Countries With Cheapest Offshore Developers: Rates By Country

Countries With Cheapest Offshore Developers: Rates By Country

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.

Eastern Europe

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:

  • Belarus
  • Bulgaria
  • Poland
  • Russia
  • Romania
  • Ukraine

Asia

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:

  • Bangladesh
  • China
  • India
  • Philippines
  • Sri Lanka
  • Vietnam

Latin America

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:

  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Costa Rica
  • Mexico

About research

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.

I also used some assumptions about skills of different developers. For instance, when searching for PHP developers I assumed they have MySql and JavaScript skills (aka Full Stack Develeoper) or for .NET Develeopers I assumed they must know C#, ASP.NET and SQL Server.

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

Skill/PositionMinMaxMarketTrend,%
PHP174731+19
.NET174730+12
Java164731+19
iOS164831+19
Android164531+19
QA112718-10
UX Designer142419
Solutions Architect425448
DBA, MSSQL195438+36
Ruby on Rails144531+15

Developer Salaries in Belarus, Minsk

Skill/PositionMinMaxMarketTrend,%
PHP133925-11
.NET144025-16
Java143925-11
iOS144025-11
Android133925-11
QA161918
UX Designernodata
Solutions Architectnodata
DBA, MSSQL154729+16
Ruby on Rails144125-17

Developer Salaries in Poland, Warsaw

Skill/PositionMinMaxMarketTrend,%
PHP164130+27
.NET174030+20
Java134130+27
iOS174330+27
Android144130+27
QA18-28
UX Designer17-14
Solutions Architect169048-23
DBA, MSSQL194732+20
Ruby on Rails204527+12

Developer Salaries in Philippines, Manila

Skill/PositionMinMaxMarketTrend,%
PHP6189+22
.NET5159+23
Java6199+22
iOS5179+22
Android6189+22
QA4116
UX Designer4159-19
Solutions Architect45723+18
DBA, MSSQL41910+6
Ruby on Rails51710+31

Developer Salaries in India, Bangalore

Skill/PositionMinMaxMarketTrend,%
PHP51411+23
.NET41411+23
Java52811+23
iOS72811+23
Android52811+23
QA4148+20
UX Designer51422+11
Solutions Architect62821-4
DBA, MSSQL51411+11
Ruby on Rails62910+12

Developer Salaries in Vietnam, Hanoi

Skill/PositionMinMaxMarketTrend,%
PHP102617+9
.NET102717-8
Java102617+9
iOS102617+9
Android102617+9
QAnodata
UX Designernodata
Solutions Architectnodata
DBA, MSSQL103220-4
Ruby on Rails102715-27

Developer Salaries in Argentina, Buenos Aires

Skill/PositionMinMaxMarketTrend,%
PHP41612+67
.NET51612+68
Java51712+67
iOS51812+67
Android51712+67
QA6129
UX Designer7129
Solutions Architectnodata
DBA, MSSQL6209+57
Ruby on Rails61510+66

Developer Salaries in Brazil, Florianópolis, Santa Catarina

Skill/PositionMinMaxMarketTrend,%
PHP82916-7
.NET93122+24
Java83216-7
iOS83116-7
Android83016-7
QA65920
UX Designer286445+22
Solutions Architect124324+38
DBA, MSSQL83116+20
Ruby on Rails82916+5

Developer Salaries in Costa Rica, San José

Skill/PositionMinMaxMarketTrend,%
PHP104223+7
.NET114225+5
Java104223+7
iOS104223+7
Android104223+7
QAnodata
UX Designernodata
Solutions Architectnodata
DBA, MSSQL134626+7
Ruby on Rails34220+12

Developer Salaries in Russia, Moscow

Skill/PositionMinMaxMarketTrend,%
PHP123025+33
.NET113026+37
Java124525+33
iOS133025+33
Android123025+33
QA23014+5
UX Designer131514-3
Solutions Architect304545
DBA, MSSQL104525+28
Ruby on Rails133126+34

Developer Salaries in Bulgaria, Sofia

Skill/PositionMinMaxMarketTrend,%
PHP143624+14
.NET133322+5
Java153424+14
iOS133424+14
Android153424+14
QA73719-19
UX Designer24-6
Solutions Architectnodata
DBA, MSSQL133726+17
Ruby on Rails113321+7

Developer Salaries in Mexico, Guadalajara

Skill/PositionMinMaxMarketTrend,%
PHP93016+11
.NET102921+12
Java82716+11
iOS82816+11
Android82816+11
QA83119+29
UX Designer16+18
Solutions Architect263734+4
DBA, MSSQL94124+22
Ruby on Rails93016+13

Developer Salaries in China, Shenzhen

Skill/PositionMinMaxMarketTrend,%
PHP135631+28
.NET155932+28
Java146431+28
iOS125731+28
Android136431+28
QA133727-75
UX Designer316243+16
Solutions Architectnodata
DBA, MSSQL146832+18
Ruby on Rails155633+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/

Alisher Abdukadirov

Alisher is an experienced developer and software development manager. He has a lot of experience managing offshore development teams.

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