Polish programmers are joining U.S. startups – but staying in Poland

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Building the Simple Enterprise

This is a guest post by Julia Krysztofiak-Szopa, product manager at Inflavo and former community manager at Adtaily. On Twitter she is @julencja

If you happen to be a smart, English-speaking programmer in Poland, there is a good chance you will work in a start-up.

An American one.

Ryan Janssen, CEO of New York based SetJam.com started his company 18 months ago. His first challenge was to build a team of quality developers but, according to how he sees the tech scene in New York, finding the developers who work in lighter, agile frameworks was not so easy. The startup-oriented Django/Python/Scrum skill sets are hard to find in a city where majority of programmers work in more enterprise-friendly methodologies, with .NET, Java and C++ as core languages.

Today SetJam employs six full-time developers and three quality assurance specialists, all of them based in Poland (pictured), while the CEO, business people and project manager are located in the New York office, 6 hours away in terms of time zone difference. Though it might sound odd for a young company to delegate its entire product development to people found somewhere in the Internet who live 4300 miles away, Janssen says he is extremely happy about the way the work gets done in the team.

Finding the first programmers took him about 40 emails sent to various coders of which about 30 replied. After Skype talks and evaluating their online presence (blogs, open source contributions, Github and Djangopeople profiles) he decided to give three of them a shot. Since the very beginning the company maintains high bandwidth internal communication, with daily stand-ups on Campfire, issue tracking on Lighthouse and two Mac Minis with Skype video turned on 24/7 which serve as a window between the two offices, just to feel a little closer.

Asked about the downsides of having a remote team he says they are really losing out the social aspect of working together, with all the normal working communications expressed only via Skype talks. But for the investors at least, as Janssen claims after several serious talks, the Polish team is not an issue at all and the two offices situation has never been seen as a problem.

The obvious advantage of keeping development in Central Europe is a much better access to quality programmers fluent in modern frameworks and their competitive rates, comparable to what is offered by regular outsource companies in India. Also, when you deal with western TV productions, like SetJam does, you really need developers who understand the American culture. With Polish programmers who probably watch more American than Polish TV series there are practically no cultural gaps.

I was curious if the Polish developers who work for American start-ups share the same “perfect match” enthusiasm. Michał Kłujszo and Maciej Cielecki of 10clouds.com, run a development house in Warsaw, Poland. The team has been developing several software projects in agile methodologies based on scrum. One of their biggest current projects is Numote.com, a San Francisco based social TV start-up, where they have been coding an iPhone app and backend for it.

Before Numote’s CEO, Vijay Kailas, hired 10clouds, he had been outsourcing iPhone app development to India. He sums up this experience in one sentence: “when you hire an Indian team, you need to hire two to be sure you’ll get the product shipped.” He switched then to Polish developers and they have been working together with 10clouds for 10 months now.

Although 10clouds can’t complain about a lack of clients in Poland, they clearly prefer to take projects from the US. “It’s just the cultural difference between Polish and American entrepreneurs. The Americans are faster in making decisions, don’t get upset about prices and have more faith in people”, say Michał and Maciej. While it’s usually completely OK for an American entrepreneur to be charged in the cost per hour model, Polish companies would rather pay a fixed rate for entire projects, which clearly makes the development less flexible.

10clouds have more to say about drawbacks of working remotely. The biggest problem is communication, and with Warsaw and San Francisco being 9 hours apart it forces product owners to plan ahead all the specification and implementation. 10clouds’ founders say the biggest difference between working via Skype and physically sharing an office is that you can’t compensate for any mess made just talking over Skype. Outsourcing development requires big discipline while expressing and planning the software specification. And you can’t just call a developer at 2 AM to tell him to make an ad hoc quick fix just right now.

For its own part, the Polish start-up scene superficially looks pretty healthy for a country that only 20 years ago was behind the Iron Curtain. Each year there are a number of start-up expos, start-up competitions, start-up schools, and whatever else start-upish comes to mind. Practically every bigger city in Poland has its own tech event held on a regular basis. These barcamps and meetups create vibrant local communities of bloggers, nerds, tech people, and all kinds of consultants.

