What to know about Ecuador: Basic information and key indicators
Ecuador is located in northwest South America with a population of 17 million. Oil, mining, food processing, textiles, chemicals, and tourism are among the key sectors of the Ecuadorian economy. Major exports include oil, bananas, and flowers.
Ecuador’s focus on technological innovation is embodied in the government’s “Ecuador Open for Business” initiative, aiming to develop the agrifood-tech sector. Technical universities in Ecuador conduct research in industrial artificial intelligence, human-centered computing, and smart grid technologies, offering undergraduate courses and degrees in engineering, science, and high technology.
- Capital: Quito
- Currency: United States Dollar (USD)
- Official language: Spanish
- Timezone: UTC -5/UTC -6
- Population: 17,289,554
- Average developer’s salary: $67,800/year ⁽*¹⁾
- Business Climate: B ⁽*²⁾
- Country Risk Assessment: C ⁽*³⁾
- Political Stability: -0.4 ⁽*⁴⁾
- Ease of doing business ranking: 57.7 (129th) ⁽*⁵⁾
- Human Capital/Skills: 61.4 (76th) ⁽*⁶⁾
⁽*¹⁾ according to Glassdoor, position: Senior Software Engineer. Last updated: May 2022
⁽*²⁾ according to Coface. Business climate assessment reflects whether corporate financial information is available and reliable, whether the legal system provides fair and efficient creditor protection, and whether a country’s institutional framework is favorable to intercompany transactions. Rating scales: A1 (very low), A2, A3, A4, B, C, D, and E (extreme). Last updated: February 2022.
⁽*³⁾ according to Coface. Country Risk Assessment reflects the average level of short-term non-payment risk associated with companies in a particular country. Rating scales: A1 (low risk), A2, A3, A4, B, C, D, and E (extreme). Last updated: February 2022.
⁽*⁴⁾ according to The World Bank. Political Stability and Absence of Violence/Terrorism measures perceptions of the likelihood of political instability and/or politically-motivated violence, including terrorism. Estimates have the country’s score ranging from -2.5 (lowest) to 2.5 (highest). Last updated: September 27, 2021.
⁽*⁵⁾ according to The World Bank Doing Business 2020 report. Doing Business measures the processes for business incorporation, getting a building permit, obtaining an electrical connection, transferring property, getting access to credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, engaging in international trade, enforcing contracts, and resolving insolvency. Data are current as of May 1, 2019.
⁽*⁶⁾ according to the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report 2019. The Skills performance rate assesses the quality of education and the general level of skills such as digital literacy, interpersonal skills, and the ability to think critically and creatively.
An overview of outsourcing software development to Ecuador
Remote Work Revolution in Ecuador
Remote work is freeing tech talent from geographic constraints. A Fortune article claims that between October 2021 and March 2022, US tech hiring abroad grew 74%, based on over 100,000 work contracts processed from Deel.
Five years ago, if Ecuadorian residents wanted to become software engineers in the US, they would have had to get into a great college, leave their country and family, get a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) certification, and find a company that would sponsor a work visa. Today, remote work is creating a new wave of globalization, accelerated by the pandemic, allowing US companies to hire tech talent from Latin America in a matter of days.
Convenient Time Zone
The remote work revolution has led some technology companies in the United States to look for new hires in LATAM, where they can find qualified professionals in a similar time zone. The proximity to the US means that nearshore talents are only a short flight away from offline meetings with their team.
Software Engineer Salaries in Ecuador
At a time when American companies were forced to increase wages due to domestic inflationary pressures, the Bay Area became very expensive. That’s why hiring in Latin American countries is attractive for the US technology industry—an industry that could face a shortage of at least 1.2 million technology workers by 2030, according to Bloomberg Línea.
The average annual salary for senior software engineers in Ecuador is $60,960 and $133,700 in the United States, according to Glassdoor. Therefore, offshore development in Ecuador is a cost-effective solution, especially if you are looking for a long-term partnership.
English Proficiency in Ecuador
According to the EF English Proficiency Index, Ecuador ranks 82nd out of 111 countries, indicating low proficiency. However, this is the country’s average level, and developers who aim to collaborate with offshore projects may have a higher level of English than most Ecuadorians. Nevertheless, employers should check English proficiency before hiring. For some demanding companies, a valid TOEFL certificate may be mandatory, while an interview in English is enough for others.
In either case, the company should ensure that the candidate can quickly become familiar with industry terms. Additionally, they can look for a developer with experience in a particular industry, for example, healthcare or financial technology.
