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Hire Top-Rated App Developers in Ukraine: Devlight’s Competitive Advantage

Table of contents
Overview of the Ukrainian IT Market Why Hire Ukrainian Mobile App Developers? Ukrainian Mobile App Developers’ Profile Pros and Cons of Software Outsourcing in Ukraine in 2023 Hiring a Team of App Developers in Ukraine: Terms and Options 10 Steps to Hire Top Mobile App Developers in Ukraine Success Stories of Hiring Ukrainian Developers with Devlight Potential Risks of Hiring Mobile App Developers in Ukraine Consider Hiring Devlight as One of the Most Trusted App Development Companies in Ukraine

Hiring mobile app developers in Ukraine seems wise if you seek hard-working, profoundly educated, and enthusiastic employees. However, this is not just about the spark in the eyes. Over the years, Ukrainians have been rightly considered among the best players in the programming Olympics because of the tangible results they manage to provide. According to the 2021 research conducted by Hackerrank, Ukraine app developers show the best skills in cyber-security, mathematics, and distributed systems programming. Why is it important?

A relevant idea and a competent entry into the market are vital for the great start of any mobile app. But the key ingredient is a quality product. After all, even if the service meets the target audience’s needs and has no analogs, no one wants to use an application with bugs and long page loading. Development is the most important applied stage of work. And hiring a competent team is crucial for ensuring its stability.

Thus, let’s figure out why it is worth hiring app developers in Ukraine: what are their competencies, rates, and soft skills? We’ll delve into the statistics, consider geopolitical levers, and provide a detailed analysis of what the IT market in Ukraine has to offer the world.

Overview of the Ukrainian IT Market

According to the research conducted by IT Ukraine Association, the country has advantages in this market compared to its nearest competitors. Ukraine offers one of the largest labor markets in the world and the largest number of graduates with IT specialization. At the same time, Ukraine has 2-4 times fewer specialists in this field per 100,000 population than competitors. And this means there is a potential for employment growth in this area.

Official data also evidence the IT market size: according to the State Statistics Service, about 8,200 legal entities work registered under the SICCs of “IT” (Standard Industrial Classification Code) in Ukraine. The study’s authors cite the following figure: 5,000 IT companies are active in the Ukrainian labor market.

The export of IT services from Ukraine grows by an average of 27% yearly, and this volume has doubled in the last four years. The main drivers of this growth are the USA (39% of exports) and Great Britain (10%), which hire developers in Ukraine the most often. The number of IT specialists in Ukraine is growing significantly due to the high demand for such qualifications. Working with IT specialists as individual proprietors is the most popular model of interaction in the Ukrainian market due to the Simplified tax system offered to entrepreneurs by the government. The IT industry also actively attracts young people: 80% of IT company employees are aged 18 to 32.

According to the 2022 data:

  • The labor market in Ukraine is quite fragmented, as evidenced by the differences in the level of remuneration for the same positions.
  • Project Managers’ income varies little by region. The salaries of other specialists in the capital are expected to be higher than average.
  • Regions with a level of remuneration lower than the average Ukrainian are economically more attractive for opening offices or branches.

If we look at specific numbers:

  • 87% of app development companies in Ukraine review salaries once a year and plan to do the same in the future.
  • Months when Ukrainian IT companies review salaries most often: April and October.
  • Typical percentage of salary budget growth: 8.5%.

If we talk about how exactly IT companies cooperate with IT specialists:

  • 5% of companies consist of full-time employees only.
  • 9% use various forms of cooperation, including individual proprietors.
  • 86% mainly cooperate with individual proprietors.

Why Hire Ukrainian Mobile App Developers?

Ukrainian developers are a strong brand in the world market. It is customary to associate their high demand with increased work capacity and diligence. But this is far from the main factor that makes them one of the best.

Much more specialists work in China and India, with no less zeal. In fact, the main advantage of Ukrainian engineers is the price/quality ratio. This argument is the first one cited by IT entrepreneurs when listing the advantages of hiring Ukraine app developers. At the same time, “quality” in this connection is provided by strong hard skills. Here are the benefits of hiring app developers in Ukraine:

  1. High Level of Knowledge

First of all, Ukrainian specialists understand that to be competitive in the international IT market, they must be highly qualified. They are not limited to learning a single coding language. Knowledge of at least three languages is common among Ukrainian coders. Of course, they have experience with more than two frameworks.