The problem is, however, that all these events seldom give birth to many real start-up companies. The number of VCs and angels in Poland is minimal and the standards of investor/start-up relations haven’t been formed yet, to put it diplomatically. Hence the result: each year a handful of quality programmers graduate from several good universities in Warsaw, Kraków, or Wrocław, but the under-developed community of investors makes them think twice before they set up their own start-ups. When you look at the country rankings of TopCoder, the world’s largest competitive software development community, Poland, the only country in top five that uses the Latin alphabet, is just behind Russia and China.

Without an easy access to American visas Polish programmers do stay in Poland.

And perhaps it’s only a matter of time until, as the SetJam’s dev team half-jokingly calls it, “outsourcing CEOs to the US” hits the Polish mainstream.

  • http://jetlib.com/news/2010/11/07/polish-developers-are-joining-u-s-startups-%e2%80%93-but-staying-in-poland/ Polish Developers Are Joining U.S. Startups – But Staying In Poland | JetLib News

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  • http://www.harrytormey.com Harry Tormey

    In the past I worked with teams in the Ukraine. You can get programmers there for about a third of the price of someone in SF. The big problem is you have to be able to specify what you want exactly and be technically competent enough to manage and understand what you are getting back.

    The timezone difference will cost you about an engineers worth of productivity. Communications in general will be difficult even if your hires have excellent English. The cost of your time with regard to specification/management means that would would have to hire about 5-6 people for this to be worth it.

    I would strongly advise against people who do not have an engineering background and are thinking about doing a tech startup from taking this route. I could see this maybe working out ok for team of one or two stateside with a strong/straight forward product vision and at least one technical person to manage the european team.

    • http://comicstripblog.com Comic Strip Blogger

      Ukraine is not EU member and Poland is full EU member, what means Poles are EU citizens and often have experiences from EU countries like UK, as they don’t need any visas or permits to work there.

      So comparing Ukraine to Poland is wrong.

      • http://www.harrytormey.com Harry Tormey

        “Ukraine is not EU member and Poland is full EU member, what means Poles are EU citizens and often have experiences from EU countries like UK, as they don’t need any visas or permits to work there”

        I’ve worked with talented engineers from Poland, Russia and the Ukraine they are very similar. Their is a big difference in mentality between people you hire on the ground in those countries and people you get in the SF bay area.

        Programmers who have lived in the SF bay area for a number of years, pick up the culture and are great to work with. I am not dismissing talent in Poland/Ukraine/Russia just letting people know about the cultural/communications problems you might run into.

      • nemesid

        Maybe. But the assumption that working abilities are somehow correlate with a citizenship are not even wrong :)

      • http://www.harrytormey.com Harry Tormey

        “Maybe. But the assumption that working abilities are somehow correlate with a citizenship are not even wrong ”

        Oh come on. Where do I say that? The issue has nothing to do with Polish programmers being inferior or superior (many of the best programmers I know come from Ukraine/Poland/Russia) and everything to do with communications, culture and timezones.

        I have worked on both sides of the fence, both as a developer in Ireland working/coordinating with teams in the USA/Other parts of europe and as a developer in the USA at a company doing work with teams in the Ukraine.

        Even with Ireland, which share the same language and has a very similar culture their were massive cultural differences between the teams in the US and communications issues came up all the time. That and the timezone thing was a real pain in the ass which cost a lot of productivity.

      • noname

        @nemesid: It is all culturally conditioned what activity is considered as work. And why do you think that every American needs a virtual employee for Internet mangling and also has to believe that hungry people from Somalia make as good web programmers as Polish people? What do you exactly compare? There are 6 billion people or somewhat less of them connected to the Internet. There is no way to compare their abilities. There is no efficient market. If someone shares their heuristics for hiring people across borders, then that’s just good to know. But of course you are well-trained in the equality newspeak and you are great EU citizen. Guido Westerwelle would love you.

