Hiring Remote Software Developers from Eastern Europe: Salary Analysis

by | Jul 30, 2023

In today’s digital age, the demand for remote software developers is soaring, and Eastern Europe is increasingly becoming a hotspot for sourcing these professionals. Whether you’re a startup looking to scale or an established organization aiming to diversify your team, understanding the market rates and dynamics is crucial. This article dives deep into the software developer salary landscape in three Eastern European countries: Hungary, Poland, and Romania. Drawing insights from comprehensive data sourced from Hays and Emerging Europe, this analysis offers a detailed perspective to help you make informed decisions for your hiring needs. Dive in to explore more!

Hungary πŸ‡­πŸ‡Ί

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πŸŒ† Capital Budapest
⏰ Time Zone UTC+1 (Winter) / UTC+2 (Summer)
πŸ‘€ Population 9,689,000
πŸ’Ό Working in ICT 168,000
πŸ—£οΈ Official Language(s) Hungarian
πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ English Proficiency High Proficiency (18th of 111)
πŸ“Š GDP per Capita 18,728 USD
πŸ’° Currency Forint (HUF)
πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί European Union Yes (since 2004)

Hungary’s Expanding ICT Sector

Hungary’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector has seen significant growth, with its workforce increasing to 168,492 individuals, constituting 3.6% of the total workforce in the country. The sector’s contribution to the GDP has also risen to 4.65% in 2021, while ICT exports saw a modest increase.

In addition, Hungary has become a leading hub for startups in Eastern Europe, even with a slight decrease in its GSEI rank to 13th in 2022. Over 1,500 startups, supported by more than 140 investors, have created a thriving entrepreneurial environment. Companies such as Prezi, SEON, Fraud Fighters, Bitrise, Codecool, Logiscool, and Xeropan have significantly
boosted the enterprise value of Hungarian startups, which rose to 2.4 billion euros in 2022.

Hungary’s government has taken steps to enhance its digital and business landscape by offering tax incentives and subsidies to foreign investors, promoting digital skills through the Digital Workforce Programme, and implementing the National Digitalisation Strategy (2021-2030). There has been substantial progress in digital public services, with 81% of
internet users engaging with public administration online in 2021.

Furthermore, the number of graduates has seen a 135% increase from 2015 to 2021, indicating a steady rise in educational outcomes. Given these developments, Hungary presents an attractive destination for hiring remote software developers.

Software Developer Salaries in Hungary

This data from Hays Hungary’s Salary Guide provides the monthly salaries for software developers in Hungary, categorized by programming language/technology, role, and experience. The data is organized in two sections: full-time employees and contractors.

For full-time employees, roles include middle (3-5 years of experience), senior (5+ years of experience), and architect/lead. Five backend programming languages are covered: C/C++, Java, C#/.NET, PHP, Python, and there is also data for Frontend developers. The highest salaries are for Java architects/leads ($6,957 or 2,400,000 HUF), while the lowest are for middle C/C++ and PHP developers ($3,188 or 1,100,000 HUF).

Full-time Software Developer Salaries in Hungary

  Middle (3-5 years) Senior (5+ years) Architect/Lead
C/C++ $3,188 (1,100,000 HUF) $4,058 (1,400,000 HUF) $4,638 (1,600,000 HUF)
Java $4,058 (1,400,000 HUF) $5,217 (1,800,000 HUF) $6,957 (2,400,000 HUF)
C#/.NET $3,913 (1,350,000 HUF) $4,928 (1,700,000 HUF) $5,797 (2,000,000 HUF)
PHP $3,188 (1,100,000 HUF) $4,348 (1,500,000 HUF) $5,797 (2,000,000 HUF)
Python $4,058 (1,400,000 HUF) $5,217 (1,800,000 HUF) $5,797 (2,000,000 HUF)
Frontend $3,768 (1,300,000 HUF) $4,928 (1,700,000 HUF) $5,797 (2,000,000 HUF)

Source: Hays Hungary Salary Guide, 2023

For contractors, the roles covered are middle and senior (3-5 years of experience), for four programming languages: C/C++, Java, C#/.NET, Python, and also Frontend. The highest hourly rates are for senior C/C++, Python, and Frontend developers ($42.03 or 14,500 HUF), while the lowest rate is for middle Java developers ($28.99 or 10,000 HUF).

Contractor Salaries in Hungary

  Middle (3-5 years) Senior (3-5 years)
C/C++ $34.78 (12,000 HUF) $42.03 (14,500 HUF)
Java $28.99 (10,000 HUF) $40.58 (14,000 HUF)
C#/.NET $33.33 (11,500 HUF) $40.58 (14,000 HUF)
Python $36.23 (12,500 HUF) $42.03 (14,500 HUF)
Frontend $31.88 (11,000 HUF) $42.03 (14,500 HUF)

Source: Hays Hungary Salary Guide, 2023

Poland πŸ‡΅πŸ‡±

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πŸŒ† Capital Warsaw
⏰ Time Zone UTC+1 (Winter) / UTC+2 (Summer)
πŸ‘€ Population 38,080,000
πŸ’Ό Working in ICT 486,000
πŸ—£οΈ Official Language(s) Polish
πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ English Proficiency Very High Proficiency (13th of 111)
πŸ“Š GDP per Capita 18,000 USD
πŸ’° Currency Zloty (PLN)
πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί European Union Yes (since 2004)

Poland’s Stellar Performance in Information Technology

Poland’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector has been steadily expanding, leading to a rise in employed ICT specialists and a significant contribution to the nation’s economy. Wage growth in the sector has been remarkable, increasing from 1,598 euros in 2015 to 2,148 euros in 2021. The ICT sector’s value-added as a percentage of GDP has also risen to 4.25% in 2021.

