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IT Outsourcing

Where are the World’s Best Developers? Pentalog Report

Ludovic Bavouzet
Ludovic Bavouzet
Pentalog Associate - Account Manager

A Pentalog report helps answer a question being asked across the tech industry: where are the best developers in the world, what are they good at, what are their daily rates, and what are the top outsourcing locations?

Finding software engineers has been a pressing business topic during the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses have been searching for digital specialists to support transformation efforts, adapt products and services, strengthen security to facilitate teleworking, or modify infrastructure to increase flexibility.

In a market where demand exceeds supply and rates are rising, this report allows companies to understand which countries offer which skills and what fees are charged.


Methodology of the Report

To create this report, we analyzed 500,000 developer tests, including the 40,000 freelancers.

best developers

The data was collected on SkillValue, the technical assessment platform created by Pentalog. Aimed at companies and tech professionals, SkillValue offers tests that cover over 160 skills and are tailored to different levels of proficiency.

Coders evaluate their technical knowledge and learn what their status is in comparison to others who took the same tests, while companies benefit from a proprietary recruitment algorithm designed to help them hire the best people faster.

Please note that the IT (Information Technology) ranking does not cover all geographical regions (for example China, and most of Asia). Still, when it comes to Europe, there’s data about many countries. Let us dig in.


Where to Find the Best Developers?

Compared to the report in 2019, many things changed. Slovakia, the no. 1 country with the world’s best developers, is no longer present in this ranking. Neither are the Czech Republic, Hungary, Serbia, Ireland, Spain, Switzerland, or Germany. Only Poland managed to secure its position in the Top 10 countries with the best developers in the world.

world ranking best developers

We selected the countries and cities with the highest number of tests passed (quizzes and algorithm exercises) from the SkillValue platform to establish this ranking. Then, we created the Top 10 countries and cities with the best test success rates. The results have been weighted and are expressed, therefore, in percentage. The number of tests passed in all the countries cited is 20,557.

Moldova and its capital city, Chisinau, led the ranking with a test success rate of over 60%. Mexico and Romania complete the podium, followed by Ukraine and the US.

The fact that the US (United States) – known to have the best software programmers and developers globally – was surpassed by three Eastern European countries and Mexico should not come as a surprise.

Eastern European countries have earned the reputation for being the new offshore software development paradise with highly skilled IT specialists in innovative technologies, convenient time zones, well-developed business environments, and affordable hourly rates.

On the other hand, Mexico has been filling the gaps left in a hypercompetitive US market for tech workers for quite some time. The geographical proximity and similar time zone make Mexico a cost-effective and reliable outsourcing partner for many American companies.


Where to Find the Best Freelancers?

In the shift to remote work, with more and more people choosing the freelancing way, companies plan to increase their dependence on freelancers (onsite), and 22 percent plan more significant hiring of remote freelancers.

CrunchBase speaks about 60 million “solopreneurs” only in Europe. Their reports show a “28% year-on-year increase in income from its active members in 2021, from 9,200 euros to 11,800 euros a month.”

world ranking best freelancers

We selected the countries and cities with the highest number of tests passed (quizzes and algorithm exercises) from the SkillValue platform to establish this ranking. Then, we created the Top 10 countries and cities with the best test success rates. The results have been weighted and are expressed, therefore, in percentage. The number of tests passed in all the countries cited is 9,212.

According to our report, the US has the best freelancers, with 59 million freelancers reported in 2020, representing 36% of its working population. Out of these 59 million freelancers, 42% of them work in the IT&C sector.

Vietnam and the UK complete the podium, followed by Moldova, Mexico, and Romania.

Mexico City, Cluj, and Lyon are the top three cities with the best freelancers. This ranking also includes Bucharest, New York City, Iasi, Chisinau, and Hanoi.


The Best Developers and Freelancers by Technology

Our report provides visibility on the popularity of different technologies among software engineers and freelancers worldwide.

The results are based on the number of tests voluntarily taken on the platform by developers and tech freelancers who are registered with an account. They do not include the tests passed by the developers and tech freelancers following an invitation from a company, as part of a recruitment process.

According to our data, JavaScript, Java, and Python are the technologies that software developers and freelancers preferred the most in 2021. Their choices are similar to what a study published by RedMonk shows for the first quarter of 2021.

The same technologies – JavaScript, Java, Python, and PHP – are also the ones most interesting to companies in 2021. How do we know that? Because the companies with an account on SkillValue have the highest number of passed tests exactly on these specific technologies. Developers take JavaScript, Python, and PHP tests more frequently than others because they need to master essential skills to work on complex projects.

Where are the Best JavaScript Developers and Freelancers?

According to our analysis, skilled JavaScript coders are in Moldova, Ukraine, Romania, Vietnam, and Belgium. Canadian and British freelancers are a perfect option too.

best javascript developers

Where are the Best Python Developers and Freelancers?

The best Python developers live in Mexico, Belgium, Moldova, the Netherlands, and Romania. According to this report, Poland, Mexico, France, the US, and Romania have the best Python freelancers.

best python developers

Where are the Best C/C++ Developers and Freelancers?

In the best C/C++ developers’ ranking, countries like Moldova, Germany, Ukraine, Vietnam, and Poland score the highest in terms of tests results on the SkillValue platform. But also do freelancers in Mexico, Greece, Moldova, Romania, and France.

best C/C++ developers

What are the Daily Pay Rates for Software Development Services?

Outsourcing software development services helps to optimize costs. And while offshore developer rates vary from country to country, a reduction of costs of 40% to 70% is possible.

