Frankfurt is emerging as a vibrant European start-up ecosystem supported by its esteemed legacy and finance industries. The city boasts a highly diverse and active network of businesses that are boosted by the region’s exceptional research and education centres. Frankfurt is the finance capital of Europe, dubbed ‘Mainhattan’, the city is home to the European Central Bank, ECB Banking Supervision – SSM, the European Insurance Oversight, the German Stock Exchange (the 10th largest in the world), Bundesbank, the German financial oversight body Bafin, Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank and many more. The finance industry employs over 70,000 people and generates revenues higher than many countries worldwide. The city is also home to a multitude of large corporations such as Schott, Opel, Frankfurt Airport, Merck KGaA, Sanofi, and Deutsche Flugsicherung. This incredible wealth and knowledge within the city have laid the foundations for a thriving technology and start-up scene. Frankfurt’s corporate outfits offer significant benefits to start-ups in the region. Frankfurt has one of the highest concentrations of finance specialists and coders with experience in finance and tax in Europe offering much needed operational support to start-ups. Furthermore, many of Frankfurt’s large corporations have launched some incredible initiatives to position their business at the forefront of technology and start-up activity. Deutsche Bank launched its Digitalfabrik or digital factory, a project for programmers and finance experts to develop digital banking projects; Commerzbank’s initiative CommerzVentures is investing in “the most ambitious young” start-ups; and Deutsche Borse unveiled its Fintech Hub in 2016, an initiative aimed at supporting the fintech community in Frankfurt and in the Rhein/Main region. One of the newest programs to arrive in the city is the iconic Silicon Valley accelerator program Plug and Play, which launched a new European fintech program in collaboration with TechQuatier earlier this year. TechQuatier is an international community, incubator and co-working place comprised of over 100 start-ups and 30 academic partners and academic institutions. Corporate R&D spending totalled a whopping €5.5 billion in 2017. Naturally, Frankfurt is a hub for the FinTech industry with 55% of all local VC investments being acquired by fintech start-ups from 2012-2017. The acquisition of Fintech 360, a trading network for foreign currencies, was the largest start-up exit in German history coming in around €725 million. Interestingly, it was the Frankfurt Stock Exchange that acquired Fintech 360. However, Frankfurt has a lot more to offer than just fintech and finance. The city has a high concentration of AI, Big Data & Analytics start-ups with 8.5% of all start-ups in the region engaging in one of the three innovative activities. These start-ups acquired just over 13% of all local VC capital between 2012-2017. AI start-up Arago recently received €55 million in venture capital funding. These innovative start-ups are boosted by the fact that Frankfurt has the largest internet exchange point in the world, the DE-CIX. Furthermore, there is an abundance of large co-working spaces dotted around the city, twenty-two recognised spaces as of 2018. There is also numerous incubators and accelerators that offer vital support to start-up such as; Main Incubator, Pando Ventures, Unibator, Grundermaschine, Commerzbank Content Shift, Accelerator Frankfurt, E&Y Start-up Academy, Merck Accelerator and UX Accelerator. Lastly, Frankfurt’s high density of research and education institutes provide the talent needed to grow these start-ups into highly successful businesses. 25+ institutions educating over 230,000 students are present in the city and some are infamous for their innovation. Research intense institutions like the University of Mainz are where instruments for Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity were built. At this current time, Frankfurt pales in comparison to other European cities in terms of start-up activity. On the other hand, Frankfurt’s start-up activity is estimated to be growing 50% year on year and with the wealth and knowledge in the city, the future is bright.
Sourcing suitable accommodation is always at the top of your priority list when relocating to a new city. Finding accommodation in Stockholm is no easy task but if you are flexible with your price and location, it is manageable. We recommend finding an apartment to rent for one to three months when you initially move to Stockholm. There are significantly more properties on the market for short-term leases as landlords and tenants may be travelling or working abroad for short periods. During this time, you will the chance to get to know the city giving you a clearer idea of where you will want to live. In addition, you will have time to ask locals or colleagues advice on where to live, how to find an apartment and all the processes that are involved with renting in the city. It is quite difficult to get a long-term apartment to rent in the city like other European cities. In Stockholm, it is the norm to be offered a 6-month lease with a possibility of a 6-month extension. It is possible to get a 1-year contract, but it’s extremely rare that you will find something longer than that. In most cases, if you are looking for a contract that extends over one year, the landlord will have to ask permission from the board of directors of the building. Rentals: There are two types of rentals in Sweden, Fist-hand and Second-hand. First-hand rentals A first-hand Förstahand contract, means that the apartment is in your name and you deal directly with the landlord. This usually requires several years in the housing queue. The housing queue gives people access to rental apartments with capped prices. To join this, you must register with the Stockholm Housing Agency. Second-hand rentals Second-hand rentals are most common in Stockholm. A second-hand Andrahand contract is a sublet. This is where someone that owns their apartment or has a first-hand contract, rents their apartment to someone else. This comes at a cost and the competition is high. These can often have a 1-3 month notice period if the tenant/landlord want to move out/in. It is extremely important to make sure that the tenant is co-operating with the board of the building bostadsrättsföreningen or that the landlord has signed off on second-hand leasing. If you sublet a flat from someone who doesn’t have permission, you could run the risk of being evicted. Where to Live Due to the high levels of competition within the city for housing, it is not only hard to find an apartment, but it can be expensive too. Thankfully, Stockholm operates a very efficient and affordable public transport system that enable you to live outside of the city without facing an arduous commute to work every day. Areas outside of the city such as Sollentuna are only 20 minutes commute by tram and offer more affordable housing. We recommend you look outside of the city centre to boost your chances of finding suitable accommodation. Prices As mentioned earlier, Stockholm city centre is very expensive to rent in with areas on the outskirts of the city offering a more affordable option. Below is a breakdown of monthly rent costa for areas within Stockhom in SEK. Green = Average Price Light Grey = One Bedroom Grey = Two Bedroom Dark Grey = Three Rooms Photo Credit: RelocatetoSweden.com Where to Look There are several housing websites where you can find suitable accommodation; Blocket – blocket.se Bostad Direkt - bostaddirekt.com Qasa Residensportalen Andrahand.se BoPunkten.se There are a number of Facebook groups where you can find shared accommodation; https://www.facebook.com/groups/223360214358564/ https://www.facebook.com/groups/146281422217393/ https://www.facebook.com/groups/139276769508646/ Looking for a job that will enable you to pay rent in Stockholm? See our full list of vacancies here.
