Denis Grankin Head of Sales Department

Krakow IT Hub: Software Development Center in Poland

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Software Development Center in Poland

Looking for software development opportunities in Poland? Why not turn to Krakow? Today it is a proven European IT center with a solid academic, business, and startup background. With more than 50,000 developers, Krakow continues to gain momentum in terms of attracting new technical talent. Given the situation in Ukraine, it is likely that the talent pool will keep growing, along with strengthening the research base and expanding subject matter expertise.

Find out what Krakow has to offer your business as one of Poland's key IT hubs, as well as the country's cultural and student center.

Why is Krakow a good place for software development services?

One of the reviews of Krakow as a promising technological center of Europe states, "Krakow is how Europe is supposed to be".

Indeed, Krakow is changing the very understanding of offshore. Today it is not just a city of talented and experienced technicians whose web app development services are relatively affordable. Krakow is, above all, a wise strategic choice in terms of investment, a reliable partner, a safe business harbor, and a proven educational and scientific base.

Krakow's tech scene has matured over the past year. Not only have about 20 new technology players appeared in the city, but the companies represented here have also strengthened their market position.

The local IT industry has also been affected by global tectonic changes in the IT labor market. Like the rest of the progressive world, Krakow is experiencing a rapid yet smooth transition to flexible work models, such as remote and hybrid. Meanwhile, the IT talent pool in Krakow alone has grown to 50,000 engineers and continues to grow.

Nevertheless, Ukraine's hard times and Poland's assistance to its people remain on the agenda. Now, in these turbulent times, Krakow is becoming both a world-class strategic technology center and a haven for Ukrainians in general and Ukrainian technology companies in particular.

Convenient time zone

The time zone is one of the most significant factors to consider when choosing an IT outsourcing company. In this respect, Poland and Krakow in particular are well suited for business cooperation with clients from North America, Western Europe, and any other country.

Poland (including Krakow) is in the GMT+1 time zone. Poland, France and Germany are in the same time zone, while the time difference between Poland and Great Britain is 1 hour.

Customers from North America also have no problem making arrangements with Krakow contractors. The time difference between Poland on one side and the U.S. East and West Coast on the other is 6 and 9 hours, respectively. By comparison, the difference between India/China and the U.S. is 10-12 hours.

All of this means that there will be time during the work day to communicate with the project team or individual developers, or tasks can be completed by arrangement overnight. In addition, the work schedule of your employees in Krakow may be revised, and, for example, they may start work later to make it convenient for you to communicate with them.

Krakow is home to knowledge, innovation, and tech-savvy people

When they talk about the city, they, first of all, mean the people who live there. Therefore, in order to understand what Krakow is all about, it is necessary to get to know its inhabitants better. Their values are based on progress, education and creativity. The sustainable development of Kraków depends directly on how the needs of the population to realize the aforementioned values will be met.

One of the industries where this can be done is information technology. Its rapid rise in recent years in Krakow is no accident. On the contrary, there are all the prerequisites for it:

  • Krakow's strong research base;
  • Vast and highly respected academic staff;
  • Well-educated population (read below about the level of education of Krakow residents).

Krakow is going through a phase of active digital transformation:

  • There is a rich IT culture here, thanks to the wealth of IT companies and other IT communities in the city and beyond;
  • An environment for start-ups is taking shape, with typical attributes such as local incubators, venture capital, access to financing, and the inflow of foreign investment.

Besides, Krakow's economy is built within the "smart city" paradigm, which is based on the city's solid educational background. This strategy allows local governments to make good use of available resources and thus respond to emerging problems promptly while meeting the needs of the population.

Today we can see that Krakow is becoming an influential European center of information technology. At the same time, on the highly competitive global IT market, Krakow is getting to be a tidbit for young technological talents.

Not only does it have everything it takes to create and launch breakthrough products on the world market. Krakow also offers a mature infrastructure and suitable conditions for comfortable living and recreation.

Taken together, these factors, as well as the progress of digital aspects of everyday life, make Krakow alluring in terms of foreign investment.

IT Ecosystem of Krakow

The Krakow tech and business scene continues to gain momentum, establishing itself as one of the most prominent tech powerhouses in Central and Eastern Europe. The city is also becoming more significant in terms of the startup community, with a growing number of products backed by venture capitalists.

