Which Country Produces the Most Skilled Software Developers? A Look at the Numbers

Even prior to the outbreak, remote programmers and developers were a valuable resource for any business. As digital infrastructure and systems become increasingly prevalent, numerous organisations have made it a priority to source and employ the most talented programmers in the world.

What are the best strategies for competing for the world’s top software developers, particularly in a climate where remote employment is a viable option? How can we access the most qualified talent?

Ben Frederickson, a programmer based in Vancouver, has previously conducted research into the best locations for finding skilled software engineers. His findings indicate that the top five countries for this purpose are:

  • Country: The Good Ol’ U.S.A.
  • China
  • India
  • English-Speaking Country Located in Western Europe
  • Germany

Analysis of American GitHub user accounts was undertaken due to the platform’s popularity in the region. However, this approach omits vast geographical regions such as Eastern Europe and South America, as noted by Frederickson.

Start over:

  • So, What Do Business Owners Think?
  • Announcing the HackerRank Competition Winner…
    • Finding the World’s Finest Developers for Every Platform.
    • What Nation Produces the Most Dogged Software Engineers?
  • Where Do Most of the World’s Top Programmers Come From?
  • Which Countries Have the Most Qualified Coders for Individual Languages?
  • Technology and New Ideas
  • The World’s Top 10 Countries for Software Engineers
    • Ukraine
    • China
    • Poland
    • Philippines
    • Romania
    • Brazil
    • Taiwan
    • Czech Republic
    • Canada
    • India
  • Recruit the World’s Top Coders from Anywhere

So, What Do Business Owners Think?

This is a query that would elicit a wide range of answers if posed on Quora. Some people may offer general advice, while others may share their personal experiences.

It is evident from the responses that there are several valuable insights from real-world experience. Russian engineers, for instance, are known for their technical proficiency, however, their individualistic nature makes them unsuitable for work in teams. When considering Costa Rica, it is possible to locate talented coders, yet there is difficulty in recruiting large teams. The Philippines has a reputation for producing engineers with proficient English, long working hours and creative designs; though, the country’s low-standard infrastructure and high prevalence of illness can be drawbacks. Chinese programmers are acknowledged for their intelligence, however, their language barrier can result in them charging three times higher than those who speak English. Lastly, Indian engineers have plenty of qualifications and experience, but they are often required to work late due to their secondary employment.

It can be difficult to ascertain the truth in any given situation. However, one may identify a suitable developer for a project by looking in locations where programmers make up a smaller proportion of the population. There are methods available to help identify the most advantageous place to start the search.

Announcing the HackerRank Competition Winner…

HackerRank’s research has established them as a leader in the recruitment of freelance programmers. To promote their expertise, they have launched a contest open to all coders and developers. The 2023 exam covers 15 subject areas, including mathematics, data shell, data structure, and Java, among others.

When tested on the same task, there were considerable discrepancies in the success rates of programmers from different countries. Overall, the most proficient programmers were found in China and Russia. In particular, in arithmetic, functional programming and data structure competitions, Chinese programmers demonstrated the highest level of achievement. When it came to algorithms, Russian programmers were unrivalled, whereas the United States and India both ranked below the top 20.

Switzerland, Japan, Taiwan and Italy all achieved above-average results, following China and Russia. For instance, Japan is recognised for its expertise in Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, while Italy is renowned for its high-quality educational materials and data sets.

Finding the World’s Finest Developers for Every Platform.

HackerRank’s domain expertise enables us to identify which countries are key users of a particular programming language. Ruby is particularly popular in Japan, but is also used extensively in Brazil, Mexico and Chile. In contrast, Python is favoured among programmers in Taiwan. Java appears to be a language of choice worldwide.

What Nation Produces the Most Dogged Software Engineers?

It is essential to consider the performance of countries that have withdrawn from the competition when making recruitment decisions, even though it may appear to be a futile exercise.

In any development project, there may be obstacles to overcome. Having an individual who is resolute in their approach is essential. Whilst technical knowledge is important for programmers, other soft skills may be the key to success. Having a strong determination is one such example.

Developers in countries such as Nigeria, Malaysia and Pakistan are renowned for their commitment and generosity. The most dedicated and meticulous developers were based in Switzerland and Hungary, where all challenges were met with determination and success.

Where Do Most of the World’s Top Programmers Come From?

Eastern Europe as a region showcased its talent in programming by producing strong results in the HackerRank challenge. Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic were all among the top 10 countries.

Eastern Europe is a prime location for recruiting remote developers, with approximately 5.7 million individuals employed in the IT industry and women making up 33% of the workforce. Recent investments by governments at all levels in the IT industry and tech education have further strengthened the region’s appeal. Ukraine and Poland are the most populous countries for developers in the region.