      • Max

        I don’t think you have an idea about what you are talking about. He is not about Visa, Citizenship or the fact of being in the EU. What he is talking about is the cultural gap; to put it nicely. Ukrainian developers will not take any responsibility; they will wait for you to detail every single bit of what they need to do. And in my opinion and experience, by the time you specify all that, you could as well have done the job yourself. It has been a waste of time for me.

        People I’ve talked to relate that more to the soviet education they have received. Supposedly, they are not educated to think and act as leads but as executors. If this is true, I would argue that Poland is thus more similar to Ukraine in this respect than to Germany, France or the UK.

        And truly, you will be extremely lucky to find a great senior developer in Poland. They already all went to Germany where they can make more money and take care of their families back home.

      • http://logographos.com/ Jan Klosowski

        The gap between Poland and Ukraine is aslo noticable. Young Polish developers are mostly (or fully) educated in Democracy and aren’t lacking at atributes you’re writing about so much.

        Oh… and senior developers are back already :D

      • Max

        I’ve worked with Indian and Ukrainian teams. Based on this experience, I’ve come to think that outsourcing is a waste of time and money. And I do think that many agree with me. The cultural gap and the different timezones are often too big of a barrier.

        Lately, however, I came across these guys: bandofcoders.com. The company I worked for was outsourcing to them in Argentina. It was by far the best experience I had about outsourcing. First the timezone is just one hour; Then, in addition to the hard skills that they obviously had in abundance, they were well organized and managed. I would recommend them to anybody who wants to cut the development costs. Typically, they will send a senior developer to you on site to gather the requirements and make sure they are understood. And once they understand the requirements, the senior developer goes back to Argentina where they produce the code. They are amazing.

        I’m not affiliated with Bandofcoders; I’m just sharing my experience. Sorry if this sound like and ad. they made me change my mind about outsourcing and I hope they flourish ;)

      • jebaćpolicje

        Hey, don’t compare excellent polish programmers (and pedophiles) to that indian scum.

      • http://www.harrytormey.com Harry Tormey

        If you are looking to do outsourced iphone development I would recommend: http://twotoasters.com/

        I am not affiliated with them in anyway but we worked with them before, very professional, contribute to opensource iphone projects, excellent communications and process.I believe the development team is based out of North Carolina with the management/sales team based in NYC.

      • dan

        I’ve worked on several web/desktop projects and have outsourced most of the work. Have experience with at least 3 dozen different developers from around the world. From my experience, the following tend to be the best programmers, purely based on the value added… you just don’t need to explain every single detail, they’re smart and make good suggestions for improvement:
        1) North Americans — Outsourced to a different state
        2) Estonians – tie
        2) Austrians – tie
        3) Romanians
        3) UK
        4) Russians
        5) Polish
        6) Indonesian
        7) Greek

        I’ve worked with at least 3 Chinese & 5 different Indian teams… I did not include them above… you can reach your own conclusions as to why.

        Hope that helps!

    • http://www.lucduc.com Lukas Duczko

      Interesting reading indeed and I can definitely agree on the point that a technical founder is definitely a prerequisite for this strategy to work out.

      We are a Sweden based start-up that are doing our esignature webapp in Haskell. To find awesome Haskell programmers to a tiny bootstrapped startup almost with no cash was a real challenge. So going broad (global) in search of talent was almost a must. We presently have a team of 4 programmers: 2 in Poland, 1 in China (American found backpacking in Poland) and 1 in GB. Thanks to having a technical cofounder that can really do the technical management over Skype, patch-tag and Pivotaltracker we have no problems with the distance. To compensate the lack of sponaneous interaction we try to do team stand-ups every morning over Skype and a weekly newsletter sendout to keep everyone up to date with whats going on. As the price levels are very affordable and we are very happy what we found so far we are currently looking in to expanding our Polish part of the coding team.

      But actually offshoring is not the only way to find affordable top-notch programmers. Try doing Haskell or some other almost unknown technology that is virtually unused in business applications but that is interesting to curious and skilled programmers. You´ll have some great edge in finding the right people to a affordable price. Simply because they cant find the job anywhere else.

