Is Germany good for software engineers?”
Are you an IT mastermind or a software engineering wizard who's looking to broaden their horizons at a top destination for software engineers. Where do you go? There're shortages for knowledgable computer engineers all over the world, but some places are better than others. Is Germany one of the best places for software engineers? Yes it is! So let’s take a look at why Germany is the best place for expats working in IT & software engineering to find rewarding and well-paid work.
Let’s get started by taking a look at some of the basic information about Germany but from the perspective of an IT professional. We’ll take a brief look at what the people are like, and if your English is enough to get you around.
Chances are you haven’t picked up much German before you considered moving to Germany, so what are your options? English's the main language for many of the international companies and startups that make up your prospective new work environment. If you happen to end up in a German-speaking company, the IT and engineering departments often still have a relatively high proficiency in English. That said, though, if you’ve decided to make Germany your new home it will help you score points with the locals to make at least a dedicated attempt to learning the language. Thankfully, the German people are easy to warm up to, if you can just get past their strict, efficient and direct facade.
Like any country, some of the areas in major cities are less safe than others. Compared to other countries, though, Germany's relatively safe country. There’s little to no corruption, hardly any public unrest and the country has strong social security measures in place which make sure that nobody needs to resolve to crime.
Of course, you shouldn’t leave your doors unlocked or leave your belongings unattended on public transport, but that’s about the worst you need to stay vigilant of in everyday life. With all this, it’s no surprise that even the country’s capital Berlin is the #7 safest city in the world. If you're bringing your family and you're looking for the safest tech-focused city, then Munich is the place for you!
As a software engineer, programmer or general IT whizz, you’ve probably had to deal with working on a bad internet connection. If you ask me, it’s better to have no internet than slow internet. Thankfully, Germany has doubled its average internet speed from around 27Mbps in 2015 to around 55 Mbps in 2020 (Cisco, 2020). Compared to other countries like the US (18-50 Mbps depending on the state) or India (13 Mbps), you'll be a lot better off in your online adventures!
So, unless you’re moving to someplace in the remote countryside, you can probably get your hands on even faster connections for all your hosting, gaming, streaming and cloud storage needs.
Job seekers have been looking to Germany for their career opportunities for decades. There has to be something about the country and its culture that attracts so many tech-minded expats. Let's take a look!
For example, even an expats can claim unemployment benefits if they become unemployed after having paid contributions to the German social security fund for at least 12 months in the last 2 years. The contributions to the social security system amount to about 20% of your gross income. The other 20% of the contribution is shouldered by your employer.
Germany is one of the gateway countries of Europe, which means that Germany has been no stranger to other cultures and nationalities for decades. Major cities like Berlin and Munich have sizeable expat communities.
So, when you move to Germany, why don't you kickstart your social life by joining a local expat group?
As an engineer, you could essentially get to work all across Germany. However, there're some places that could be more interesting for you. Let's take a look at some of the places where you'll find some of the best tech jobs around.
Where the US has Silicon valley, Berlin has the Silicon Alley! The Silicon Allee campus is a hotspot for high tech startups that are always looking for engineering talent, allowing you to further develop your skills and really make an impact building the code base for these up and coming companies. Post-Brexit , Berlin has become the Business capital of the EU, with giants like Airbnb, Facebook and successful startups like N26 at the helm.
While the Berlin campus is eager to borrow the name, Munich is also known as the Silicon Valley of Europe. If you're into application development, drones and Artificial intelligence, Munich is a great destination for you. Munich is home to major German corporations. like Allianz and BMW, but also host international tech companies like IBM, Google and Microsoft General Electrics. So, if you're looking to make your career in IT and software engineering, Munich makes a really good home base for you.
If you're a car nut, Germany is the country for you! Take the Stuttgart area, for example. Here you'll find the locations where top brand like Porsche and Daimler work their auto-mechanical magic! So if you're into helping luxury car brands code their way to their next supercar, you'll feel at home in Stuttgart!
Over the years, Hamburg has built itself a reputation as a tech hub, starting with Google's office in the city in 2001. Facebook followed in 2010, and it was also home to Airbnb's first office outside the US since 2011. These days you'll also find a number of other popular tech employers for internships in Hamburg and full-time positions, including Dropbox, Twitter and Microsoft.
Additionally, a new digital campus called HammerBrooklyn was constructed by the city of Hamburg, 'designed as a central location for digital transformation, international companies, organisations and start-ups from a variety of fields will come together to cooperate, experiment, learn and bring innovations to life'(Hamburg.com). So, if you're looking for a tech environment that's blossoming at the same rate as your career, you might do well to hand out your resume in Hamburg.
If you’re an Indian IT professional, Germany can be an attractive destination! At the same time, you’re not an EU citizen, so making sure you get the right visa and documents to be eligible to work in Germany can be difficult on your own. Thankfully, the Germany's happy to accept the best and brightest programmers that this world has to offer! A good strategy to get started in Germany is to find a job at a medium-to-large company. Why? These companies have more resources and are often looking outside the local job market to fill positions. While your skills and talent are your ticket to Europe, a German company sponsoring your German work visa is what's going to make sure you get on the plane!
Time to get real. The money. Let’s take a look at the salary numbers for programmers and software engineers in Germany.
What is the average salary for software developers in Germany?”
A software engineer in Germany earns an average of €60,000. Of course, this number varies with education, experience and specialisation, as well as bonuses, commissions and other benefits that some companies offer their IT professionals. Depending on where you go in Germany, the salary might also vary. It’s a fact that salaries tend to be higher in the southern parts of Germany.
These days, software engineering and programming skills are a hot commodity in almost any industry, so let’s take a look at the average salaries for IT professionals per industry:
So, no matter where your passion or skills lay, you'll be able to make an excellent living and develop your skills at some of the most advanced companies and industries in Europe.
There we go! Now you know why you want to give your IT career an upgrade by hunting for a software engineering job in Germany! The country needs skilled professionals like you to keep feeding its monumental economic growth. The country is safe, the people are great and with high-speed internet lie this you won’t be lagging out any time soon. And while you’re at it, you’ll make quite a decent living while also having the ability to lean on Germany’s strong social security measures if the need ever arises. Good luck on your job search, don’t forget to send me a postcard from your new German home!
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