What Can Western Balkans Offer in Software Development?
Taking into consideration the growing demand for IT experts with a global IT shortage, according to the KPMG report 2020, many businesses with headquarters in the US and Europe tend to hire developers Eastern Europe.
In this article, we discuss why organizations are interested in outsourcing to North Macedonia, Serbia, Albania, and the Balkans in general. We dive into the IT market state of each country to see if it would be beneficial to outsource software development to a particular location, as well as if there are any viable alternatives.
The Balkans as an Outsourcing Destination
The growing demand for IT services outsourcing to the Balkan countries has been caused by the lookout for locations with favorable rates and well-educated resources that could be beneficial to businesses located in Europe and the US. In the results, such Balkan countries as Serbia, Albania, Montenegro, and others attracted a significant number of foreign businesses interested in BPO and software development outsourcing.
In the past decades, Balkan countries have been investing in their educational systems, each to a different extent. This caused an increased and growing number of young IT workforce available in the Western Balkans. Yet, the Balkan IT market is relatively young and can boast more motivated young specialists than highly experienced and skilled IT experts.
Balkan IT SW engineers generally have a good command of English and speak at least one European language. What’s more, Balkan countries have cultural similarities with Western European countries, making business operations and communication seamless and convenient. Given that the Western Balkans are located in close proximity to Europe and share the same time zone with them, outsourcing and offshoring to the Balkans are in demand.
The majority of Balkan companies tend to employ a small number of employees of up to 50, which makes outsourcing of large IT projects complicated but comes as a perfect solution for small startups and SMEs. Also, Balkan countries have much more favorable labor costs compared to European countries, which makes IT services outsourcing a cost-effective option for European and US businesses.
If you plan to outsource to Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, Serbia, or Bosnia and Herzegovina, below you can find brief information about the state of the IT markets of the most popular outsourcing destinations:
Since IT outsourcing Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina is less popular than software outsourcing to Serbia, Albania, and Montenegro, below we will take a deeper look at these three Balkan countries.
Outsourcing to Albania: Overview of the Albanian IT Market
Albania aims to become a major participant in the global IT industry by investing heavily in its technological infrastructure. The industry of outsourcing Albania is experiencing rapid growth, with a steady increase in the number of IT companies and professionals. This expansion creates a dynamic and competitive IT market, providing a wide range of IT services to cater to the needs of businesses. Outsourcing to, for example, a web development company in Albania allows companies to leverage the country’s growing IT ecosystem and tap into its potential for innovation and technological advancements.
IT Hubs in Albania
- Tirana: The capital city of Albania offers a competitive average salary for software developer Tirana, ranging from $1927 to $3578 per month. Java developer Albania can get around $14953 per year. The city’s IT businesses, startups, and tech centers offer career growth and development. Software professionals love Tirana because of its active urban lifestyle, sophisticated infrastructure, and flourishing tech community.
- Durres: Durres, located on the Adriatic coast, provides a similar average salary of $13606 per year for software developers. The nearshoring Albania is successful in this area, giving developers more project options. Durres attracts IT professionals who want a seaside lifestyle and a work-life balance.
- Elbasan: Elbasan, situated in central Albania, offers an average salary range of $7182 to $20597 annually for software developers. Elbasan offers benefits despite its lower average wage than other cities. The city is witnessing the growth of its IT sector, providing developers with opportunities to contribute to the development of an emerging industry. Developers may live comfortably while working on compelling IT projects in Elbasan due to its cheaper cost of living.
- Vlore: Vlore, a coastal city, offers software developers, like in web development in Albania an average salary of $14021 per year. The city’s beaches and scenery make life there special. Vlore developers might work in the rising IT business at a slower pace.
- Shkoder: Shkoder, located in northern Albania, provides an average salary of $13040 per year for software developers. Shkoder has many cultural history, historical places, and nature attractions nearby. This makes it an attractive city for developers who want to mix work and leisure in a charming setting.
Salaries of Software Engineers in Albania
Overview of the IT Market in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina have witnessed significant growth in its IT market in recent years, making it an emerging destination for IT outsourcing. With an impressive growth rate of 8.21% and a tech export value of $323 million, the country’s IT industry rapidly expands, attracting international companies’ attention. Bosnia and Herzegovina are home to approximately 798 IT companies, showcasing a dynamic and competitive IT ecosystem. This diverse range of companies provides a wide array of IT services to both domestic and international clients. Bosnia and Herzegovina’s IT industry has significantly contributed to its export value.
