Working With An Offshore Development Team From Ukraine: Mentality And Culture Advices

17 May 2021

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In-house software development may be a good solution for businesses that have sizeable programming divisions and prefer to have constant control over the entire development process as well as on-site availability. However, maintaining an in-house software development team may be quite costly. Moreover, finding and hiring a skilled group of programmers in the first place is time-consuming. That’s why many entrepreneurs come to an understanding that outsourcing mobile or web development may well be a great business strategy for them — it reduces the operating costs and often increases the quality of the final product (of course, if an outsourcing partner is chosen wisely).

No matter the home country of your business and that of your potential offshore development team, you will surely face some differences in culture — and that’s completely okay. It’s important, though, to identify and assess those differences from the very beginning — and conclude whether they are tolerable for you or not. Thus, we want to help you with identifying and understanding some of the differences typical for an offshore development team in Ukraine. Let’s dive right into it!

Offshore development in Ukraine

Ukraine is recognized as one of the best destinations for outsourcing — especially offshore development. In recent years, the IT industry in Ukraine has seen an outstanding rise (over 26% year-on-year growth), and today it accounts for a sizeable chunk of the country’s GDP — more than 8%. Young and aspiring Ukrainians keep flocking to IT, so today, the country can boast of a plethora of skilled and motivated IT specialists ready to become your outsourcing partners.

Key mentality and culture characteristics

As we already said, each country has some distinguishing characteristics — especially in its people’s mentality and culture. Let’s talk about some of the most prominent Ukrainian characteristics — so that you get to know what to expect from your potential offshore development team in Ukraine beforehand.

1. Little initiative

Ukrainians often prefer to be managed from the very beginning of the development process to its consecutive end, and there is rarely much initiative from their side. Thus, new ideas are seldom generated on their side — they would much rather simply do their job — complete the tasks assigned to them and don’t go the extra mile.

Sure, if an offshore development team in Ukraine identifies some problem that was overlooked by the client, it will definitely inform him about it and try its best to solve the issue. However, when we talk about initiative in its essence, when there is no pressing need in it, Ukrainians are not that likely to be proactive.

2. Straightforwardness and division of professional and personal

Many European countries as well as the US and Canada have got used to lots of smiles and small talks about the weather at the beginning of the meetings or personal encounters. Ukrainians, on the other hand, are more focused on the work itself and would rather talk in more detail about their tasks than spend time on those small talks. Indeed, Ukrainians may very much enjoy those interactions and like to talk in general — but they usually separate professional and personal communication. So don’t be surprised and definitely don’t take it personally if some members of your offshore development team in Ukraine are not really talkative and smiling.

3. Planning may lag behind

Historically, in the post-Soviet states, people have been subject to constant fluctuations and unexpected changes in life, mostly due to political reasons. So, if we are talking about Ukrainians, few of them, for example, have an ingrained habit to always plan and calculate the risks associated with certain activities such as software development projects. Germans, on the contrary, will always assess all the possible risks, plan the entire process, and only after that will they get down to the actual working on the product. Ukrainians are not like that. So at Idealogic, we always recommend you to sit with your project manager (or product owner or whoever is responsible for the process) and evaluate the risks associated with your project — and then reevaluate them once more. And remember to always plan and set up realistic deadlines with your offshore development team in Ukraine — so that you are sure that the process will be smooth and productive for both sides.

4. Different ages mean different approaches

Surely, the generation gap is evident in each and every culture — especially in the 21st century, when technological progress picked up such a spectacular speed. However, in Ukraine (again, as in one of the post-Soviet states) there is a really apparent difference in mentality of young people and those that are 40+ years old. While the latter may surprise you with some outdated Soviet traditions (e.g. excessive formalities), the former are progressive and forward-looking — similar to zoomers from your home country.


Summing up, every country has its own distinctive characteristics in terms of mentality and culture, and it’s important to be aware of those that your potential partner may have. Thus, be aware of the aforementioned aspects that almost every offshore development team in Ukraine will have, and decide for yourself whether those are tolerable for you or not.

At Idealogic, we have long ago identified such distinctive features and try our best to work on them and make the cooperation with our clients as smooth as possible. Our effort includes additional motivation for employees, proactive problem solving, and constant discussion of core moments that may trouble them in the process of working. Yes, we understand that we are not perfect — but so is everyone. Our goal is to motivate not only our own employees but also our outsourcing colleagues to work on those differences that may get in the way of a smooth cooperation process with foreign clients.

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Mel Duy

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Sales Executive

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