The robots are coming. Automation is a polarizing topic as despite the benefits and opportunities that new automation technologies offer, the impact on human jobs is a real concern. Regular reports warn that the automation apocalypse is coming within the next decade with studies from Oxford and McKinsey predicting that automation will eliminate 30 – 60% of all workplace tasks. These tasks which are carried out by human workers account for a significant portion of employment in some industries. Not all jobs are created equally, and some are more likely to be automated out of existence in the near future. To truly understand the reality of the threat that automation poses, we must examine examples of jobs that are at a high risk of automation. The long-standing staple of the taxi driver is likely to be a profession of the past. The taxi industry has already been turned on its head in a few short years with the introduction of apps such as Uber and Lyft. The human element of ordering a taxi has already been automated out of existence, is the driver next? Autonomous vehicles are no longer science fiction with major automotive brands heavily investing in autonomous technology. As the technology continues to advance and proliferate throughout society, it’s likely the lone taxi driver will simply be replaced by technology. The ‘Future of Employment’ have ranked taxi driver as one of the ‘least safe’ jobs with an 89% chance of being automated. On a similar note, truck/delivery drivers are likely to be a thing of the past alongside taxi drivers. We have already seen the first warning signs with Tesla’s fully electric autonomous semi-truck entering the market. Imagine; you order an item through a well-known online retailers’ website. All payment is made securely through the website, you provide your delivery address while ordering, but instead of your order being collected from a warehouse by an outsourced delivery partner, which is often the case at the moment, a dedicated robot tracks the order from the warehouse/ It is then loaded into a self-driving vehicle/drone and delivered safely to you, with no human interaction whatsoever. Amazon have already trialled this new tech using drones to offer same-day delivery on small Amazon purchases. US Netflix series Black Mirror provides many insights into the future of our society and how technology influences it. Take episode three of season four, Crocodile. In this episode, an autonomous pizza truck delivers a pizza while cooking it in-transit. It sounds like science fiction yet in Silicon Valley, a company called Zume is pioneering the concept of a ‘robot pizza truck’. An order is placed through the Zume app, the self-driving truck begins its journey to the destination address, and by the time it has arrived at the delivery address, the robot chef will have a freshly baked pizza ready for delivery. Household brand PizzaHut came out in 2018 saying it was teaming up with Toyota to bring the robot pizza truck concept to life. The ‘Future of Employment’ has ranked fast food cook at an 81% risk of being automated. The pizza truck will automate both fast food cook and delivery driver out of existence. As well as the food, e-commerce and driving industries, another area which faces potential extinction in the coming years is that of customer service. Customer service spans across a range of roles, yet a significant portion of these roles are on the way out. UI chatbots continue to proliferate throughout many large organisations removing the need for customer support agents. As this technology continues to improve and become a more cost and time efficient method of customer support, why would companies choose humans? Evidently, automation poses a higher risk to some industries more than others. Jobs that are highly routine with a high proportion of repetitive tasks are most at risk of being automated in the near future. However, this does not mean the job in its entirety will disappear, automation will change how we work. The reinvention and re-engineering of jobs is the key story, not job losses. For example, automating the last kilometre of truck deliveries is an inconceivable task at the movement, the journey still requires a qualified human driver. Customer service agents can upskill and work in other areas of the business such as sales or account management. Technology and automation have always changed how we work throughout history without causing an unemployment apocalypse. Automation will no doubt change how we work but the threat it poses can be mitigated by continuous upskilling and reskilling. Jobs will change, it important that we change as well.
PHP is a staple language in the software development world first appearing on the tech scene way back in 1994. In recent times, we have seen a flurry of articles surface on the future of PHP with some critics arguing that it is a language of the past and that there is no future for PHP professionals on the market. We thought it would be a good idea to present our own take on the polarizing topic. Today’s technology market is evolving at an unprecedented pace, and many critics fear that the times of PHP are long gone. This begs the question; is it worthwhile investing in PHP and creating PHP resources, or are they doomed to become obsolete in the near future? Though many new languages and frameworks are quickly gaining momentum, PHP remains in the top 10 programming languages worldwide according to GitHub, TIOBE, Hacker and Fullstackacademy rankings. PHP was ranked fourth in GitHub’s rankings in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. PHP was given the seventh-place ranking in 2018 and eighth place in 2019 by TIOBE experts. Hacker.io listed it as number eight programming language to learn and Fullstackacademy.com listed is as number six programming language to learn in 2019. Not so bad for a ‘dead language’. The demand for PHP from a business perspective offers an insight into the longevity and future of the language. PHP is a highly versatile language that can be used for a plethora of business applications from website applications to CRM systems to content management systems. PHP is perfectly compatible with a variety of Apache, IIS and MySQL interfaces and it offers a high level of control to the web developer. PHP boasts a high level of reliability and performance coupled with relatively low development and maintenance costs. This versatile nature and variety of benefits offered by PHP means that it appeals to both start-ups and established businesses who in turn then seek to hire experienced PHP professionals. PHP is used by major brands such as Yahoo, Facebook, Wikipedia, Flickr, WordPress, Friendster, Digg, Source Forge, iStockPhoto, and MailChimp as well as being used by approximately 79% of all websites (discounting CMS sites). Short answer, there is a lot of demand for PHP developers. In the current state of affairs, there is high demand for IT professionals across the entire IT spectrum with demand often outstripping supply. Companies are battling for talent leading to a surge in salaries and remuneration packages being offered to IT professionals. This however is not the case for PHP professionals. Approximately 20% of all developers within the EU have PHP in their tech stack according to LinkedIn data. This figure is so high as PHP is a comparably simple language to learn, and practitioners are often self-taught. It can be learnt for free, has a huge community, and is open source. This substantial number of PHP developers has led to lower salaries being offered compared to other IT professionals such as Ruby on Rails developers with salaries dropping by approximately 4% from 2017 to 2018. Despite the surplus of PHP developers on the market, there is always room to optimise and futureproof your skillset to get ahead of the curve. Lavarel and Symphony are sought after frameworks on a CV with only 12% and 10% of PHP professionals listing them as a core skill. Recently, we have seen a lot of demand in the market for CMS skills like TYPO3, Drupal and Magneto. There is a clear shortage of suitable candidates on the market with these skills to match the ever-growing demand. Adding these frameworks to your tech stack will make you a highly sought-after candidate and also enable you to command a higher salary. What is most important to perfect within PHP is the same as every other language, your code. Clean, effective code is a priceless commodity, one that will enable you to command a higher salary more than anything else. The future is yet to be written on PHP, current reports do signify a minute decrease in the demand for PHP, however there is no cause for panic just yet. PHP is an incredibly well established language utilised by millions for a variety of applications across the world. Looking for a PHP job? Check out our current vacancies here.