IT Hubs in Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Sarajevo: The capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina, offers an average salary for Software developer Sarajevo of $2241. In comparison, Front end developer Banja Luka get $1073 and Frontend developer Sarajevo can expect $1185. The python developer Sarajevo can get $1396 The city provides developers with a vibrant tech ecosystem, modern infrastructure, and a rich cultural heritage.
- Banja Luka: Banja Luka, the second-largest city in Bosnia and Herzegovina, offers software developers a competitive average salary of $16589 per year. Unlike web developer Sarajevo, the web developer Banja Luka can get around $14991 per year. Java developer Banja Luka can earn $14861 per year and PHP developer Banja Luka $14761. The city provides a close-knit community, affordable living, and a strong focus on education, making it an attractive option for developers looking for a balanced lifestyle and career prospects.
- Bijeljina: Bijeljina, located in the northeastern part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, offers an average salary of $16645 annually for software developers. Developers in Bijeljina can enjoy a close connection to nature and a strong sense of community while pursuing their IT careers.
- Mostar: Mostar, situated in southern Bosnia and Herzegovina, provides an average salary of $11496 per year for software developers. The front end developer Mostar unlike front end developer Skopje can expect a salary of around $12634. The city’s picturesque location, with its iconic Old Bridge and beautiful landscapes, creates a unique setting for developers.
- Tuzla: Located in the northeastern part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the city offers an average salary of $2040 per month for a software developer Tuzla. Web developer Tuzla can get around $13944 per year. Tuzla is known for its many different kinds of people and cultures, its low cost of living, and its good schools.
Salaries of Software Engineers in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Overview of the IT Market in Macedonia
The IT industry is booming in Bosnia and Herzegovina thanks to a skilled workforce, a good business climate, and competitive offers.
With a strong focus on technology and a growing number of IT companies, Bosnia and Herzegovina provides a wide range of IT services to meet the demands of various industries.
IT Hubs in Macedonia
- Skopje: Skopje, the capital city of North Macedonia, offers an attractive average salary range for software developers, typically from $775 to $2080 per month. Android developer Skopje unlike Android developer Sarajevo can get on average $823. Java developer Skopje unlike Java developer Sarajevo can expect a payment of around $967. Developers like Skopje’s IT industry and work opportunities. The city’s IT businesses, startups, and innovation clusters offer dynamic work environments and professional advancement.
- Bitola: A city in southwestern North Macedonia, offers front end developer Bitola an average salary of $688. While the average salary may be slightly lower than in larger cities, Bitola offers its own advantages. The city’s rich history, breathtaking architecture, and friendly environment make it a desirable location for developers seeking a one-of-a-kind living setting.
- Kumanovo: Kumanovo, situated in the northeastern part of North Macedonia, offers an average salary of around $838 for software developers. Kumanovo provides a close-knit community and a friendly atmosphere, fostering collaboration and professional relationships among developers.
- Prilep: Prilep, located in the central part of North Macedonia, provides an average salary of $711 for remote software developers, unlike for IOS developer Skopje. The city is emerging as an IT hub, attracting investment and fostering the growth of IT companies.
- Tetovo: Tetovo, situated in the northwestern part of North Macedonia, offers an average salary of $976 for software developers among different companies. Tetovo offers a multicultural environment, blending Western and Eastern influences, fostering diversity and innovation.
Salaries of Software Engineers in Macedonia
Why Companies Hire Developers Montenegro: IT Market Overview
Montenegro has established itself as an appealing location for recruiting developers thanks to its thriving IT sector, many IT firms, the pool of qualified workers proficient in common programming languages, and its friendly business environment. The country is well-positioned to fulfill the global IT industry’s needs and supply high-quality IT solutions to organizations globally as it continues to invest in its IT infrastructure and cultivate its IT talent.
IT Hubs in Montenegro
- Podgorica: Podgorica, the capital city of Montenegro, offers competitive average salaries for software developers of around $2952. The city provides ample opportunities for career growth, access to cutting-edge technologies, and a vibrant tech community, making it an ideal city for those looking to excel in the IT sector. For example, Java developer Podgorica can expect a monthly salary of $3082.
- Nikšić: Nikšić, located in western Montenegro, offers an average base salary of $2024 for software developers. Despite being a smaller city, Nikšić has a thriving IT sector with opportunities for developers to contribute to its growth.
