Global Software Development: Country by Country


It is estimated that nearly 500,000 new software related jobs were created in China[i] between 2003 and the end of 2006.  Software related employment in China is growing at 20% per year. China wants to add about 250,000 jobs per year over the next 4 to 5 years. At the present time, there are about 1.5 million employed in Chinese software development.   By 2010, there will be nearly 3 million software developers will double in China.


Growth in IT software employment in India is amazing.  In 2000,  there were only 284,000 software developers jobs in India.  By the end of 2008, the number of software developer jobs was around 2 million.  In only eight years, employment in the software industry in India has grown nearly 7 times.

India achieved an employment in software development level in 8 years what it took the USA to attain in 28 years.[ii] There seems to be no end to the growth in software development jobs in India.  Tim Sullivan of the Associated Press reports that “Tata Consultancy Services, India’s largest software company, hires around 3,000 people per month.  The consulting firm Accenture, a USA firm, plans to hire 8,000 in the next six months, and IBM, another USA firm, says it will bring on more than 50,000 additional people in India by 2010.”

In 2008 software exports from India were worth 35 billion dollars.  Of those exports, over eighty percent were to the USA and UK (sixty-seven percent were to the USA and fifteen percent to the UK).    What all this means is there are a lot of US firms and UK firms using India to write code.  The movement of programming jobs outside Western Europe and the USA to India is going to continue over the next several years.

Eastern Europe

Jeremy Roche, Chairman of the European Software Associations believes “there will be a shortage of software labor in Europe.”  In the next four years, nearly 1 million software development jobs will be added to the 19 EMEA countries[iii].

According to Eastern European Times, software development is blooming in Eastern Europe.  The targets for software development include Russia, Romania, Praque, Budapest, Bratislava, and other Eastern European cities in search of programming talent.  Not only is Eastern Europe a destination for outsourcers, some really cool software such as Skype, UPEK and Netbeans was developed in Eastern Europe.  Bulgaria-based Ivanka Panayotova of MindFusion Ltd said, “The software industry in Eastern Europe, as a portion of the entire business sector, is larger than in most other countries worldwide  -definitely bigger than one would find in a developed country.” Panayotova believes that “gradually, with the expansion of the European Union, the computer sector will start to move ahead—not in quantity, but in quality—and it shall meet its Western counterparts as equal to equal.”[iv]

Eastern Europe is expected to have a significant growth rate in IT over the next several years, and many countries are expecting double-digit growth.   Over the next 5 years, the average growth rate of Russian IT is expected to be twenty percent per year. [v]

South America

Countries like Brazil, Costa Rica, and Argentina are also developing healthy software development economies. Brazil boasts of having over 150,000 software professionals and plans to add about 15,000 per year.

According to Carlos Palotti, president of Argentina’s Chamber of Enterprise Software and IT Services,  Argentina’s software companies are growing so fast that they could hire 15,000 more qualified IT professionals through 2009.  It is estimated there are about 50,000 individuals employed in software-type work in Argentina.   Argentina aims to have software development represent 3% of its GDP by the end of the 2010.  The current rate is .7%.

Part I

[i] IDC, Table 1, IT Market Growth and Local and International Contributions.  “The Contribution of Software and IT Services Industries to the Chinese Economy, John F. Gantz, IDC – Chinese-Economy.pdf.

[ii] Information Technology Annual Report, Government of India, annualreport2006-2007.pdf

[iii] Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, UK,

[iv], Software development blooms in Eastern Europe.  Why the next big thing in software may come from Eastern Europe.



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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. I’m trying to do a research project regarding populations and growth within software development industry. You have some really great information here that I’d love to use for my paper but cannot without a source for your figures. Would you possibly be willing to tell me where you got your numbers. The links all link back to this same page – I tried them.

    Thanks so much

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