When it comes to assessing strengths of European Union’s tech nations, Croatia is often overlooked. However, this is arguably very much undeserved. Most of the Croatian tech companies punch well above their weight. Especially in software development. How come?
Let’s take current and future Croatia’s smarts in software development & tech for a brief analysis. We’ll give you 9 fundamental reasons for choosing a software development partner from Croatia.
1. TALENT POOL
There are now approximately 35.000 developers in Croatia, and their number has been growing no less than 19% yearly, while Europe’s average is 6%. In relation to other countries, this means you’ll find 9 professional developers per 1000 inhabitants, more than in other comparable countries. When it comes to real-life problem-solving proficiency, Croatia enjoys a pretty skillful and diversified talent pool that is up to the task.
When talking about the mighty Java, still one of the best and most used programming languages (especially in the enterprise world), there are about 15.000 engineers using it. The community is strong, and its most prominent representatives have more than two decades of experience behind them. Many of whom nowadays lead their own companies, just like our founders.
On the other hand, being a software developer or an engineer is a promising but also challenging career, for which many young Croatians deem themselves ready. The motivation for achieving excellence in software development has never been higher.
This truly was proved to us this summer when 1000+ young aspiring engineers registered for our SpringBoot Summer School!
Luckily, there are many universities that prepare their graduates for top roles throughout Croatian and international companies. Zagreb’s FER, TVZ, and Algebra, Varaždin’s FOI, Osijek’s FERIT, Split’s FESB are among the best out there.
They boast modern curriculums and innovative faculty labs that not only bring out excellence from students but also create cutting-edge tech which advances societies throughout the world. Our high-schoolers are also high achievers. Every year since the first participation in the world-famous International Informatics Olympiad in 1993 they brought medals back home. This year Patrick Pavić brought a gold one, once again proving the world-class smarts of this young generation!
Also, among EU Member States, Croatia had the highest share of individuals aged 16 to 24 with basic or above basic overall digital skills (97%), followed by Estonia, Lithuania and the Netherlands (all three 93%) as well as Greece (92%). These practically ubiquitous digital skills prove the profound understanding of the technology itself, as well as the vast potential for problem solving, which is embedded in this young generation.
Even primary schoolers are learning the basics of programming and robotics and achieve excellent results in various competitions, just like their older counterparts. It wouldn’t be far from the truth to say great engineering heritage runs in the blood of this little country.
You’ve surely heard of wireless energy transfer or (one of the) world’s fastest production electric vehicles? At least SMS-parking or an MP3?
In order to give our young developers an opportunity to dare themselves with real business challenges, Agency04 has been organizing a summer school for the past 3 years. In 5 weeks participants learn how to develop complex Java applications using Spring Boot. In the final showdown, they participate in a 48-hour long hackathon to put their skills to the test.
In the end, the most elite aspiring engineers earn an opportunity to become part of Agency04 and start building their careers as versed professionals. This year we welcomed 10 very talented and smart colleagues in our teams.
If you’re thinking okay, all the countries have their heroes & idols who achieve fantastic results, but what about the “average Joe’s”?
3. PRODUCTIVITY AND RESULTS
Turns out your “average Joe” isn’t as average as you’d think. According to the latest Eurostat data, Croatian employees in the ICT sector will give you the best value for your money, not only in relation to its direct Central/Eastern European competition but also in most of Europe. Beaten by only two nations, such as Ireland, and United Kingdom (only slightly).
Did this come unexpectedly? Take into consideration many of the Croatian ICT companies test their strength on the most competitive markets of the world, and also earn their revenue by supporting Western European (namely DACH, BENELUX, UK in our case) companies with their quality software development.
Fantastic results for example, such as achieving “unicorn” status in a short time (Infobip), two young Croatian engineers being recognized and chosen for Elon Musk’s “elite guns” (2/25), gracing the world with some of the most played video (Croteam) and mobile (Nanobit) games, being a go-to manufacturer for electric vehicles (Rimac) and many, many others really shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Because the values of technological excellence, such as top-class quality along with innovativeness, delivery, and dependability are strongly embedded in the mindset of Croatian developers and engineers.