    • Igor

      Actually I am from Ukraine and I am a developer with more then 14 years in that. This article and comments are very interesting from my point of view. But what I should admit about outsourcing as a typical approach for startups & entrepreneurs that it is a matter of choice and is not a magic cure. It will require your hard work, it will consume your time to explain that must be explained. It is your Idea that you looking to be implemented in a product after all and if you are strong as a leader and have a clear vision you will succeed. So I disagree with everyone who see the issues that led or may lead to a failure in the culture differences, timezone, freedom, Europe or not and other stuff. Here lots of old and new teams that develop the code and maintain it for different projects over the world. Not all of them definitely failing. I see many of projects that have three and more years in production and still progressing but I have seen sometime the management from US and other cute places that consumed 80% of budget doing nothing and at the end blaming the development in all it’s problems. So it does not matter where is your team from but it is important who you are to recognize the situation.

  • WTF Article

    Does the author work for the Poland human resources ministry? Or is she simply looking for some freelance work?

    Ok, two startups get their projects developed in Poland and I’m entirely fine with it. It’s good to see such global workoffices sprouting.. But why is India being needlessly dragged to showcase your country’s superior workforce. You mention India twice and in both cases, you are trying to put down their work on quality. Now don’t give me cr@p that Vijay Kailas is Indian blah and it’s not your opinion..

    If you are worthy you will have your share of pie..Stand on your strengths and don’t attack simply because that makes you look stronger..

    • a guy

      totally agree with u !!

    • Hermilion

      It is not an attack. It is an opinion, probably based on some experience.

      Let me tell you my experience – and I am polish IT consultant. 4 years ago I was contracted to Sweden to IT center in big corporation. I encountered quite few opinions, all the same: India we tried – we do not want to continue.

      2 years ago again a Sweden IT company I worked for was took over by another IT company located US. A new owner sent a new CEO – man from India – who shortly dismissed almost all people in Europe and was short to do it in Poland when I quit .. and after a year or two and few failed projects – i have heard they finally quit India.

      Finally – see that topcoder ranking – and see bottom of universities list .. you think it is ‘just a coincidence’ ?

  • http://www.smartrecruiters.com Jerome Ternynck

    Good post. I am a very happy “outsourced CEO” with our dev team in Krakow (and have been for the last couple of years). Works great.

    • Barbara Chudak

      Good to hear that you have good experience with talented and honest devs. I am looking at starting up a company out of US and would love to hear about good recommendations for developers in Poland. Also what’s the per hour rate over there?

  • Fred Kimber

    And what do you do when your developers decide to stop developing for you (for whatever reason)?

    You’d sit on a pile of code you have no good idea about (since you were not involved in it).

    What do you do if they decide to use your code for “something else”, maybe even a copy cat product in other markets?

    How can you possibly be sure that’s not happening behind your back?

    You can’t sue them (it wouldn’t make sense, would it?) and they may know it and therefor may feel “well protected” and count on that.

    As an investor, I’d never take the risk to build a company that’s supposed to pay bills and generate revenues on such a fragile foundation.

    • WulfCry

      You would be pretty dense not knowing how to negotiate a contract between you and the hired developers. I mean come on this something people expect to know for a couple of years now about outsourcing.

      • http://www.harrytormey.com Harry Tormey

        Well to be fair, it maybe hard to enforce that contract in a foreign country if something goes wrong.

      • Drone

        Most definitely.

        Believing that any contract can protect you is dreaming. It works in theory.

        Plus, even if you *are* able to sue somebody in some other distant country, a start-up does usually not have the funds, time or will to do that.

        (If they had the necessary funds they wouldn’t have had to outsource to a cheaper country to begin with…)

  • Wicher

    Yup, there are some really great engineers in Poland and moreover there’s a growing number of specialists with experience from abroad (USA, UK, etc.). So you the small cultural differences keep getting smaller.

    There’s just lack of serious money in the Polish market and the understanding of business aspects of new ventures among techies is not so good. Everything depends on who would you hire.

