best country to outsource software development and achieve success with staff augmentation

What Is the Best Country to Outsource Software Development?

You need new people on your team but, for whatever reason, have ruled out hiring engineers in-house. You are not alone — the global market size of the IT outsourcing industry reached a staggering 92.5bn USD in 2019. 

And if you think that the growing trend toward outsourcing software development is just a fad, think again. COVID-19, for one, has made sure that outsourcing is here to stay. 

According to The Future of Remote Work and Software Development report by Accelerated Strategies, the forced shift toward remote work seems to have had a positive effect on the productivity of software teams across 23 countries. 59.49% of the respondents said they were significantly or somewhat more productive than pre-COVID. A further 61.37% reportedly found it easier to work across time zones. 

Findings such as these bode well for the prospects of remote work and software outsourcing even after the current pandemic is over. So, if you’ve been looking into outsourcing lately, chances are you are on the right track. 

Why Tech Companies Outsource Software Development to Other Countries 

Here are just some of the reasons why you should consider outsourcing software development projects

It Saves Time

A remote team is a great way to quickly ramp up the output of your in-house staff. Among other things, that helps achieve faster time-to-market. 

It Offers Unmatched Flexibility

Software outsourcing allows you to easily scale your development team up or down as and when needed. And the best part? It all comes with pretty much none of the operational hassle and red tape associated with hiring engineers in-house. 

It Is Budget Friendly

A financial advantage of outsourcing is that it can turn fixed costs into variable costs. Also, software developers based in popular outsourcing destinations are just as (if not more) qualified as local talent. However, they can have much more cost-effective hourly rates. 

e-book developer diaries. secret to building better software teams

Is There an Ultimate Best Country to Outsource Software Development? 

The short answer is “No.” 

The longer answer is that it all depends on your specific needs. Two key factors you need to consider when looking for your perfect outsourcing match are:

Your Preferred Outsourcing Model 

Do you need remote engineers that can work closely with your core staff? If so, you should opt for nearshore outsourcing, also known as extended development or staff augmentation in the US. This model allows for the seamless integration of the two teams. In that sense, it is best suited for outsourcing projects that require tight collaboration and communication in real time. 

In contrast, if you are looking for programmers to work on fully independent projects with minimal supervision on your end (and different time zones aren’t an issue), offshore development might be a better fit.

Your Budget

The tighter your budget, the more attractive traditional offshoring destinations will be. Think India, the Philippines, or Malaysia.

That said, the last few years saw a real surge in the numbers of affordable yet highly qualified engineers based in Central and Eastern Europe. Our clients report the highest return on investment and product quality when working with extended developers from countries such as Spain, Poland, and Portugal. So, it is no surprise that eastern European software development companies or dedicated teams working out of this region are on the rise.


Our Extended Development Team Locations

What is the best country to outsource software development? 

At Zartis, we have found our answer. We specialize in assembling high-performing and cost-effective remote teams from our European extended development centers in Spain, Portugal, and Poland. So, there is no 1 best country but best countries to outsource software development – depending on your needs.

The feedback from our clients is unequivocal. The engineers in these outsourcing destinations have world-class technical skills, specialized STEM degrees from some of the world’s top educational institutions, as well as English proficiency.


Tech talent in Spain is abundant. In 2017, the Iberian country boasted a whopping 268,149 professional developers — and they are not your average developers, either. According to the SkillValue IT Ranking 2019 report, Spain ranks among the world’s top seven countries in terms of developer skills. 

And when you factor in the much shorter notice periods required by local legislation compared to other jurisdictions such as Germany — which allow you to build an extended team in no time — it’s no wonder why so many businesses are looking to set up an extended development team in Spain.  

graph on the number of software developers by country



With its 254,682-strong developer cohort (not counting the 15,000+ new graduates that enter the local software development market every year), Poland’s tech industry is just as vibrant as that of Spain. In fact, the Polish IT sector makes up nearly one-fourth of the entire developer population in Central and Eastern Europe. Poland is therefore ideal not only for offshoring but also for nearshoring projects.

But there’s more. In 2016, HackerRank placed Poland among the top three countries with the best software developers, ranking only after China and Russia. And if we look at HackerRank’s score breakdown per skill set, we’ll see that Polish engineers brought home the first-place trophy in the Java competition. They also got the second-highest score for their skills in algorithms and Python and ranked fourth in the tutorials, Shell, and Ruby competitions. 

hackerrank ranking of the best developers by country

best developers by domain ranked by hackerrank

best developers by experience ranked by hackerrankSource:


Portugal may be smaller in size than the likes of Spain and Poland, but it is a hidden gem in terms of developer talent and a serious contender for the title of the best country to outsource software development.

The Portuguese software market is expected to reach 957.9 million USD by 2021. 

Lisbon, in particular, has turned into a real tech hotspot in recent years. In 2019, the capital city’s greenfield foreign investments in software and IT reached a record high. Ten projects were valued at 75m USD

What’s more, Portugal can serve as a gateway to a much bigger market: Brazil. Aided by their common language, many Brazilian programmers move to Portugal in search of more exciting career opportunities.

Not Sure Which Location Would Best Fit Your Software Development Project? 

Here are some rules of thumb.

Is your company based in Northern or Western Europe? Then the chances are that the best country to outsource software development is Spain, Poland, or Portugal. You will get to benefit from the relatively shorter notice periods and somewhat lower average salary. Perhaps more importantly, direct communication will be guaranteed, as you’ll be looking at a time difference of no more than a couple of hours — if at all.   

And what if you are in the United States? As long as working across different time zones isn’t an issue, a remote team in a nearshore outsourcing location could likewise bring a lot of value to the table. For one, software developer salaries will be considerably lower. And then there is the unsurpassed competitive edge that comes with being able to operate 14+ hours a day. With your teams spanning the Atlantic, there always will be someone online to address issues as they arise in real time.

Offshore and Nearshore Outsourcing with Zartis 

Want more details on our extended development service and how we can assemble a dedicated team extension that will take your business to the next level? No problem — simply drop us a line

We will discuss anything from your specific project needs and business goals to the best countries to outsource software development, helping you make the best choice for you and your company. 

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