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IT department (computer programming) - Opening up an Office/Business in Poland


t0bias 1 | 5    
14 Jan 2012  #1
Hey!

We're looking into opening up an office in poland for our IT department (computer programming).
We have one German citizen who's able to open up the company and take care of everything but we have some questions and I hope maybe someone on here can help us out a bit.

- In which city would i find the best computer programmers? (mainly web related coding (PHP/JS/HTML/Database) - maybe which is the best university for IT?)

- Which city would be best to open up a business/office in general?
- In the city you recommend, how are the rent prices for office/apartments and the avg. salary?
- Are there any full service agencies who take care of everything? (accounting, office space, apartments for our employee, translations, help with forming the business etc.)

- How are the taxes in Poland? (income, personal, etc.)
- Where can i find computer programmers? (job sites, maybe something like craigslist?)
- Is there anything else we need to know?

Thank you so much for your help!

- Tobias
delphiandomine 85 | 17,634    
14 Jan 2012  #2
- In which city would i find the best computer programmers? (mainly web related coding (PHP/JS/HTML/Database) - maybe which is the best university for IT?)

I'd recommend Poznan at the minute - there's not so many companies competing for the best, unlike places like Krakow and Wroclaw.

- Which city would be best to open up a business/office in general?

Likewise, Poznan - it's located exactly halfway between Warsaw and Berlin, making business trips easy. It's also close to Wroclaw, and has direct flights to anywhere that you'd want to go.

- In the city you recommend, how are the rent prices for office/apartments and the avg. salary?

Average salaries are about the same as other big cities, and you can get office space very cheaply if you know how to negotiate.

- Are there any full service agencies who take care of everything? (accounting, office space, apartments for our employee, translations, help with forming the business etc.)

I used to run such a business - not any more (was offered a dream job!), but if you're seriously interested in this, I wouldn't mind making a proposal to you. I wouldn't be interested in taking a high fee - it's more of a "personal interest" to keep my knowledge up of the market than anything else.

- How are the taxes in Poland? (income, personal, etc.)

Income taxes are quite low - 18/32%, with social insurance contributions of (roughly) 20% from both employer and employee. However, there are ways to cut your social insurance bill - depending on the nature of what you do.

- Where can i find computer programmers? (job sites, maybe something like craigslist?)

Gumtree, as well as speaking to the universities directly. It's not a problem to find qualified, English-speaking personnel here in IT.

- Is there anything else we need to know?

Oh yes - there's a lot of things. Generally speaking though, operating a business like this won't be difficult - and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. You'll certainly find that you'll hear plenty of bullshit about how difficult it is - usually by people who want to charge you as much money as possible.

If you want - drop me an e-mail at office@lindenia and we can talk further :)
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,170    
14 Jan 2012  #3
an office in poland for our IT department

What scale are we talking about here ? For example, how many jobs are you going to create.
delphiandomine 85 | 17,634    
14 Jan 2012  #4
What does it change if he's creating 5 jobs or 500 jobs? The process is still exactly the same.
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,170    
14 Jan 2012  #5
I beg to differ.
noreenb 7 | 557    
14 Jan 2012  #6
I recommend Bydgoszcz.
carlas    
15 Jan 2012  #7
You might equally want to have a look at Gdansk.

By the way, I think you'll find that t0bias and Delphiandomina are one in the same person. Talk about trying to give yourself a shameless plug. Try to be a little bit more subtle next time and for anyone reading this thread, check out some of the posts by Delphandomine and ask yourself would you want to even trust advice about directions to Mc Donalds from this man...
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,170    
15 Jan 2012  #8
By the way, I think you'll find that t0bias and Delphiandomina are one in the same person. Talk about trying to give yourself a shameless plug.

Unfortunately, you are probably right...
delphiandomine 85 | 17,634    
15 Jan 2012  #9
You might equally want to have a look at Gdansk.

Why? It's poorly located in terms of transportation, it doesn't have much in the way of IT graduates and it's not well known for being a base for IT. Rather poor city in this respect, actually.

By the way, I think you'll find that t0bias and Delphiandomina are one in the same person.

Aw look, another user using a guest account to make a personal attack because he's too much of a coward to use his own username.
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,170    
15 Jan 2012  #10
it doesn't have much in the way of IT graduates and it's not well known for being a base for IT.