  • http://nadalgirlfriend.com SANA IRFAN KHAN

    distributed development has made everything possible these days :P a lot of stuff is outsourced everywhere in the world

  • RHB

    It’s funny, I have to agree with the comment about India developers.I always get a little anxious when I hire them. The last one was great but 4 others were garbage.

  • http://twitter.com/salman_sarfraz Salman Sarfraz

    I have seen people working in this model for long long time. And not just developers but sales people, managers, writers, designers too. It worked and it STILL WORKS.

    I agree, such working model has its own risks but those risks can be minimized with a good framework. For example, you may define some policies for employees like uploading docs on SVN daily, weekly or monthly, submitting daily, weekly or monthly reports, discuss via IM on daily basis, setup an online discussion system using forums or wiki etc. and also keep monitoring their work. In short, you can host all toos/apps on your server and be in control of whatever is uploaded by employees and whatever discussions are done online.

    But, most important thing is to FIND GOOD PEOPLE to do a job. Working with someone face to face makes it easier to figure out a person but it becomes little complicated when you are working with a person online. You have to be good at judging people through their WORDS and RESULTS. Moreover, you should also have some skills or experience in the area for which you need to hire people. This way, you can better manage people otherwise you can be easily deceived and It’s also SAME in face to face working model.

    Before hiring people, you can interview them via IM and also give them some test assignment to evaluate their skills if you want to. If you feel good about their skills and you also get convinced during the interview that this is the right guy, you may hire under probation for a month or more. If you feel like the guy has potential, you may carry on but keeping everything on your server so that you are always in control.

    You should always have a backup plan as well. For example, if a guy doesn’t work effects others negatively you should be always quick to take serious steps to fix it by removing their access to your online tools/resources and give duties to alternate people or take control by yourself.

    It’s true that you may or may not sue people working remotely for you but losses can be minimized using these steps:

    1. Always make them sign NDA before hiring. It still makes remote employees realize that what they are bound to.
    2. Hire honest people. You should be able to judge that while interviewing about their personal and working experiences. Talk more with them and people mostly open up. It will help you to judge them. If you get honest guys with good moral values (and i believe that such people still exist), they will keep your secrets no matter what.

    There are many advantages to this model:

    1. You can hire employees at low salaries.
    2. You can run a business with minimum infrastructure costs which is very important for small businesses or new startups.
    3. If you get really good people, it can bring more opportunities like having an office/team in outsourced person(s) country and become a multinational company. It may have a good impression on your customers.
    4. It can also help with reducing your taxes.

    Anyways, it’s a long debate and everyone has his/her own opinions but i agree with Julia. Such working model works.

    • Igor

      Absolutely agree. The most important thing is hiring right people who willing and like that they are doing. After that the only you need to tune is communications. Mostly you need to keep them at needed level to pass knowledge forth an back between you and team members. Not a rocket science is’t it? ;)

  • Jefferson

    I happened to live in several EU countries, also in Poland, for many years. I also have been working with Poles in many situation abroad and for some years. I think that basically, Poland has a great potential in the area of software technology. Not only I know some good coders in Poland; I know a number of Polish software experts who moved to USA and elsewhere and proved to be excellent.

    However, Poland has a number of problems that one must deal with when doing business with/in Poland.

    – Poland has the same population-aging problem as the other EU countries. In fact, Poland has one of the lowest fertility rations worldwide (!). Thus, the size of the skilled workforce is going to shrink, not grow. This is a real problem if you think strategically.
    – Poland has very “nice” neighbors who kept this unfortunate country a slave house for many hundreds of years. Except for the short period between the World Wars, Poland had not existed until 20 years ago. The neighbors, to be specific: Germany and Russia, still have very strong revisionist tendencies. German and Russian businessperson will often prefer other partners over Poland, which is a problem in international settings.
    – Poles themselves have not solved any problems with their communist legacy. The old criminal pack still rules vast areas of the executive and also are strongly present on the management level in large Polish companies. Many judges who were simply communist scam still rule in the courts. Trust me: they don’t like foreigners – unless you are ready to deal with the rampant corruption in Poland.
    – there is a problem with the Polish education. The ratio of Polish youth who receive a higher educational (university: bachelor or even masters) is exceptionally high. However, many of them surprise me with the questionable quality of their knowledge. There must be something bad about Polish schools.

