Magento is a complex and challenging platform that can be a real mess in regards to creating a highly-customized e-commerce solution. Finding and retaining dedicated Magento developers is a hard job for some companies, especially taking into account that the demand for highly skilled talents is higher than the supply.
When you think of the IT industry or website development, the first thing that probably comes to your mind is the Silicon Valley or huge US-based corporations such as Accenture or Mojotech. However, other territories with a business-friendly environment could be a perfect place for many e-commerce companies to offshore their IT capabilities.
Europe is considered to be a “sleeping giant” of the industry. With the progress of collaborative technologies, such countries as Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, and Belarus began to attract a great number of US, Australian, and British companies that want to get IT services abroad while keeping them at a close touch.
So, let’s discuss why Eastern Europe is a good location for hiring a Magento developer, what pitfalls the process includes, and how to hire a dedicated Magento developer in Europe.
The Emerging Market of Magento Developers in Eastern Europe: A Cost-Effective Solution For E-Commerce Businesses
As far as Magento 2 is concerned, this platform is massive, complicated, difficult. The front-end is challenging to develop, the backend has a great number of hidden stumbling blocks too. Besides, the process of setting up your server environment can be a real turmoil as Magento is power-hungry and uses a lot of resources to run seamlessly. To get a store up and running, a developer needs not only solid coding skills but also a deep understanding of Magento’s architecture, as well as the ability to work with advanced frameworks (React.js, Vue.js) to build PWA solutions.
Are there European Magento developers who have all those skills and knowledge? Of course, there are! Eastern Europe is rich in IT talents. There has been a growing rate of website and software developers with the current number reaching 1 million.
Here are the reasons to hire Magento Developers in Eastern Europe:
Even though European outsourcing locations can hardly compete with the Philippines, India, or China when it comes to availability of labor, it is much more advantageous for many companies to set up a development team in Europe than in Asia because of both cultural and educational reasons.
The truth is that hiring a Magento developer in the USA is quite a costly decision. A dedicated American Magento developer will cost between $100-$150 per hour (depending on the experience and skills), while you can find a European developer with the same skill set and an hourly rate starting at $30. As such, with a rather small budget, it is possible to create a Magento product that would have the potential to become global.
High Level of Education and Computing Skills
When it comes to programming and development services, technical skills and education do count. The entire educational climate in Eastern Europe facilitates the process of creating developer talents. Thus, while the US has an educational system with a broad multi-disciplinary focus, countries in other parts of the world are more skill-focused. This means that lots of Magento developers in Eastern Europe attended technical schools that focus primarily on teaching relevant coding skills.
There is a great number of Magento development companies in Eastern Europe that are well versed in the aspects of e-commerce businesses and can help you to create a website that sells. These companies are no stranger to the latest trends, such as PWAs. You can easily hire a Magento developer who can create a PWA storefront on top of your Magento website to deliver an app-like UX/UI on a web browser.
Auspicious IT Environment
More and more western companies are shifting their focus to eastern developers. As the demand for IT experts grows, the governments are doing their best to attract and teach new specialists. For instance, Minsk (Belarus) was named “the next Silicon Valley of Eastern Europe” by the Wall Street Journal. Slowly but gradually, this country has become one of the largest and promising IT outsourcing providers. The creation of Belarusian Hi-Tech Park (with Onilab being its resident) has contributed to innovations and further progress.
Among other reasons to hire a Magento developer in Eastern Europe is a distinct cultural trait that makes the programmers particularly well-suited for these roles. Eastern Europeans have an obstinate and fortitude nature that makes excellent traits for developers. They take responsibility for every line of code and are keen to learn new stuff. As a result, you can hire a well-educated, hard-working developer with a penchant for tech.
Besides, since a good level of English is essential for effective corporations, overall Magento developers in almost all Eastern European countries have a good grasp of the language as it is one of the mandatory requirements for the IT industry.
The Pitfalls of Hiring a Magento Developer From Eastern Europe
The major concern of e-commerce business owners regarding hiring a Magento developer in Eastern Europe are the discrepancies between different time zones. This concern is well justified. Your Magento website should be well designed and tested, having in mind current trends and features to start successfully. You need an instant connection with the team throughout the process and long after it. That is why it is essential to hire developers whom you can call anytime during your business hours without the need to wait for 5-6 hours to discuss some issues.
This could be a problem for some companies as Eastern Europe is 5-8 hours ahead of the USA and 7-9 hours behind Australia. However, some Magento development agencies often correlate their staff’s working hours as per the time zones of their clients or provide 24/7 support to deliver an instant connection between two parties.
Another crux that could arise is the communication issue. If you prefer direct personal communication rather than online meetings, you will experience some inconvenience with European developers when discussing your project. However, with modern tools like Zoom, Skype, or Live Chat that can be used as reliable communication channels, a client can talk with a Magento developer regardless of where they are.
How To Hire a Magento Developer In Eastern Europe: 5 Things You Should Ask
As mentioned above, the demand for IT professionals around the globe is growing too quickly for the local American programmers to satisfy it. And Magento developers from Romania, Ukraine, Poland, Belarus, and other European countries can be a cost-effective alternative. But that’s not to say that all of them are experienced and skillful enough to handle such a complex and challenging system as Magento.
Hiring ignorant developers leads to:
- compatibility issues due to poor extension coding,
- unresolved bugs that can slow down a store’s performance,
- lack of essential features and necessary customization,
- unreadable code that can be expensive to support,
- missed deadlines,
- high resource consuming (if your developer doesn’t know how to deploy, configure, and manage the server environment correctly).
