Top 10 cities to hire developers

January 24, 2020
6 mins

According to StackOverflow, the demand for software developers still outpaces the supply. Research reveals that in the US alone, tech talent shortage is predicted to cost the country USD 435.7 billion. 

Unfortunately, businesses in major tech countries such as the US and the UK have long been suffering because of the rapid growth of tech industries and the shortage of talented developers. Hence, several firms across the globe have started to look beyond their local talent pool and hire software developers online or offshore.

Between hiring freelancers online and dedicated teams offshore, offshoring has long been a popular choice for tech firms. According to Deloitte’s 2016 Global Outsourcing Survey, 59% of the respondents outsource talent because of the affordability factor. Other reasons stated in the survey were:

  • Outsourcing enables a business to focus on its core functions
  • Outsourcing solves capacity issues
  • Outsourcing improves the quality of services, and more

In 2016, Tholons released a report—Top 100 Outsourcing Destinations. The list featured popular cities from across the globe where you can find and hire developers.

Most cities in the top 10 were from India. Hence, to give a wider representation of all the popular outsourcing regions, we listed down one city per country according to rank.

With that said, here are the top 10 cities across the globe where you can find and hire developers.

Top 10 cities to hire developers

  1. Bangalore, India

    Tholons 2016 Top 100 Outsourcing Destinations ranked Bangalore, India as the number one destination to hire software developers/programmers. The city is popularly known for its low-cost developer rates.

    According to PayScale, an average software engineer in Bangalore gets paid INR 799.50 per hour. That’s USD 11 per hour, which is quite affordable for businesses, especially early-stage startups.

    Bangalore boasts of its large pool of software engineers. In fact, it’s estimated that around 175,000 developers out of 500,000 software engineers in India can be found in Bangalore.

    Because of these factors as well as the city’s booming IT industry, global startups and big tech companies flock to Bangalore to set up their businesses or hire developers offshore.

  2. Manila, Philippines

    Just like Bangalore, Manila is a good place to look for developers, with competitive rates. The low salary rates are due to the low cost of living in the country.

    Second to Bangalore, Manila is a popular destination to hire developers. Even though Manila is popularly known as the BPO capital of the world, it also has a thriving IT outsourcing industry.

    One of Manila’s main advantages is its English-fluent developers. In fact, 70% of Filipinos are fluent in English, according to the Philippine Board of Investments.

    It’s also officially the country’s second language. Hence, many global companies choose to work with Filipino developers owing to the ease of communication in terms of language and culture.

  3. Krakow, Poland

    Krakow’s rapid growth in producing tech professionals stems from its high number of universities and employment opportunities in the country.

    According to The Fight for the Future: How People Defeated Hollywood and Saved the Internet—For Now by Edward Lee, the city has a total estimate of 170,000 students, making it an ideal destination for hiring young developers.

    In addition, the 2019 A.T. Kearney Global Services Location Index ranked Poland as one of the best outsourcing locations because of the country’s availability of tech talent and financial attractiveness.

    Also, it is one of the nearest locations for European businesses to hire software developers from. Krakow is around 1.5 kilometers away from the UK, making it one of the most accessible and easiest places for remote cooperation for UK firms.

    Because of the city’s quality and quantity of tech talent, Krakow has become one of the best IT outsourcing cities in the world.

  4. Dublin, Ireland

    In addition to Krakow, Dublin has risen to become one of the best cities to hire developers in Eastern Europe.

    Besides the affordable developer rates, Dublin takes pride in its repository of tech talent. According to Stack Overflow, out of all the cities in the British Isles, Dublin has the highest number of programmers, totaling more than 60,000 people. The most dominant programming languages in the city are Java, Python, and Ruby.

    Major tech brands such as Amazon Web Services, HubSpot, and MongoDB have also set up businesses in Dublin due to the growing tech industry and tech talent pool in the city.

  5. San Jose, Costa Rica

    The capital city of Costa Rica has emerged to become an attractive destination to hire remote developers, especially for US tech firms. 

    One of the reasons for its popularity is its central time zone. When offshoring, most countries have an overlapping time of at least 4 business hours. In Costa Rica, the country is 2 hours ahead in the West Coast and 1 hour behind in the East Coast.

