In the course of two decades, the Kraków IT market has developed into one of the largest markets not only in Poland, but also in Europe. Currently, there are over 200 companies specializing in software development. 20 years ago there were only a few of them.

Krakow has been called the European Silicon Valley for several years now. Not without reason. Year after year, IT companies are increasing in the city, which is confirmed by the numbers of the ASPIRE Headcount Tracker report. In the previous year, 336 companies from the IT sector operated on the labour market in Kraków, and the total number of employees employed in them at the beginning of 2019 was over 79 thousand.

The capital of Małopolska is increasingly often chosen not only by small start-ups, but also by industry giants. Over the course of two decades, Kraków has developed extremely well in this respect. 20 years ago, this picture looked completely different.

- At that time, IT companies were just discovering Krakow. It was, among others, Comarch, the forge of many talents. There were also companies such as Motorola - one of the first global concerns with a centre in Kraków, or Delphi for example. In 2000, Sabre Polska, then created by only six people, also started its activity. But overall, the choice was much smaller than today," says Lucjan Sosna from Sabre office.

Evolution in IT

For 20 years, not only have other companies from this area appeared on the market, but also smaller ones have developed into large branches. The mentioned Sabre Polska is a good example here, because at the turn of the last years the Kraków branch of a company creating technologies for tourism has become one of the biggest IT employers in the city.

- Going back 20 years, one can easily notice the enormity of changes that have taken place since then in the Krakow IT industry. At that time, it was dominated by companies with Polish capital, creating software for local customers. The market was smaller and the possibilities of people working there were more limited,' recalls Tomasz Przybylik from Sabre.

According to Przybylik, international companies are attracted to Poland by, among others, qualified programmers, as well as progressive globalisation. English has become a standard in the industry and allowed foreigners to move to Krakow and work there. For several years now, the demand for programmers in Kraków has been gigantic, as evidenced by the fact that software developers migrate not only from other Polish cities, but also from abroad. In view of this, the application process for work permits for IT specialists from outside the European Union has also been simplified. The demand for IT specialists and the development of the industry has not been slowed down either by the coronavirus pandemic, during which most companies have easily moved into remote operation. - There is no doubt that in the next decade we can expect further growths in this industry - adds Przybylik.

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