- budget overrun due to the lack of Magento knowledge and time spent on developing something that is already there.
Here are the main questions you need to ask when hiring a Magento developer in Eastern Europe:
1. Are you certified?
Magento offers various certification options for experienced professionals who want to validate their skills and differentiate themselves from their competitors with the ultimate Magento credential. A developer is free to choose a certification option depending on their specialization and the skills they have. There are eight certification options:
|Magento 2 Certified Associate Developer Exam||This exam is for beginners and is designed to validate the knowledge in the following areas: admin and UI modifications, customizations, checkout and catalog structure, database and functionality changes.|
|Magento 2 Certified Solution Specialist||The certificate shows a deep understanding of leveraging Magento 2 functionality to satisfy the goals of e-commerce businesses as per the best practices.|
|Magento 2 Certified Professional Front-end Developer||This option is designed to validate the knowledge needed to master Magento’s theming components and the ability to build and modify UI.|
|Magento 2 Certified Professional Developer and Certified Professional Developer Plus||These two certificates are designed to validate the skills needed to customize a Magento store properly. The second one is for senior Magento developers with more than 2 years of experience in customizing Magento websites.|
|Magento Certified Professional Cloud Developer||The certificate is designed to validate the skills required to set up, manage, and troubleshoot the M2 Commerce Cloud Environment.|
|Magento 2 Certified Order Management Developer||It is for those who want to prove their skills of deploying Magento Order Management.|
Is the certification essential? Not in every case!
The fact is that some certification exam questions are kind of obsolete. They were set disregarding the latest trends such as progressive apps, as well as the advanced framework the second version of Magento is built on. So, if you need to create a Magento PWA on top of your website, you can’t check whether your front-end developer is capable of building a progressive app or not. However, in most cases, the certification can be sustainable evidence of a Magento developer’s expertise.
2. How many years have you been working with Magento?
In Magento development, experience is an objective indicator of skills. The more experience a candidate has, the better their code quality and the more issues they can manage. An experienced developer knows beforehand the obstacles they may face during the process and resolve them ASAP.
Besides, hiring someone who is already familiar with Magento and knows the ropes is essential. Your candidate might have a solid web dev background and even can be good at PHP but it could be worthless. To make it clear, Magento is so hard to learn that it would take them at least one year to understand the system at a half-decent level.
Furthermore, make sure that a Magento developer you are going to hire has experience with Magento’s second version. The fact is that M1 and M2 are completely different both in code architecture and file system. So, a Magento 1 developer will have to relearn Magento 2 coding, even if they have years of experience with the first one under their belts.
3. Do you have previous Magento projects that can be used as references?
It is good practice to ask a developer to show you their previous projects to validate their knowledge and expertise. When evaluating the portfolio, take into consideration all aspects of e-commerce website development such as design, customization, store configurations. Checking the portfolio will help you to understand whether a developer is capable of implementing the needed features and functions as per your company’s needs, as well as will give insights on their methodology and task delivery.
Asking the portfolio, keep in mind that lots of unfair Magento developers both in the US and in Eastern Europe demonstrate fake testimonials and plagiarized websites made by others!
The most actionable way to ensure the authenticity of the portfolio is by asking for the contacts of the developer’s former clients. Do not hesitate to interview them about their experience with the development team to get a clear picture of whether they are satisfied with the contractor’s work.
Here are some questions you may ask:
- How did the team handle communication?
- Did you like the service?
- Was the team good at fixing bugs?
- Did they deliver your project on time and within the outlined budget?
- Would you recommend this developer/agency?
4. Do you provide post-release support?
When hiring a Magento developer in Eastern Europe, it is essential to know how they are going to handle urgent situations. What will you do if my Magento store goes down or its checkout is broken? What is your plan if the pages show a 505 error? Indeed, post-release support is a must for non-tech-savvy e-commerce business owners. As such, it doesn’t matter what country your developer is from, the best way to ensure that all bugs and issues will be resolved ASAP is to create an SLA (service level agreement) before starting the development process.
Keep in mind that even a slight issue can be a reason for your customers to leave your store to the benefit of your competitors. Thus, you might need post-development support in order to:
- improve your store’s performance,
- integrate your store with new services and a CRM system,
- update the Magento version of your site,
- expand functionality and implement new features to meet fluctuated customer needs,
- improve the usability of your store,
- integrate third-party extensions,
- customize your store.
To ensure that every issue will be resolved before it could affect website performance and user experience, as well as to keep your store updated, we recommend creating an SLA when hiring a Magento developer in Eastern Europe.
5. What if I want to test you first?
In order to make sure that a Magento developer is the right match for your project and test their skills, you can ask them to perform a paid test project. By assigning a pilot task, you will:
- avoid hiring an ignorant Magento developer,
- save your time and money,
- reduce the interview rate,
- make the process of technical recruitment more efficient.
Such platforms as Devskiller or Codity will help you automate the process. Both platforms are fully customizable. This means that you can create your programming tasks including solving real coding challenges in a real project environment.
Building a Magento team remotely is not a brand new trend, but this approach definitely makes things more comfortable, reliable, and cost-effective. Eastern Europe, with its favorable IT environment, skilled professionals, and low costs, is one of the most attractive locations for e-commerce businesses to outsource their projects.
At Onilab, we have experienced Magento professionals that will take your e-commerce business to the next level. We have been focusing on Magento for more than 7 years and have accumulated a solid background, working on hundreds of large stores. This makes us the number one choice for enterprise clients. Hire us if you want your store to start performing better exponentially.