On the other hand, the city's academic ecosystem remains strong and continues to generate large numbers of candidates with strong engineering competencies. Every year, Krakow universities graduate 2,35K students in computer science who are ready to build hands-on or offbeat web solutions and applications. At the same time, the focus of knowledge acquisition is on bridging the gap between technological talent, investment, and business.

It is clear that Krakow looks more than ready to meet business needs, whether it is a request for staff augmentation, the creation of an MVP, or the scaling of an existing product.

Krakow: figures and facts to consider

The technology ecosystem in Krakow is expanding and strengthening so rapidly that it now employs more than 100,000 professionals with diverse backgrounds. By expanding its talent pool, Krakow is becoming more diverse, more mature, and more capable of meeting even the most sophisticated business challenges in the face of uncertainty.

Krakow: figures and facts to consider

Tech talent pool in Krakow

With more than 50,000 IT professionals, Krakow is the second largest talent pool in Poland. What sets Krakow apart:

  • Low employee turnover
  • Availability of IT services vital to business
  • Advanced culture
  • Speed and quality of hire

Key features of the Krakow talent pool:

  • Rapid professional development provided by local universities;
  • The inflow of technological talents from other Polish cities, and Ukraine as well;
  • A large number of engineers with a solid international background (more than 80% of developers in Krakow work for foreign companies);
  • The main area of expertise is software development.

Tech talent pool growth:

Tech talent pool growth in Poland

In addition to their excellent technical skills, more than 90 percent of local specialists are fluent in English. Moreover, Poland is among the top twenty countries with the highest level of English proficiency. This allows for reliable and effective communication between development centers, project teams, and customers, especially when it comes to a detailed discussion of functional vs nonfunctional requirements for the product or software development metrics.

Technology competencies of Krakow engineers

The technological landscape in Krakow is diverse and reflects trends prevailing in the rest of the world. Nevertheless, Polish developers, in general, are highly regarded:

  • #1: Ranking of Polish Java programmers by HackerRank
  • #3: Global ranking of Polish programmers by HackerRank

Share of developers in Krakow specialized in a particular programming language:

programming languages in Krakow

With the ongoing globalization of the IT market and general digitalization, there is a growing demand for technical specialists and niche expertise. Krakow, with its large number of specialists and diverse competencies and experience, has an edge in this respect.

The most powerful area of the Krakow tech scene is fintech. This is due to the robust startup environment, local successful fintech companies, and the overall growth of sectors such as cryptocurrency, blockchain, digital banking, etc.

However, Poland and Krakow in particular are no longer synonymous with cheap IT services. The services are indeed still affordable, especially when compared to engineering services provided in Western countries. Instead of price as the main criterion for choosing a contractor in Poland, customers now focus more on quality, which may indicate their growing awareness.

By putting quality at the heart of everything you do, you make the world a better place, since the more quality products there are, the more satisfied customers and problems solved.

IT communities in Krakow

As a city of students, Krakow attracts young people interested in various aspects of technology. The active presence of local IT geeks, enthusiasts, and programmers has led to the emergence of numerous professional communities and communities of interest.

IT communities in Krakow

What makes Krakow unique is its innovative ecosystem. It is made up of high-quality educational institutions, local communities, supporting organizations, and funding organizations, as well as the vast pool of talent and proven entrepreneurial expertise offered by the international business centers represented in Krakow.

Startup landscape of Krakow

The startup scene in Krakow has all the classic attributes, from international products and unicorns to incubators, business angels, and access to funding.

According to a report by the Start-up Poland Foundation, up to 40 percent of the companies that have raised more than $2.6 million from investors are from Krakow.

