Bucharest, Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, and the Polytechnic University of Timisoara yield a great number of well-educated tech specialists every year.
We have seen some of the figures that make Romania a rather attractive outsourcing location, but the reasons why companies should consider the country as a prime location to conduct software engineering business go far beyond mere numbers.
Romania does offer significant value when it comes to outsourcing. Its cost base is very competitive, but that doesn't mean that quality of the work will be in any way inferior. Again, multi-skilled developers can deliver a great deal of value, at very affordable rates.
While some areas of Romania are relatively remote, the main IT hubs are well connected. Timisoara is barely two hours away from the German city of Munich by air, and less than three hours from London, for example. This connectivity facilitates business across international borders.
There is no doubt that English is the language of business, and the Romanian education system ensures that 99% of students learn two or more languages in upper secondary education. This widespread adoption of the English language in Romania translates in heavy outsourcing presence by Western companies. About a quarter of companies outsourcing to the country are American, for example.
According to a recent ranking, Romania is third out of five Eastern European countries for financial attractiveness to do business in.
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