    Most Poles are well aware of these (and other) problems. However, they are rarely good discussion partners about these issues. You might like to try it yourself to understand the point.

    It is not to say that Polish developers are worse than others. I would never say that; it’s just the nature of the beast that you should be aware of before you step into the Polish market and think you will have an easy ride over there.

    P.S. besides, I’m afraid that the Argument of Polish programmers using the Latin alphabet matters very little. Most Chinese IT experts I met spoke far better English than most Polish IT experts I know. I am not kidding: I am an IT guy since 1983 and I fancy I know what I am talking about :-)

    • http://comicstripblog.com Comic Strip Blogger

      regarding “Poland had not existed until 20 years ago.” – it’s simply not true. Poland was grounded in the year 966, it means 1044 years ago and out of this 1044 years, for 123 years Poland was occupied by Germany, Russia and Austria (till 1918).

      • Krzysztof from Poland

        I’m from Poland, age 27, and for me, for all practical reasons, Poland is in fact like it emerged 20 years ago from nothing. Business culture is still yery young, all feels ad hoc and is full of cargo-cults. Same with academic culture, as OP notes. While there are places maintaining world-class standards many well-regarded schools produce graduates of varied quality to say charitably.

      • Jefferson

        @Krzysztof: which is what I actually meant.

        There are so many dark chapters in Polish history that it would fill the entire website. The most depressing part is telling a story of a nation dissolving and annihilating itself, with the Polish confederates actually being stupid enough to invite the Russians to enter Poland during the war against Stanislaw Poniatowski. Deep insight, most Poles actually know that they had sold themselves (although it is not how Poles are being taught in many Polish schools. CSB is of course right, I meant Poland had been occupied for many generations. The result is a discrepancy between the aspiration and the real situation of Poles today.

        Poland is a horribly tragical nation, and other nations should study the Polish history to learn how to manage their countries…

        Still, many Poles have been and are brilliant individuals (Marie Curie-Sklodowska was one good example), but they have been most unfortunate in the past and there writing is on the wall that the struggling will be continuing for decades to come…

    • Oi Oi

      “Except for the short period between the World Wars, Poland had not existed until 20 years ago.”

      Ahhhh, ze Hamericans and their heducation. 20 years ago you say, interesting. You sure you don’t want to correct that error, son?

      • Jefferson

        I am used to see how little people really know about Poland, despite the fact that it was essentially involved in – but rarely the source of – many European conflicts that had far-reaching consequences.

        To say that Poland was a sovereign country between 1945 and 1989 is pure ignorance. PZPR was a Russian puppet shadow theater as the rest of Warsaw Pact.

        Please educate yourself before you say something embarrassing of that kind again.

      • Oi Oi

        Usually I wouldn’t call anyone “stupid c*nt” because that’s rude but obiously you ask for it.

        I was born in Poland and had a “pleasure” to experience Poland during the “glory” years so PLEASE, my thick netpal, stop spreading your crooked take on history because you’re making a fool of yourself.

        “Except for the short period between the World Wars, Poland had not existed until 20 years ago” – bollocks. Poland as a country did not exist for a period of 146 years between 1772 and 1918.

        Something tells me that you’re one of those “kill commies” Pollack hating mentalists, aren’t you?

      • Jefferson

        “Oi Oi” is demonstrating the poor social skills I mentioned before. As I mentioned before, I also lived in Poland for some time, and it happened to be before 1989 (I have been around for some time). Communists ruined the poor country, and some of them are obviously still around.

        The point I was making couldn’t be exposed better than the way that guy has done it :-(

      • Oi Oi

        LOL what a poor wankr you really iz matey, go on, be a real man and admit you’re talking rubbish. You think you know and that’s exactly what it is, YOU THINK YOU KNOW.

