• Native talent and education system
    • Quality vs. quantity: while India and China have vastly more people, Russian programmers are on average significantly better educated and trained
    • Russian educational system is traditionally strong in fundamental sciences and math, leading to Russian programmers being well trained in problem solving and algorithmic thinking
    • Russian labor market is far more stable than Indian, leading to very low personnel attrition rates (below 10% annually vs. 20-25% or higher in India)
  • Cultural fit and work ethic
    • Russians are much closer culturally to the US than Indians or Chinese
    • Honest communication and constructive pushback vs. “yes men”
    • Culturally, it is more difficult for people in India and China to “go against authority” and take initiative, therefore both locations suffer from lack of competent middle managers
  • Relative ease and cost of travel
  • Special visa regime for US citizens which allows stays of up to six months at a time; no "letter of invitation" required
  • Better time zone overlap (4-5 hours due to later office hours used by Russian partners)
  • Cost of doing business in Russia is a fraction of that in the US
  • Labor costs for similarly trained programmers up to 70% les than in the US or EU
  • Broadband connectivity and premium office space is affordable and abundant
  • Better IPR protection (especially as compared to China)
  • Government support for the industry in the form of tax incentives and a country-wide network of innovation centers

Examples of leading companies doing software development / R&D in Russia

Many operated in the country for over a decade, all employing hundreds of software engineers (captive R&D centers):

  • Alcatel-Lucent
  • Allied Testing
  • AVIcode
  • Cadence
  • Design Systems
  • Chrysler
  • Cisco Systems
  • Columbus IT
  • Dell
  • Deutsche Bank (the bank’s 2nd largest development center in the world is in Moscow)
  • Digia
  • EGAR Technology
  • EMC
  • EMS
  • Ericsson
  • Google
  • Hewlett-Packard
  • Huawei
  • IBM
  • Intel
  • InterSystems
  • Jensen Technologies
  • LG Softlab
  • Motorola
  • NEC
  • NetCracker
  • Nival Interactive
  • Microsoft
  • Nokia
  • Nokia Siemens
  • Quest Software
  • RD-Software
  • Samsung Research Center
  • SAP
  • Scala CIS
  • SmartPhoneLabs
  • Oracle (former Sun Microsystems)
  • Tagrem Studio
  • Teleca
  • T-Systems

Quote from Steve Chase, former President of Intel Russia

“Inside Intel we have an expression: If you have something tough, give it to the Americans. If you have something difficult, give it to the Indians. If you have something impossible, give it to the Russians.”

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