The five organizations that contribute the most to the startup community in Krakow are as follows:

  • Krakow City of Start-ups Foundation
  • #Start-up Małopolska
  • hubraum (Deutsche Telekom’s tech incubator)
  • Krakow Technology Park along with its Technology Incubator
  • Start-up Community - Foundation Supporting #OMGKRK

The areas that local startups are most focused on:

1. Sales & Marketing tools/services

2. Game Studios

3. IoT solutions

The most successful startups in Krakow (Crunchbase):

1. Brainly (EdTech): $148.5M of total funding;

2. SALESmanago (Marketing automation): $7.7M;

3. Synerise (Software, Sales. Marketing): $19.2M;

4. (IoT): $8.3M;

5. Estimote (IoT): $29.6M.

There are about 1,000 "unicorn" companies in the world (worth $1 billion). Polish companies have not yet made the list, but the dynamic growth of companies such as eObuwie, Brainly, and Docplanner allows us to count on getting on the "unicorn" list shortly.

unicorn companies in the world

Education in Krakow: Key findings

Krakow is not only the cultural and economic, but also the academic center of Poland. Let's take a look at what the educational landscape of Krakow looks like:

  • 23 Higher education institutions in Krakow
  • 10 Higher education institutions with IT courses
  • 143K Students in Krakow
  • 11.5K Computer Science students
  • 2.35K Computer Science students graduate annually
  • Free Higher education in Poland

Krakow is known as the city of students:

  • One in ten city residents is a student;
  • Various universities offer more than 15 bachelor's level computer science courses;
  • More than 2,350 graduates each year.

As you can see from the graph, Krakow is the second largest Polish city in terms of the number of IT graduates:

IT graduates

The top 3 universities in Krakow providing technical education are as follows:

1. Jagiellonian University: 3 courses in computer science; 35,000 students attend this university;

2. AGH University of Science and Technology: 10 computer science courses; 20,000 students;

3. Cracow University of Technology (Polytechnic): 3 courses in computer science; 13,000 students.

Postgraduate education in ICT in Krakow

The educational institutions in Krakow offer a wide range of academic postgraduate courses in ICT. The training can also be done through numerous professional courses offered by public institutions and private companies.

Post-graduate studies in ICT in Krakow:

  • More than 600 postgraduate IT students in Krakow every year;
  • 28 postgraduate education institutions in Krakow;
  • 6 universities/schools in Krakow offering postgraduate education in information technology;
  • 42% of postgraduate IT students in Krakow are women;
  • 2-year program in Krakow;
  • MBA IT program begins in the 2021/2022 academic year with 25 participants.

Advantages of IT outsourcing services to Krakow

Innovation and technology opportunity center:

  • A thriving ecosystem of startups
  • Unicorn companies list challengers
  • A booming business environment
  • An influx of international investment
  • Technology communities driving industry growth

Strategically well-located:

  • Direct flights worldwide daily
  • Flexible time zone
  • Europe's most significant cities are at arm's length
  • Poland is part of the EU, which has a positive effect on all areas of city life

A highly-educated population:

  • Krakow is the academic and cultural think tank of Poland
  • 143K students in universities
  • 11,5K computer science students
  • 2.35K computer science students graduate each year
  • A constant flow of specialists with skills in demand

Western-like mindset and cultural compatibility

  • Krakow professionals cooperate with Western companies, enriching themselves with the best practices of partnership building
  • They are proactive and, being in a European context, can properly understand the expectations of Western business partners
  • 20th on the list of so-called "supercities" in the Tholons Global Innovation Index 2021

Krakow programmers are among the best in the world:

  • Poland is 3rd in the ranking of countries with the best programmers in the world
  • Poland ranks among the top 5 and top 3 developers in the world according to HackerRank, TopCoder and SkillValue
  • Poland is one of the countries with the youngest coders
  • Poland took 14th place among the most popular outsourcing areas in the world

Flexibility in work and communication:

  • Home to an Agile conference called ACE! Conference
  • Agile methodology as a basic project management approach
  • Customer needs and the shared search for better solutions are at the forefront

Highly secured IT outsourcing services:

  • Poland as a whole scored 70.56 out of 100 in the US Chamber of Commerce IP index 2020
  • Krakow developers comply with international General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)
  • Data security issues are the first priority for local tech experts

How much do developers earn in Krakow?

As the city continues to be one of the most conducive IT business destinations, Krakow has also seen growth in the IT job market, including wage growth.

Salaries depend on experience, technology, market saturation, and other factors that vary from employer to employer. For example, the average salary when hiring an average engineer (3-5 years experience) in Krakow (gross, per month) is about 3,600 euros.