Finding accommodation is a priority when moving to a new city. Historically rental prices in Berlin have been very affordable compared to other German and European cities. This has been a key selling point for many expats relocating to the city to live and work. However, as Berlin's start-up and tech scene has rapidly grown, demand for housing has increased dramatically. The influx of expats moving to Berlin has led to a shortage of affordable housing in some hot spots in the city such as Kreuzberg and Mitte where rents have risen significantly. Berlin is divided up into twelve distinct neighbourhoods with rental prices fluctuating between each neighbourhood. There are still some areas within the city that offer affordable rental prices and with Berlin’s interconnected and reliable public transport network, it is possible to live in a more affordable area without facing a daunting commute to work every day. The average rental prices (in euros) for a two-bedroom apartment of 70m squared can be seen in the image below. These rates do not include heating and utility costs. There has been action taken by Berlin’s Senate to combat the soaring rental costs. The Senator for Urban Development and Housing in Berlin announced that the Senate approved a five-year rent freeze for the city as of June 2019. This rent freeze is set to take effect in January 2020 and will apply retroactively from June of 2019. Securing an Apartment It is important to note that the housing market is incredibly competitive in Berlin, so it is important to maximise your chances of securing an apartment. Prepare and bring all your paperwork to a viewing; Proof of your last three months’ salary OR a copy of your employment contract if you don’t have any payslips yet. Copy of your passport. A Mietschuldenfreiheitsbescheinigung - a letter from your old landlord confirming you are up to date on your rent. A SCHUFA certificate: This is a certificate that is usually issued by banks (or post offices in some cases) and it will prove that you do not have any debt from previous tenancies. Deposit A security deposit must be paid to the landlord prior to moving in. The deposit will usually equal 2 or 3 months cold rent (rent minus heating & utility costs) and by law will never be more than 3 times the rent. Should there be any damage caused to the apartment, the cost of repair will be deducted from the deposit. If there is no damage, the deposit will be returned to the tenant once they vacate the property. Residence Registration (Anmeldebestätigung) Once you have found an apartment, you must apply for a Anmeldebestätigung. This is a piece of paper you receive from the Berlin local authorities to say that you have an official address in the city. You get it from one of the many ‘Bezirksamt’ offices, or local authority offices. The documentation you’ll need: Passport A copy of your rental contract (Mietvertrag) to prove you have an official address A completed copy of the Anmeldung form which can be downloaded at http://www.berlin.de/formularserver/formular.php?52009 Once you have all of the above and filled in your form, you must take it along to your nearest Bezirksamt or local authority office. A list of them can be found here: https://service.berlin.de/dienstleistung/120686/ It is advised to book an appointment online to avoid the queues. Where to Look: These are the 4 main websites to search for and find available apartments: https://www.immobilienscout24.de https://www.immowelt.de/ https://www.immonet.de/ https://www.ebay-kleinanzeigen.de/stadt/berlin/ There is also a number of popular Facebook groups where users post available apartments or rooms to rent: WG-Zimmer & Wohnungen Berlin - 140,000+ members WG, Zimmer und Wohnung in Berlin - 55,000+ members Berlin Apartments - 21,000+ members Apartments/roommates in Berlin - 17,000+ members For more information on websites and housing services, please visit: https://allaboutberlin.com/guides/find-a-flat-inberlin#where-to-look-for-apartments
If you are an EU citizen and plan to stay in Sweden for more than three months you will need a to have the right of residence. This means you must have means to support yourself. You do not need a residence permit and you do not need to contact the Swedish Migration Agency. After living in Sweden for five years with the right of residence you will be granted permanent right of residence. With your permanent residence card, you will be eligible to apply for citizenship. Both EU and non-EU citizens must obtain a Personnummer number if they are living in Sweden for more than three months, this is an identification number that is given to all Swedes. It is obtained after you register in the Swedish population register. This can be obtained at a Skatteverket Office (Swedish Tax Agency). You will be required to have a Swedish address to register, as your Personnummer must be sent to your own Swedish address. You will not be able to open a bank account until you have received your Personnummer. This application is relatively straightforward for EU citizens. If you are a non-EU citizen, you will need a work permit to enter Sweden. An application for a work permit of three months or more is automatically issued with a residence permit application. Citizens of Nordic Countries Citizens of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Iceland may live in Sweden without obtaining a residence permit. All you must do is register with the Swedish Tax Agency to obtain your personnummer number. Required Documents You will need to bring the following documents; Passport or national ID card Documents showing your civil status Birth certificate, if you have children Proof of employment in Sweden 'anstallningbevis' A payslip if you have already started working This must be provided from your employer confirming that you will be working in Sweden. The employment certificate must be signed by your employer and you and must include the following; your name and your address your employer's name and address your employer's corporate identity number - organisationsnummer if you are employed on a fixed-term or indefinite-term basis or on a probationary or temporary basis other employment terms including employment date, period of notice, working hours, holiday leave, salary and benefits description of your duties collective agreement (if applicable) Change of Address If at any time you move to a new address, you must report your new address to the Swedish Tax Agency. It is free of charge to report and can easily be done with the use of the Tax Agency’s e-service. On the e-service you can print out the form and send it to them by mail. Where do I register? In the below link you can locate your nearest Swedish tax agency location; https://skatteverket.se/omoss/kontaktaoss/besokservicekontor.4.515a6be615c637b9aa4acd5.html Leaving Sweden If at any point you decide to leave Sweden again you must notify the Swedish Tax Agency of your plans. If you move to another Nordic country the regulations of that country will determine if you will enter its population register. You will be removed from the Swedish population register after the Nordic country has registered you with their population register.
