Software Development Companies in Bulgaria
Bulgaria is a relatively small country, a regional player in Eastern Europe that doesn’t get much spotlight. So why would we dedicate a full article to the country? Because software development companies in Bulgaria are doing their best to put the country on the map.
Outsourcing development to Bulgaria is becoming increasingly popular, and it’s not (just) because of the low hourly rates Bulgarian developers charge. No, it’s because Bulgarian software companies have proven that they can take on large projects and create software on par with the best in the world.
This can be seen in Bulgaria’s ranking in the Global Services Location Index that assesses countries as desirable places for outsourcing based on financial attractiveness, worker skills and availability, business environment, and digital resonance – Bulgaria scored 5.59 out of the maximum 7.09.
This is backed by the number of ICT professionals working in Bulgaria – according to the Emerging Europe Future of IT Report, there are over 101,000 Bulgarian ICT experts. While this is not the largest talent pool in the world, it is more than good for a country of this size.
And there are so many ICT experts because Bulgaria has a well-developed tertiary education system. There are more than 50 tech universities in the country with more than 2,000 graduates annually. When it comes to specific locations, the capital Sofia is the largest Bulgarian development center, but cities like Plovdiv, Burgas, and Varna are getting up there.
In short, whatever your project might be, you can find a Bulgarian company to outsource it to. But, how can you find a company that can take it on? That’s where we come in. We’ve created a list of the 15 best software development companies in Bulgaria that you can outsource to.
How Does The GSC Ranking Algorithm Works
We conduct an in-depth investigation into the available software development companies operating within a given region. This helps us gather an exhaustive list of potential companies to evaluate.
Utilizing a combination of third-party tools, online resources, and client feedback, we apply our proprietary algorithm to screen the software development companies and select the most capable and trustworthy ones in each country.
Our ranking algorithm determines the top 15 software development companies based on experience, expertise, reputation, and customer feedback. Only the top-ranked companies are presented to guarantee the best options for clients.
Best Bulgarian Software Companies in 2023
Steps to Take Before Outsourcing Software Development
You will find all the information you need – from their hourly rates to their areas of expertise. So, if you are considering outsourcing development to Bulgaria, take a look at the list and find a company that meets your criteria. However, before we get to that, let’s quickly explain how the companies were selected.
Choosing a Software Development Company in 7 Steps:
1. Set Out Your Objectives and Project Time Frame
Before you set out to find the best software development company in Bulgaria, you need to define your project’s objectives and set a time frame. You should know what kind of software you want, what it should accomplish, and by when it needs to be done.
The more details you have, the less time that needs to be spent on planning at the later stages (where you will need to pay the company you hire to help you with the planning). Now, you don’t need to come up with everything yourself, but if you can have a mockup ready, that will significantly expedite the process.
Even if you can’t make a mockup, you still need to have a clear idea of the functionalities in mind. Besides saving time, this will help you assess what technical skills are required to create the software you need.
Similarly, you should also have a general timeframe in mind. At the very least, think of when you would like the MVP to be ready and when you’d like to have the finished product in hand. From there, you and the company you are hiring can negotiate on the feasibility of your deadlines. Once you know your objectives and deadlines, it’s on to the next step.
2. Start Searching and Shortlisting by Reputation
At this point, it’s time to start looking for a software development company that will meet your needs. If you are looking for software development companies in Bulgaria, you can skip this step, as we’ve already done it for you. However, if you want to take the long route, you can do a little research yourself.
Start off by looking at reviews and ratings on independent review platforms until you find at least 10 companies that seem good. From there, start manually inspecting each company by going through their websites and social media. See what their clients and customers have to say about them.
Compare what you find with what you saw on independent review platforms. Software companies aren’t above deleting negative reviews where they can. If there is a very large discrepancy between a company’s social media and the ratings they have on independent platforms, something is amiss.
In that case, your best bet is to take the company off of your list. Continue going through each company and include new ones if you are unsatisfied with what you’ve found. Again, you should shortlist at least 10 companies so that at least some can pass the other test.
3. Delve Into the Companies’ Case Studies and Portfolios
Once you have shortlisted the companies, it’s time to dig deep. You can expect this part to take quite some time. Check out each company's portfolio and case studies. These documents will tell you three things:
- How much experience the company has;
- Whether it has completed projects of a similar technical nature to yours;
- What scale of projects it has successfully completed.
If a company has a decent amount of experience, has completed projects that are comparable in scope to yours, and has worked on projects that require similar expertise, then that company goes to the top of your list.
