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Your Guide to Hire Developers and Software Engineers in Medellín

Jun 21st, 2023

Hiring developers and software engineers in Medellín, Colombia is a strategic choice for many businesses. With its thriving tech ecosystem, Medellín has become a hotbed of innovation, fostering a pool of skilled developers and software engineers. These professionals are well-educated, as well as versatile in various programming languages and services.

By tapping into Medellín’s talent pool, businesses can access exceptional technical skills, foster cross-cultural collaboration, and ultimately accelerate their digital transformation efforts in an increasingly competitive global market.

How many developers are there in Medellín? 

Right now, Medellín is the city with second largest population in Colombia (around 2.5 million people). Over 10,000 tech professionals live the area, which is around 6.5% of the city’s workforce. Half of these professionals specialize in software development, while the rest work in IT, digital marketing, and mobile development. 

What do developers in Medellín do?

Developers in Medellín, Colombia engage in a wide range of activities related to software development and technology. 

Here are some common tasks and roles performed by developers in Medellín

  1. Software Development: Software developers work on designing, coding, testing, and maintaining software applications. They use various programming languages and frameworks, such as Java, Python, JavaScript, Ruby, .NET, and more, to build web and mobile applications, desktop software, and other software solutions.

  2. Web Development: Many developers in Medellín specialize in web development, creating websites, web applications, and other web services. They are skilled in front-end technologies like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and popular frameworks such as React, Angular, or Vue.js. They also work with back-end technologies like Node.js, PHP, or Ruby on Rails to handle server-side logic and database integration.

  3. Mobile App Development: Some developers also work on mobile app development, building applications for iOS and Android platforms. They utilize languages like Swift or Objective-C for iOS and Java or Kotlin for Android, along with frameworks such as React Native or Flutter for cross-platform development.

  4. Full-Stack Development: Many developers in Medellín possess skills in both front-end and back-end development, allowing them to work as full-stack developers. They can handle both client-side and server-side development tasks, ensuring the seamless integration of different components within an application.

  5. Database Management: Developers in Medellín are familiar with database management systems, such as MySQL, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, or Oracle. They design and optimize database schemas, write queries, and ensure efficient data storage and retrieval.

  6. Quality Assurance and Testing: Other professionals may be involved in quality assurance (QA) and testing, as well as researching processes for new products. They perform unit testing, integration testing, and user acceptance testing to ensure the functionality, performance, and security of software applications.

  7. DevOps: Some developers in Medellín have expertise in DevOps practices. They work on automating deployment processes, managing infrastructure, and implementing continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) pipelines to improve development efficiency and collaboration.

Startup scene in Medellín

The startup scene in Medellín has become a dynamic and vibrant ecosystem for entrepreneurship. The city is quickly emerging as one of Latin America’s top hubs for innovation and tech, with many venture-capital firms setting up permanent offices that help with funding in the city. 

Entrepreneurial culture

Medellín has fostered a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. The city has seen a rise in the number of local entrepreneurs who are motivated to create innovative solutions and build scalable businesses. This entrepreneurial spirit is supported by various organizations, programs, and initiatives.

Supportive infrastructure

Medellín offers a supportive infrastructure for startups. There are numerous co-working spaces, incubators, and accelerators that provide entrepreneurs with resources, mentorship, and networking opportunities. Examples include Ruta N, Impact Hub Medellin, Parallel 18, and Apps.co.

Why companies hire developers in Medellín

Because of the city’s strong focus on an entrepreneurial culture, many companies have either expanded their operations into the city to tap into Latin America’s marketplace or have begun recruiting developers to fill specific roles in their company. 

Plus, most developers take English courses in university.

Government initiatives

The Colombian government has implemented initiatives to promote entrepreneurship and support the startup ecosystem. Programs like iNNpulsa Colombia and the Colombian Ministry of Information Technology and Communications (MinTIC) provide funding, grants, and resources to startups. These initiatives aim to encourage innovation, job creation, and economic growth.

Investment and financing

Medellín has seen an increase in venture capital investment and access to financing options for startups. Local and international investors are recognizing the potential of Medellín’s startup ecosystem and are actively seeking investment opportunities. Additionally, government-backed funds and angel investor networks provide funding avenues for early-stage startups.

Focus on technology and innovation

The startup scene in Medellín is heavily focused on technology and innovation. Startups in sectors such as software development, fintech, healthtech, edtech, and agrotech have emerged and gained traction. The availability of skilled technical talent and the support of local universities contribute to the development of technology-driven startups.

Collaboration and networking 

Medellín offers numerous opportunities for collaboration and networking within the startup community. Events, meetups, and conferences bring together entrepreneurs, investors, industry experts, and professionals. These platforms facilitate knowledge sharing, partnerships, and business connections.