What is PHP? PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) is a widely preferred server-side programming language. While it is an open-source as well as a platform-independent programming language, it is also simple to use, and easy to understand and learn. From version 1 in ’95, v2 in ’97, v3 in ’98 and v4 in 2000, PHP saw a steady growth in popularity. With v5 in 2004, the community adopted this server-side language to the point that by 2015, around 80% of the websites across the world, were using PHP to some extent. Of these, 0.1% run in PHP v3, 0.7% in v4, 76% are still running in v5.6 and v7 has around 22.8% of the total. The growth of the PHP language as a technology has been impressive and for the last 24 years it’s still one of the most popular languages used by brands like Yahoo, Facebook, Wikipedia, Flickr, WordPress, Friendster, Digg, Source Forge, iStockPhoto, and MailChimp. PHP Workforce Across LinkedIn, there are currently around 3.2 million developers and programmers with various programming skills worldwide. Of these, around 644.000 have PHP as a skillset. Critics often argue that PHP is a dying language, yet 20.1% of developers worldwide have it in their tech stack. PHP is used by developers across the globe; India 16.3%, United States 14.7%, United Kingdom 4.8%, Canada 4.2%, Indonesia 2.5%, Ukraine 2.5%, Italy 2.4%, Spain 2.3%, Pakistan 2.2% and Netherlands 2%. According to LinkedIn, around 2.1% of PHP developers have 1 year of experience in the IT Sector. 12% have 3-5 yoe (years of experience), 22.4% have 3-5yoe, 29% have 6-10yoe and 22% have over 10yoe. It is very hard to verify whether these developers still actively use PHP. Many may have shifted towards other techs and may not even use PHP. Nevertheless, these figures do enable one to get a grasp of the sheer number of PHP developers across the globe. In Europe, there are around 341,000 IT professionals with PHP on their profile with a wide variety of job titles (DevOps, Testers, Designers, Lead, Scrum Masters, Project Managers, Managing roles, etc). 183,245 of this subset are Developers or Programmers and are spread across the EU; UK 17.4%, Spain 8.2%, Italy 8%, France 7.8%, Netherlands 7%, Ukraine 6.9%, Germany 6.8%, Poland 5.7%, Romania 3.6% and Sweden 3.3%. Top Frameworks Used From this total of 341,000 IT professionals, around 35,700 use Symfony 10.4% (of which 20,800 are still devs or programmers). France appears to be the epicentre of Symphony playing host to 16% of all Symphony users. Paris alone encompasses 6.6% of the entire subset. Second on the list is Poland hovering around the 10% mark with Spain coming close behind at 9.9%. The UK (8.9%), Ukraine (8.6%), Germany (7.1%), The Netherlands (5.8%), Italy (4.3%) and Romania (3.9%) are home to the majority of European Symphony users outside of France and Spain. The laravel framework, which is based on Symphony, is used by approximately 40,900 or 12% of European PHP professionals. The highest concentration of laravel users is in the UK (14%) with Ukraine coming in second at 11%. The Netherlands is home to 8.4% of laravel users, Spain has 6.4%, Poland has 5%, Italy has 4.9%, Germany has 4.7%, Romania has 4.6%, France has 4.1% with Serbia finishing the list with 3.1%. Zend also has a big share of PHP professionals with 24,445 of 7.1% of PHP professionals opting to use the framework. Magento is / was used by 19,664 people, CodeIgniter 18,209, Yii 10,700, CakePHP 7,922, Slim 2,247, Phalcon 1,972, Lumen 1,358 and FuelPHP 743. The numbers are clear evidence that contrary to what many critics argue, PHP is not a dying language and in fact still plays a large role within the IT industry. Looking for a PHP job? See our full list of PHP vacancies here.