  • Mike

    Does anybody have any experience working with Romanian coders?

    • http://www.andreipotorac.com Andrei Potorac

      Hi Mike! I think everyone will tell you that their experience with Romanian coders has been great! :)

      Romanian is the second language spoken at Microsoft, so that should say enough about the coders here. The country has one of the best internet speeds on Earth as well, go figure. :)


      We run a small and experienced team of devs, so if you’re interested in discussing the possibility of basing your development team here in Romania, I’d love to get in touch! :)

  • http://flossk.org james michael dupont
  • improv

    Poland was “grounded” in 966? I think you mean “founded”.

  • Mark Kimball

    Very happy with our 6-piece Polish team. The Krakow / Wroclaw / Warsaw areas are particularly strong.

    • Sebastian

      Try Lublin also – the biggest education center in the eastern Poland (3 universities, over 100 000 students).

      Living is almost 2 times cheaper there than in Warsaw/Wroclaw and earnings are smaller accordingly.

      Many students search for job while on 4th, 5th year, many of them are great programmers.

      • Krzysztof from Poland

        Nice to see my hometown mentioned. However, I’d classify said schools as diploma mills, also in my experience good programmers move from there to Warsaw (just 175km away).

      • Sebastian

        Yes, after a few years most programmers goes to Warsaw/Wrocław/Gdańsk/Kraków.

        That’s why I wrote about students at last years of education – they are Lublin bound.

  • Pablo

    In 966 Poland was baptized not founded. The country was founded much earlier, but nobody knows when. The written history is known sience 966.

    read more at:


    • Jefferson

      Aaah, Wikipedia – the source of truth.

      • Jacek

        In this case Wikipedia happens to be correct. No reason to be sarcastic.

  • Marcin from Poland

    Indeed, there are strong connections between US and Polish in the field of software development. However, the article is written in somewhat light-hearted manner.

    For instance, consider the begining “If you happen to be a smart, English-speaking programmer in Poland, there is a good chance you will work in a start-up. An American one.”.

    Indeed, if you happen to be one, there is a good chance you will be staying in Poland and developing software (for/related to) a strong business, often foreign. Working in a American start-up, working in a Japanese-financed tech r&d, working in a European-funded project, working in a local office of a worldwide company… and so on.

  • William Bailey

    I am looking for someone to code an iPad app I have developed, on a 50-50 revenue sharing basis. It is a financial app which I believe would have a large market.

  • http://www.holidaycrowd.com Ryan

    I’m currently located in the UK and oursource most of my development to Uruguay.

    Like previously stated the most important part of this whole outsoucing thing is to find trust, if you can’t find trust then you can’t do it…

    The next thing is finding a team with vision and initiative. You should be able to hand them a complete spec, and you receive a bundle of changes, suggestions and improvements. If you don’t get anything back, stop right there and start looking for another team.

    Another thing i have found is the productivity and the cost efficiency of outsourcing. Firstly not needing so much office space is a MASSIVE deal, considering the current land values in the UK. And you also have the ability to view what they are doing, whenever you want, where you want. For example, I use oDesk to manage our team, we can see what they are doing, whenever we want, down to how many keyboard storkes they make in a given time. I have a triple monitor set up, i have my development team on one screen, so i can see whats happening live, including what is on their screen at any time, and also have the ability to talk to them and discuss when ever.

    The one single biggest advantage…NO employment law (as such) get rid of someone when you want why you want, as here in the UK you have to have a million good reasons to get rid of someone, and even then you’ll end up in an employment tribuneral trying to justify why you just got rid of the most useless person on the planet…

    Anyway, there are pros and cons, but the pros far outweigh the cons!!!

    I admit there are a few drawbacks, such as not

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  • http://www.workbox.com Eric Weidner

    Honestly, I don’t see what the big deal is about this. We’ve been successfully outsourcing development to Russia for over 10 years.
    I’m happy for other peoples’ success, but this really isn’t news.

