As a tech business looking to rapidly expand its dev capacity, surely you want it all: high-performing developers, at the right cost and if possible, right now.
Well, what if we told you, you could have it all. Whether you seek to drive value, boost innovation or optimize costs at your software development department, Bulgaria is where you should turn your eyes to.
So, why Bulgaria?
The country has been long recognized for having a strong tech industry and during the past few years has become one of the top software development hubs. Its geographical proximity to Western Europe and cultural similarities with US and Western European countries, the availability of technically diverse highly-skilled and multi-lingual talent, the affordable labour cost and favourable taxation are among the main advantages of the country.
Let’s take a peek at the factors that make Bulgaria so successful in the ever-evolving hi-tech world:
Highly skilled and multi-lingual professionals
With heavy traditions in IT and mathematics that could be traced back to the communist times, Bulgarians have a strong technical knowledge and are one of the best performing developers worldwide as stated in HakerRank’s research. They rank 12th in the overall chart and occupy top positions in major technologies such as Java (#2) and Python (#3).
Moreover, Bulgarians have high language proficiency in one or more widely spoken languages such as English, German and French. As an example, nearly 60% of the workforce aged 25-34 speaks at least one foreign language as reported by Eurostat.
The exceptional performance of Bulgarian professionals is a result of the quality of Bulgarian education. There are 220 well-established high-schools that offer ICT programs combined with solid classes in English or another major language, as reported by Invest Bulgaria Agency.
When it comes to college education, there are 15 universities that offer ICT programmes from which 5000 students are graduating each year.
Exponentially growing talent pool
Currently, the IT sector in Bulgaria consists of more than 65,000 full-time employees (excluding freelancing professionals) according to the National Social Security Institute (NSSI).
As a result of the well-functioning education system and the rising popularity of privet educational organisations such as Telerik Academy, SoftUni and others, this number is continuously increasing, making Bulgaria’s system very well suited to match the IT business needs.
Well-developed technology infrastructure
Bulgaria is a highly advanced country in terms of the quality of technology infrastructure. The country has 95.2% overall fixed broadband coverage and 74.1% NGA broadband coverage (Study by HIS Markit and Point Topic for the European Commission). The country also holds one of the top places in Europe for speed of the internet and has 90% availability of 3G or better signal according to OpenSignal survey.
Strategic location and cultural similarities
Located in the heart of the Balkan peninsula, Bulgaria is just 2-hour flight away from major European cities such as London, Berlin and Paris. The insignificant time difference and similar work ethics would allow fast and easy integration of the newly formed dev department into your company’s structure and ensure a smooth working process.
Steady Economic Growth & Macroeconomic Environment
The stable macroeconomic environment and the economic growth are yet another indicator for the conductive business conditions and the growth potential the country has been providing.
Bulgaria has been enjoying steady economic growth over the past 9 years. The Real GDP growth of the country in 2019 is estimated at 3.7% according to the latest Economic Report of the European Commission.
In terms of stable Macroeconomic Environment, Bulgaria has a Government budget balance of 1.6% of GDP and ranks 6th out of 137 countries in the Global Competitiveness Index. The country also has a Government debt of 27.8% of its GDP in 2018 ranking 20th in the same index.
If you are hungry for more and would like to further explore the strengths of the Bulgarian IT sector or get an overview of the labour costs, read our IT Industry Report 2019 or check out few examples of companies that have already successfully expand to Bulgaria.