Average programmer salary: ($US23,000-$34,000/year; $US24-$34/hour)Infrastructure: Good. Mature infrastructure and low costs.
Pros: US companies such as Dell, IBM and Microsoft all have development centres in Ireland - proof of the Emerald Isle's highly skilled talent pool.
Cons: US companies such as Dell, IBM and Microsoft all have development centres in Ireland - increasing competition for and cost of labour. The talent and maturity of services here are top-notch, but they ain't cheap.
Insider tip: Ireland will increasingly become a buyer - rather than a supplier - of offshore resources.
Average programmer salary: ($US2362/year)Infrastructure: Poor, but improvingPros: Like its neighbours, Romania has a good educational system and a focus on maths, engineering and science.
Cons: There's more of a political risk factor here than other Eastern European countries. Insider tip: Romania is still shaking off the remnants of the Ceaucescu era, but this area holds some promise.
CZECH REPUBLIC: Up-and-comer.
Average programmer salary: ($US4800-$8000/year; minimum wage similar to Hungary and Poland ($US1132-$1584/year)Infrastructure: Good. Solid investment in IT and communications infrastructure (8.5 per cent of GDP).
Pros: The Czech Republic churns out 5000 technical graduates every year, and the IT services market experienced double-digit growth when the global IT services market grew just 6 per cent.
Cons: Low pay scales give talent little reason to stay.
Insider tip: This country is a survivor if nothing else, retooling itself as a next generation economy and potential IT powerhouse just a few years after freeing itself from communist rule.
Average programmer salary: ($US4800-$8000/year; minimum wage is $US1132/year)Infrastructure: Good. Solid investment in IT and communications infrastructure (6.4 per cent of GDP)Pros: Top-notch educational system focused on maths and science. Minimal costs.
Cons: It's questionable how many IT professionals the country can actually provide. Insider tip: Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic have the potential to be the strongest Central/Eastern European providers outside Russia.
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