Today almost any company facing a need to create a software solution considers the ideа of attracting remote teams for development. As far as each business strives to minimize its expenditures and at the same time maintain high quality, it makes sense to turn to software vendors from Asia and Eastern Europe: India, Brazil, China, Poland, Russia, and Belarus. These days executives from the US and Western Europe often tend to choose developers from Belarus. Why should companies pay attention to Belarusian developers? Let`s gain a deeper insight into the situation and outline the possible reasons for that.
In the world education ranking Belarus takes the 20th place among 188 countries outpacing Belgium, France, Finland, and Japan. Belarusian universities train technology professionals who can not only write good code but also easily create new program algorithms.
The strong scientific base in the field of mathematics and physics aims at developing students` engineering thinking and practical programming skills. Large IT companies in Belarus actively collaborate with higher education institutions which allows students not only to study theoretical aspects but also actively put their knowledge into practice. Besides, software vendors offer their own courses that help those who are eager to find themselves in the IT branch.
It is also worth mentioning that normally companies highly motivate and encourage their employees who strive to pass various certifications and gain new knowledge. Usually, each year management of such companies allocates a budget for attending courses and professional conferences. It should also be marked that mentoring is widespread in such companies.
In recent years, the number of well-educated IT specialists has been on the rise in Belarus due to accessibility of education. Besides, the profession of a programmer has become rather popular in the society, thus many young people first attempt to get a technical university degree or later train for a new profession. On average, just 9% of future employees of IT companies start their programming career before leaving school. However, while doing the 2nd or 3rd year at a technical university, about 70% of students already have professional experience in the IT industry. Moreover, we shouldn’t forget about graduates of courses organized directly by companies: they provide around 22% of workers to the industry. Besides, for most IT specialists an important criterion when changing a job becomes a possibility to take part in innovative and complex projects which require not only the use of the already known technologies, but also a study of new state-of-the-art approaches. It has strong impact on projects in which teams are engaged. For example, the greatest growth rates of the IT industry in Belarus refer to the activities related to data processing (180% in 2015 compared to 2014). It means that the growing number of software engineers is involved in such promising areas as Big Data and Business Intelligence. Also, continuous inflow of new personnel to the IT sphere allows companies not to give up projects that require a large number of IT personnel.
Although the software industry may seem young, many programmers from Belarus have been working at the market for more than 10 years that proves their reliability and success. A great number of solutions for small, medium and large international companies from different branches (finance, healthcare, retail, telecom, etc.) have been implemented during these years. For example, the IT production output for 2015 made up 1 120 million US dollars. As for the total production, the export share made up more than 90%, where 87% was the share of the countries from Western Europe and the USA. Such considerable experience of successfully implemented projects allows future clients not to worry about quality and execution of ordered solutions in due time.
Within recent years, the Belarusian IT industry has introduced several international projects among which the most popular are World of Tanks, MSQRD, Viber, etc. This fact speaks for itself: the country can be proud of its really talented developers as well as effective project managers who are aware of their customers` needs and know how to organize team work in order to produce high-demand quality software products.
The world rankings of IT companies (Global Outsourcing 100, Software 500, etc.) annually include about 10 Belarusian representatives which proves their achievements on the international market of IT services. For example, each year Software 500, the largest software vendors rating, includes at least 10 companies from Belarus, and the Global Outsourcing 100 rating marks 6 companies. The international rating of the best software testing companies made by Clutch highlights 4 Belarusian companies.
As far as Belarusian software suppliers actively cooperate with West European and US customers, they try to talk the same language with them. Today when being hired, not only project managers, but also junior developers and testers are required to know English well. Besides, almost all vendors organize English courses for their employees in order to increase their language skills and avoid communication problems with clients.
If we take a look at all post-Soviet countries, we can say that among them Belarus stands out as a country which is closer to the Western mentality, and this, undoubtedly, facilitates interaction between clients from Western Europe and the USA and software suppliers. Besides, if speak about cooperation with West European customers, geographic proximity is a great advantage. Average flight time from most of the cities in Western Europe to Minsk, the capital of Belarus, takes no longer than 3 hours. Moreover, in the near future the Belarusian government is planning to cancel entry visas for the term of stay up to 5 days for citizens from 80 states which will also help build business relationships and set up new contacts. It is also worth mentioning that in 2015 Belarus took the 36th place in the world ICT Development Index having outpaced Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, and Poland.
Belarusian IT companies are customer-oriented and aim at providing their partners with high-quality solutions and services. Clients of Belarusian vendors always have the opportunity to use a preferred business and pricing model and choose their method of interaction with a team, etc. Among the most popular pricing models in Belarusian IT companies are “Time and Materials”, “Fixed Price”, and “Mixed Model”. Development teams also use different methodologies for project implementation accepted around the world: agile, an iterative model, a prototype model, waterfall, and others.
The rates of developers from the US and EU countries are much higher compared to Belarusian developers, although in many cases they demonstrate absolutely identical quality. A considerable difference in rates can be explained by enormously smaller living costs in Belarus as compared to the West European countries. Even if we try to compare Belarus to other countries in Eastern Europe, we can see that the rates of Belarusian developers are much lower than those of Ukrainian, Czech, not to mention Polish programmers. For example, on average the annual costs for a Belarusian middle developer make up about 23,7 thousand US dollars, whereas for Ukrainian– 25 thousand US dollars, Czech – 28 thousand US dollars, and Polish – 31 thousand US dollars.
When choosing a Belarusian company for software development, a client can not only save considerable amounts of money, but also receive solutions that in terms of quality are equal to and in many cases even exceed products of their counterparts in Western Europe and the US.
The points mentioned above lead us to the conclusion that Belarus has a large number of undeniable advantages as a country that serves as a base for numerous successful software vendors who build qualitative and cost-effective solutions for companies from all over the world.