Nonsense.

It's poorly located in terms of transportation

It's the 4th rate issue.
delphiandomine 85 | 17,634    
15 Jan 2012  #11
Nonsense.

Really? Last I checked, Gdansk was nowhere when it came to being desirable for IT graduates. Then again - what would you know?

It's the 4th rate issue.

Perhaps for people that don't leave their village, yes.
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,170    
15 Jan 2012  #12
Really?

Gdańsk has been identified by KPMG as one of 31 (8 in Europe) most attractive emerging destinations for IT investments in the world, I guess you know better then :))

Then again - what would you know?

:)

Perhaps for people that don't leave their village, yes.

Hmm not sure what you mean but for a person, who has any idea about such issues, It is obvious that what really matters in the process of selecting location for a new IT office, is availablility and quality/cost ratio of relevant workforce, office space, telecommunication/energy infrastructure.
cms 9 | 1,287    
16 Jan 2012  #13
Wroclaw, Poznan, Gdansk and Warsaw would all be OK but why not just outsource ? there are plenty of programming companies in Poland that offer that.

Yes you might pay more but you would have a warranty on the code written, could reduce or increase volumes more easily and someone else would have the hassle of finding and training the programmers. Its a common model in Eastern Europe. Your involvement would be reduced to the odd flight over to make sure they are clear on specificaitons. Obviously you also need to be careful with copyrights etc.

But if you want to set up here then probably best to go to your lawyers and accountants in Germany and ask if they have an associated firm here - many middle size German firms do and then they would have a vested interest in making sure you get looked after.
Gustav 1 | 50    
16 Jan 2012  #14
T0bias- if you are genuine:

A pointer:

there are plenty of programming companies in Poland that offer that.

Reliable contributor. Accountancy expert of some kind judging by his posts

I'd recommend Poznan at the minute

Opinionated English teacher, who is frequently banned for his self indulgent rants
delphiandomine 85 | 17,634    
16 Jan 2012  #15
but why not just outsource ?

It doesn't work for everyone - I was told one story by an IT director of one big company where they spent several million zloty outsourcing one project (against his wishes) - only to end up with much more problems than if they'd developed it themselves. So - I can see why someone would want to keep it in-house.

He's also in California - I can understand the reluctance to outsource it to thousands of miles away.

But if you want to set up here then probably best to go to your lawyers and accountants in Germany and ask if they have an associated firm here - many middle size German firms do and then they would have a vested interest in making sure you get looked after.

I think he's not in Germany, rather, just he has a German citizen dealing with it for him.
hythorn 3 | 580    
16 Jan 2012  #16
So - I can see why someone would want to keep it in-house.

by keeping stuff in house, you can often save more money, you retain the knowledge, rather than pay to educate another company's employees
what is more when it is reorder time, your client may approach the outsourcer direct and cut you out of the loop completely
OP t0bias 1 | 5    
16 Jan 2012  #17
hey, thanks so far for your help! :)

(btw. I'm not the same person as delphiandomine, I don't even know why you would think that?)

well, personally I have rather simple issues with it... things like "where to start", where do you actually find coders, where to register the business, do i need a native to help me translate all the papers, where can i find a CPA (or should i not get one?), related to that i guess all official documents are in polish, isn't there a full service agency that helps me create the business and settle over there for a fee (find office space, find apartments, posts job postings, does translations etc.)...

I'm googling around since a week now and I couldn't find anything really useful yet.

greetings from san diego (not germany),

- Tobias

cms
we learned that pure outsourcing in our business just won't do it - our software is to special to be just written down. you need someone overseeing the process or you end up with a huge mess.

I tried many times, it just won't work. coders in california are getting more and more expensive thanks to san francisco and their whole silicon valley bullshit that is going on... pumping billions of dollars into worthless startups paying their coders half a million a year and giving them percentages... the side-effect is that most good coders move to SF for exactly that reason and the few that stay behind are asking for crazy salaries.

I'd rather go to eastern europe or china and pay a bunch of very capable coders a fraction of what the guys make here but still more than they would expect in their country just to make clear i really need them.

the economy here is doomed anyway... ;)

by keeping stuff in house, you can often save more money, you retain the knowledge, rather than pay to educate another company's employees
what is more when it is reorder time, your client may approach the outsourcer direct and cut you out of the loop completely

exactly, I'd rather own the code and the coder.