    This means that remote teams can almost have a full working day of overlapping times. This allows for a longer and smoother real-time collaboration between businesses and remote teams.

    Additionally, the country boasts of a highly educated workforce. According to The Global Competitiveness Report of 2017, Costa Rica was ranked as a leader in quality education in Latin America.

    Businesses that are looking to hire tech talent in San Jose can be assured of developers who are experts in their fields and have good English speaking skills.

    These factors have made San José a global hub for tech talents.

  6. Shanghai, China

    Over the past two decades, China’s IT industry has significantly grown and has become an innovative leader in the global IT industry. Among its cities, Shanghai has evolved to become one of the country’s biggest and most popular tech hubs.

    Despite the high-level skills of Chinese developers, they are not as expensive. In an article by Nova Software, President of BearingPoint Bryan Huang said that an engineer with a $4,000 per month salary in the US would cost an equivalent of $500 in Shanghai.

    The country’s huge population, inexpensive rates, and its booming tech industry have made it an ideal destination for global tech companies for hiring top tech talent.

  7. Prague, Czech Republic

    Among the cities in Central Europe, Prague has become a center for finding and hiring software developers/programmers, researchers, bookkeepers, and candidates for various other white-collar jobs.

    Tech giants such as Google, IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle have invested and outsourced in the country because of its promising tech talent. In fact, according to the World Population Review, businesses across Europe come to the city to establish their headquarters, which now accounts for 25% of the country’s GDP. 

    Apart from its workforce and location, another advantage of looking for a developer in Central Europe is the region’s knowledge in a variety of languages.

    Developers can effectively communicate in English, German, French, and other local languages. Overall, convenience in location, communication, and culture make Prague a good destination to hire tech talent.

  8. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

    Even though Malaysia has a smaller pool of tech talent, businesses flock to the country’s capital to hire offshore dedicated developers because of its political and financial stability and multilingual workforce.

    In fact, in 2015, Malaysia was ranked 4th in financial market development globally by the World Economic Forum. In addition, the Government of Malaysia has a number of long-term initiatives for IT products and services such as building fast broadband infrastructure and attracting companies to look at the country as a global information and communications technology (ICT) industry.

    According to Electrica Technology, the high level of internet penetration and digital adoption in the country make it an attractive market for Australian FinTech solutions. 

    Malaysia couldn’t compete with the nearby countries in terms of BPO, so they ventured into offering value-added services such as skills in IT.

  9. Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

    Ho Chi Minh has recently emerged as an attractive destination to find and hire developers because of its low-cost rates but quality output. 

    In addition to attracting western businesses, Vietnam has also piqued the interest of Japanese businesses. In an Asian Review article, one of the things that draws Japanese businesses to the country is that more than 100,000 Vietnamese are learning the Japanese language.

    Also, the government supports the country’s IT sector and provides legal and financial incentive packages, making it an ideal destination for global businesses.

  10. Johannesburg, South Africa

    The Top 100 Outsourcing Destinations report identified three cities from South Africa. Johannesburg ranked at 20, which was one notch above its 2015 ranking.

    Johannesburg performed better in ranking than other South African cities due to its quality outsourcing services in areas of IT, CRM, KPO, finance, among others. The region’s cost-competitiveness, neutral accent, and cultural alignment have made it an inviting destination for businesses, especially small startups.

    In 2030, the country’s outsourcing outlook is expected to account for 4% of global revenues, according to a report by Deloitte.

When hiring developers, keep this in mind…

When choosing where to hire a software developer from, keep in mind that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Each destination has its own strengths and weaknesses in services, rates, and cultural and political compatibility.

Fortunately, there are thousands of offshore providers that cater to tech firms and startups across the globe. Partnering and working with an offshore provider allows businesses to source the right talent and to securely work with their offshore team. 

If you’re looking for tech talent, you can find and hire developers at Cloud Employee, HackerEarth, People Per Hour, Upwork, among others.

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About the Author

Josephine Mariñas
Josephine Mariñas is a Content Specialist at Cloud Employee, a UK-managed provider of tech talent in the Philippines. She’s currently focused on email marketing and covering the latest UK tech news for Cloud Employee’s blog.
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