Imagine that every day 33,100 people google for “russian IT market”. It shows how interesting this area appears to an English-speaking businessman. Indeed, Russian market is perfect for IT outsourcing and offshoring. Russia and Ukraine have much many programmers than it’s required for an internal need.

My experience in working or just chatting with Russian and Ukrainian IT market representatives shows that the difference in IT outsourcing cost is pretty huge.  I am talking about web projects, not software. It depends on several factors such as:


- whether it’s a company or an individual. Individual specialist takes less than a company, which is quite obvious. Yet, it’s not always so. Sometimes, when I needed a good graphic designer when mine were busy, I was quite shocked by their cost. Some freelance designers requested $50 and more per hour while I had no chance to figure out whether they were working fast or slow, good or not. I think this is related to the fact that an individual designer doesn’t want to bury themselves in tasks working for a competitive price, but rather takes one-two expensive orders per month. Another question is who is eager to pay twice more than needed for the job? To my mind, it’s all marketing. Sometimes we are victims of an extremely bold self-presentation that makes us think a person is a rockstar.

You may think – why should I pay more for working with company versus an individual? There is a list of important pro and contra that i’d like to share with you in one of my next articles.

- location is one more factor of the IT outsourcing cost. Moscow programmers cost more than Kharkov ones. But it doesn’t mean they are better. It’s just a question of price level in the region. Quality depends on the education level, and born programmers usually do a lot of self-study and self-education. It’s all free, just requires time.

- confident self-PR. As I said, sometimes you get mystified by a really confident way a contractor presents themselves. On Russian IT market it’s not so common, but western specialists are very well educated in terms of marketing and know how to boost their cost. Another question is whether this cost really corresponds to the work quality. But, surprisingly, I met such people in Russia and Ukraine as well, never in Slovakia. It’s another phenomenon. Such people organize outsourcing and offshoring companies not because it’s their real interest or vocation, but simply for money. They hire students and present them as middle and senior programmers, compiling fake resumes. Can you meet such an individual? Of course, in this case it doesn’t matter if they work alone or in a team.

- consumer chain. If the cost seems too high for you, there is a chance that you are not working with the end professional. From my experience, when we’ve created the Facebook application for one of the world-known companies, the end client was far from knowing who we are and where their software is created. There was a long chain of companies providing services to company X. They contacted their dedicated PR agency in the US, the agency found some company in Europe, this company found us. If the company X would knew who developed their application it would have been a scandal.

But what is the average IT outsourcing cost on Russian IT market?

If you manage to find a good and promising student (who can already program simple websites and applications), you will be lucky to pay $5-$10. Yes, these are the prices. The question is how can  you find such a guy from abroad? And will they be manageable enough from afar?

If you manage to find a company, a team of developers, you’ll have to pay $15 – $40. Guys can also be students, but working together. Why is the range so big? The reason is not necessarily quality, but good marketing and PR. Even if you really suck in programming you can set high prices.  But it doesn’t mean the clients will get back to you.

What IT outsourcing cost did you find on the web, if any? And how much are you willing to pay the web outsourcing that matches your needs?