IT graduates
- is there a way to find out where there smartest hiding? ;)

so far I really like warschau, just because it's a major big city. I know about the location issue, that you're just moving further and further away from west europe and especially germany as hub but I think, the bigger the city, the bigger the opportunity and chance to find good office space, a nice apartment and good coders. more people = more to chose from.
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,170    
16 Jan 2012  #18
Wroclaw, Poznan, Gdansk and Warsaw would all be OK

I would skip Warsaw, the major choice in my opinion should be between major non-Warsaw aglomerations like Tri-city, Wrocław etc. and 2nd rate cities like Bydgoszcz, Szczecin etc. If the scale is small and job not very demanding, they could even think about places like Gorzów, Zielona Góra or Opole.

T0bias, if you are genuine (delphian is really capable of talking to himself) please provide more details about this project.

isn't there a full service agency that helps me create the business and settle over there for a fee (find office space, find apartments, posts job postings, does translations etc.)

If the scale (measured in number and quality of jobs) a lot of that could be done by local authorities in case of some cities...
OP t0bias 1 | 5    
16 Jan 2012  #19
Like i said, the reason we're doing this is because salaries here in SoCal are just insane, also we can't find enough good people.

The job is very demanding, it's web based programming (PHP/Python/MongoDB/nodejs/JS/HTML).
Plans are to hire at least 6-10 coders and probably 2-3 designers as a start and then later on double or even triple it.
I would like to find very high skilled workers and we're able to pay above average salary to attract them, at the end the question is where I would find quality. Mostly I would look for the best University in the country but I don't know enough about Poland to determine where this would be. My first guess was Warsaw because of its size. The bigger the city the more people you have, the more people it attracts, the more companies are created in the city, which mostly comes along the way of having better Universities etc.

At the same time I don't want to be off the grid in some smaller city where the whole vibe is most likely rather depressing.
hythorn 3 | 580    
16 Jan 2012  #20
@ Tobias

stay out of Warsaw

the salaries you will have to fork out will be higher and also you will have to deal with prima donnas in the form of employees

then again if your clients are all based in Warsaw( which your's probably aren't) then you will have to have a presence there
OP t0bias 1 | 5    
16 Jan 2012  #21
then again if your clients are all based in Warsaw( which your's probably aren't) then you will have to have a presence there

we're our own client ;)
the software is for inhouse use.
delphiandomine 85 | 17,634    
16 Jan 2012  #22
by keeping stuff in house, you can often save more money, you retain the knowledge

That's exactly what was told to me - they outsourced the project to Romania, yet ended up actually paying more - and they didn't get the benefit of completing a major project in-house.

well, personally I have rather simple issues with it...

Much of this is pretty easy to deal with, actually - for instance, job advertisements can be (and should be) solely in English. I wouldn't even consider putting an ad up in Polish - you want people who can function in English.

Yes, there are agencies - but you have to be careful with them. Many of them will have partners with other service providers, and Poles rarely know about the concept of "impartiality". It can work in your favour - but equally - against you. However - from what you say - you can do much of the work yourself as it's not too difficult - the hardest part is finding reliable, trustworthy local partners.

so far I really like warschau, just because it's a major big city.

That's one reason to actually go to Poznan - you're closer to Germany, yet unlike Warsaw, you won't be paying Western Europe salaries. It's still a big city, there's still plenty of very good coders around (I could easily sort out a few CV's to be sent to you if you really are willing to pay above the going rate - I know people who would be interested) and a university which produces a lot of good graduates.

Plans are to hire at least 6-10 coders and probably 2-3 designers as a start and then later on double or even triple it.

Hmm - this shouldn't be a problem anywhere you go.

If you are serious about this - I'm happy to talk to you about what's involved. It's not so difficult - in fact, it probably sounds more difficult than it is. But the first step is making a trip here to make sure that you want to do business here - again - if you want to come to Poznan, I'll happily set up some meetings for you with people already doing business here so you can get a feel of the place. It's actually a shame you posted now - I have a good friend who is in SF quite often, but his latest trip just finished yesterday.

