If you search anything about offshore software development on internet you can only find blogs and comments from people who provide outsourcing services from certain countries. Obviously, those people are biased because they need to sell their services.
So I did my own research to find out which countries provide cheapest offshore developers? Cheapest developers can be found in the Phillipines, India and Argentina. Most expensive developers are in China, Ukraine and Poland.
Countries best for offshore development
Businesses are increasingly using offshore teams for software development for 2 main reasons: cost and lack of talent.
Since the developers in the US are among the most highly paid in the industry, countries that were not considered as offshore development destinations suddenly became attractive. Some countries also have very good universities that produce thousands of CS engineers and the US companies expanding their search for talent to those destinations.
There are several regions that frequently get on the list of most quoted locations for offshore software development: Eastern Europe, Asia, and Latin America.
Most experts name the quality of engineers as the main advantage of Eastern European countries. They are also closer than Asian to the east coast so it is easier to find times when the US companies and European partners can work during the day.
Another commonly cited plus is that people in Europe generally have a culture similar to the one in the US.
The main outsourcing countries in Eastern Europe are:
Asia has a long history of being a go-to resource for offshore software development. Asian countries also tend to be the cheapest in term of salaries.
For instance, Asian countries can be cheaper (except China), but the time difference may be too big. However, the biggest problem with the Asia region is a time zone difference.
The main outsourcing countries in Asia are:
- Sri Lanka
The advantage of developers in Latin American countries is that they work in the same time zones as American companies. I met some very good engineers in Argentina.
The main outsourcing countries in Latin America are:
- Costa Rica
I used PayScale to get information about developer salaries in different countries. For all positions I used following assumptions: developer must have 5 year experience, Bachelor’s degree and be self-employed. The salaries in tables are annual.
Each table contains Minimum and Maximum columns which will give you some idea how low cheap the developer may worth or how much expensive the really good one may be. Market column is Market Worth for a developer with 5 years experience according to PayScale. When comparing countries I used this column.
The last column is the salary change compared to 2014. This metric can tell us if developer rates are increasing or decreasing in this country.
Someone may not agree with the metrics I used, but my goal was not to get exact information for all types of PHP/.NET Developers. As long as I used same metrics consistently and the only variable I changed was the country then the research gives the information I needed – which country provides cheapest developers.
Here is a comparison of PHP developer salaries:
Rates by countries for PHP developer
Annual salaries (in thousands of USD) for various positions in various offshore destinations represented below.
The numbers are average for self-employed developers according to PayScale. If you do not engage developers directly and find them thru outsourcing agencies then rates will be higher (how much higher depends on individual agencies).
And remember, when choosing offshore destinations do not use rates as the only criteria. There are other reasons why you might go with one country or the other.
Developer Salaries in Ukraine, Kiev
|Ruby on Rails||14||45||31||+15|
Developer Salaries in Belarus, Minsk
|Ruby on Rails||14||41||25||-17|
Developer Salaries in Poland, Warsaw
|Ruby on Rails||20||45||27||+12|
Developer Salaries in Philippines, Manila
|Ruby on Rails||5||17||10||+31|
Developer Salaries in India, Bangalore
|Ruby on Rails||6||29||10||+12|
Developer Salaries in Vietnam, Hanoi
|Ruby on Rails||10||27||15||-27|
Developer Salaries in Argentina, Buenos Aires
|Ruby on Rails||6||15||10||+66|
Developer Salaries in Brazil, Florianópolis, Santa Catarina
|Ruby on Rails||8||29||16||+5|
Developer Salaries in Costa Rica, San José
|Ruby on Rails||3||42||20||+12|
Developer Salaries in Russia, Moscow
|Ruby on Rails||13||31||26||+34|
Developer Salaries in Bulgaria, Sofia
|Ruby on Rails||11||33||21||+7|
Developer Salaries in Mexico, Guadalajara
|Ruby on Rails||9||30||16||+13|
Developer Salaries in China, Shenzhen
|Ruby on Rails||15||56||33||+31|
Images used: 401(K) 2012. “Dollar bills for spending or saving.”. Jan 24, 2012. Online image. Flickr. Feb 21, 2019. https://www.flickr.com/photos/68751915@N05/6757845611/