Tula is a rapidly growing industrial city, an administrative center located 200 km south from Moscow with a population of 500,000 inhabitants. As many Russian cities, it has outsourcing companies offering software development services.

Primarily, growth of the software development industry is possible because of the existing universities. Students in Tula can study in Tula State Pedagogical University, Tula Institute of Economics and Informatics and Tula State University (TSU). TSU is considered the largest state university in Central Russia with more than 20 000 students, 400 post graduates and 600 foreign students from 30 countries. Among nine faculties the most popular amongst IT students are the Faculty of Cybernetics and Faculty of Mechanics and Mathematics. The best performers have a chance to study abroad in the twin cities such as Albany and New York in United States and Villingen-Schwenningen in Germany.

There are a few captive software development centers in Tula. US-based SmartBear Software has chosen Tula as the main center of software development. The company builds cloud-based software development tools. Another US company is DeveloperExpress which develops complex GUI components. There are also several companies specializing on SEO such as Ingate and Russian Promo, serving Russian offices of multinationals such as Mercury, Bentley, Peugeot and L’Oreal pushing search results to top in Yandex, popular Russian search engine.

There are also a number of companies specializing in custom software development, including Smartech, TulaCo and SolveITLabs amongst others. Net IT salaries in Tula range between $500 per month for an entry level position up to $3000 per month for a team leader with 10+ years of work experience. An average salary will range between $1500 and $2000 net.

What makes Tula an attractive outsourcing destination in addition to affordable cost, is proximity to Moscow which offers a relatively easy access and GMT + 3 time zone. It takes approximately two hours and cost between $100 and $150 to reach the city from any Moscow airport. In Tula the number of IT-companies is continuously increasing, which may be attractive for the software firms that are looking to establish their local presence through acquisitions.