Most industrialised nations find the hourly rate and time zone to be the most practical. In Western Europe, for example, there is usually a time difference of between one and three hours. In the United States, the time difference between the East and West coasts is usually around seven to ten hours.

Eastern European programmers are known for having among the highest English proficiency levels in Europe. For example, Poland boasts the world’s eleventh-highest English Proficiency Index score, while the Ukraine and Russia have literacy rates of 99.4 percent.

Romania is an excellent destination for engineering talent, despite its relatively low ranking of 20th on the HackerRank index. According to the A.T. Kearney Global Services Location Index, Romania is ranked 18th based on factors such as financial attractiveness, talent levels and availability, and the technology business environment. Furthermore, Romania has the added benefit of being in a favourable time zone and having native English speakers, as well as offering attractive incentives for enterprises from Western Europe and North America.

Which Countries Have the Most Qualified Coders for Individual Languages?

SkillValue, a Software as a Service company, organised several developer contests in 2023 focusing on algorithm exercises written in a variety of languages. According to the survey results, Mexico appears to be the most suitable location for finding a Java/JavaScript specialist, whereas Ireland is home to the most talented .NET programmers. In addition, the competition for other programming languages was won by Eastern Europeans; Serbia was noted for its strong C/C++ expertise, Hungary for its PHP proficiency, and Slovakia for its Python capabilities.

When considering Europe, it is advisable to focus on the continent’s eastern half. Additionally, France and Italy are slowly but surely making their mark. Both countries have implemented significant changes to their educational systems to increase the prominence of coding instruction. Following in the footsteps of Poland, France introduced coding education to primary schools in 2023. Italy, which placed tenth in the HackerRank challenge, is garnering the attention of major tech companies such as Apple as it looks to recruit its top software engineers.

Programmers from Taiwan, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Switzerland and Bulgaria have achieved outstanding results in the Java programming competition on HackerRank. Additionally, countries such as France, Russia, Italy, Hungary and Switzerland are very competitive in the production of C++ programmers.

Data structures, functional programming, and mathematics have seen China outperform other nations in recent algorithm competitions. Python has seen the highest level of adoption in Hong Kong, Poland, Bulgaria, China, and Russia.

The outcomes of these competitions may provide insight into which nations are home to the most talented programmers.

Technology and New Ideas

By utilising the innovation index, nations can gain an insight into which sectors receive the most government funding, enabling them to provide their workforce with improved training and resources. This is a highly effective way to investigate the areas of the world where the top programmers can be found.

According to Bloomberg’s Innovation Index, research and development (R&D) expenditure, patenting activity, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth and educational attainment are identified as the key indicators of a country’s capacity for innovation. Studies have shown that the following countries are among the world’s top 10 most innovative nations:

  • Germany
  • A Country in the Far east:
  • Singapore
  • Switzerland
  • Sweden
  • Israel
  • Finland
  • Denmark
  • Country: The Good Ol’ U.S.A.
  • France

Consider how your nation’s digital infrastructure compares to the rest of the world. The IMD World Competitiveness Center takes into account three elements when evaluating and ranking a country.

  1. Learning ability in the realm of technology
  2. Budgeting for the R&D of New Digital Technologies
  3. Readiness for the Future: Budgeting for Digital Transformation

If their methodology is correct, the top 10 nations in 2023 are:

  1. Country: The Good Ol’ U.S.A.
  2. Singapore
  3. Denmark
  4. Sweden
  5. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
  6. Switzerland
  7. Netherlands
  8. A Country in the Far east:
  9. Norway
  10. Finland

Despite the correlation between digital advancement and success in computer programming contests, it does not necessarily guarantee that a nation will produce exceptional programmers. As demonstrated by countries such as Finland and Norway, who have excellent technological infrastructures yet performed poorly in all three contests.

The World’s Top 10 Countries for Software Engineers

Friedrich Hegel, the German philosopher, employed the thesis-antithesis-synthesis structure to attempt to comprehend the universe. Conversely, these categories are rarely listed in reverse chronological order, but rather in a logical one. For example, when considering historical events, the actual date is usually not of paramount importance, but rather the impact it has had on contemporary society.

What is the purpose of this argument? This new perspective could provide us with a source of inspiration. Although they did not make it onto HackerRank’s top 100, certain countries still maintain stringent requirements for software that is developed remotely. It is also important to take into account other countries, particularly when combined with general data and other rankings.

In keeping with the philosophy of Hegel, this list is not ordered in terms of the best to worst nations. To assist you in finding the ideal remote developer for your team, we have created a list of the top 10 nations with the highest level of language proficiency and education standards.

HackerRank organized a competition with a range of tests and problem sets. Although not all countries achieved a successful overall result, some excelled in particular categories. When looking for a remote developer, it is important to take into consideration the specific skillset needed for the project.