Ukrainian IT specialists can improve their skills and gain practical experience rather than just theoretical knowledge and diplomas upon completing their BC. So, when you decide to entrust your task to a Ukrainian team or a single specialist, you will likely find specialists with the necessary skills and experience.

  1. Flexibility

Ukrainians are familiar with negotiations and are ready to agree on a different hourly cost than initially requested. Or, they can negotiate working hours. You get the idea. Suppose you compare the negotiation process with specialists from European or American countries and those from Ukraine. In that case, you will notice that the latter are open to discussions and can accept the terms you consider essential for your business.

  1. English Proficiency

You may think Ukrainians are great, but it will be too complicated to communicate with them and understand each other. The truth is that English has been a compulsory subject in primary school for over 20 years already. Thus, most Ukrainians have at least a good understanding of English and can communicate freely in writing. Those who have decided to build their career in app development companies in Ukraine have certainly taken English courses and have at least an intermediate or higher level, so there will be no difficulty in understanding each other.

  1. Time Zones Don’t Matter

Yes, Ukraine is in a different time zone than the Americas. However, some working hours overlap. Also, if you plan to hire developers in Ukraine, you can be sure they will try to adapt their schedules to be present during meetings and video calls. Thus, there will be no problem with an employee missing due to jet lag. As we mentioned, Ukrainians are really flexible. If they agree to work for an American or European company, they understand that this means adapting their working hours to the working hours in these countries.

  1. Affordable Pricing

Compared to recruiting Americans or Western Europeans for the same position, hiring software developers in Ukraine is more cost-effective when done through outstaffing or dedicated software development teams. Ukrainian programmers typically charge between $25 and $80 per hour, depending on their experience, qualifications, level of English language, and other factors.

  1. Simplified Scaling

An outsourcing firm can assist you in scaling the workforce fast if you need to do so during the development phase.

  1. Global Acceptance

Numerous international rankings for the IT sector place Ukraine at the top. For instance, Ukraine is ranked top in the Eastern European outsourcing market rating and the Science & Technology category of The Good Country Index. In addition, numerous major IT companies, including Microsoft, Oracle, Huawei, and Samsung, have opened R&D facilities here.

  1. A Big Tech Scene

The Agile Eastern Europe Conference, Lviv IT Arena, and DEV Challenge, three of the biggest IT events in Europe, are routinely held in Ukraine. Additionally, numerous IT groups and clusters regularly host conferences and meetups.

  1. Various Development Specialties

Modern technologies, including but not limited to JavaScript, Node.js, Python, Ruby, and PHP, are well-understood by Ukrainian developers. They are also knowledgeable on IoT, VR/AR, and AI (Artificial Intelligence) (Internet of Things). That is why tech-focused firms typically choose Ukraine as their outsourcing destination when searching for a certain skill set.

  1.  Taking the Protection of Intellectual Property Seriously

An NDA must often be signed before working with a Ukrainian company to safeguard the privacy of any sensitive information you give during the course of the project. Later on, your project will adhere to international security standards like ISO, HIPAA, or PCI. You may also rely on Ukrainian software developers to keep you inside the law.

  1.  Cultural Fit

Most Ukrainian coders share Western culture and values, are outgoing and open-minded, and have a strong work ethic. Their love of technology plays a major role in their decision to pursue a career in the IT industry. They are also motivated and diligent workers.

  1. Strategic Location and Convenient Travel 

CEE is practical due to its strategic location, which makes travel from many nations easy. Of course, given the many flight cancellations brought on by the russian invasion, visiting Ukraine at the time is not advised and frequently impossible.

Find out how to avoid extra costs at the very beginning of your app building!

