Is Turkey Becoming the Next Big IT Outsourcing Destination?
As the tech industry continues to grow exponentially worldwide, the demand for skilled tech talent has grown in tandem. Countries like India and those in Eastern Europe have long been recognized as tech talent hubs, but a new contender, Turkey, is making waves. The country has emerged as a rising star in the tech sector with its rapidly expanding, highly qualified talent pool and several other advantages. But what exactly sets Turkey apart? And why is it the next destination for IT outsourcing?
How does Turkey Stack Up Against Other Tech Talent Hubs?
Comparing Turkey to four popular IT outsourcing destinations—Ukraine, Romania, Poland, and India—reveals a promising trajectory. The Turkish talent pool is growing at a faster pace than its Eastern European counterparts. This rapid growth can be attributed to an increase in demand and a market correcting itself, due to developers historically making up a smaller share of the population.
In the Global Services Location Index rankings, Turkey is on the rise, outpacing Ukraine and Romania in terms of talent availability, financial attractiveness, and business environment quality. The depreciation of the Turkish Lira has made the country especially attractive. This economic shift has also affected developer salaries, with entry-level positions in Turkey currently the lowest among the five countries, making it a cost-effective outsourcing option. Although senior developer salaries are higher, they still fall behind those in other countries, further reinforcing the economic advantage of outsourcing to Turkey.
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Turkey also excels in terms of tech talent gender diversity, cybersecurity risk exposure, human capital availability and quality, and innovation, performing equally well or better than its counterparts.
Who Are the Turkish Developers?
Turkish developers come with a high level of education, strong self-learning skills, proficient English language skills, and a diverse background.
Education: Turkey at the top in Europe for university accessibility, with 8 million people pursuing higher education. Annually, around 98,000 STEM degree students graduate, 35% of whom are women. The high accessibility to universities in Turkey is due to tuition-free public universities, which include some of the best institutions in the world.
Self-Learning Skills: A growing movement in Turkey aims to increase the quantity and quality of developers across the nation. This has been fueled by boot camps, government programs, hackathons, student clubs, and mentoring activities. The self-learning culture is further evidenced by Turkey's ranking as the 5th highest provider of Udemy traffic.
English Skills: While Turkey lags behind other tech hubs in terms of English language skills among the general population, the developer community is highly proficient in English, thanks to most leading universities teaching entirely in English. This, coupled with the increase in English-speaking clubs, assures an intermediate or upper-intermediate level of English proficiency among developers.
Diversity: Turkey boasts a high gender diversity, with around 35% of all ICT degree graduates being women. This figure is higher than that of the UK (19%) and the US (24%). Compared to Eastern European countries, Turkey still has the highest participation of women in tech.
Specialty: Turkish developers specialize in a variety of fields, including backend development, frontend development, and AI technologies. However, there is a lack of developers in niche technologies like Golang and Symfony.
What Makes Turkish Software Developers Stand Out?
In conclusion, Turkey has shown an impressive trajectory, swiftly becoming a new hub for tech talent. It presents a range of advantages that make it a competitive option for global companies to consider when looking to outsource their IT and R&D operations. It is not just about the numbers, but also the quality of the talent pool, the diversity, and the continuous efforts for growth and improvement that make Turkis developers a rising star in the tech world. The future of IT outsourcing will undeniably feature Turkey as a major player.
Why is Turkey at the Forefront of Tech Community Growth?
There's an undeniable surge in the growth of the tech community in Turkey. GitHub ranks Turkey within the top 10 nations exhibiting the most potent growth in open-source contributions. Back in 2018, when Ben Frederickson evaluated the worldwide distribution of software developers through GitHub data, Turkey was a step behind Ukraine. However, Gayan Kuruppu's recent data paints an exciting picture of Turkey's burgeoning GitHub presence: Turkey's GitHub users have surged past 203,000, a ten-fold increase since 2018, surpassing Ukraine (199,000+ users) and Romania (182,000 users). This increase is fueled by the country's drive to foster more software developers.
How is Turkey Becoming the Hub of European Innovation?
Turkey's tech scene is attracting global attention, with the Financial Times labeling the country as Europe's tech star. Home to unicorns such as Trendyol, Getir, Hepsiburada, Peak Games, and Dream Games, Turkey's tech enterprises raised more funds in 2021 than in the four previous years combined. Delivery Hero, a globally recognized delivery platform, has chosen Turkey for its next tech hub, following Berlin and Singapore, having previously acquired the Turkish company Yemeksepeti in 2015. Such investments facilitate tech team growth and encourage ongoing training, positioning Turkish startups as prestigious training grounds for budding developers.
Why is Remote Work and Relocation in High on Demand in Turkey?
With the devaluation of the Turkish Lira, developers are increasingly interested in remote work or relocation opportunities in international companies or to Europe, the UK, or the US. In recent years, software developers have been among the top groups seeking better earnings outside Turkey. As previously mentioned, Turkish developers' salaries are considerably lower than those in other countries, providing tech companies with the advantage of hiring top-notch talent at affordable rates.
What Cultural Traits Make Turkish Developers a Fit for Western Work Cultures?
Generalizing people and cultures can be a challenging task. However, Turkish developers have consistently shown a knack for integrating smoothly into Western Europe and US companies' work cultures. Renowned for their entrepreneurial and creative spirit, Turkish developers are keenly aware of the potential career opportunities that come with senior software developer roles. Many invest heavily in learning and community involvement.
What Untapped Opportunities Does Turkey's Gaming Industry Hold?
Turkey's gaming industry is witnessing explosive growth. In 2018, Peak Games became the country's first unicorn following Zynga's $1.8 billion acquisition. The focus on Turkey intensified with Zynga's $168 million investment in Rollic Games, and the Chinese tech titan Tencent's $100 million acquisition of Masomo.
These investments mark the beginning of a trend: Turkish developers have shown a keen interest in the gaming industry, and their creations have been warmly received. Turkish mobile games have higher download rates (806k downloads per Turkish mobile game) than the global average (496k per game), and their ratings consistently exceed the global average.
Incorporating Turkish developers into your gaming development team not only gives you access to this burgeoning talent but can also help you penetrate the Middle East market thanks to Turkish engineers' cultural familiarity.
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