- Pljevlja: Pljevlja, situated in the northern part of Montenegro, offers an average salary of $29335 per year for software developers. The city is establishing itself as a highly promising IT destination, offering ample opportunities for developers to demonstrate their skills and make significant contributions to its ongoing development. Pljevlja provides residents with a peace living environment, featuring a more affordable cost of living in comparison to larger urban centers, as well as a community that offers support and assistance.
- Bijelo Polje: Bijelo Polje, located in northern Montenegro, offers an average salary of $2609 for PHP software developers, unlike PHP developer Skopje. While making progress in their careers in the growing information technology sector in Bijelo Polje, software developers also have the opportunity to enjoy a high standard of living.
- Cetinje: Cetinje, situated in central Montenegro, provides an average salary of $2952 for software developers. In Cetinje, developers are presented with a unique opportunity to benefit from a harmonious blend of promising career opportunities, a nurturing community, and a breathtaking environment.
Salaries of Software Engineers in Montenegro
IT Outsourcing Serbia: Reviewing Serbian IT Market
Serbia has emerged as a leading destination for companies seeking to hire skilled developers. With a robust growth rate of 8.77%, the IT industry in Serbia is experiencing rapid expansion, solidifying its position as a major player in the global IT market. The country boasts many IT companies, with approximately 4,100 firms comprising its thriving IT ecosystem. This diverse range of companies provides a wide array of IT services, catering to the needs of both domestic and international clients.
One of the primary reasons companies prefer the outstaffing Serbia is the country’s highly skilled workforce. Serbia is home to around 48,000 IT professionals with expertise in popular programming languages such as PHP, .NET, Node.js, Java, and Python. Serbian developers are known for their strong technical skills, adaptability, and dedication to delivering high-quality results, making them sought-after assets for companies seeking top talent.
Serbia’s outstanding $913 million tech export value reflects the competitiveness and dependability of the country’s IT solutions. In addition, IT professionals in Serbia are highly proficient in English, facilitating communication and collaboration with international clients.
For businesses that want to hire developers in Serbia, we summed up the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing and nearshoring to Serbia in the table below:
|Good education||Strict and complex labor laws|
|Shared time zone with European countries and convenient time zone difference for US businesses||Compex contractual specifics|
|High English proficiency (#15 as per EF EPI 2020)|
IT Hubs in Serbia
- Belgrade: Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, offers an attractive average salary for software developers, typically ranging from $1094 to $1853 per month. Belgrade is a major IT hub in the country, attracting top talent and investment.
- Novi Sad: Novi Sad, the second-largest city in Serbia, offers software developers an average monthly salary range of $1046 to $1776. The city’s IT industry is flourishing, with numerous IT companies and tech events. Novi Sad is well-known for staging the EXIT festival and being the European Capital of Culture; it also boasts a thriving cultural landscape and employment opportunities.
- Niš: Niš, located in southern Serbia, offers an average salary of $1610 per month for software developers. Ni’s natural beauty, wealth of history, and reputable educational system make it an ideal place for programmers.
- Kragujevac: Kragujevac, situated in central Serbia, provides an average salary of $1200 for software developers throughout different companies. Developers in Kragujevac can live comfortably and be a part of the city’s growing IT business at the same time.
- Kraljevo: Kraljevo, located in central Serbia, offers an average salary of $1632 for software developers.
Salaries of Software Engineers in Serbia
Summing Up: Outsourcing Software Development to Serbia vs. Montenegro vs. Albania vs. Ukraine
As we reviewed the most popular Balkan countries for software development outsourcing, it’s worth mentioning one more country that has been quite popular as an outsourcing destination in the last decade.
Ukraine is on the rise as a beneficial outsourcing location with the largest and growing IT talent pool in Europe (200,000+ IT experts, as per TechUkraine) and 160+ R&D centers opened by Fortune 500 companies, such as Microsoft, Apple, and Samsung Electronics, according to the Deloitte report.
Let’s compare the characteristics of each country so that you could conveniently review Ukraine, Montenegro, Albania, and Serbia IT outsourcing and choose the best option for your business. The average monthly rate for Middle developers is compared based on the SalaryExplorer statistics, as well as on Mobilunity Recruiting Team research over local job portals:
|Size of a tech talent pool||35,000||10,540||75,000||200,000+|
|English proficiency (EF EPI)||Moderate (#43 as per EF EPI 2020)||Low (not in TOP 100 of EF EPI 2020)||High (#15 as per EF EPI 2020)||Moderate (#44 as per EF EPI 2020)|
|Education level||Good||Moderate (improving)||Good||Good|
|Talent availability||Moderate (high unemployment rates, limited number of Senior IT experts)||Low (a limited number of IT experts and Seniors, in particular)||Moderate (limited number of Senior experts)||High|
|Average monthly rate for Middle developers||88,100 ALL/month ($846/month)||€2,610/month ($3,106/month)||129,000 RSD/month ($1,306/month)||$2,000/month*|
*Ukrainian salaries are provided based on Mobilunity’s Recruitment Team research on the local job markets. All salaries are net and do not include the service fee (in case of hiring on a dedicated team model). The salaries are provided for comparison purposes and could be not entirely accurate. Contact us to know the exact cost of hiring a developer corresponding to the required parameters.
