Kateryna SemenistaCOO

Hiring developers in Ukraine? Watch out for these 5 misconceptions.


Having heard of all the advantages Ukraine has to offer in terms of highly skilled IT resources, you might want to know some misconceptions that can jeopardize your project.

Get info about common misconceptions about the Ukrainian IT community. Starting your project well- Informed will give you an advantage building your team.

1)      Salary≠ motivation

IT is a relatively new industry for Ukraine. The boom began in the first decade of 2000, but the pace with which it has continued to evolve really astonishes. Thousands of companies have already worked with Ukrainian developers and gladly return to them again and again.

Such demand led not only to high salaries, but also a situation where developers can choose which Ukrainian company they want to work for.  Money is no longer the only deciding factor, since no matter where they go, developers command a respectable rate. Developers have thus gotten used to comfortable work conditions, friendly atmosphere and challenging projects.

The more efforts a Ukrainian company makes to keep developers in high spirit, the higher are chances of retention and long-term cooperation.

2) Young ≠ unskilled or inexperienced

Lots of talented young people become passionate about programming early at University, attracted by the idea of living in pace with all modern technologies. Programming has meant great career opportunities and work conditions, as well as the possibility to be a part of something significant. Together with golden rule of Ukrainian IT world: “you rock – you work,” the possibilities from a programming career motivate young people to be hard workers, real geeks and great professionals.

In outsourcing companies, some of these soon-to-be gurus enjoy the stability and great atmosphere, while others gain experience before trying to create their own framework or form a start up to change the world. But all of them are driven by great desire to learn and work hard. It's very common for developers to start expanding their knowledge early, and to proactively challenge themselves to learn new skills. This means that it is common for younger guys to be extraordinarily productive.

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3) Best developer  ≠ 20 years of experience

As mentioned earlier, IT in Ukraine is relatively new, although it is rapidly gaining popularity and recognition. That is why effective developers with 15+ years of experience are very rare. The average age of a developer in Ukraine is around 25-26, and it is entirely common to see 22-23 year old guys performing better that experienced middle developers.

When you're building a team and thinking about "senior" developers, what does your project actually require? Experience with old technology? Skill and knowledge of the best techniques? Leadership ability or confidence? Some of these qualities come from age, some can be helped by age, and some simply come from particular experience.

Seek to build a team with the capabilities you need, rather than the resumes you expect.

4) Over qualification ≠ safe choice

In Ukraine (and other former Soviet countries), university education in math, physics and informatics remained strong, enabling Ukrainian developers to tackle problems that are technically complicated. Lots of developers long for challenging and complex projects, and when given supporting and bug fixing work they can get demotivated. Less experienced developers may be more appropriate, as the process of learning new technologies may be interesting, even if the project is not.

This is very similar to the above point: even if money is not the primary issue, don't expect that a team overqualified superstars is ideal. The most important thing is finding the right match between your project and the ability of your team. A motivated team, enthusiastic about building your project will always outperform a more technically competent team who is less interested.

 

5) Honesty and conscientiousness ≠rudeness and stubbornness

For developers, outsourcing can be interesting because it gives the chance to gain experience and skill while working on varied projects with different technologies. Similarly, within outsourcing development companies, there is often a deep pool of shared knowledge. This means that developers may have knowledge of better or faster ways to handle a project, and may push for something different than you initially intended.

In these circumstances the best results come from encouraging a clear exchange of ideas. Obviously, it is the customer or product owner who best knows the business requirements as well as why certain technologies were chosen, and so it's up to them to make the decision. Above all, recognize that a desire to do things better means a desire to improve the product and means developers are thinking, rather than just simply acting.

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Obviously, when looking for developers you have a lot of options. In all, the best advice is simple: pick a team who is a good match for your project. The best value for your money will come from a dedicated and productive team who finds your project interesting, challenging, and appropriate to their abilities.

Have any other lessons that you've learned from outsourcing? Disagree with any of our conclusions?

Use the comments below to tell us how you feel, and be sure to share if you think any of this would be useful to someone else!