If a company claims to have experience but can’t demonstrate it, that’s not necessarily a red flag. Many software development companies from Bulgaria sign non-disclosure agreements before they take on outsourcing projects.
Consequently, they truly may not be able to give specifics. However, a company representative should at least be able to provide broad outlines of previous projects and show knowledge of your industry until you are satisfied.
4. Gauge Their Tech Expertise
The next step is assessing what the company specializes in, to the best of your abilities. The largest software development companies from Bulgaria may have several departments that specialize in different tech areas. Smaller companies may only have experience in one or two fields of software development.
Depending on the needs of your projects, you may be forced to hire a very niche company. For example, not a lot of software companies deal with blockchain technologies, so if that is what your project requires, you shouldn’t hire ‘regular’ developers.
Ask pointed technical questions. Request help from other professionals if you don’t believe your knowledge is up to par. Examine the employees of a company you are interested in hiring – LinkedIn is a good place to start, as that is where people tend to promote their expertise.
Do what you can until you are satisfied that a company has staff with the technical capabilities your project necessitates. In case your project is very unique, you may need to discard many companies. But that’s fine, there are many companies you can outsource development to, so all it takes is a bit more time and effort until you find one that suits you.
5. Assess Their Project Management Capabilities
Successfully finishing software development projects is not just about technical expertise. When you are outsourcing development, you also need to know the project management style of the company you hire. Just putting 10 of the best software developers in the world in a room together doesn’t make them a project team.
Oh, they’ll figure something out eventually, but they’ll probably push deadlines indefinitely and the end product may not be what you wanted. In other words, software development requires structure and a specific operational framework.
In the last few decades, Agile frameworks have been the most popular. And for good reasons – Agile frameworks allow for flexibility, changes to software according to client input, and testing at every stage so that the end product is as good as it can be. Consequently, ask the company about its development methodology and processes.
Do they utilize Scrum, XP, Lean, a combination of each, or some other Agile method? How would the team composition look? How would you communicate? Will you have access to their planning and task-tracking software? Get answers to these questions before you decide to hire a company.
6. What Are Their Security Practices?
When you are outsourcing development to a Bulgarian software development company, you are essentially partnering with them. This means that you will be sharing a lot of sensitive information. Thus, you should be satisfied with the security practices of the company you hire so that there are no unfortunate data breaches or leaks.
If we are talking specifically about Bulgaria, security shouldn’t be that much of an issue. As part of the EU, Bulgarian companies need to comply with EU law, including laws on data protection. The General Data Protection Regulation from 2018 sets strict standards for data protection practices, so you can be reasonably sure that your information is safe.
7. What Is Their Software Maintenance Policy?
Finally, consider whether you will need software maintenance after the project is completed. Generally, the best option is for the same company that created the software to continue maintaining it. On the other hand, that could increase the cost of your project.
So ask about a company’s post-development support and maintenance policy and whether it is included in the cost. Because some amount of maintenance is always needed, your other option is to hire more developers – be they in-house or outsourced. Just remember that you should have a maintenance plan in place and a budget for it.
Can’t Find a Bulgarian Software Company You Like?
If you can’t, your search doesn’t have to stop here. There are many other popular outsourcing destinations with a strong IT industry you can look into. In fact, we have created similar lists of the 15 best software development companies in other countries that you can find below. So continue reading until you find a company that’s the perfect fit for your project.
Frequently Asked Question
The cost of hiring a software development company largely depends on the company’s quality, technology and reputation. Nevertheless, they tend to range between $40 and $100 USD per hour.
Software development outsourcing is contracting an outside company to assist in the development of software or completely taking over the development process.
Outsourcing software development has the following primary benefits:
- Lower costs;
- Access to a larger pool of skilled developers;
- Speedy execution of software projects.
Software development outsourcing is typically done in 6 stages:
- Defining the scope and requirements of a project;
- Finding an outsourcing partner;
- Selecting the most appropriate outsourcing model;
Based on the relationship the client company and the outsourcing partner will have, there are 3 relationship-based outsourcing models:
- Staff augmentation - when the client company leases developers from the outsourcing partner for in-house projects to fill a skill gap in their internal team.
- Dedicated teams - when a client company hires a dedicated team from the outsourcing partner for a defined scope of work. The dedicated team may or may not work with the in-house team. The dedicated team reports to someone in a managerial position from the client company.
- Project-based - when a client company hires an outsourcing partner to complete an entire project, with the responsibility for the completion of the project resting on the outsourcing partner. The outsourcing partner forms the team(s), does the planning, and is responsible for all project management responsibilities.
Software development companies are businesses that design, develop, build, and maintain applications, frameworks, and other software technology.
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