Nowadays, Ukraine is considered one of the best countries to work from if you are in the IT sector. Despite modest general economic growth, the software industry has been blooming for the past decade, attracting more talent and creating a stable network of professionals.

Ukraine as Your Software Development Center Destination

Historically, in Eastern Europe and especially Ukraine, access to high education has been a top priority. Back in the 19th-century, cities like Kiyv, Lviv, Kharkiv, Odesa, or Chernivtsi established top education institutions that keep on the high level of engineering research in the area.

Just Ukraine produces more than 20,000 new graduates in computer science and information and communication technologies (ICT), having some new highly specialized centers like UCU, a reference university for data science and data engineering in Europe.

All these facts, and with about 200,000 IT specialists, make Ukraine an ideal destination to set up your software development team.

5 Tips in Choosing the Right Software Development Partner

After years on both sides of the outsourcing industry, we understand how important is this decision for the future of a project.

1. Identify Your Needs

Only you can clearly understand which are the real needs and what makes you look for a nearshore software development company.

  • It is essential to consider factors like:
  • In-house IT team
  • Growth plans
  • Talent pool access
  • Technical level
  • Recruitment capabilities
  • Amount of time you can dedicate

This initial evaluation will give you an idea of the collaboration model that will work best for you. Is it a one-time work, an extension of your current in-house team, or a fully functional one?

Have a clear idea of both the immediate and long-term needs. You will invest a lot of energy in the selection of a partner, make sure you won't need to repeat it!

2. Pre-Select a Few Companies

Most of the software companies offer similar services and access to the same talent pool when recruiting externally, making it difficult to spot the right one just with the information available online. However, some indicators can help with this:

Size Matters

If the vendor is too small for you, there might be difficulties when growing your team or selecting the technology stack.

On the other hand, you can end up as a "low priority" client for big companies. Trust me that is something you do not want.

For small or medium companies, search for vendors with about 50 developers and a good track record. That will give stability and make sure you are on the top of the queue!

As a very general rule, aim to be 5% to 20% of the vendor size. That will give you the right amount of negotiation power, and the stability to forget about this selection process for a very long time.

Tech Stack

Despite the vast number of articles about the pros and cons of one technology or the other, I would recommend focusing only on the current status of your product.

  • For projects with a stable customer base, seek software partners that have proven expertise on your specific technology stack.
  • For new products or extensions, find a technology-agnostic partner. Without vias on a specific technology, you will get better advice when considering modern trends.

Vendor's Partnership Network

No company can provide all services efficiently, but the right approach is to have a reliable partner network.

It is not a common question, but check areas out of the vendor's comfort zone, like hardware development, marketing & promotion, or security. You can have much broader access to experts than expected.

3. Meet the right people

It will give you a good idea of how important you are, and the real capabilities of a vendor, just knowing who participates in the initial conversations.

  • Meet top management, understand the culture of the company and their background.
  • Meet the experts, understand the tech level on the company, how they communicate to business and how they will help you to shape your team
  • Meet your project initiator at an early stage, make sure a person that will be part of your team or supervise it is present. Ensure you can have excellent communication and understanding of each other. It is the key to have a successful start.

4. Evaluate and Select

At this point, you probably have a good knowledge of the pre-selected vendors. Their capabilities, company culture, pricing, collaboration models, customer base, and background, with a most-probable winner.

As a checklist, do not forget:

  • Price is an important point, but keep in mind the wrong vendor could cost the project to fail.
  • Reaction Time will give you a good idea of your "priority" as a client.
  • Quality of Provided Materials is a good hint of their software delivery standards.
  • Flexibility on the cooperation model to ensure it can meet your future expectations.
  • Cultural fit and communication
  • Make sure you can trust the people in front of you,
  • and most importnat follow your instincts!

5. Let's Start the Work!

Good news, the most time-consuming part is done.

In any case, do not forget that an essential part of setting up a remote team is how well handled are the first couple of months.

Ensure you have at least:

  • "Next Steps" overview
  • Clear communication plan with your team
  • Clear escalations points
  • Periodical review sessions with the top management
  • Well established tools
  • A clear view of the costs
  • An easy way to receive news from the vendor

Keep in mind; your new partner has good experience setting up new development teams. Discuss the best practices and share early any issues you might encounter.

And finally ... the real work can start. At this point, I can say congratulations

(and welcome to Bluepes!)