With around 450,000 professionals, Poland features the largest talent pool of software developers in the entire CEE region. And to support this great community of highly-skilled professionals, and attract substantial foreign investment, the Polish Government has, over the past decade or so, introduced favorable labor and taxation laws and frameworks for the technology sector.
This makes Poland a rather enticing place for big corporations to do business is. The article delves into what makes Poland such an attractive and valuable offshoring location.
Poland's geographical location is perfect, from an outsourcing perspective at least. It can be reached within 4h by air from most European countries, and its timezone is identical to financial powerhouses like Germany, for example. It's little wonder then that Poland is such a coveted country for companies looking to outsource their software development, and at a very affordable price to boot.
A few quick figures to illustrate this point and set the stage.
Poland features no fewer than 697 outsourcing companies
There currently are just over 450,000 software developers (that's 1.4 people out of every 100!)
A junior developer can earn about $2,000 per month, while senior developers can command up to $8,000 monthly
The country is home to no fewer than 400 R&D centers. These include big industry names such as Microsoft, Oracle, Google, and Cisco.
25% of offshore programmer staff in Eastern and Central Europe is located in Poland.
This graph shows the software developer professionals across countries in Central and Eastern Europe,
The graphic clearly highlights Poland's pole position in terms of developer population among the entire CEE region. This confers Poland with a clear advantage in the outstaffing market.
Major IT Hubs In Poland
This graphic shows the distribution of IT specialists across major Polish cities. The capital, Warsaw, is home to the largest percentage, followed by Krakow. Wroclaw, Katowice, and the Tri-City are home to tens of thousands of developers too.
Major corporations: Google, Accenture, IBM, Amazon, among others
Home to Warsaw University of Technology
Warsaw produces over 15% of Poland's national income
Major corporations: IBM, Cisco, Cognizant, Uber, among others
Home to Cracow University of Technology, Jagiellonian University
Cracow University of Technology teaches about 13,000 students every year
Major corporations: Nokia, Hewlett Packard, Siemens, Wipro, among others
Home to Wroclaw University of Science and Technology
Wroclaw University of Science and Technology ranks third among technical universities in Poland
Major corporations: PwC, Accenture, among others
Home to Katowice School of Technology
Katowice is a major centre of science, culture, industry, business, trade, and transportation in Poland
Tricity metropolitan area (Gdansk, Gdynia, and Sopot)
Major corporations: Intel, Boeing, Atlassian, Ricoh, among others
Home to Gdańsk University of Technology and the Sopot University of Applied Sciences
Gdansk is Poland's main seaport
Software development in Poland can be grouped into roughly four categories: web development, whose development stack includes backend development tools such as PHP or Node.js). The second group is mobile development, which leverages mobile programming languages like Kotlin and Swift. The third group specializes in certain ‘niche’ systems, including Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications or Customer Relationship Management (CRMS) tools.
The fourth category would be full stack developers, that is, software development agencies that offer a wider range of services, including most of the previous three groups combined.
Poland also features a rather vibrant software development community, with regular events and meetups held across major cities like Warsaw, Krakow, and Wrocław
Tech Education in Poland
Poland invests heavily in the education of its citizens. According to the World Bank, Poland invests around 5% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in education.
Educational reforms have been ongoing in the country since the 1990s, and heavy emphasis on technical education has been put in more recent years. This is because of the changing requirements for technical expertise both within the country, and abroad.
Most of Poland's major cities (Warsaw, Poznan, Wroclaw, Krakow, etc.) feature world-class institutions that are preparing thousands of students every year to join the workforce and fulfill the need for highly-skilled IT-related jobs. The majority of tech universities are located in Warsaw, the country’s capital and largest city.
Advantages of creating a software development team in Poland
We have seen some of the figures that make Poland a rather attractive outsourcing location, but the reasons why companies should consider the country as a prime location to conduct software engineering business in go far beyond mere numbers.
Great location - Poland is just a few hours' flying time away from major European business hubs, including Frankfurt, Paris, Berlin, or London. Timezones are also quite similar.
Thriving IT market - With so many IT professionals in the country, Poland's IT community is a lively one. The IT services market is the fastest-growing, with figures projecting a 7.4% growth year-on-year. As a whole, Poland is home to a very solid and broad-ranging ecosystem of developers, tech companies, and entrepreneurs that support a growing and thriving community.
Member of the European Union - Poland has been a member of the European Union since 2004. This enables the country to have close financial ties with other European countries, easy cross-border mobility, and convenient regulatory environment.
A solid, stable economic framework - Following a rocky few years during the country's fight for sovereignty, Poland has achieved a rather stable and solid economy. Back in 2018, Poland entered the top 10 European countries with largest Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In fact, Poland's GDP has grown more than 7-fold since 1990.
Good level of business English language - English is undoubtedly the language of business, and Polish developers are well aware of this. English is in fact taught in most schools as a second language. By some estimates, some 14m Poles are able to speak English. This facilitates communication with clients abroad, and supports the outsourcing community.
Western cultural values - When it comes to software development, many might think that culture doesn't (or shouldn't) be a factor. But software development is a business practice just like any other, and culture does affect business. As such, Polish developers are quite adept at understanding Western values and abide by established standards.
Tax incentives - The bottom line is important for any business, and one of the things that mostly affect it is taxation. Most major Polish cities have the standing of 'special economic zones,' which means that investors and foreign companies are granted exemptions favorable tax conditions. This has led to steady investment growth.
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