Strong IT skills

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Quality of IT professionals in Poland

Area:   IT, Human Resources

Relation to: Product Quality, Innovation

Importance:   Very High

Impact on revenues:   Very High

Impact on costs:   High

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Strong IT skills

Forbes claims that Poland is rich in tech innovation and tech talent, Harvard Business Review ranks Poland 5th among the most tech-skilled labor markets in the world while Coursera Global Skills Report (available to download here) shows Poland as one of the world's leaders, especially in the area of technology. However, focusing specifically on IT, we need to make an even bolder statement: Poland has some of the best specialists in this field in the world. This is confirmed by the fact that today many of them work in top IT companies around the world, but also by the results of independent studies conducted by well-known companies and organizations.

According to HackerRank, Polish programmers would stand on the podium if software development Olympic Games were to be held:

HackerRank Best Developers by Country

Source: HackerRank

Exactly the same conclusions can be found in Where to find the best developers in 2019? compiled by SkillValue from the Pentalog group (download the report here), which ranks Poland 3rd in the world in terms of developer skills.

SkillValue Developers by Country

Source: SkillValue

Why is there so much consistency across different studies? The answer is simple: Poles have simply loved developing software since the early days of the IT industry. That is why, as shown in the Developer Skills Report from Hackerrank many of today’s adult developers started programming very early on. Almost 8% of them did so between the ages of 5 and 10, which gave Poland the 4th position among the 17 countries surveyed. Likewise, Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2020 shows that Poles write their first line of code at the age of 14.2 on average, which is the second-best result in the world. In consequence, Poles can boast many successes, such as the ones in the International Olympiads in Informatics (IOI) for secondary school students. Second most titled participant in the IOI, with an impressive 127 medals (just before China’s 139 medals) is, you guessed it – Poland. Additionally, in the 2023 IOI, Poland earned a golden and a silver medal, further solidifying its standing on the global stage.

What is also very important, young people in Poland have the opportunity to study IT at very good universities. And it shows: Poland’s commitment to STEM education is evident in the 13% growth in enrollment reported by the Coursera 2023 Global Skills Report (you can download it here). Moreover, the results of the International Collegiate Programming Contests (ICPC), organized for many years now, demonstrate the excellent quality of instruction in this case. In the 21st century, in World Finals in algorithmic programming contests for college students, Polish teams have won gold medals 6 times, silver medals 10 times, and bronze medals 6 times! In the last 2022 World Programming Championship, as many as 3 Polish universities ranked among the Top 25 universities in the world (and among 73 that made it to the finals). These were: the University of Warsaw (8th place globally and 3rd in Europe after ETH Zürich and École Normale Supérieure de Paris) and Jagiellonian University in Krakow and the University of Wroclaw (both ranked 16th together with several other teams). While 3 years earlier 2 Polish universities were ranked among the top 6 universities in the world (and among 62 that made it to the finals). These were: the University of Warsaw and the University of Wroclaw, with the former team winning the title of European Champions.

By creating their IT teams in Poland, international companies can employ some of the best specialists with top competence. Importantly, while Poland is world famous mainly for the skills of its Java Software Engineers, there is no problem with finding specialists skilled in other languages; as reported by Bulldogjob, in 2022 the distribution of skills in the most popular programming languages among all people in the industry (not only Software Developers) was as follows: SQL: 46%, JavaScript: 41%, HTML/CSS 39%, Python 31%, Java 30%, TypeScript 23%, C# 19%, PHP 13%, C++ 11%, C 6.1%. Python, with 95% popularity, is the most popular language used by AI professionals in Poland according to the State of Polish AI 2021 report. The same source informs that the toolkit of Polish AI developers relies on Docker virtual environment (56%) and Jupyter notebooks (48%). Among cloud platforms, Amazon’s AWS leads the way (50% ), ahead of Google platform (30%) and Azure (22%). Among pre-packaged AI tools, the most popular are Google AI (21%), Microsoft Azure ML (13%), and Amazon SageMaker (10%).

At the same time, Polish IT professionals are known and appreciated for their passion for agile methodologies which are an industry standard. For many years, IT employers in Poland have expected candidates to be fluent in Scrum, Agile, Kanban, or Lean, and training courses in these methodologies are among the most popular events in the industry, whereas Polish Agile conferences are recognized around the world (for example ACE! in Krakow is recognized as one of the best Agile conferences to attend in 2023 proposed by Whiteboards).

Poles also have other advantages, not related directly to IT skills. The majority of Polish IT professionals have a very good command of English, and their English proficiency level will improve over time – according to Software Development in Ukraine, Poland, Belarus and Romania in 2019, at the end of the last decade, 90% of Polish ICT students spoke English and an additional 30% spoke German. While according to Bulldogjob’s 2021 report, almost 100% of Polish IT professionals speak English and an additional 16% speak German. Last but not least, Polish IT specialists are highly motivated, well-organized, and goal-oriented, which is appreciated by their colleagues from all around the world. Employers across Europe and North America additionally emphasize the absence of major cultural differences, which greatly facilitates work communication and allows them to achieve top performance.