For example, an average hourly rate for a senior developer in the US is $65–$130, while in Ukraine, a developer may charge around $30–$60 per hour; in Latin America, the range is between $35 to $70; in Eastern Europe, an hour of developer’s work costs $30–65, etc.

Developers’ Daily Rates

In terms of software development services’ costs, Moldovan developers have the lowest rates per hour in Eastern Europe, around $25, which represents an average of $200 per day. Croatia, Romania, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Hungary, and Poland are cost-effective and have an impressive talent pool of programmers.

The American software developers have the highest daily pay rate, approximately $920, followed by the UK, the Netherlands, Mexico, and Germany.

Developers Daily Rates

In terms of daily rates per technology, DevOps developers have the highest daily fee (approx. $409), followed by Python (approx. $391) and C++ (approx. $372).

Freelancers’ Daily Rates

Ukrainian freelancers are the most affordable ones compared to those in other countries. They charge approximately $117 for a day’s work. Vietnamese, Moldovans, Mexicans, and Romanians come next in the ranking.

Some of the most expensive freelancers are in the UK (United Kingdom), Belgium, and France. American freelancers are somewhere in the middle of this countdown, with a daily fee of $482.

freelancers daily rates

When analyzing daily rates by technology, the most affordable one is Software Testing, followed by Java, JavaScript, Databases, .NET, Python, etc. On the other side, the most expensive freelancers are those in charge of product management, business intelligence, and IoT.


Outsourcing Locations for the Best Tech Talent

Our analysis clearly indicates where to find the best tech talent in the world. Based on the data, we have prepared a list of some of the most convenient outsourcing locations.

Thanks to a large tech talent pool and exceptional work quality, many East European countries are top destinations for software development outsourcing.

The talent shortage made Eastern European countries extremely attractive for companies that cannot find suitable candidates. And with remote work picking up, we will witness a growth in outsourcing services in many other countries.

IT Outsourcing in Moldova 

Moldovan developers and freelancers excel in web development and custom software development. They have excellent technical skills in JavaScript, C/C++, and Python programming, and their ethics and experience in working with global brands helped Moldova build a formidable reputation in the outsourcing industry.

IT Outsourcing in Romania

Also known as “the Outsourcing Valley of Europe” for BPO (Business Process Outsourcing), ITO (Information Technology Outsourcing), and software development, Romania has become a thriving center for technology services, famous for service quality.

The IT industry in Romania has over 110,000 active employees, which accounts for 20% of the total IT&C employees in Central and Eastern Europe. Bucharest is where 46% of all Romanian IT professionals live; 12% are in Cluj, 9% in Timisoara, and 6% in Iasi.

IT Outsourcing in Mexico

Mexican developers scored highest in our Python tests, whereas Mexican freelancers are no. 1 in C/C++ programming.

Mexico’s strength is the high number of new graduates in engineering each year - 110,000, compared to what the USA produces early, “only” 65,000.

IT Outsourcing in Vietnam

Vietnamese developers excel in JavaScript and C/C++. With an average growth rate of 20-25% per year in the IT sector, Vietnam shows its greatness in IT outsourcing. Other competitive outsourcing advantages are low labor costs, strategic location, and high-quality service.

Hanoi, ranked fifth in our report having the best developers, is Vietnam’s capital and political center and has shaped this country’s digital transformation over the past decades.


What to Look for When Hiring a Developer?

All the best developers and freelancers have in common, beyond technical skills, a set of characteristics that makes them stand out: a growth mindset, perfected human skills, problem-solving and self-management abilities, etc.

But how to attract the best developers?

At Pentalog, to identify top talent faster, we use a proprietary recruitment algorithm – SkillValue Insight – that assesses hard and soft skills, English proficiency, and experience. This tool allows us to support continuous staffing so that customers can integrate appropriate resources faster, giving them more freedom to handle increases in workload.


Which contract type is best for your company?

When looking to work with top talent, there are different modes of collaboration available: recruiting full-time employees, working with freelancers, and outsourcing. Below, we explained these concepts.

Hiring full-time employees Working with freelancers Outsourcing
Employees are the base of a long-running and robust organization. Their knowledge and skills keep the company going, help train new people, and design the company culture by sharing the same values and aspirations.

Employees develop their careers through the opportunities provided by the company. A multicultural environment enriches people’s professional lives through collaboration on diverse projects, openness to new cultures, and continuous learning.

Increasingly, organizations turn to a hybrid way of working, accessing skills they need without delay by employing freelancers and outsourcing resources that join the in-house teams and, together, they produce better products and services faster.

Freelancers are experts in a specific field. They use their experience and knowledge to give out-of-the-box solutions to their client’s problems.

They choose missions with a purpose, so they are dedicated and valued assets who can help companies see things differently.

Freelancers can join a team in about two days, whereas the process of recruiting a full-time employee takes six to nine months.

Hard skills and soft skills are equally important when creating digital products. To make sure freelancers have the right collaborative skills, SkillValue Insight makes a thorough assessment of all the profiles on the platform, so clients receive top talent who matches the company’s culture.

The shortage of talent increases the need for software outsourcing. Romania, Ukraine, Poland, Vietnam, etc. have a huge tech talent pool, whereas China, South Africa, and Brazil have insufficient tech resources.

Outsourcing types:

Nearshore – done by development teams in neighboring countries with a small-time difference (up to two hours)


  • Real-time collaboration Immediate access to IT resources
  • Similar culture
  • Cost reduction

Offshore – done by development teams from overseas, where the time difference can be up to six hours.


  • Round the clock uptime
  • Focus on business development
  • Attain flexibility and business expansion

With more than 1,300 expert software developers, Pentalog provides IT outsourcing services in nine delivery centers across the globe. Our staffing solutions and digital services power client success.

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