Global recognition

Medellín’s startup ecosystem has gained international recognition. The city has been ranked as one of the top emerging startup cities in Latin America. It has also received accolades and awards for its innovation, entrepreneurship programs, and quality of life.

Types of developers and tech professionals working in Medellín

As an emerging hub for startups in Latin America, Medellín has a wide range of developers and tech professionals working throughout the city including: 

  • Front-end developers

  • Back-end developers

  • Full-stack developers

  • Agile software development

  • Mobile app developers (iOS/Android)

  • Web developers

  • Software engineers

  • Data scientists

  • Machine learning engineers

  • AI developers

  • DevOps engineers

  • UI/UX developers

  • Game developers

  • E-commerce developers

  • Blockchain developers

  • Cloud architects

  • Quality Assurance (QA) engineers

  • Database developers/administrators

  • Embedded Systems developers

  • Augmented Reality (AR) developers

  • Virtual Reality (VR) developers

How to recruit developers in Medellín

Recruiting developers for hire in Medellín follows a process similar to hiring developers in other locations. Wowever, you will need to consider if you want to set up an entity or  partner with an employer-of-record in Colombia

Here are some steps you can consider before you begin your search for developers in the area:

  1. Define your requirements: Clearly define the skills, experience, and qualifications you are seeking in candidates. Determine the specific roles and responsibilities that need to be filled within your development team.

  2. Utilize online platforms: Leverage popular job boards and online platforms when you post a job opportunity. Websites like LinkedIn, Indeed, and local job portals such as Computrabajo and Elempleo are widely used in Colombia. Craft compelling job descriptions that accurately represent the position and highlight the attractive aspects of your company and the role.

  3. Tap into local networks: Engage with local tech communities, attend meetups, recruit from local universities, and leverage network opportunities to connect with developers in Medellín. This can help you build relationships, gain insights, and reach potential candidates through word-of-mouth referrals.

  4. Partner with an EOR or a recruitment agency: Finally, companies can work with a recruitment agency or an employer-of-record in Colombia that specializes in tech talent to help them identify and recruit top software developers in. These agencies often have a deep understanding of the local talent landscape, and can help companies navigate the recruitment process and find the right candidates. 

  5. Consider remote or flexible options: If your company allows remote work or flexible arrangements, consider recruiting developers in Medellín for such roles. This widens your talent pool and provides the opportunity to work with highly skilled developers regardless of geographical constraints.

Salary ranges for developers and software engineers in Medellín

When considering salary ranges for developers and software engineers in Medellín, potential talent will be expecting compensation based on their years of experience, type of work, and specific expertise in the related position. 

For a junior software developer working as a beginner in the field, the starting salary is around $24,000 USD per year. Salaries can range all the way up to $84,000 USD per year for senior software developers or team leads and managers.  

Here’s a look at average developer salaries by programming language:

  • $68,000 USD per year for NodeJS developer 

  • $55,000 USD per year for JavaScript developers

  • $44,000 USD per year for AngularJS developers

  • $34,000 USD per year for PHP developers

  • $36,000  USD per for WordPress developers 

How to hire with an EOR and build tech hub 

If you’re starting to think about hiring full-time developers and software engineers in Medellín but don’t have the time or resources to set up an entity, you may have considered partnering with an EOR service provider like Via. 

Companies that partner with an EOR recruit and build their teams with ease. The EOR takes care of the paperwork, including onboarding, offboarding, payroll, benefits, taxes, employment contracts, ongoing compliance, and all other HR processes. 

As your strategic partner abroad, an EOR can help you determine the right salary to offer candidates abroad to ensure that your compensation package is locally competitive. Learn more here

Why companies choose Via

As a global EOR provider, Via makes hiring Colombian talent and building your global team seamless. Instead of having to learn every specific nuance in every province, you can focus on finding the talent that fits your company. Whether you need to hire remote workers or independent contractors in Colombia, we support you throughout the entire process. Via helps you manage local HR processes for direct employment such as work visas & permits, benefits, payroll, background checks, and more. Our team of local labor lawyers and on-the-ground experts ensure that your company remains compliant while expanding abroad. As your employer-of-record/entity in Colombia, Via assumes responsibility for employment liability, so that you can focus on what matters: recruiting and managing your team. 

Need help building your global team?

Janelle Watson
Janelle Watson
My name is Janelle Watson and I'm a Colorado native. I have a BA in English from University of Colorado Colorado Springs and an MA in English from University of Colorado Denver. Before moving to blog and copywriting, I was an English teacher for 3 years at the University of Colorado in Denver. Prior to writing for Via, I wrote reviews and content for a local concert and promotion company in Denver.

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Frequently asked questions

  • How many software developers are there in Colombia?

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