Uruguay, Latin America’s best hub for software development

This small South American country of 3.4 million people is a global leader in software exports. With more than 1000 active software companies, progressive politics, and amazing opportunities, Uruguay has earned international recognition.  

Why has Uruguay earned an important role in the tech industry?

According to The World Bank, in 2019, more than 83% of the population had internet access. It also has one of the fastest download speeds in the region. In addition, Uruguay is a world leader in renewable energy production.

The country is not only ranked as one of the best places to live in Latin America. It also has become one of the most trusted places for tech companies worldwide to make business with. The combination of high tech, education, and government policies that promote growth and high quality of life is making Uruguay a true Digital Hub in the region. 

Digital Hub in Latin America

Referring to Uruguay as the “Silicon Valley of South America” is starting to ring a bell. According to the Digital Rise Report 2021, Uruguay was the top Digital Riser over the last three years in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Uruguay improved 103 points! It is the country which improved the most in the region.

This report is prepared by the European Center for Digital Competitiveness every three years. It ranks the digital competitiveness of 140 countries with information from The World Economic Forum, World Bank, and the International Communications Union.

Moreover, the Financial Times informed that “more than 1.000 software development companies operate in the small nation, generating almost $1bn in exports, mostly to the US. That makes it one of the world’s leading software exporters per capita”.

A good example of this is dLocal, Uruguay´s first unicorn company backed up by US-based private equity firm, General Atlantic, with a valuation at IPO of 6.1 Bns.

The Uruguayan government has declared IT an official area of interest working to promote its IT industry with programs and tax incentives. They have designated 12 free-trade zones, where there are no transit, property, VAT, or net income taxes. And in 2021 the industry has generated 1 in 5 of the new job opportunities in the market.

Here are some of Uruguay latest regulations and investments highlighted by the European Center for Digital Competitiveness in their Digital Riser Report 2021:

✔️ In line with Uruguay’s 2020 Digital Agenda (AUD 2020), the Digital Government Artificial Intelligence Strategy was launched to promote the responsible use of AI in the public sector.

✔️ In 2019, the national telecommunication company, Antel, deployed Latin America’s first commercial 5G network, improving the environment for businesses.

✔️ In 2018, the government regulated the taxation of digital economic actions and services, as well as multinational enterprises, to strengthen the digital legal framework.

✔️ As part of the AUD 2020, a program dedicated to the development of digital competencies reached over 70.000 Uruguayans in 2019.

✔️ Antel plans to reach national FttP (Fiber to the Premises) coverage by early 2022, with an estimated investment of $800 million.

✔️ In 2019, Uruguay’s National Research and Innovation Agency (ANII) launched Proyecta Uruguay. A program set up to make the country more attractive to innovative start-ups and entrepreneurs.

Apart from the rapid development and progressive politics, Uruguay is known for its natural beauty and relaxed way of life

Access to testing education

In Uruguay, all students have access to free academic education from the public universities, UTEC and Universidad de La República (UDELAR). There are several high-quality computer engineering programs. Both public and private universities produce highly skilled software engineers and test engineers annually. 

Uruguay has a software testing education program with no equivalent in other countries. Centro de Ensayos de Software (CES) is a non-profit software testing laboratory that offers a program with different testing training options. These are endorsed by the Universidad de La República (Uruguay) and the Uruguayan IT Chamber (CUTI). 

In 2021, CES hit the record in the number of Software tester graduations. 

There are also other paths available. One of them is a non-profit organization, “Projecto Nahual”. It’s dedicated to helping people in need through mentorship programs and courses run by volunteers. Its mission is to improve lives through employment.

Also, as part of Uruguay’s “One Laptop Per Child” national program, Plan Ceibal offers free programming and testing courses: Jóvenes a Programar. This program was launched in 2016 to train people from 18 to 30 years old and help them enter the tech market. Today the program is proud to say that more than 3.200 participants have already achieved this goal.

Uruguay is home to the largest testing conference in Latin America, TestingUY

Despite being a small country, quality engineers have plenty of opportunities to network with others in testing events. Many events that got canceled due to COVID-19 are coming back in hybrid-mode thanks to a high vaccination rate.

Come and Test Uruguay

Testing isn’t just running tests. It’s giving our best so that we can boost the user’s experience. The IT industry is a golden path to drive Uruguay’s growth, for promoting community development and improving people’s quality of life.

Like Marc Benioff outlined in his book Trailblazer: “The Fifth Industrial Revolution is about finding ways to harness all of this ‘progress’ and direct it towards the common good. In the future, success will depend on whether the fruits of that innovation and creativity are used in ways that put the well-being of our people and planet first”.

We know we can achieve awesome results while prioritizing people’s well-being and sustainable progress. It is possible and we all need much more of it.

Are you looking for the ideal partner for your company? Abstracta is one of the most trusted names in software quality engineering worldwide.

Contact us today to see how we can help your business! 

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