The country’s start-up ecosystem is robust and ranks 33rd globally and fifth in Eastern Europe. It excels particularly in ecommerce, retail, marketing and sales, and health sectors. Poland’s marketing and sales sector holds a significant position, having 75 of the region’s total marketing and sales startups, ranking it among the top 20 worldwide. Over 3,000 start-ups operate in Poland currently, supported by an increasing availability of Venture Capital and over 100 incubators and accelerators.

Several government programs further support the startup ecosystem, with the Start in Poland program offering young entrepreneurs access to funding and international opportunities. In terms of e-government initiatives, Poland has made significant progress in digital public services. The ePUAP platform and the Central Register and Information on Economic Activity system allow businesses to register and manage their activities online.

Overall, Poland’s excellent performance in IT, education, and social welfare, combined with its thriving start-up environment and growing ICT sector, positions it as a leading player in the region.

Software Developer Salaries in Poland

The provided data is a breakdown of the monthly salaries for software developers in Poland, according to Hays Poland’s Salary Guide, categorized by programming language and salary bracket (minimum, optimum, and maximum).

For each of the five categories (C/C++, Java, C#/.NET, PHP, and Frontend technologies), the data shows a range of salary expectations. For instance, a Java developer could earn from $2,838 (12,000 PLN) at the minimum level, to an optimum salary of $4,018 (17,000 PLN), and a maximum of $4,968 (21,000 PLN).

The lowest salary across the board is for PHP developers at $2,366 (10,000 PLN) while the highest salary is for Java developers at $4,968 (21,000 PLN).

Software Developer Salaries in Poland

  Minimum Optimum Maximum
C/C++ $2,838 (12,000 PLN) $3,310 (14,000 PLN) $3,783 (16,000 PLN)
Java $2,838 (12,000 PLN) $4,018 (17,000 PLN) $4,968 (21,000 PLN)
C#/.NET $2,838 (12,000 PLN) $3,783 (16,000 PLN) $4,729 (20,000 PLN)
PHP $2,366 (10,000 PLN) $3,074 (13,000 PLN) $3,546 (15,000 PLN)
Frontend $2,838 (12,000 PLN) $3,546 (15,000 PLN) $4,018 (17,000 PLN)

Source: Hays Hungary Salary Guide, 2023

Romania πŸ‡·πŸ‡΄

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πŸŒ† Capital Bucharest
⏰ Time Zone UTC+2 (Winter) / UTC+3 (Summer)
πŸ‘€ Population 19,042,000
πŸ’Ό Working in ICT 198,000
πŸ—£οΈ Official Language(s) Romanian
πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ English Proficiency High Proficiency (17th of 111)
πŸ“Š GDP per Capita 14,900 USD
πŸ’° Currency Leu (RON)
πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί European Union Yes (since 2007)

Romania: Harnessing a Digital Economy and Nurturing IT Talent

Romania has made significant progress in creating a business-friendly environment and growing its digital economy. The ICT sector has expanded notably, with average gross salaries rising from 1,137 euros in 2015 to 2,197 euros in 2021, and the number of ICT specialists increasing to 198,440 in 2021, representing 2.6% of the employed population.

Educational investments in ICT have also paid off, as demonstrated by an increase in the number of students and graduates in the field. In 2021, Romania recorded 40,063 ICT students and 9,308 graduates, up from 32,661 students and 5,992 graduates in 2015. The sector contributes significantly to the economy, with the share of ICT exports as a percentage of GDP growing from 2.15% in 2017 to 2.91% in 2021.

The start-up ecosystem in Romania experienced substantial growth in 2022, pushing the country up in global rankings to the seventh-best country for start-ups in Eastern Europe and 39th globally. The start-up scene excels particularly in software and data, foodtech, and marketing and sales, with successful start-ups like 123 ContactForm, Druid, and Kinderpedia.

The government has also emphasized digitalization and has simplified legislation to support businesses. The e-government public policy for 2021-2030 is a key initiative aiming to drive the digital transformation of the public sector, despite current e-government services being behind EU levels.

Software Developer Salaries in Romania

The data provided contains information about the salaries for software developers in Romania, according to Hays Romania’s Salary Guide. It is divided into full-time and contractor salaries, segmented by programming language and experience.

For full-time employees, only middle (3-5 years) and senior (5+ years) roles are presented for C/C++ and Java developers.

Full-time Software Developer Salaries in Romania

  Middle (3-5 years) Senior (5+ years)
C/C++ $3,672 (17,000 RON) $5,832 (27,000 RON)
Java $4,772 (22,100 RON) $6,614 (30,600 RON)

Source: Hays Hungary Salary Guide, 2023

For contractors, average hourly rates are shown for Frontend, Java, C#/.NET, and Python. Rates vary from $43.19 (200 RON) for Frontend to $49.68 (230 RON) for both Java and Python.

Contractor Salaries in Romania

  Average
Frontend $43.19 (200 RON)
Java $49.68 (230 RON)
C#/.NET $45.35 (210 RON)
Python $49.68 (230 RON)

Source: Hays Hungary Salary Guide, 2023

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of the Central/Eastern European countries.

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