But really - what you propose isn't so difficult once you know how :)

the major choice in my opinion should be between major non-Warsaw aglomerations like Tri-city, Wrocław etc. and 2nd rate cities like Bydgoszcz, Szczecin etc.

There's nothing in Bydgoszcz or Szczecin worth considering.
hythorn 3 | 580    
16 Jan 2012  #23
there are a load of young people in Szczecin who would work for the price of a cup of tea

having said that every time I have taken investors there, they have hated the place
delphiandomine 85 | 17,634    
16 Jan 2012  #24
there are a load of young people in Szczecin who would work for the price of a cup of tea

True, and even plenty of Germans considering work there now. But anyone studying IT there was probably too stupid to get into a good university ;)

having said that everytime I have taken investors there, they have hated the place

Not surprised ;) I was there once and saw absolutely nothing to make it worth going back, except the boats...
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,170    
16 Jan 2012  #25
That's one reason to actually go to Poznan - you're closer to Germany

It's a non issue in case of IT.

There's nothing in Bydgoszcz or Szczecin worth considering.

You simply have no clue. Several people have already told you so in this very thread, expect more.

The job is very demanding, it's web based programming (PHP/Python/MongoDB/nodejs/JS/HTML).

The very demanding part is... ?
Ania_flat - | 2    
16 Jan 2012  #26
Hi tObias,
What about Lodz? - its big city, in central Poland, there is a lot of good IT specialists, wages arent very high, there is airport that will have new terminal opened soon, prices for renting apartments & office space really resonable.

In my opinion you should consider that place. If needed any help call me.
Ania
delphiandomine 85 | 17,634    
16 Jan 2012  #27
It's a non issue in case of IT.

Actually, Poznan is home to significant back-end IT infrastructure too. You have no idea what he actually needs, so to dismiss it as a "non-issue" is somewhat ridiculous. The back-end infrastructure is why several big names in the IT world have offices here.

Then again, if you think that web-based programming isn't demanding, it's no wonder you don't know anything about infrastructure.

And then there's the intangible stuff, such as being able to hop in a car and be in Berlin in 2 hours for a weekend. Can't do that from the cultural wasteland that is Bydgoszcz. And Szczecin would drive anyone nuts after a few days.

The very demanding part is... ?

It involves more education than primary school. I know your type tends to look down at anyone with an education (any education, for that matter) - but you know, it's important.
OP t0bias 1 | 5    
16 Jan 2012  #28
The very demanding part is... ?

long work hours - we have a lot of work ;)

The back-end infrastructure is why several big names in the IT world have offices here.

see that would be interesting to know - where are other big IT offices (microsoft, etc.) or where are the best technical universities. stuff like that would help a lot.

if i watch all the videos and look at pictures the only thing i see is that most cities look rather boring but thats my outsider view on things. someone told me there are tons of universities in krakow which for me means there are tons of young, smart and cheap workers for me who want to learn more or are finished with their degree and need work with the benefit of having bars and clubs around for the evenings. but i can't judge that from the outside. it would be nice if someone could point out which city specifically would be attractive in general. (i mainly say the bar/club stuff because if there is a good night life, that mostly means people are generally happier with the place.)
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,170    
16 Jan 2012  #29
Fascinating. I think i will let you talk to yourself... I ment t0bias, sorry...
delphiandomine 85 | 17,634    
16 Jan 2012  #30
see that would be interesting to know - where are other big IT offices (microsoft, etc.) or where are the best technical universities. stuff like that would help a lot.

Warsaw (though it tends to be more senior management there than day-to-day guys), Krakow, Wroclaw (boom-town right now for IT, but with the problem that you'll be competing against the huge names to get the best) and Poznan. Hard to put much between them - they all have their advantages and disadvantages.

Polish people don't tend to have any problem with relocating too, especially IT guys.

There's honestly not much to tell between Poznan/Wroclaw/Krakow - they all have excellent universities that are producing decent workers, they all have big companies there - it would be much more of a personal choice than anything else for you. However, Krakow is fairly "out of the way". However - worth pointing out that Krakow is pretty conservative - Wroclaw/Poznan are much more liberal, Western places in terms of mentality. But it's also considered to be the prettiest, although I don't see it.

Nightlife is much the same in all three cities too - not much to separate them.


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