  • http://www.flamescorpion.com Lucian

    I’m in Romania but i work as developer for a startup from home. The whole team is in Romania. We meet 2-3 times a week and everything is fine. Why we should pay for an expensive office?

    • Mircea

      I’ve run a startup development team from 2005-2010, about 30 people, in Romania. Having an office where everyone works together matters especially when you want to foster a creative company culture. I can’t count all the times when great ideas came up during coffee breaks, our Friday bash (we got together every Friday and ate catered lunch together). Having fun together is also immensely important, IMO. Having mostly remote devs who get together a couple of times a week would work too but I’d argue that having “hubs” (offices around the world) with regular travel is far better.

      • http://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=mircea Mircea

        And the best part of it was getting to work with great, intelligent people from all over: NYC, Austin, SF, Brazil, Lebanon, etc

  • jose b

    Why is it people are never honest. Say it like it is.
    They are hiring people from Poland because they cost less money. It’s as simple as that. End of story.
    No issues. No problems. Honest truth comes out.

    Instead we get more lies about not finding enough qualified talent. If you’re a startup in NYC and can’t find the skills these guys seem to need, you probably shouldn’t be in business.

    It’s not about skills, experience, or talent. It’s about finding cheaper employees who might not talk back or disagree with you. I guess these founders want to distance themselves from India developers, as they did mention India a few times in this article, but it’s the same story.

    It’s far better if somebody actually came out and stated, “Yes so and so costs less money for the same skills and experience” instead of the constant lie about no qualified talent.
    You’re in NYC. Give me a break.

    • Jefferson

      Well take this: I cost 1$/hour. Will work from home. No extra costs – it’s just that 1$/hour.

      Actually, I even have 100 other guys who work for 1$/hour. hire us all please.

      Results? What results?! Kiddin me?

    • Gdzie jest krzyż

      Good point about political correctness in outsourcing. You either want to cover some specific talent in an article and then the nationality is irrelevant or highlight nationality as a strong predicative to low remuneration demands. However I understand reasons behind this doublespeak of finding talent as human beings like to think of themselves in dignified terms. Polish programmers might feel hurt if someone tells them truthfully that their Polish upperclass salary is below UK minimum wage regulations. All the competitiveness they’ve been exhibiting for years converts into plain stupidity of living in bad geographic coordinates upon changing the reference system. On the other hand you can also insult a businessperson in a developed country that they are weak if they can’t convert their home country graduates into profit in this information economy age.

  • Theo

    Jose b is right. Most outsourcing IS for cheaper labor costs and covered up with “US programmers are just talentless”. The truth is closer to this:

    1. Guest author offered some meager rates to US programmers
    2. Crap rates attracted crap programmers so Guest author got crap work.
    3. Instead of realizing his rates are too low to attract good programmers in the US market, he just jumped to the self-serving conclusion that all US programmers are crap.

    So he took the meager rates and moved abroad, accepting greater risks and lower efficiency from outsourcing in exchange for programmer savings. Guest Poster beware: while this may work OK for a while, when you hit a black swan this model will fail spectacularly.

  • http://blog.bwagy.com Ben Young

    It doesn’t surprise me at all, we live in a global world and as a startup you need to marshall resources (where ever you can find them) with the budget you’ve got.

    We’re also doing something similar but with Marketing, providing services from New Zealand. We’re a day before the States so wake up as you guys are finishing and can turn it around before you start. It’s a great mix.

    If worst comes to worst people can just jump on a plane.

    The reality is, if you’re not doing it and your competitors are it will give them an edge, they can iterate faster, essentially work/grow around the clock and have more resources at hand.

  • http://www.quora.com/As-a-bootstrapping-startup-is-working-from-home-a-good-idea-or-do-the-benefits-of-an-office-outweigh-the-additional-expense#ans146772 As a bootstrapping startup is working from home a good idea or do the benefits of an office outweigh the additional expense? - Quora

    […] Jehanzaib, Entrepreneur bit.ly/but8on You can also have a look at this article http://eu.techcrunch.com/2010/11… although this post is particularly focusing on working remotely. The article that you have […]

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