Madrid is a major talent pool for software developers and staff augmentation projects in Spain

11 Reasons Why Madrid is One of Europe’s Hottest Emerging European Tech Hubs

Spain is one of the best places in Europe to live, work, do business and hire tech talent.

The Spanish capital Madrid is famous for many things — from football, to its nightlife, to its amazing architecture. It might just be about to add ‘Europe’s hottest emerging tech hub’ to that list.

The city has long been seen as Spain’s business and financial hub, the Spanish epicentre of banking, energy and construction. But there are signs it is also about to become the country’s centre of tech. Amazon recent chose Madrid as the location for its Southern European tech hub, citing the “overall quality of Spanish engineers” as the main attraction. Last year, Google opened one of its three European innovation campuses in Madrid. The Spanish banking group, BBVA, has a fintech incubator in the capital, and the Financial Times recently celebrated “the encouraging signs of change in Spanish capital”.

Zartis recently helped the Seattle-based provider of cloud-based healthcare services, Valant, to set up a nearshore office there. 

Here are eleven reasons why you should consider making Madrid your company’s next European base.

  1. There’s a buzz about tech in the city. According to the latest report from Ascri, the Spanish association for capital, growth and investment, “2015 was a record year as regards financing of Spanish startups (200 investors participated in 1,527
    transactions), which received a total of €659.4M, up 83% from 2014 (€359.9M).” The report adds that “Catalonia and Madrid accounted for 60% of the total. International investors also chose these regions as the destination for their investments.”
  2. Madrid’s software engineers are top notch. Just ask Amazon’s Adam Sedó who says: “Tech talent in Spain is abundant and of high quality, but most importantly [it is] available.” Padraig Coffey, Zartis COO agrees: “If you look at the HackerRank Olympics – the engineers in Spain came 18th out of 50 countries. They rank higher than the Netherlands, United States, United Kingdom, India and Ireland.”
  3. Talent is widely available. During the recession, many of Spain’s best software engineers left in search of new opportunity. Now they’re making their way back, armed with a whole new skillset, experience of working for multinationals, and a great command of English. The country’s unemployment rate may have fallen to 18.6%, in an encouraging sign of recovery, but it’s still far from full employment. Zartis Chief Operating Officer Padraig Coffey has written that “Talent is available in abundance, and there is a gap in the market for companies that treat software engineers with respect.”
  4. Salaries are competitive. Estimates put the salary for a software engineer at a median €31,000 or €32,000.  
  5. In fact, doing business in Spain is competitive. The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness report 2016-17 ranks Spain 32nd out of 138. “The cost of hiring a team comes in at about 80 percent on Dublin costs, so there’s a 20 per cent saving. So it’s not like outsourcing to India, but what you gain is a talented team, a committed team,” says Padraig Coffey, COO Zartis.
  6. There’s an abundance of managerial talent too. Madrid is home to three first-rate business schools, IE, IESE and Esade, so there is no shortage of managerial talent.
  7. Spain is very much open for business. Spain’s GDP was expected to grow 3.1% in 2016. It is Europe’s 5th largest economy. Unemployment is still high, but falling and foreign investment is increasing. Spain was ranked 33rd out of 189 in the World Bank’s 2015 Ease of Doing Business index .
  8. Spain will grow faster than the rest of the Eurozone for the next five years at least. That’s according to the IMF.
  9. English is the language of business, right across Spain.
  10. The cost of living is a fraction of London, New York, San Francisco, Dublin or Amsterdam. It’s lower than Barcelona too.
  11. In Madrid, they play hard, but they work hard too. Forget your stereotypical image of long, leisurely siestas. In Madrid, 15-hour days are not uncommon. “Madrid is a city where you work well and live well,” says Roger Cooke, president of British Chamber of Commerce in Spain. “But siestas don’t exist – people regularly work 15-hour days.”


Zartis has deep expertise in large-scale recruitment projects across different European locations, serving clients in the US, UK, Ireland, Germany, Denmark and Spain. One of our key competencies is helping companies hire entire new teams of developer
s and engineers, ranging in size from two to twenty-four. We have specialist local expertise in Madrid.

Email us to find out how we can help you build a nearshore team in Madrid, or in one of our other European locations.

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