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Ukrainian Mobile App Developers’ Profile

In start of 2022, Ukraine was reported to have around 329,000 software developers and IT specialists. 71% of them were men, while the median age of a Ukrainian IT worker was 31 years old. Additionally, 46% of these professionals were software engineers, 17% were QA engineers, 8% — were IT managers, and the rest worked in other roles. Here are some more specific insights on Ukraine app developers:

  • Age

The median age of an IT specialist, as of a year ago, is 29 years (28 years in 2020). Technical specialists are slightly older than non-technical specialists (29 vs. 28). 

  • Location

Most IT specialists come from Kyiv (26% of respondents live here now, 44% a year ago) and Kharkiv (2% of IT specialists versus 13% a year ago). After the full-scale invasion of russia, many app developers in Ukraine decided to move. They primarily chose Lviv and the region for this (19% of respondents live here now, compared to 14% a year ago).

Those who moved abroad most often stayed in Poland (4% of IT professionals), Germany, Spain, and Portugal (about 1% in each country). Most of those who went abroad plan to return — 61% of those who are not currently in Ukraine said so. Most often, they plan to return after the end of the war (38%). 14% of those who left do not think of returning.

  • Sex

The share of women in Ukrainian IT did not change during the year — 23%. 17% of technical specialists are women (16% a year ago), and 64% are non-technical specialists. 

  • Positions

Developers remain the largest survey group, with their responses accounting for 50% of all questionnaires. 17% of questionnaires were filled out by testers, 7% by project management specialists, and 5% by HR. Technical specialists make up 87% of those who took part in the survey, and non-technical (HR, designers, marketing, sales, support, Customer Success, and Technical Writers) — 13%.

  • Titles

If you decide to hire developers in Ukraine, you should rest assured about the balance existing on the market in terms of title distribution. Most often, the experts interviewed have the titles Middle (35%) and Senior (26%). Juniors make up 16% of all Haitians. Interns represent only 1%. Most beginners at the Intern and Junior level are HTML coders (45%), Data Science (27%), Game Developers (25%), Analysts (24%), and Testers (23%).

Pros and Cons of Software Outsourcing in Ukraine in 2023

Outsourcing in the Ukrainian field allows foreign companies greater flexibility and optimization of their costs but also benefits from the services of talented engineers. So, let’s reconsider why Ukraine is recognized today as a country of IT opportunities.

  • A talent pool. According to the forecasts, by the end of 2022, the industry will generate USD 7.1 billion and 2.2% growth in the volume of exports relative to 2021. The IT development community currently employs more than 329,000 specialists.
  • Innovative and conducive IT clusters. Ukraine hosts 110 R&D centers for global tech giants such as Microsoft, Samsung Electronics, Apple, Skype, IBM, Boeing, Ericsson, Siemens, Oracle, Magento, and Wargaming.
  • Miscellaneous Skills. Ukraine has over a thousand IT companies offering “classic” development services (web, mobile, UI/UX design) but also services on complex subjects such as Data Science or Artificial Intelligence.
  • Knowledge of English. 80% of Ukraine app developers are proficient in English at an intermediate or advanced level.
  • An advantageous tax system. Tax rates in Ukraine are much lower than in European countries: employer charges are between 5% and 22%, while personal income tax is between 5% and 19%.

Now, let’s consider some cons:

  • Power outages. It is no secret that since russia invaded Ukraine on a full scale in February 2022, all Ukrainians have experienced severe problems with accessing a stable mobile connection, Wi-Fi, heating, and even water. People relocate inside the country and do their best to perform the tasks assigned, but with the uncontrollable missile attacks every few weeks, working consistently gets harder and harder.
  • Possible mobilization. The government offers six-month-long military ID protection for local specialists. The Armed Forces of Ukraine understand the vitality of the IT segment of Ukraine’s economy, so they try to stay away from the developers and let them earn money to provide for the whole country, yet there are no guarantees at times like these.
  • Relocation costs and refugee payments. If you decide to hire developers in Ukraine who are women and can move abroad, you will need to cover their commuting costs, basic living expenses, and apartment initially. If you cooperate with a male developer who has moved abroad but whose family remains in Ukraine, it would be logical to let him reunite with the family and cover the expenses for transferring the spouse and/or kids abroad. Of course, given the rates for developing services that are considerably lower in Ukraine, this won’t cost a fortune. But, the human factor now plays a big role in cooperating with Ukrainian employees.