Work Permit If you are an EU/EEA citizen, you are entitled to work in Sweden without a work permit. If you work and have enough means to support yourself, you automatically have right of residence in Sweden. With that you do not need to register with or apply for a residence permit at the Swedish Migration Board. You are entitled to start working immediately upon arrival in Sweden. You are also entitled to come to Sweden to search for work. More information may be found at www.migrationsverket.se Non-EU You cannot obtain a work permit to go to Sweden to look for a job. To obtain a work permit you must have been offered a job in Sweden, employees cannot enter the country until the permit is granted. To be eligible for a work permit you must; Have a valid passport Have been offered terms of employment that are at least on par with those set by Swedish collective agreements or which are customary within the occupation or industry Have been offered a salary that is at least on par with that set by Swedish collective agreements or which is customary within the occupation or industry Have been offered a position that will enable you to support yourself. In order to satisfy this support requirement, you need to work to an extent that will result in a salary of at least SEK 13,000 per month before taxes Have an employer who intends to provide insurance covering health, life, employment and pension when you begin to work. Where To Apply You need to apply with the Swedish Migration Agency. The easiest way to apply is through an online application at; https://www.migrationsverket.se/download/18.5e83388f141c129ba6312e9d/1535449030680/atinifran_151011_en.pdf Extending Your Work Permit In order to extend your work permit, your salary and other terms of employment must have been at least equivalent to what is stated in the collective agreement or is considered the practice in your profession or industry. You must also have worked to the extent that your wages reached at least SEK 13,000 per month, before taxes. These conditions must have been met during the entire time that you have held a work permit in Sweden. Permanent Residence Permit You must live in Sweden for 4 years on a work permit before you would be eligible for permanent residency. You apply for a residence permit by submitting an application to your local Embassy or Consulate or in some cases directly to the Swedish Migration Board – Migrationsverket. One year after you obtain your permanent residency you will be eligible to apply for citizenship. How long does it take to get a decision from Migrationsverket? You will have to be patient, because processing times are quite long, especially for first time applicants. The current waiting time for first time applicants are between 14 – 18 months. However, processing times for second time applicants are generally shorter, around a work week. Yet, this completely depends on the complexity of your application EU Blue Card If you are a non-EU national and have received an offer of a highly qualified job, you can apply for an EU Blue Card. You must have a university education equivalent to 180 university credits, or five years’ professional experience and a salary equal to at least one and a half times the average gross salary in Sweden. In order to obtain an EU Blue Card, you must have; A valid passport A university education equivalent to 180 university credits, or five years’ relevant professional experience Taken out or applied for a comprehensive health insurance policy that covers health and medical care in Sweden An employment contract or offer of highly qualified employment lasting at least one year No less than one and a half times the average gross salary in Sweden, before taxes. More information To read more information please visit: https://www.eu-bluecard.com/how-to-apply/
If you are living in Sweden for more than 183 days (six months), you are considered a tax resident. You must register to pay tax and submit an income tax return. Types of Income Income from agriculture and forestry Income from business operations Income from self-employed work Income from employed work Income from capital Income from letting property Miscellaneous income. If income does not fall under any of these categories, they are not subject to income tax. Income Tax Sweden has a progressive income tax; this means the rates increase as your income increases. Income tax for residents includes both national and municipal tax. Municipal tax is deducted at a flat rate which varies from one municipality to another, but it is usually between 29-34%. The national tax, for its part, applies at a rate of 20-25% based on how high your income is. Rates: 0 - 455,200 = 32% Municipal income tax 455,300 – 662,200 = 20% National income tax + 32% Municipal Income Tax Over 662,300 = 25% National Income Tax + 32% Municipal Income Tax *In Swedish Kronor Swedish Tax Sweden has one of the highest personal income tax rates in the world, however you will enjoy free education along with subsidised healthcare and public transportation. Tax Year The Swedish tax year is the same as the calendar year, January 1st to December 31st. The income tax return for the year must be received by the Swedish Tax Agency by the 2nd of May at the latest. For more information visit - https://www.skatteverket.se/
Berlin’s start-up and tech scene is booming with the city being dubbed the “Silicon Valley of Europe”. Start-ups in the capital bagged an incredible €2.67 billion in funding from a total of 233 financing rounds in 2018 putting the city on par with Paris and London. 8 out of the 10 most desirable start-ups in Germany are located in Berlin with an estimated 30% of the nation’s start-ups setting up in the city. Large multinationals such as N26, Zalando, Delivery Hero, Autogroup 1 and HelloFresh are all headquartered in this tech haven. This incredible shift from “poor but sexy” to the “Silicon Valley of Europe” has caused a serious strain on the supply of talent. Companies based in Berlin are now locked in a ‘talent war’ as demand for talent is quickly outstripping supply. According to LinkedIn data, there is 32,000 listed developers in Berlin, an increase of 15% from this time a year ago. Approximately, 50,000 internationals relocate to Berlin annually and as the tech scene continues to flourish, this figure continues to increase. This continual influx of talent does serve to mitigate some of the talent supply issues, however the volume of talent entering Berlin is not enough to meet the ever-growing demand. It is estimated that a new start-up is founded every twenty minutes in the capital. Furthermore, companies are struggling to retain talent in a candidate driven market. The locus of power now resides with the employee, who can now afford to pick and choose between employers. This reality is reflected in the volatile attrition rates of developers in the city. Approximately 30% of all developers have switched jobs within the last twelve months with the average tenure of a Berlin-based developer being just 1.4 years. Highly desirable companies to work for are even struggling to retain talent as salaries and remuneration packages continue to inflate. These worrying statistics convey a prevailing issue amongst employers - how to retain top talent. The generous salary and remuneration packages don’t seem to be enough to keep developers in house. Companies need to discover what their employees really value about their jobs aside from their pay and benefits. According to a LinkedIn survey of Berlin based developers, the most important value-proposition for this group is work-life balance. Developers want to have the time to enjoy their lives outside of their careers in a way that suits their lifestyle. This includes items like flexible working and remote working options. In a city as vibrant as Berlin, this carries more weight as there is plenty to do outside the office. The second most important value-proposition for developers is challenging work. Developers actively seek to challenge their intellect and skillset on a daily basis. This is one of the reasons why ground level start-ups can be so attractive to developers compared to large multinationals. The third highest ranking item on the list is company culture. A company’s culture can really help them stand out of the crowd, culture is a unique selling point that is very hard to replicate. It is important to not only have a positive culture that inspires and motivates employees, but to communicate and advertise it through various social media platforms and websites like TrustPilot and Glassdoor. Berlin is on its way to establishing itself as start-up and tech powerhouse that rivals nearly any city around the globe. Without a doubt, attracting and retaining top talent will be the key to maintaining this trajectory. As demand for talent continues to outstrip supply, retention becomes ever-more important to companies looking to facilitate their growth.
