Where are Serbia and Belgrade?
Where in the world is Belgrade? It’s the capital of Serbia. Serbia?! Where is that is probably your next question? Also, it’s Serbia, not Siberia and definitely not Syria where some people have thought of when I mentioned this ex-Yugoslavian powerhouse.
Serbia isn’t a place that comes to mind generally either for travel or business and if it does come to mind then it might be for the wrong reasons that happened over 20 years ago. Similar to the perceptions of (East) Germany before the wall came down some 30 years ago and look how far they have come. The comparison of what Serbia may become to modern-day Germany might well be very premature however, they are looking promising and heading in a positive direction, especially in IT services.
To answer the original question Serbia is located in south-east Europe to the right of Croatia, above Greece and below Hungary and Belgrade is slightly north of the middle of the country. The flight time is between 2-3 hours to all major European cities. I was going to write all major EU cities and had to correct myself as I sit here, in London, writing this and we, as a nation, now sit outside of the EU. Anyway, I digress…
What are the options for outsourcing and nearshoring IT services?
What are the different options available? Firstly, nearshoring isn’t for everyone or every company. Some companies would rather have their development team in-house so they can oversee it and, potentially, it is easier to manage (or micro-manage) so they offset the higher cost of in-house headcount with the potential benefit of faster results and easier to manage staff.
Then there is onshore and offshore. Onshore is when you chose a team located in your country. Benefits being that it is slightly cheaper than having a team in-house as the real estate that an onshore team are housed in is generally cheaper than plush and swanky city offices. It is also generally within easy commutable distance (I say generally as you might find it can take the same time or, even quicker, to fly to Belgrade than to get to your dev centre) and everyone speaks the same language (albeit possibly with a different accent which can sometimes be as hard to understand as someone from a different country).
Moving on (or flying off) to offshore. This is where your team is located much further afield from your home location. Typical offshore countries are India, Vietnam and Philippines to name a few. The main benefit with using offshore development teams is cost. If you find the right company and team and they never have any issues that require you or members of your team flying over there or them flying over to you then you have struck developer gold. Some things to be cautious about offshoring are language competency, over-selling of services and distance.
Of course, there are some very talented people in all parts of the globe, so it is a matter of what suits you, your company and your budget. Lastly, you have off-planetshoring. Well, not quite yet but watch this space.
Why choose IT nearshore company in Belgrade?
So, why would you think about using an IT nearshore company in Belgrade compared to other, maybe, more established development hubs such as Ukraine or Poland for example? The technical ability of developers is about the same in these regions. As mentioned before there are talented people in all corners of the planet and these countries are no different. You can get your requirements fulfilled from junior to the expert level in all programming languages.
The University of Belgrade has a great technical faculty which churns out hundreds of hungry, creative and ambitious graduates every year. Also, with the help of the TNation technical academy students are offered free training and an offer of work which encourages talent to stay within the country. Then you have the work ethic and standard of English. Both of which are high in Belgrade amongst the younger generation, graduates and young professionals.
English is taught in the school system from a young age. Also, it is considered an easy language to learn especially if you know Serbian which isn’t considered an easy language to learn. So, technical ability along with work ethic and level of English is probably the same in Serbia as with Ukraine or Poland. This leaves pricing and as Serbia is a newcomer in this market, relatively speaking, prices are generally lower than other more established markets. Poland is probably closest to in-house local prices at (€70/£65), then Ukraine (€67/£60). These are for senior developer hourly rates. Serbia is priced at €35-40/£31-36 which is nearly half of those of the more known nearshore locations while offering the same quality.
Companies such as Microsoft who opened a development centre in Serbia 15 years ago and now employ 300 people are one such behemoth taking advantage of Serbia’s this technical arbitrage opportunity. In Belgrade, Microsoft’s developers built the cloud platform, Azure. A recent article in the Financial Times from June 2020 highlights why Belgrade is a fast-growing tech city.
One last point that makes Belgrade a great location is the nightlife.
For sure, if you come here and visit us at TNation you will be treated to an unforgettable time.