Hiring a Team of App Developers in Ukraine: Terms and Options

It can appear that working with a vendor is more difficult than employing a freelancer and that doing so will relieve you of all responsibility. However, it is not always the case. Finding the ideal candidate shouldn’t seem quick and simple; the hiring process for software engineers can take anywhere from 3 weeks or more for junior experts to 6 weeks or more for seniors.

Hire a reputable app development company rather than a single developer if you need to meet a tight deadline or simply need a dependable provider. The advantages outsourcing provide are as follows:

  • A large talent pool;
  • Risk reduction;
  • Streamlined scaling.

It is wise to let a software development team handle the hiring process. It not only saves time but is also economical. Let’s examine the price of outsourcing to Ukraine in more detail.

App Developers in Ukraine: Rates

One of the most important factors to take into account when selecting a software vendor is the project development cost. Ukraine is one of the most well-liked locations for software development because of its affordable rates for software professionals. Let’s investigate the statistics.

In the US, the hourly rate for a skilled developer ranges from $100 to $150. The hourly fee for hiring specialized developers in Eastern Europe will be more affordable without sacrificing the quality of the finished project. In Ukraine, wages per hour range from $25 to $80. If you have a limited budget, a cost-effective chance like this one is very appealing.

The exact rates of Ukrainian developers will be largely influenced by their area of specialization, technology, and level of experience, just like anywhere else in the world. We’ve created a table listing roles and associated rate breakdowns so you can get an idea of potential pricing of Ukrainian mobile developers in particular:

Business analyst$35-$48
Software Solution Architect$50-$77
Project manager$35-$42
Junior engineer$17-$27
Middle engineer$27-$37
Senior engineer$40-$60
Junior QA$15-$25
Middle QA$25-$32
Senior QA$35-$45
UI/UX designer$30-$45

Here are some specific numbers:

  • iOS developers

A few apparent trends include an increase in the wage gap between junior and senior roles in technologies like Objective-C. Junior iOS developers often earn around $950 per month from Ukrainian IT companies, while senior iOS developers can earn up to $4,000.

  • Android developers

Salaries for Java Android developers would be a little bit less. The monthly take-home pay for Junior is about $950. Middle-level Java Android developers make up to $1,300, and senior developers often want $4,000.

  • Flutter developers

Specialists with experience with this framework are in high demand among numerous firms as a result of its rising popularity. A Flutter developer in Ukraine earns $36,565 per year.

Salary satisfaction is also related to the intention to change jobs: 51% of those who are not satisfied with their salary plan to change jobs this year, compared to 7% among those who are satisfied.

Hiring Model

Development companies in Ukraine offer the same hiring models as IT entities around the world:

  • Monthly Contract. If you have a small project requiring quick implementation, we will select the appropriate specialists to implement all the tasks effectively:
  1. Part-time and full-time engagement;
  2. Monthly billing;
  3. Pay only for completed tasks;
  4. Dedicated team.
  • Fixed Price Contract. This model is suitable for large projects requiring the development and maintenance of functionality. We can sign a contract for any necessary period of time:
  1. No hidden fees;
  2. Clear deadlines and budget;
  3. A wide range of services;
  4. Enhanced communications.
  • Hourly Rate Model. This type of collaboration serves the purpose of undefined projects or companies seeking long-term partnerships. You only pay for the hours worked by the developer:
  1. No hidden fees;
  2. Part-time and full-time engagement;
  3. Monthly billing;
  4. Pay only for completed tasks.

Legal Aspects Of Mobile App Developers

A company that wishes to hire Ukrainian developers typically works with a vendor, which, in turn, offers to sign the three following papers to secure the client’s data:

  • Document detailing software requirements. Includes the software’s functional and non-functional specifications. Explains the software’s development process and intended use;
  • Confidentiality Agreement. The contract that was signed between the customer and the vendor was designed to safeguard private information shared during commercial transactions;
  • Work Statement. This document explains the specifics of the collaboration, including payment procedures and schedules.