Let’s now put a cultural perspective in the reasoning of why you should choose a Croatian software development partner.
4. CULTURE, ETHICS AND PHILOSOPHY
The ICT sector has truly been a beacon of change, and a benchmark for excellence for others to follow in a transitional society such as Croatian. Hence, many of the companies and their leaders understand and feel their duty to lead the way. Thus, many noteworthy initiatives from this community brought great change to society and continue to transform it further. In the deeper sense, “business as usual” in the Croatian tech scene amounts to a much higher purpose.
This is why you’ll hardly find anyone who isn’t up to the challenge by the highest standards. Being part of a system that is the main facilitator of change leaves little room for mediocrity.
Many of our developers and engineers are versatile and “speak” a great number of programming languages and employ different software development methodologies, as needed. Career switch (for example from Angular to Vue.js, from front-end to back-end), isn’t really news at Agency04 either. We understand it’s for the best to keep your mind’s sanity in a fast-moving industry out of rigid and unchanging mental structures.
A great majority of developers and engineers speak English fluently, and a considerable number of them are familiar with German. Great communication between stakeholders is emphasized and put in the front as one of the main pillars of building a trustful, and hence a fruitful partnership. That’s why you’ll never miss out on project-critical information, or worse, feel anxiety because of a lack of feeling in control.
On the other hand, quality and delivery are the main languages of the forerunners of the sector. Agile (Scrum) practices are a norm which presupposes them. However, not the kind of proclaimed and vain norm, but one sharpened out by experience from numerous projects, team combinations, and failures, as well as successes.
In recent years, Agile software development in Croatia has been taken a step further, which was also marked with the first book about Agile in Croatia, written by our CCO Roko Roić.
Lastly, let’s skim over those arguments everyone, everywhere and everytime gives in order to compel you to either outsource or choose a partner in their desired country.
5. LEGAL AND ECONOMIC ASPECT
As a part of the EU, Croatia has the same laws and tax policy as other EU countries. The single market allows goods to be traded freely, and doing business is more accessible due to aligned rules. Therefore, if your company decides to do business with a Croatian company, it will be protected by the EU laws and regulations.
Also, if you were to consider opening your development/excellence center in Croatia, you should note the availability of appealing government incentives which, on top of everything add even more attractive benefits to the account.
6. TIME ZONE
Croatia is Central European Standard Time (GMT+1), just like the majority of other European countries. Which is great for efficient communication and getting things done in the desired timeframe, along with other things.
Also, it’s only 1 hour ahead of the UK!
Croatia is around 2 to 4 hours of flight to most of the other European capitals (Berlin, Zurich, London, Amsterdam, or Rome). Some of the Austrian cities are even closer to the capital of Zagreb than the Dalmatian coast! Croatia is also very well interconnected with state highways, perhaps with one of the best road infrastructure in the EU.
Here we go. I now introduce the rarely seen wild card – the Adriatic sea! Jokes aside, you’ve probably heard about many of the Croatian beauties which I won’t list now. Let’s just say we personally organize a nice “seaside sprint” every year. However, We’ll rather not tempt you with it. It wouldn’t be fair. Wait, we will. Alongside our long-term partners, every summer we work two weeks from a big villa by the coast and visit some of the prettiest sights and beaches while tasting the finest Mediterranean cuisine and wine.
At last, you say. I’ll be clear – of course it isn’t South/South East Asia cheap, but it also isn’t Western European expensive. When you account the manpower needed for the quality of your delivered solution, it is rather affordable in comparison to EU prices. However, if you compare it with the rest of (Eastern) Europe, you might find it a bit pricey. All in all, it’s pretty competitive.
Finally, Croatia seemingly belongs to the quieter corner of Europe’s tech, but it’s results and international renommée speak loudly for themselves.
If you’re still not impressed by the given, why don’t you see for yourself? Schedule a short video call with one of our consultants and put our smarts to test. We’ll gladly take the challenge!