Let's take a look at what the entire salary range for professionals looks like, depending on experience:

Salary ranges in Poland

Now let's move on to the expected salaries in Krakow for each technology stack:

developers salaries in Krakow

When planning to outsource a project to Krakow software developers, you should make sure that your cost expectations are realistic. The truth is that although the cost of a software development team in Poland remains affordable, the gap has narrowed over the past 15 years. There are savings, but not as significant as before.

This trend is due to macroeconomic factors, such as increased demand for IT professionals worldwide, economic inflation, or changes in the current labor market.

Things to consider when hiring engineers in Krakow

The IT industry is gradually evolving and undergoing consistent changes. Along with a rich talent pool, questions of another order arise: How to hire developers in Krakow quickly and successfully? How to find the best value for money so that the budget does not go up in smoke?

According to the report, it takes 4 to 8 weeks to hire an experienced and qualified developer. This is only in terms of time, but hiring involves costs as well. They will increase if the search for a candidate drags on or if the candidate found is not a good fit. To reduce costs and hiring time, companies often prefer to deal with an experienced IT company where all hiring processes are already in place. Experienced technical recruiters use their in-depth knowledge of the local IT job market, as well as professional recruiting tools, to speed up the recruitment process and make good choices.

The DDI development team, with their solid experience in hiring and onboarding developers, will do their best to efficiently employ the engineers you need. And it's up to you whether to choose a staff augmentation model or go with traditional IT outsourcing practices. To describe the difference between the two approaches in a nutshell, outsourcing means handing the project over to a third-party team, while staff augmentation means bringing in developers as members of your team. Whatever your choice, we guarantee to fulfill our obligations and provide you with top-notch performers - a team of software developers or dedicated technicians in Krakow.

Krakow supports Ukraine in its struggle

Krakow's response to the situation in Ukraine has been lightning-fast and deserves special attention. The city has already welcomed tens of thousands of Ukrainians fleeing the war and continues to be supportive, enthusiastic, community-minded, and resourceful in its response to the current crisis. These, and other features allow Krakow to be seen as a serious player in the global IT market.

The situation in Ukraine has already affected the IT market in the region and Krakow itself. The fact is that the number of developers available for cooperation in Ukraine has decreased due to the war, which is caused by the need for local technical experts to either defend the country or arrange family relocation to safer locations.

Meanwhile, the global demand for software solutions and IT specialists remains high, which is expected to affect the accessibility of specialists and the cost of their services.

In the current situation, Poland's role has changed:

  • Foreign clients are getting more and more interested in mobile development services, as well as web development services provided by IT companies from Poland;
  • Many IT teams choose Poland, namely progressive, youthful Krakow, as their main place to work and live;
  • Krakow is a haven for Ukrainian technology companies, IT professionals from Ukraine, and their families;
  • Krakow is turning into a favorable environment of like-minded people, promoting professional growth and fruitful work.

The following results of the relocation of technical specialists from Ukraine to Krakow can be highlighted:

  • Expanding the staff of Polish companies with Ukrainian specialists;
  • Broadening the range of competencies and services to serve customers better;
  • Strengthening the IT community. This usually involves the development of research centers, professional training, and the exchange of unique experiences.

Bottom line

Krakow is a promising European think tank for business development due to the abundance of technical talent and business opportunities. In addition to the organic development of Krakow as a key technology center in CEE, the Krakow technology scene is also influenced by events in Ukraine, and this situation is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.

Krakow is now home to many technology companies previously based in Ukraine. At the same time, the city itself is already known for its healthy techno-environment with a large number of technology institutes, a vibrant IT community, and a thriving startup environment. Modern Krakow goes hand in hand with such concepts as development and technological progress. It is up to you to decide whether to deal with representatives of this advanced world of information technology and thus get a highly effective solution to any of your problems.

We will be happy to advise you on product development or IT service outsourcing. As a Polish-Ukrainian team with diverse expertise, we are well equipped to address current business challenges through software solutions. We have 15 years of experience, extensive expertise with in-depth subject matter knowledge, and an advanced mentality on our side. Write to us so we can discuss your request in detail.

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