Software engineering in Russia is worth it

In view of stable economic growth and increasing demand for highly qualified IT specialists, German IT companies are repeatedly looking towards Eastern Europe and the CIS countries in their search for software engineers and developers.

More and more European and US companies are choosing to hire software developers from Ukraine, Russia and Belarus. That was one of the reasons why we only focus on these countries in our blog post. Many large companies have a long history of working with local recruitment agencies. This enables you to select IT candidates much faster and, for example, to B. to bring to Germany.

In this article you will find a detailed overview of Ukraine, Russia and Belarus as candidate markets. The number of tech professionals in each country, their salary expectations, things to consider when hiring software developers in Eastern Europe and much more will be discussed below.

The number of software developers in Eastern Europe

There are around 1.3 million software developers in Eastern Europe, with JavaScript, Java and PHP being the most widely used technologies. The graphic below shows how the most popular technologies are divided in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus. However, the market is so dynamic that the number of vacancies and available candidates changes from day to day. So it is hardly realistic to produce reliable statistics.


The growth rate of the R&D market for IT services and software in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus is four to five times higher than the global growth rate. The customers come mainly from Europe and the USA.

How many software developers are there in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus?


There are around 200,000 software developers in Ukraine. The total number of Ukrainian tech talent is over 469,000, according to AmazingHiring's 2019 report. Java, JavaScript and PHP are the most widely used technologies. Every year over 23,000 graduates from technical faculties from over 150 technical universities enter the candidate market.

Most Ukrainian software developers already have experience in outsourcing companies with customers from all over the world, which makes it easier for them to work with a foreign customer. According to DOU, the largest Ukrainian online community of programmers, 80% of Ukrainian tech talent have a medium or high level of English. Since June 2017, Ukrainians have been able to travel to Europe without a visa, which both deepens their knowledge of English and promotes cultural competence and openness when working on international projects.

About 5% of the jobs advertised in Ukraine anticipate a move. Ukrainian developers often move to the US, Poland, Germany, Scandinavian countries, Israel and the UK. About 5,000 technical specialists leave Ukraine every year. Often the experience of living and working abroad is a reason for Ukrainian programmers to move. Factors such as stability and social policy in the target countries are also of high priority for IT professionals who have families and children or are planning to have them soon.


There are around 400,000 software developers in Russia. As in Ukraine, Java and JavaScript are the most popular technologies. PHP is less popular. C and C ++ developers are quite numerous in Russia. Annually, 50,000 graduates graduate from 526 Russian technical universities.

One in five Russians admits that they would emigrate if the opportunity presented themselves. However, the local political climate is the main factor behind emigration.

Every tenth tech specialist (11%) with four to eight years of professional experience is ready to go abroad. 3% of Russian IT specialists already have work experience abroad. The most popular destinations are Germany (38%), the USA (36%), the United Kingdom (27%), Australia (24%) and Canada (18%).

Salary is usually the very first item for Russian developers when considering an offer of employment with relocation. In second place are social and cultural factors.


There are over 54,000 IT specialists in Belarus. The total size of the technical talent pool is estimated at 124,000. Java and JavaScript are popular here too. In third place is .NET technology. At the same time, python, which is rapidly gaining momentum in Ukraine and around the world, is developing more slowly in Belarus. Every year 7,000 new graduates from 14 technical universities and colleges enter the job market.

Software developers in Belarus are known for their extraordinary expertise in hardware. Unfortunately, due to the country's legal framework, it is quite difficult for IT professionals to emigrate. One in three Belarusians would like to emigrate if there was a chance. The reasons to leave Belarus include better educational opportunities for yourself and your children, a comfortable social environment and secure retirement provision. Despite the fact that many Belarusian programmers are moving to Russia, there are also those who are more interested in Lithuania, Poland, Germany and the USA. Most technology companies in Belarus are outsourcing companies, so a good knowledge of English is a must for software developers, especially if the position involves direct communication with customers. 74.9% of Belarusian developers rate their English level as upper-intermediate or higher.