In recent years, Sweden has emerged as one of the most advanced countries in the world with Stockholm, it’s capital, gaining the reputation of Europe’s “unicorn factory”. Stockholm is home to more $1 billion-plus companies per capita than anywhere outside of Silicon Valley with King, Mojang, Spotify, Klarna and iZettle just to name a few. Spotify is one of the latest unicorns to emerge from Stockholm with the musical giant recently announcing it hit the 100 million paying subscribers mark. Once only known for Ericsson, IKEA and Volvo, Stockholm has transformed its economy and market and is now being dubbed the ‘Entrepreneurial Capital of Europe’. A frenzy of successful acquisitions and IPOs in Stockholm has triggered a virtuous circle with success only breeding more success. How Has It Grown So Successfully? Sweden’s tech scene success can be attributed to a variety of factors. Swedes have always been early adopters of tech with the Swedish government actively encouraging this. Swedes were offered a tax break on personal computers way back in the nineties. Stockholm was home to the world’s largest open-fibre network in 1994 and was the first city in the world to launch 2G, 3G, 4G and now 5G. Stockholm boasts an incredibly supportive start-up ecosystem with vital access to co-working spaces, start-up hubs, events, innovation grants and a growing number of angel investors and venture capital firms. Sweden’s strong social security system offers a safety net to entrepreneurs looking to be creative and take risks. Furthermore, successful Swedish entrepreneurs are always looking to offer support to start-ups. Notable names include Erik Byrenius, Henrik Torstensson and Jane Walerud. These business angels encapsulate the innovative and sharing culture of this Nordic city. Despite its meagre population of less than one million, Stockholm boasts one of the highest concentrations of tech professionals in Europe. Programmer or software developer is the most common job title in Stockholm with approximately 18% of the workforce in high-tech related jobs. Start-up Hubs As previously mentioned, Stockholm plays host to an incredibly supportive start-up ecosystem with start-up hubs dotted all around the city. Here are five of the most prominent hubs; The Factory: Largest innovation and tech hub in the Nordics that hosts 1400+ people, 100+ start-ups and scale-ups, VCs, a tech school, labs and innovation centres. SUP46: Epicentre of Stockholm’s start-up community with over 2000m2 of space. Things: 2,000m2 co-working space for hardware start-ups – IoT, robotics, etc. Epicentar: Epicentar offers hackathons, ideathons and offers flexible workplaces, studios, meeting rooms as well as world-class workshops and international lectures all year long. Norrsken House: Norrsken House is Europe’s biggest tech hub dedicated to social impact and houses people with the vision to change the world. Venture Capital Firms Venture capital firms are highly active in Stockholm. €1.25 billion was invested in tech companies in 2016 with over €4 billion being invested since 2012. Almi, Zenith, Wellstreet Ventures, Standout Capital, Creandum, EQT Ventures, Industrifoden, NFT Ventures are just some of the plethora of VC firms operating in Stockholm. Stockholm is renowned for its impressive exits. Not only was €1.25 billion invested into start-ups in the city, the exit value in the same year was €1.75 billion. Colossal exits and IPOs are not uncommon in the Swedish capital. King, the gaming start-up was acquired by Activision Blizzard for €5.5 billion in 2015. iZettle was acquired by fin-tech giant PayPal for €2 billion in 2018 and Spotify’s IPO finished around the €25 billion mark. Stockholm’s start-up and tech scene is flourishing with all indications showing no sign of the growth slowing. The future is bright for this northerly city, despite the 20 hours of darkness in winter! Looking for a job in Stockholm? Check out our full list of vancancies here.
Robotic Process Automation or RPA is pegged to be one of the next ‘big things’ in tech. However, the rate of innovation and change in the tech world is unlike any other industry. New buzz words like RPA appear every other week and it can be hard to distinguish the difference between hype and reality. A number of insiders from the industry say that RPA is not only the future of controllership, but it is fast becoming the present. To understand the future of RPA, we must first consider what RPA is, the main players pushing RPA and the venture capital behind it. RPA is the application of technology that enables one to configure computer software or a ‘robot’ to capture and interpret existing applications for processing a transaction, manipulating data, triggering responses and communicating with other digital systems. RPA is essentially a software robot that mimics human actions. It is often conflated with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) but there is a clear distinction between the two. At the most basic level, RPA is associated with ‘doing’ whereas AI and ML are concerned with ‘think and learning’. A simple example of RPAs applicability is automating the grunt work of retrieving emails. Retrieval is based on the email’s subject, downloading the attachments (e.g. invoices) into a defined folder, and then inputting the bills into accounting software (typically through copy and paste actions). RPA is highly process driven, it is simply automating repetitive, rule-based processes that typically require interaction with multiple, disparate IT systems. This is the key difference between RPA and AI, AI is concerned with high quality data. AI is required to intelligently “read” the invoices, and extract the pertinent information such as invoice number, supplier name, invoice due date, product description, amounts due, and many more. Since every activity in RPA needs to be explicitly programmed or scripted, it is practically impossible to teach the bot exactly where to extract the relevant information for each invoice received. Hence the need for AI to intelligently decipher the invoice just as a human would. RPA tech is hot. Industry experts have valued the industry at €2 billion with forecasts indicating this figure will rise to nearly €4 billion by 2022. These valuations are supported by venture capital investments into RPA companies. In 2018, RPA specialists Automation Anywhere secured €270 million from SoftBank, Kryon secured €35 million, Softomotive secured €22 million, and Automation Hero secured €12.5 million. The dominant force in the RPA sphere is UiPath, a New York based company founded in 2005. In 2018, UiPath received a sizeable €500 million investment in a series D round of funding led by hedge fund Coatue Management. This brought the company’s total funding figure to €1 billion with the company now being valued around the €7 billion mark, not so bad for ‘hype’. The big players like UiPath’s core selling point is that it brings automation to enterprise processes through “intelligent software robots” that help businesses carry out laborious, repetitive tasks using computer vision and rule-based processes. UiPath state that their software streamlines work processes by eliminating the laborious elements of a job, freeing up valuable time for employees to work on other things. As with all automation software, the impact on human jobs is a real concern. To date, the impact has yet to be assessed and the main players in the RPA industry are downplaying the potential negative impact of their software on jobs. Like many others in the automation world, they argue that RPA removes laborious elements of jobs rather than removing the job itself. Only the future will tell the impact technologies like RPA will have on the workforce. Regardless, it’s safe to say that all indications seem to convey that RPA is not just a fad or the future, it is fast becoming the present.
