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India vs Ukraine: Which developers are better?

India vs Ukraine: Which developers are better?

Recently there was a question on Quora, on which place is better to outsource, or which developers are better. South Asia or Ukraine? Here an attempt for an answer.

Great question! And definitely not easy to answer.

Let me try 🙂

I think it is not possible to say that for example an Indian developer is better is better than an Ukrainian developer or vice versa.

The first thing we should compare are the overall statistics and situation:

Numbers:

  • Number of developers in India: approximately 5 Million
  • Number of developers in the Ukraine: 50′000 to 90′000

Note: Here itself we see a huge difference. A company like Tata Consultancy Services already employees has more than 380′000 employees, of which definitely 300′000 are IT professionals. That itself would be around three to four times the whole Ukrainian IT industries head count!

Political stability:

  • Ukraine: There is a war raging in the Ukraine. It is not in the European Union and stands almost alone against one of the largest superpowers in the world (Russia). This is affecting the currency as well as the willingness of people to stay in the country.
  • India: Almost no political instability. Only thing which can be called out, is woman’s security. But that can be handled by proper security measures.

Absolute numbers vs percentage

I must admit, if you look at the percentage of good developers, then we need to agree with Edward Robe who argues that there are really bad IT professionals on the subcontinent.

This has to do with:

  • IT is not a choice: In the Ukraine a youngster might go into IT, because he/ she really loves it. In India it is more like “Parents say: Go into IT, good job prospects”. So not much of a choice…

But: It might be true that out of the 90′000 developers 50 percent might be top notch coders. That would be around 45′000 great coders!
I see some issues here.

In India there are around 5 million coders. And it is true the percentage of good coders might be much less. May be 20 percent. But that would be still around 1 million people, which is around 20 times more than in our Eastern European comparison country!
So the absolute numbers of good IT professionals is higher in India.

Cost

Anyone who has been in this industry for a while knows. The prices on the subcontinent have stayed the same for the last few years. Not much changes.

The cost to outsource is very low, while the coding standards are getting better by the day.

It is of course true that the Ukraine is a high quality outsourcing destination. But what people often forget is, that the cost has risen disproportionately. Some companies will charge 6000 US Dollar and more for a full time IT professional per month.

This is not affordable to many companies. And it does not actually matter for the Ukrainian IT companies, because there are enough companies which can afford to pay those prices, so that all of those 90′000 developers are utilized.

Conclusion

True: Outsourcing to Ukraine is definitely an option.

There are some advantages:

  1. Proximity: In a few hours a team in the Ukraine can reach Western European countries.
  2. Cultural proximity: After the downfall of the Iron Curtain (cold war), this country has opened up to western culture and has become more similar to those countries.
  3. High quality: As I mentioned before. People become coders, because they love it. So you can expect a higher quality.

Disadvantages:

Have already been mentioned in this post:

  1. Not many resources available: 90′000 vs. 5′000′000. Therefore you might struggle to build bigger teams.
  2. Price: Prices can be very high. Not affordable for smaller companies.
  3. Stability: If the war escalates, then we don’t even know whether a smooth operating can be assured.

Here the outsource to India comparison:

Advantages:

  1. Many developers available: If properly selected, then the 20 percent of good coders can be found. Also: its possible to build bigger teams, fast.
  2. Cost: Prices have stayed the same over the last few years, even though there were rumors that would increase quickly.
  3. Stability: The issue with Pakistan might be there. Truth is, they are our brothers and sisters 🙂 It is only used for political gains (elections).

Disadvantages:

  1. Fraudulent companies are there: Some companies are struggling to pay their bills. They will make promises they cannot keep and offer sub-par quality.
  2. Average coder quality: If you are not looking at absolute numbers, but on average, than of course Ukraine will fair better. But as I mentioned before, we need to look at absolute numbers.
  3. Woman’s security: This is an issue not tackled properly on the subcontinent.

You can also find some more information on the comparison here Ukraine Versus India: Which Is The Better Place For Outsourcing? (it is a blog post on our website)

My experience

Because I am running an outsourcing company in India, I might be tending to argue in favor of the subcontinent.

But I am also constantly working with countries and companies from Europe.

What I see is, that when it comes to backend development (PHP, Laravel, ASPNET, Magento, WordPress, etc.), the customers are usually happy. When it comes to frontend development (HTML, CSS, Usability, UI, UX), South Asia is usually not that strong.

But overall we are usually working for many years with the same clients, which shows, that they are happy with the services.

Final conclusion

I liked the answer by Nazar Kvartalnyi

Ukraine is better in terms of communication, culture, and geographic proximity, and quality. For sure, the very development and quality are always in the highest priority, however, it is the communication that drives both parties to one meeting point.

There are definitely advantages to this country.

You have to ask yourself these questions to decide:

  1. How important is the time difference? (1 hour, Ukraine, or 3.5 hours India) Do they they really need to work at almost the same time zone, or is 4 to 5 hours a day enough?
  2. What is your budget? (If you can spend 4000 to 8000 US Dollars a months for a developer, then Eastern Europe is better)
  3. Are you ready to accept cultural differences? (Eastern Europe is closer culturally. But South Asians are not aliens either 🙂 )
  4. Do you need to build bigger teams? (Then South Asia with its large candidate pool is the better choice. It is usually even possible to find people who are readily available in the job market)
  5. Do you have no time to select candidates? (In South Asia you will need to calculate time to select good candidates, see absolute numbers vs percentage. In the Ukraine the chances are higher that you will find good people fast)

Good luck!

Some interesting article:
This is what ignietoutsourcing says
Comparison of the two outsourcing destinations

Picture source: Canva


The author: Sascha Thattil works at Software-Developer-India.com which is a part of the YUHIRO Group. YUHIRO is a German-Indian enterprise which provides programmers to IT companies, agencies and IT departments.

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