As you can see, it is simple and well-established to hire software engineers in Ukraine because local businesses have a wealth of knowledge from working with Western businesses. To ensure convenient cooperation, the majority of Ukrainian organizations align their business practices with those used widely in other nations. Because your software development partner will take care of the legal issues, you can hire professionals in Ukraine without worrying.

10 Steps to Hire Top Mobile App Developers in Ukraine

Putting together a development team that creates value can be difficult, but it’s simple to become lost in the prospects the Ukrainian IT sector offers. Here we outline the best way to hire app development companies in Ukraine in the step-by-step instructions:

Step 1: Select a service category

Choosing the engagement model that best suits the objectives of your project is the first step in hiring Ukrainian developers. There are three choices available:

  • outstaffing (hire developers in Ukraine to expand your internal IT team);
  • bringing on a dedicated Ukrainian development team (useful if you start a mobile software project from scratch);
  • outsourcing software development (contracting a team under a Fixed pricing model, Time and Material (T&M) model, or dedicated development contracts).

Step 2: Compile a vendor list

Once you’ve chosen a service category, start looking up reputable sites like Clutch or GoodFirms to compare businesses based on factors like size, location, specialization, hourly pricing, and client reviews. Try asking your partners and coworkers for recommendations. Following that, make a shortlist of 5–10 providers you believe would be a good fit for your project.

Step 3: Assess the chosen vendors

You now need to research the information on the websites of the app development companies in Ukraine you’ve narrowed down to find out what technology their teams have the most expertise in and what reputable projects they have under their belt.

Step 4. Make a list of questions

It’s time to contact the vendors you’ve narrowed down. In your email, you may ask them about their fees and how they handle private information. Additionally, you might request that a vendor sign an NDA before disclosing any details about your project.

Step 5: Express the details of your project

Once you obtain their responses, it is time to make calls and chat with the vendors who made the shortlist. Your outsourcing provider becomes a valued partner and invests in expanding your business when it shares your purpose and project vision.

Step 6: Request a preliminary cost estimate

Ask the app development companies in Ukraine you’ve shortlisted to prepare rough estimates or include a pricing range before going too far. Ask about any potential future hidden expenses as well.

Step 7: Select an engagement strategy

For collaboration to be successful, it is essential to share a project’s goal, go through all the details, and agree on the project’s parameters. But another factor is still equally crucial: picking an engagement model (e.g., fixed price, T&M, or a dedicated team). This decision will impact your final project budget.

Step 8: Select a supplier

Consider the vendor’s communication style and the information you’ve gathered (such as the tech stack, projections, and engagement models).

Step 9. Legal considerations

Each and every reliable Ukrainian software development company operates lawfully. Therefore, after selecting a vendor, you must sign a contract and decide on a payment schedule in accordance with the engagement model.

Step 10: Gather your team and start working

It’s time to get to know your team once everything has been set. Establish your priorities and reach an understanding regarding the working procedure, meeting timetable, deliverables, and other crucial issues. Build your ideal software by monitoring the project’s progress, considering the suggestions of your app developers in Ukraine, and making decisions.

Success Stories of Hiring Ukrainian Developers with Devlight

The portfolio of Ukrainian development studios includes dozens of successful projects: from small mobile applications and high-level desktop, console and mobile games to websites and sophisticated codes using API and artificial intelligence. Ukrainian developers have a competitive advantage in the global development market and have a high chance of becoming leaders in this niche. And, of course, the cost of their services will become higher. Why waste your time? Now you can outsource professional development services at competitive rates. Thus, there are many successful cases of hiring developers from Ukraine, but we at Devlight want to share a few of our own.

  • Sense Bank

Sense Bank is one of the largest Ukrainian banks with the international capital. According to the National Bank of Ukraine, as of January 1, 2022, the Bank kept top positions across all banking market segments, was named as one of the most stable and trusted banks in Ukraine, was in the TOP-10 list by the amount of assets, was designated as one of the systemically important banks of Ukraine.

Sense Bank became part of the Power Banking joint banking network, which was created at the initiative of the National Bank of Ukraine. This means that 74 critical branches of Sense Bank will work even in conditions of a prolonged blackout. All of them are provided with alternative energy sources and backup communication channels.