Tax System in Germany Understanding the tax system is vital when moving to a new country. Below is an account of Germany’s income tax system accurate as of 2019. This account was taken straight from our “Berlin Relocation Guide” which can be downloaded here: https://www.sigmarrecruitment.eu/relocating-to-germany/berlin If you are a resident of Germany, you have full income tax liability. All income earned in Germany and abroad is subject to German income tax and a solidarity surcharge. Germany’s income tax system is progressive, meaning that the rate of tax increases as income increases ranging from 0–45%. For married couples, rates are more favorable when tax is filed jointly. The tax year runs from January 1st to December 31st. If you do have to file your own taxes, the cutoff date is May 31st for the preceding year. The rates for 2019 are; 0 – 9,169 0% 9,169 - 14,255 14-24% 14-256 - 55,960 24-42% 55,691 – 265,236 42% 265,327+ 45% Solidarity Surcharge The solidarity surcharge (Solidaritaetszuschlag) is an additional fee on income tax, capital gains tax and corporate tax in Germany. This means that the solidarity surcharge is to be paid by every natural and legal person that owes one of the above-mentioned taxes in Germany. This surcharge is levied at 5.5% of the income tax for higher incomes. Withholding/Pay as you Earn Tax Income from employed work and capital income are taxed at the source, meaning you as a tax payer will not need to file your own taxes come year end. The tax owed will be deducted and retained at the source by the employer or by the bank before the earnings are payed out. If the employer is a German company or a foreign enterprise with a permanent establishment or a representative in Germany, the employer is legally obliged to withhold taxes from an employee’s salary and to remit the taxes to the tax office monthly. Paying Income Tax When you are taxed at the source, your tax will be based on your personal status. You will fall into a certain class that will directly affect how much tax you pay. Below are the six types of tax classes: Class 1: Single Class 2: Single parent (living alone with the child/children) Class 3: Married and spouse (when spouse does not have an income) Class 4: Married and similar income to spouse Class 5: Opposite of class 3, i.e this is the class the second earner chooses if the spouse opts for class 3 Class 6: For a second job or for deduction without proper employee information The taxation at source for capital income will be done with a flat tax rate of 25% (add solidarity surcharge of 5.5% of the amount of tax).
Venture Capital (VC) is the key to success for any start-up looking to turn an innovative idea into reality. VC firms provide capital, resources, strategic assistance, networks and much more to start-ups at the critical early stages. In the past, Berlin and Germany as a nation has lagged behind its EU and global counterparts partly as a result of the nation’s culture of avoiding risk. Business in Germany tends to move slowly and in a prudent fashion which doesn’t bode well for start-ups. In 2013, VC investments into Berlin start-ups totaled just €133 million. A snapshot of VC funding in 2018 paints a very different picture. VC funding has skyrocketed in the last few years with future projections conveying a similar trajectory. In 2018, a total of €4.6 billion was invested in German start-ups, a 7% increase on 2017. Berlin took a significant share of this VC funding with an incredible €2.67 billion flowing to start-ups in the capital, a 2000% increase on 2013. This figure accounts for 59% of all VC capital invested in Germany and is an increase of 6% from 2017. Berlin start-ups account for 4 out the top 5 largest financing amounts for start-ups in the nation. Where Was the Venture Capital Invested in Berlin? E-Commerce start-ups have always attracted the highest level of VC investments in Berlin and 2018 followed this trend. A total of €1.64 billion was invested in German E-Commerce start-ups with Berlin start-ups collecting a healthy 67% of this figure. E-Commerce platform Auto1 Group headquartered in Berlin topped the list receiving an influx of €460 million in 2018. An interesting emerging trend is the rise of VC funding for Software and Analytic start-ups. These innovative start-ups that comprise of innovative tech such as SaaS, blockchain, virtual reality, cloud, cyber security and data analytics raised a nationwide total of €670 million with €341 million funneling into Berlin. This 56% increase from 2017 portrays the increasing trust and interest in new, innovative tech start-ups. SaaS accounted for €304 million, almost half of the VC funding. FinTech start-ups also experienced healthy growth with €456 million flowing to FinTech start-ups in Berlin. What Caused this Significant Increase in Venture Capital Funding? German VC firms operate on a prudent basis which is in line with German business culture. In the last few years, many large international VC firms such as Atomico, Balderton Capital, Partech and Mangrove have begun to heavily invest in German start-ups with Berlin attracting most of the attention and funding. This flow of international VC funding has broken the cultural barrier of risk-adverse German VC firms. Furthermore, German VC firms have seen this influx of competition and the rewards experienced by international VC firms causing them to question their prudent methods. The future is bright for start-ups in Berlin as forecasts predict the influx of VC capital to continue to rise year on year.
There are several different types of visas in Germany, below is a list of the most applicable. Tourist & Visitor visa Family Reunion visa to join a relative or a partner Job Seeker visa Working visa Business visa Training/Internship visa A full list of German visas can be found at https://www.germany-visa.org/ Who Needs A Visa German law requires anyone who wishes to take up employment or pursue self-employment in Germany, to obtain a national visa if you are not from an EU member state. Exceptions to this: Nationals of Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea (South Korea) or the United States of America. Holders of an EU Blue Card which was issued by another EU member state, that has been valid for at least 18 months. Holders of the unlimited residence title EU Permanent Residence issued by an EU member state (except Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Great Britain, Ireland or Romania). Working Visa This is most likely the visa that you will need. A working visa or German employment visa is an opportunity for qualified foreigners to settle in Germany and work in their field. It gives its holder the chance to enter and work in Germany for up to two years, with the possibility of extending the visa, and later applying for an EU Blue Card, or other types of residence permits. Criteria for Obtaining a Visa According to the “Act on Residence”, the act that regulates the residence issue for foreigners in Germany, the following categories are eligible: Highly qualified foreigners, in particular: People with special technical knowledge. Teaching personnel in prominent positions or scientific personnel in prominent positions. Intra-corporate transferees, in particular: Managers. Specialists. Furthermore, third-world country nationals with a university degree or a non-academic vocational qualification that fulfil the conditions listed below: There is a shortage of skilled workers in the profession you want to practice in Germany. You have a concrete job offer. Your education must be recognized as equivalent with a German degree. How to Apply for a Germany Work Visa? Get a job offer in Germany. Check if you need a visa to Germany for long-stays. Find out where you need to submit your visa application. Collect all of the required documents according to the instructions. Make an appointment for a visa interview. Pay the German Employment Work visa fee. Attend the interview. Wait for a response on your visa application. What Documents Will You Need? Two fully completed application forms printed and signed. Two passport photos. National passport. Proof of residence (from the area of the consulate where you want to apply). Health insurance (This certificate is compulsory in Germany and will be given to you by your employer). An employment contract/binding job offer. CV. Proof of qualification (Diplomas/certificates). Personal covering letter (explaining the purpose and duration of your stay). Proof of clean criminal record. Proof of paid visa fee (€75). Declaration of accuracy of information (https://www.germany-visa.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Declaration-of-Accuracy%EF%BB%BF_Information.pdf) Where To Apply You should apply for your visa at the representative body of Germany in your country that is responsible for visa admission: German Embassy. A German Consulate. A Visa Application Centre. How Long Will It Take? The processing time for a ling-stay visa is between one and three months depending on how many visa applications have been received and your personal situation.