 What is the average salary of software developers in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus?

Software developers in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus earn relatively much more than employees in other industries. You also get a bonus package from companies (full health insurance coverage, subscription to the gym and swimming pool, free lunch, massages, English lessons, etc.). Considering the cost of living and average salaries in Eastern Europe, a software developer feels more than comfortable here. If an Eastern European programmer decides to move abroad, he would expect compensation in a new job that could offer him a similar quality of life.

The average salary of a software developer in Ukraine lis around $ 2,500-3,000 a month. The current median monthly salary in the country is $ 450. A PHP developer's monthly salary is at the bottom of the salary spectrum at $ 2,500 per month, while Java engineers tend to get the best paid - over $ 3,000 a month.

Because of the corona pandemic in Ukraine, the average salaries of software developers have changed somewhat: at the moment, C # developers receive 50 dollars a month and Java programmers 100 dollars less. The salaries of software developers who specialize in other technologies have stayed the same.

 The software developers in Russia earn averages between $ 2,000 and $ 3,000 per month. The median monthly salary in the country is $ 750.

Because of the Corona crisis, salaries have dropped by 15%. The average salary of an iOS developer in Russia is currently close to $ 3,000 per month, with Android developers following closely behind. The monthly compensation for Java and C ++ developers is around $ 2,500.

The average salary of a software developer in Belarus ranges from $ 2,000 to $ 3,000. The median monthly salary in the country is $ 505.

The Corona crisis had a noticeable impact on the salaries of Belarusian programmers: The salary of a C ++ developer has decreased by $ 300 compared to the beginning of the year. Android developers are now also earning $ 150 less. In contrast, the monthly salaries of iOS and Java programmers have even increased.

 What you should know if you are looking to hire a software developer from Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus

 Be ready to hunt down candidates. The number of software developers in Eastern Europe may be large, but the market is still the candidate market. The seasoned tech talents get new job offers weekly - or even daily if they have rare skills or unique experiences. If your application process is too complicated and requires an extensive cover letter or overly detailed résumé, you will have a hard time getting many software developers to apply for the position. An Eastern European programmer usually sends a résumé or just a link to their LinkedIn profile to show their interest in the position. Throughout the hiring process, you as the employer must show a lot more initiative than the candidate. However, the tech talents from Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus are worth the hunt.

  • Offer flexible working hours. European and US customers are often surprised by the fact that flexible working hours (and sometimes also remote work) are quite common for software developers from Eastern Europe. There are several reasons: first is the fact that many programmers work with US-based customers and have to adjust their working hours to reflect the time difference; secondly, flexible working hours are seen as a company advantage in order to be able to attract and retain more outstanding candidates. We therefore recommend that you be flexible on this issue. This in no way means that candidates are lazy or disorganized, they are simply used to being free to choose when to work and when to rest (but this does not apply to sync-up calls or meetings).
  • Discuss the net salaries. As for salary expectations, it is customary in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus to talk about net salaries. To avoid misunderstandings, tell the candidate exactly how much they will receive as compensation at the end of the month. We also recommend that you address the financial question early on in the communication process, rather than clarifying it in the final phase.
  • Frequent job changes are not a disadvantage. We noticed that job changes every two to three years are often viewed as job hopping by European employers, which is seldom the case for software developers in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus. Here, the frequent job changes are usually caused by external factors (short-term projects, abrupt contract terminations, etc.).
  • Hire a dedicated recruiter or work through a recruitment agency.If you are looking for software developers in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus, we recommend retrospectively investing in a dedicated recruiter or working with a recruiting agency that has extensive tech recruitment experience and references. This allows you to target and recruit candidates who match your needs much faster.
  • Act quickly. When it comes to recruiting developers from Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus, you need to make decisions much faster than the usual approach to finding tech talent locally. If you liked a candidate, submit the offer to them as soon as possible, otherwise they could be poached by a competitor.