Companies whose team members speak Spanish, the most spoken non-English language in the US, would also be lucky to work with developers from Ecuador.
Technology Development in Ecuador
Ecuador’s focus on technological innovation is enshrined in the government’s “Ecuador Open for Business” strategy, which aims to develop the agrifood-tech sector. By adopting the experience of other countries, Israel, in particular, tech talent in Ecuador will learn how to create innovative ecosystems. It also means that clients with agricultural projects will have access to Ecuadorian developers with industry expertise.
BuenTrip Hub and IMPAQTO Lab represent startup incubators in Quito. The BuenTrip Program allows B2B software startups to receive up to $200,000 in investments. While at the same time, IMPAQTO Lab is partnering with Google for Startups, a global network of accelerators. Through this collaboration, IMPAQTO trains its entrepreneurs in the Andean region using Google methodologies and offering mentorships from Google experts.
Education in Ecuador
Universities in Ecuador have grown from academic centers into research and innovation centers. The campus of the National Polytechnic School in Quito is home to the Technical Training School, which has been in operation since 1967 and focuses on Computer Networking, Telecommunications Networking, and Computer Programming. The university offers 21 undergraduate courses in engineering and science, four careers in high technology, and two dual study programs which combine practical work placements with academic training.
Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral (ESPOL), a public university located in Guayaquil, is home to the Information Technology Center, where they conduct research in industrial artificial intelligence, human-centered computing, and smart grid technologies. In 2014, ESPOL was ratified by Consejo de Evaluación Acreditación y Aseguramiento de la Educación Superior (CEAACES) as a Class A university. Furthermore, according to its website, ESPOL stands as the only public institution of Higher Education in Latin America which has international accreditation since the degree courses of Engineering in Computer Science and Mechanical Engineering were accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).
Hiring Remote Developers from Ecuador
We highlight specific features for each of the four hiring models and suggest a list of job boards and directories for developers in Ecuador. These links will guide employers on where to post developer jobs, find contractors, or attend local meetups to connect directly with engineers.
In-house Remote Developers
Tech companies use in-house hiring to build their core team and culture with full-time employees. In addition, in-house staff members tend to be more motivated—they explore a product in detail because they are committed to developing it and growing the company.
Employers can also attend local meetups or look for developer conferences in Ecuador to meet professionals.
Outsourced Development Team
Tech companies use software development outsourcing to focus on core aspects of their business, assigning development to outside organizations managed by the CTO or product owner of the in-house team.
Companies hire remote contractors to expand their in-house development team quickly. A model called Staff Augmentation uses full-time employed software engineers from outsourcing agencies to increase their existing in-house team. However, unlike assigning or handing over an entire project to an IT outsourcing company, employers manage programmers and communicate with them directly.
Employers can quickly hire several engineers with the required skills using the talent pool of YouTeam contractors from Ecuador. It takes about 48 hours after contacting YouTeam to receive a verified list of candidates. YouTeam automates contract signing and billing between customers and software development vendors.
Hiring freelancers is suitable for short-time projects, small tasks, and companies with limited budgets. In contrast to dedicated development teams and contractors, freelancers are often responsible for several jobs, and the quality of their output could be subpar to that of the client’s specifications. Employers don’t have the same control over a freelancer as they do with a contractor or in-house employee.
Companies can post a job or let recruiters handpick technical talent in Ecuador on UpWork.
Why Choose YouTeam to Hire Remote Developers from Ecuador
YouTeam’s pool of developers consists of engineers with diverse skills. They can help tech companies extend their engineering teams quickly. Compared to other project outsourcing models, YouTeam contractors work directly with the in-house team, while the customer retains full control of the development process.
Unlike hiring full-time remote talent, employers hiring contractors through YouTeam don’t need to make retirement contributions or pay for health insurance, bonuses, vacations, office rental, or workstations.
Here are some advantages of hiring developers via YouTeam:
- YouTeam pre-interviews middle and senior developers to ensure that they are the best fit to meet customers’ requirements.
- YouTeam automates contract signing and billing between customers and software development vendors. There are no commitments before this point.
- A dedicated Customer Success Manager helps facilitate cooperation with engineers, assists with team expansion requests, and answers any legal or financial questions.
- Staff augmentation will allow employers to address skill gaps quickly with additional expertise. It takes 48 hours after contacting YouTeam to receive a verified list of candidates.
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*Median hourly rates for software development services in Ecuador by technology, according to YouTeam
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*Average hourly rates for software development services in Ecuador, according to YouTeam