Several times a year, SourceSeek travels the globe to search the world’s best software teams for our clients. I just returned from Krakow, Poland where I scouted for new teams and once again found that Poland is a premiere destination for software outsourcing clients.
Let’s get one thing out of the way – Poland is expensive compared to nearby software hotspots like Ukraine or Belarus. It’s dramatically cheaper than what you’d pay in the US or UK, of course, but if you are looking for those $20/hr developers you’ll need to look elsewhere. In the unforgiving world of software development, however, hourly rates are deceiving and if you look at Poland from an ROI or total cost of ownership perspective you’ll find that it’s actually quite a good value.
The Polish IT industry has some real advantages for many clients. They are in the EU and can offer legal protection not available in Ukraine or Belarus. Polish developers consistently have better English language skills and business etiquette that is closer to what US and UK clients are accustomed to. And of course, they have that E. European educational focus on science and math. Perhaps their science programs aren’t as intense as what you’ll find in, say, Russia or Ukraine. Still, they are very good and they excel in more creative disciplines such as product development and agile thinking – an area where the ‘Russian Scientist’ type of developer can struggle.
Another thing that makes Poland a nice place to outsource your software is that Poland is simply a nice place. It’s easy to get there, the people are pleasant, the food is terrific, and the infrastructure is good with just a 6 hour time difference with New York.
We listen carefully to our clients’ needs before organizing a scouting mission for new companies. Once we target a region, our research assistant begins compiling a huge list of every software company we can find in the area, many of whom have contacted us in the past and are already in our database. He compares each team against my profile for the type of company I’m looking for on the upcoming trip. Using that profile, he narrows the list from over 100 to around 15. Many emails and Skype calls later I’m ready with my short-list of 7 target companies and a ticket to Poland.
During this trip, I focused on companies in Krakow and the nearby city areas of, Katowice, Gliwice, Kielce. I met lots of great teams, as usual, but by Wednesday night I began to worry that none of the software companies in Poland I was meeting were quite good enough for our clients. Thankfully, on Thursday afternoon I met with a team that looked perfect on paper and even better in person – the diamond in the rough that makes it all worthwhile.
They were precisely what I’d been searching for on behalf of our many product/startup clients, and the more time I spent with them the more confident I became that this relationship would be a winner. We build relationships slowly so it will still be a while before we’re ready to connect the new team with clients, but from here at Balice Airport in Krakow, Poland, I know the whole trip was worthwhile just to bring a fantastic new team into our network.
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