1. Ukraine

Ukraine is a highly attractive destination for recruiting remote developers in Eastern Europe. The IT sector in Ukraine employs over 175,000 people and an additional 23,000 graduates join the workforce every year, providing a pool of bright and hard-working talent.

Ukrainian programmers achieved an average score of 88.7% in the HankerRank challenge. Furthermore, Ukraine has the highest concentration of C++ programmers globally, and 80% of its IT professionals are native English speakers.

2. China

It comes as no surprise that China has emerged as the winner of the HackerRank challenge. With its rapidly expanding IT industry and the annual production of 4.7 million graduates with technical degrees, China is a force to be reckoned with. In stark contrast to the 80%+ English-speaking population in Eastern Europe, only around 10% of China’s 1.3 billion people are proficient in English. Additionally, the country’s restrictive stance on Intellectual Property regulations can be circumvented by using remote services.

3. Poland

Poland has achieved an impressive ranking on HackerRank, coming in at number 3 overall and number 1 for Java evaluation. Additionally, it ranks in the top 5 for other programming languages such as Python, Shell and Ruby. This is likely due to the favourable time zone and the fact that a third of Poles are bilingual in English.

4. Philippines

According to recent statistics, the Philippines has one of the highest populations of English-speaking individuals in the world, with over 92% of the population being fluent in the language. Moreover, the local government has undertaken significant educational reform, focusing primarily on the development of a STEM-centric secondary education system.

It is generally more cost-effective to outsource multiple projects to China or Ukraine, however if you require a single task to be completed, the Philippines are an ideal option.

5. Romania

The IT job market in Romania is highly competitive, and the Romanian government has heavily invested in its IT infrastructure in recent years. As a result, around 90% of Romania’s developers are proficient in English and a variety of other languages.

6. Brazil

Brazil boasts 6.18 million native English speakers, and the government has implemented technological education infrastructures to further this number. Moreover, the Brazilian IT workforce has an impressive youth population, with 38.18% of the population being under 24 years of age. Similarly, to the Philippines, Brazil can be a great destination to source junior developers for smaller projects.

7. Taiwan

Taiwan has ranked 7th in HackerRank’s functional programming and data structures rankings. The Taiwanese government has implemented a strategic plan to develop the country into ‘Asia’s Silicon Valley’, by investing in STEM education and IT infrastructure over the years.

The administration is seeking to address the shortage of English-speaking IT professionals in Taiwan by exploring the potential for making English an official language.

8. Czech Republic

Approximately 7,000 students graduate from universities in the Czech Republic annually with technology-related degrees. Salaries in this sector tend to be higher than those in Romania and Ukraine, making it an attractive option for employers looking to hire from the UK or US.

9. Canada

Approximately 18.6% of Canadian graduates each year are in STEM fields. Toronto, Calgary, and Halifax all boast a strong development community, despite a low ranking on HackerRank (#21). Canada’s close proximity to the United States and shared time zone make it an attractive business partner. Additionally, Canada’s status as a developed nation leads to higher average pay than other countries.

10. India

India performed inadequately in the HackerRank challenge and is lagging behind its South American and European counterparts. Despite the difficulties and restrictions, India is still a favoured destination for remote IT employees.

Employers in the US and UK often seek to recruit software engineers from India, due to the country being the second largest English-speaking nation. India produces 2.6 million new STEM graduates each year, and its education system places a great emphasis on mathematics.

Recruit the World’s Top Coders from Anywhere

At the start, we noted that the best programmers globally may adopt a variety of approaches and rankings. This ranking was put together by HackerRank, taking into account the most favoured domains in each country and the types of tasks they set. They noted that while Chinese programmers were taking part in arithmetic competitions, their Czech counterparts had a greater preference for shell contests. If you are searching for a shell specialist, then you may want to consider Serbia as a potential option.

Almost all of the participating programmers utilised Java, except for those in Malaysia, Pakistan, and Taiwan (who used C++) (Python). Most programmers in Taiwan preferred Python, whereas those in Malaysia and Pakistan favoured C++. According to SkillValue, Slovakia is the top source for Python developers, and Serbia is the top source for C/C++ developers. The best region to find someone proficient in both of these languages is in East European countries.

The Philippines and Brazil can be excellent sources for recruiting junior developers for your project. We have compiled a list to help you identify the best locations to begin the recruitment process depending on your specific requirements. If you have any further questions regarding the identification of the top developers in the world, please do not hesitate to contact us.

For the past ten years, Works has established itself as a top IT recruitment agency. We boast a wealth of knowledge when it comes to locating the most talented programmers, as well as the most effective methods of interviewing and selecting the most suitable candidates for any team. Should you wish to benefit from our expertise, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you in finding the perfect professionals for your organization.

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