The first request was to conduct a series of consultations to develop a super app for digital banking. The company has its own in-house team, but due to the rapid growth of the company, the development does not have time. To address this task, the company decided to hire app developers in Ukraine.

  • Nova Poshta

Nova Poshta, the largest Ukrainian international group of logistics companies, is the leader of express delivery in terms of the volume of delivered parcels in Ukraine, with a chain of more than 10 000 branches. The company, founded in 2001, has provided businesses and individuals with a full range of logistics and related services.  The daily record for the number of shipments was set in December 2021, when Nova Poshta delivered 1.8 million shipments per day. According to Nova Poshta, the company delivered 113 million parcels and cargo in 6 months of 2022.

With the growth of the e-commerce market in the form of large retailers represented by online stores and marketplaces for small and medium-sized businesses. Although the business has an internal staff, it lacks time for development because of its rapid growth and the expansion of its offerings and geographic reach. According to the reviews, the Ukrainian team established a friendly working atmosphere despite the time difference.

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Potential Risks of Hiring Mobile App Developers in Ukraine

Ukraine has strict labor laws. Regulations favor employees, which means that the focus is on employee well-being rather than business growth. You need a strong fixed-term or permanent employment contract in the local language to hire developers in Ukraine. Legally, the contract must include certain employment-related information and terms, including:

  • Employee and employer names;
  • Workplace;
  • Job details and start date;
  • Remuneration methods;
  • Working hours;
  • Holidays;
  • Social Security;
  • Occupational Risk Protection.

Nevertheless, the biggest change that has happened to app developers in Ukraine because of the war is relocation. 64% of those surveyed were forced to move because of the war, but 24% had already returned to where they lived before the full-scale invasion began. 40% of Ukrainian Haitians are in places of relocation: 27% in Ukraine and 13% abroad. But in addition to moving, there were other changes.

Approximately 1% of the interviewed Haitians are mobilized. Surveys may not capture the full extent of mobilization and job loss among IT professionals, as these professionals may not be able or motivated to respond. However, the obtained figures show that such changes affected some of the Ukraine app developers.

Consider Hiring Devlight as One of the Most Trusted App Development Companies in Ukraine 

If you’ve already made the decision to work with Ukrainian software developers, your next move should be to identify a reliable tech partner. Pay close attention to an outsourcing provider’s knowledge, experience, client testimonials, and completed projects while deciding. Devlight is a wonderful and reliable choice. What makes us one of the most experienced app development companies in Ukraine?

  • We are a mobile app engineering company that has been in business since 2016 and produces top-notch apps for big names in the market. We currently work with the top 100 firms according to Forbes to create digital category leaders;
  • Having more than 6 years of experience developing mobile apps, 35 million installs, and more than 100 completed projects, we have cases of working with media and market Giants — our portfolio of 100+ projects includes cooperation with Sense bank, Nova Poshta, Visa, Vodafone, Tailor Brands, and Movinga; 
  • We are among GitHub top contributors, with more than 13 thousand reviews and thousands of network members. Thanks to open-source solutions, we contribute to the development of the mobile development industry and, accordingly, receive good reviews, as evidenced by 13k stars. Our open-source solutions were among the top libraries of the world rating in GiftHub;
  • Devlight has its own Mobile App Development School — we launched a project where we taught people how to code on Android. Our graduates show a high employment rate. This is how we contribute to the development of the IT community of app developers in Ukraine, further develop the talent pool.

Hire Top-Rated App Developers in Ukraine FAQ

Does Ukraine Offer Experienced Mobile Developers?

87% of surveyed IT specialists in Ukraine have higher education (one or more), and another 5% are studying at a university. About 2% of IT specialists have a scientific degree — more often among Hardware Engineers (9%), Data Science specialists (7%), and STO/SEO (6%). 59% have been in IT for five years or less, and 71% have up to six years of experience in their current field.

How Many It Specialists Are There in Ukraine?

Why Are App Development Companies in Ukraine Great for Outsourcing?

Are Ukrainian Developers Willing to Outsource?

How Much Does it Cost to Hire App Development Companies in Ukraine?

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