While there are plenty of social outlets to vent and express your feelings online, LinkedIn is not one of them. Outside of work we have all been told by a friend or colleague NOT to talk about work, regardless if the information is positive or negative, nobody wants to tackle these topics after 5:30. The same rules apply when it comes to LinkedIn and your working world. Nobody wants to hear your opinion on football, nor do they want to see photographs of your family, or that funny picture of a dog chasing its tail. There are plenty of social media outlets where you can express these interests and opinions. Try to differentiate your work world and your social world. LinkedIn is used by hundreds of millions of professionals worldwide. It is a place where you can sell/offer your experience and skills within the working community. How you demonstrate this information will be the reason why you are being headhunted by businesses and agencies, or on the contrary why you are finding it difficult to gain any traction in your network. Here are some key tips on how to get the most out of your LinkedIn profile. 1. Profile Picture: Your profile picture is a unique selling tool. Isn’t it always nice to have a face with the name? It makes you stand out more, makes you more memorable and ultimately portrays a big message to your professional network. When you’re using a picture, please do NOT have a picture of you including: Dogs, Cats, Bars, Nightclubs, group pictures, poorly formatted pictures or wearing a football kit. This is the first thing that a hiring manager will see, make it count, and make a positive impression. Recent surveys have shown that your profile is 11 times more likely to be viewed if you have a photograph on it than without. 2. Spelling/Grammar: This one is self-explanatory, yet it is the most common issue you’ll find on LinkedIn. Your LinkedIn personal page is essentially your own online stock for hiring managers to buy into. You want your stock to be professional, assertive and representative of your ability. Ensure to spell-check your personal information and details before you submit them on your page. This, of course, will rule out any “where, were, we’re OR they’re, there and their” mistakes that are most common. Remember, this is your professional profile – nobody else will correct your work for you. 3. Networking A great way to get the most from your LinkedIn is by expanding your network. LinkedIn users have a tendency to add their closest friends and don’t explore and maximise their potential to widen their networking net. Reach out to old acquaintances and colleagues, clients and customers, and most certainly your college alumni – these are quite likely the most beneficial additions to your network. They have probably pursued the same routes as you have and can provide you with a broader reach in your network. 4. Creativity: “Creative and Responsible” – are the most used adjectives by LinkedIn users over the last few years. Never have we seen such creativity and responsibility by users across the globe. Although going by this statistic we should be societies full of Steve Jobs’ and Richard Branson’s. True creativity now-a-days in the business world is explored via strategy. Please don’t misconstrue your creativity as an innovative personal attribute that no other user could possibly think of. Instead why don’t you portray this “creativity” via a different route? Present your publications, merits, videos and any other projects that will depict the right image of you. We must be strategic on what information we want on show and what will make us stand out and be remembered. I’d advise you not to use LinkedIn as a place of social interaction, rather see it as a way for you to canvas your experiences and skills to date, and interact with professional communities globally. Think professionalism every time you log in and you should be presenting your best foot forward.
“His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy. He’s nervous, but on the surface he looks calm and ready…” Could a song sum up interview nerves and interviews in general any better than Eminem’s Lose Yourself? I think not! The intro says it all, you only have one chance to impress and secure yourself that opportunity so it’s no wonder that we all experience nerves when going to a job interview. The problem is these nerves can often be a hindrance to us. You’re trying to portray yourself as the confident, capable individual you are but instead your nerves reduce you to a sweaty palmed, voice trembling, body jittering fool. So what can you do to manage your nerves? 1. Be Prepared Number 1 has to be to always do your homework. The more you know the more confident you will feel when answering an interviewer’s questions. Research the company. Know their history, products/services, competitors etc. Also don’t confine your research to just the company’s website, check out their social media pages also. A company blog is a great way of finding out what the company is currently working on and talking about. The same goes for Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Pinterest. These pages can give you excellent information that you may not have found otherwise. 2. Say it out loud Secondly, practice answers for anticipated interview questions. Not only come up with answers to these questions but get used to actually speaking them. Quite often jobseekers come up with answers to interview questions in their heads but never practice their delivery and then end up sticking “ums” “ems” and “likes” in as filler as they rack their brains trying to remember what they wrote down. By practicing your answers aloud, it will calm your nerves and you will become more comfortable with your delivery. 3. Plan Ahead I cannot emphasise this enough – DO NOT BE LATE FOR YOUR INTERVIEW!!! Not only does it look bad, but you’ll arrive to your interview in a panic. So to rule out any mishap on the morning that might cause you to be late, get everything ready the night before. Lay out what you’re wearing, making sure everything is crease and stain free. Have copies of your CV (and portfolio if required) printed and in a folder ready to go. Map out your travel route, know exactly what route/form of transport you’re taking and give yourself a half hour extra in case of traffic disruptions. So what if you arrive early, it’ll give you an opportunity to relax, look over your notes and even to grab a cup of tea if you feel like it. 4. Think Confident – Be Positive Firstly take confidence from the fact you’ve been invited to interview, you wouldn’t be here if they weren’t interested in you. Drown out any self-doubt by reminding yourself of your skills, accomplishments and why you’d be a good fit for the job. It sounds silly but by thinking positively you’ll feel more confident in yourself. This is your opportunity to shine so don’t let self-doubt hold you back. “You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow. This opportunity comes once in a lifetime, yo”