An overview of the IT industry in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus

 Top software development and startups company in Ukraine

Software development companies in Ukraine mainly focus on providing outsourcing services in the field of software development. 21 of them made it onto the IAOP's 2020 Global Outsourcing 100 list.

The five largest IT companies in Ukraine are service providers who develop software for international companies. They employ around 27,000 people in total. Barclays, Deutsche Bank, Boeing, Cisco and other global giants are among their largest customers.

Ukraine also has a number of product companies and start-ups known around the world:

Grammarly develops one of the world's best AI-powered writing assistants. Over 20 million people use their Chrome plugin every day. The startup has received more than $ 200 million in investments and is currently worth $ 1 billion. In 2019, Grammarly was the best dream IT employer in Ukraine.

Petcube develops interactive toys that pet owners can feed their four-legged friends with and play with them when they are out and about. Petcube's products keep making it onto Amazon's bestseller list.

GitLab is a platform that enables software developers to work together on code. The company has agencies in 47 countries. Over 100,000 organizations use their product, including Qualcomm, NASA, Nasdaq, and Interpol. creates an AI-powered platform that analyzes the effectiveness of sales departments. Last year, the company was named one of the top five AI employers in the world.

GitLab and are also among the 100 most-valued Y Combinator alumni.

Readdle creates macOS and iOS applications. The total number of downloads of the company's products from the App Store is over 100 million.

MEGOGO, MacPaw, Ajax Systems, Preply, Genesis, Depositphotos and TemplateMonster are also among the best-known global players in Ukraine.

The largest R&D centers in Ukraine are Ring Ukraine, DataRobot, Snap, Plarium, Samsung, Playtika and Wargaming.

Top software development companies and startups in Russia

 Here are some of the most famous software development companies and startups in Russia:

Yandex is best known for its search engine (the fourth largest in the world) but also offers over 50 other services including email, weather, maps, news, movies, etc. Yandex's technologies are difficult to replicate. Many of their services use machine learning and neural networks.

Kaspersky is a provider of cyber security and virus protection with 34 branches and agencies in over 200 countries. The company is one of the world's four leading providers of endpoint protection solutions. is a communitainment corporation with over 30 technology companies under its roof. The services and products it offers include social networks (VK, Odnoklassniki, My [email protected]), email and instant messaging, games, search engines, e-commerce solutions, etc.

Telegram is one of the world's largest instant messaging apps with over 300 million users.

Top software development companies and startups in Belarus

The largest software development companies and startups in Belarus include:

Rakuten (viber), a messaging app with over 800 million users worldwide. The company has development and support offices in Minsk and Brest.

Wargaming is the developer of free-to-play MMO games. Over 200 million users play World of Tanks, World of Warships and other Wargaming games.

EPAM - one of the largest outsourcing providers in the world with over 30,000 employees in total. In 2017, EPAM was on Forbes' list of the 25 Fastest Growing Tech Companies in the world.


about us

SKILLERS is an IT&T recruitment agency based in Kiev, Ukraine. For our customers, we find tailor-made solutions in the procurement of IT & T specialists and fill the most technically demanding positions. Since 2005 we have successfully filled over 1,500 vacancies for more than 90 companies (C, C ++, C #, Java, JavaScript, Python, React / Node.js developers and engineers). For eight years we have also been supporting customers from Europe, Asia and the USA in the recruitment and relocation of developers from Ukraine, Russia and Belarus. That is why we have in-depth expertise in the IT sector, especially in Eastern Europe.

Our customers mainly include R&D centers, product companies and startups, and IT services / outsourcing companies. We always look forward to working with banks, telecommunications providers and all other companies that focus on IT. Just like our customers, we attach great importance to integrity, efficiency and transparency. In addition, we want to speak the same language with our customers, which is why we keep up with the latest trends in the IT world, expand our network and maintain contacts.