Depending on the needs of your business or project specifics, you may settle on the best outsourcing destination from the countries above. However, if you are looking for highly skilled IT experts with vast experience in your field, it may be beneficial to pick Ukraine to outsource your IT services.
Mobilunity as Your Reliable IT Outsourcing Provider
Mobilunity.com is a renowned expert in hiring and providing developers in the Balkans. With more than 10 years of experience in the market, Mobilunity.com stands out as a trusted and reliable outsourcing partner. Our expertise lies in connecting companies with highly skilled developers from the Balkan region, including countries like Serbia, Montenegro, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
What sets Mobilunity.com apart is its meticulous selection process, ensuring that only the top talent, for example for the position “database developer Skopje”, is sourced and recommended to its clients. We have built a strong network of IT professionals in the Balkans, allowing us to match companies’ specific needs and requirements with the most suitable developers. With our deep understanding of the local IT market and commitment to delivering exceptional outsourcing solutions, Mobilunity.com has established itself as a leader in providing top-quality developers from the Balkans.
We at Mobilunity follow the best industry practices and our time-proven methods for selecting and managing dedicated IT resources. You can check some of our case studies below:
For the Danish electronic trade solutions provider Byg-E, Mobilunity experts sourced dedicated programmers highly skilled in .NET and VB/C# to contribute to the company’s workflows and team augmentation.
NOA is a Swiss startup promoting digital innovations in the arts industry, and the company needed not only a Senior-level programmer to assist with the platform development, but also a well-versed CTO to facilitate the business and communication processes.
3e Joueur had previous experience with IT services outsourcing but couldn’t find a credible provider to cooperate with. After starting working with Mobilunity, 3e Joueur was able to find the high-quality dedicated IT resources they needed and build a remote development team.
The Swiss online insurance broker esurance has been working with Mobilunity since 2017. First, the company needed an extension to the esurance dev team, which grew to a dedicated development team working towards the company’s goals remotely.
If you are looking for a dedicated development team that can provide high-end software development services, get in touch with Mobilunity representatives, and let us help you build your dream team.
Our Main Service Models
At Mobilunity, we offer a range of service models to cater to the diverse needs of our clients:
- Dedicated Development Teams: Our primary service model revolves around providing our clients with a dedicated team of full-time resources. This model gives clients direct management control over the team while the company oversees all human resources, accounting, and helpdesk support functions. It facilitates the smooth integration of the dedicated team into the client’s organization, promoting efficient collaboration and effective communication. Our team of dedicated developers allows clients to prioritize their main company concerns by managing administrative tasks on their behalf. If you have a vast pool of tasks and want to outsource to Serbia, we’ll do it on the best level.
- Consultancy Services: Our company provides consultancy services that enable clients to manage part-time resources effectively. Similar to the dedicated development teams model, our organization manages HR, accounting, and helpdesk functions. This service model is well-suited for clients who need particular expertise, for example, of a c# developer Sarajevo or assistance with projects of limited duration or specialized tasks. Our team of consultants possesses a wealth of knowledge and experience that enables them to effectively support clients in making well-informed decisions, implementing industry best practices, and successfully navigating project challenges.
- Recruiting Services: Our recruiting services, commonly referred to as recruiting-as-a-service (RaaS), involve the comprehensive procedure of identifying and selecting highly skilled individuals, for example, angular developer Sarajevo on behalf of our clients. We have an extensive network of professionals in the Balkans and Eastern Europe, enabling us to effectively identify and select the most appropriate candidates for specific positions. Our recruitment capabilities encompass intricate markets including hard ones like Japan, where we have effectively delivered localized hiring solutions for our clients.
With each service model, we handle the administrative tasks while clients have direct management control over the resources. Whether clients require a dedicated team, specialized consultancy, or efficient recruitment, we leverage our expertise and extensive network to provide customized solutions that drive success in their projects and help them achieve their business goals.