More and more companies from Sweden cooperate with software developers from Poland. I investigated the issue and asked, what creates this cooperation.
I’ve met Mats online when I was looking for people to create my report about the challenges with managing the Tech Teams (you can download it here).
He was so nice and invited me for a coffee in Stockholm. We had a very good discussion about the way Swedish people work with IT guys from Poland so I decided to run a short interview with him.
Damian: What is the biggest challenged in Stockholm when looking for IT people?
Mats: Finding them and hiring :) That’s the answer number one. There is a huge competition and everyone fights for talents. It’s not easy in Stockholm because the needs are higher than availability. There are a lot of great companies like Spotify, iZettle, Klarna and many traditional businesses. The second group has a very difficult task because most often they don’t have the same “coolness factor” and in some cases, you have to deal with legacy systems that create other types of challenges. Nowadays many software developers prefer to apply to well-known startups with a great brand, possibilities and modern technologies. For “normal” companies of small to moderate size and less well-known brands, it’s very hard to compete with them.
Damian: What is your experience with remote development?
Mats: I’ve been always working with software developers in-house, but my colleges manage remote location in Poland and they are very satisfied, and I myself am in frequent contact with them as well although I don’t manage them. In the past, they tried some developers from India and some other locations, but it’s not easy to manage. Timezones and cultural differences make cooperation harder, although some very successful stories exist here too. Building digital stuff requires a lot of communication and every mistake costs a lot. I have high trust in Poland and polish IT guys. There are many similarities between us. You visit us, we visit you. It takes 1-2 hours to see each other face to face. Software developers there have a great attitude, are very skilled and friendly – you can learn a lot from them about the technology and the processes.
Damian: What would you suggest people in Stockholm who are struggling with finding IT talents locally?
Mats: Look to Poland – I have a very good experience. But don’t google – rather try to find a mutual connection. I would first go to LinkedIn and ask my connections. If that wouldn’t work I would go to tech & startup hubs like SUP46 or some others, e.g. join their mingle sessions, check their partners’ lists, etc, just to make sure that someone knows someone and can make a solid personal recommendation. Of course, I wouldn’t choose the first tech team available but maybe pick 3 to see the chemistry and if they think like me and we have the chemistry needed for working together.
It’s not easy to find good people but they are out there for sure. I know that more and more people from Stockholm work with Polish software developers and I hope we will build more bridges because if it’s a good fit with benefits, why not to use the opportunity to cooperate?