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State of Tech (Part I)

Whether you're an employer or a tech talent, you need to know the state of tech at all times, whenever the opportunity to make a good deal comes. To make sure that your business strategy or career are not betrayed by outdated knowledge, I share some insights into the challenges of the tech market and its relationship with talent. The Portuguese tech market has undergone some shifts in terms of wages and employee retention. The current hot topics are employability, the number of offers per trained professional, wages, the possibility of remote work, the most looked-for tech stacks and of course work/life integration. Only flexible companies can handle these changes.

Outdated pricing

When compared with countries like India and Poland, for instance, Portugal gathers plenty of benefits in the quality/price ratio, something that justifies the transition of international companies to this country. One of the strongest advantages, alongside the high quality of Portuguese professionals, is that Portugal uses the English time zone, which is closer to the American than any other in Europe. This proximity saves on travel costs and simplifies the coordination of remote teams. The quality of the work is yet another extremely important factor, since it influences the final price. For instance, historically speaking, the Indians are known to place many people at low prices, but the quality of work takes a negative toll – some projects cannot withstand a situation like this. When we do business with countries that fit this profile, the expectation of having high-quality work in return is significantly lower compared to Portuguese professionals who are properly paid for their quality – this is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing and negotiating a contract.

The stagnation of financial matters is another element that should be taken into consideration. The international companies, which have been established in Portugal for several years now, came with a budget perspective that remains unaltered and, consequently, outdated. This market maladjustment has been a reality for so long that, although they have price lists, many companies that opt for outsourcing plans are paying the same rates that they did five or ten years ago. In other words, at least for now, don’t expect to earn the same as you would abroad, since the rates in Portugal are outdated; but remember that, sooner or later, the rates may update and rise.

Competition in the context of the Portuguese tech hype

Adding to the quality of work/price ratio and financial obsolescence, there's a startup hype and tons of awareness regarding Portuguese talent and potential, deeply motivated by the whole Web Summit buzz which produces even more interest in the Portuguese talent and tech market. This is one of the variables that may affect the business influx, as well as the price required for each project or business. Don’t forget this rule of thumb, valid for any market: supply and demand. If there is a great demand for Portuguese talent and a finite number of professionals, the rates will increase.

This dynamic attracts many international companies which have different financial resources, that are willing to pay higher figures, and these create a gap – a competition that is almost unfair for those who have been in the market for longer and keep their rates outdated. The gap is stressed by the Nearshore trend (the possibility of working on international projects without leaving your home or country), which adds financial benefits and challenging technologies for projects that the vast majority of companies in Portugal don't have the ability to provide yet. Nearshore is now becoming an interesting business model for those who want to earn more and use more advanced technologies without leaving their country.

Continue reading, State of Tech: Part II

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