Tech Scene in Stockholm


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.

Posted by Adam Dunne on 30 May 2019


How To Improve Productivity at Work

How To Improve Productivity at Work

Throughout history, one of the most basic goals of any business is to increase efficiency and productivity. The more efficient a person or process is, the less time is required to complete a project. The natural by-product of increased productivity is an increase in the bottom line. Within software development, there is always more work to do; new features to implement, bugs to fix, tests to run, the list can feel endless. Here are a few tips to help increase your productivity at work to get more from your workday. ​ Work Fewer Hours This may sound counter intuitive, but significant research has shown that working fewer hours promotes smarter solutions while improving your ability to focus. The very nature of coding presents developers with complex issues on a daily basis that require incredible focus and smart solutions. In reality, working shorter hours may not always be possible if your employer is yet to understand the significant benefits shorter hours offers, if you are very new to a job/inexperienced or if your workload is simply too much. If this is the case, we recommend taking more short breaks throughout the day. Coding is a huge mental drain requiring consistent focus. It is important to give your brain time to refresh and recharge by leaving your desk at intervals throughout the day. Scrolling through your phone or browsing the web is not a mental break, it is just another point of focus. Try going for a walk, chatting with a colleague or getting some fresh air to reenergise your brain. Avoid Distractions According to a survey conducted by Udemy Research — aptly named "2018 Workplace Distraction Report" nearly 3 out of 4 workers (70 percent) say they feel distracted at work. The impact this has is compounded when coding due to the complex nature of the activity. You’re in the zone, ten different variables shooting through your mind and bang your phone rings or your work friend taps you on the shoulder. Instantly you are dragged out of the zone hampering productivity. Research has shown it takes up to fifteen minutes to fully get back in the zone. Similar to when you’re just about to nod off to sleep and something disturbs you, it takes around fifteen minutes to shake off the disturbance. Practical tips to combat this include; Wearing noise cancelling headphones if this is allowed in your workplace Having a clear and open conversation with your colleagues that you can only work effectively when left undisturbed for a period of time Pre-set times to chat with your colleagues or organise set meetings to avoid disturbances Turn notifications off on your phone Have a sign on your desk stating that you are working on a complex issue removing any ambiguity in the situation – open communication about the sign prior to putting it up is key. Automate Writing scripts to automate the laborious time-consuming elements of your job can improve productivity for an entire team significantly. Streamlining your workday enables you to work smarter, not harder. When you face a laborious task, always err on the side of automation but make sure you consider the cost-benefit of automating the task. You don’t want to spend more time on debugging the script than the actual task at hand. Don’t Multitask Despite your self-assessment that you are an expert multi-tasker, the reality is that research from the American Psychological Association among other sources shows that you are not. When your to-do list is overwhelmingly long, it can be tempting to hop from task to task, generating an illusion of control for your own benefit. In reality, you are wasting time as you jump between headspaces, losing the clarity that comes with continuous focus. When working on a task, choose to work on that task until completion. Of course, in the real world, this is not always possible. A solution is simply setting a time-frame or deadline for the task. Allow yourself a certain amount of time to work on the task, then move on to the next. It is important that your full focus is on one task at a time. In the working world, you will always encounter distractions and obstacles to productivity. The key is to implement simple measures when possible to mitigate distractions and to always be mindful of burnout. Our brains work better when they are afforded adequate time to refresh and when they are focused on one task at a time.


What is Python Being Used for in 2019?

What is Python Being Used for in 2019?

Python is everywhere. Google, YouTube, Spotify, Reddit, Instagram, Netflix, Uber, Dropbox, Pinterest, Lyft, the list of dominant names in the tech industry that use Python is endless. Python is the fastest growing major language in the world edging out Java according to StackOverflow. Python is also the second most loved language by developers just behind Rust and has been the third most popular language on GitHub for years. ​ Python is a highly versatile language that can be used for a plethora of applications. As tech continues to rapidly evolve and change, Python is being used for different applications. Here is what Python is being used for in 2019; Data Analysis and Data Science Data analysis and data science are the most popular application of Python for 2019. Data driven decision making is increasing in popularity in large multinationals as well as SMEs. Data driven decision making enables companies to work smarter, increasing efficiency and profitability. This isn’t a new trend; data science has been on the rise for the last few years with data science being the highest paid field (within tech) to enter in 2016 according to Glassdoor. In terms of frameworks and libraries, developers are favouring NumPy, TensorFlow, Scikit-Learn and Keras for data analysis and science in 2019. Similarly, employers are actively seeking Python developers with NumPy and Tensor Flow experience/knowledge. This can be seen by the number of job specs citing these frameworks on LinkedIn, Indeed, Angel List and StackOverflow. Web-Development Web-development is the second most popular application for Python in 2019. Instagram use Python in combination with Django (Python framework). Spotify use Python for about 80% of their backend services and Facebook uses Python for image processing. 2019 trends for Python show that developers are favouring Django, CherryPy, Flask and Pyramid when using Python for web development. Similarly, employers are actively seeking out Python developers with Django experience. DevOps Next on the list for Python is DevOps. Python is a great fit for DevOps due to its’ flexibility and accessibility. Python enables a DevOps team to build web applications, data visualizations, and to improve their workflow with custom utilities. Python developers with DevOps and Django experience are hot on the market for 2019. Machine Learning An upcoming entry to the list is machine learning. Machine learning is a prominent topic in the AI sphere with AI hailing the media spotlight recently. Python and machine learning go hand in hand due to the abundance of libraries and frameworks suitable for machine learning such as NumPy, SciPy, Scikit-learn, TensorFlow and Pandas. As previously mentioned, employers are actively seeking Python developers with experience of these libraries and frameworks. If you’re a python developer looking to ensure your tech stack is up to date, these are the skills that employers are actively seeking in 2019 (not including the libraries and frameworks mentioned earlier); AWS API Agile Docker Linux Cloud Computing Machine Learning JavaScript Java Git SQL React Flask Of course, the necessity of these skills depends on how you use Python. If you’re a machine learning engineer, you don’t need to have a lot of Django experience, and so on. If you are a developer considering learning Python, we highly recommend you do. Data science and machine learning are exploding with demand for developers increasing year on year within these domains. Python is easier than other major languages to learn and has a huge community that provides support to struggling developers. Lastly, python developers are among the highest paid developers, especially in machine learning and data analysis roles.


Most in Demand Tech Jobs in 2019

Most in Demand Tech Jobs in 2019

Technology is moving at such a rapid pace that we are at a point where jobs that didn’t exist a few years ago such as data science are now some of the highest paid and most recruited for positions. Emerging technologies continue to be the catalyst for increasing demand as there are clear shortages of suitable talent for roles that simply didn’t exist before the technology emerged. Here are three of the most in demand tech roles across the EU for 2019. Cybersecurity Professionals European firms are poised to hire a large number of cyber-security professionals in the next 12 months to fight the increasing threat posed by hackers. A survey conducted by the International Information System Security Certification Consortium (ISC)² conveyed that up to 38% of European firms are set to increase their cyber-security teams by up to 15% in a bid to protect company information from potential cyber-attacks. The survey also relayed the massive talent shortage of cyber-security professionals within the EU that is projected to rise to 350,000 by 2022. This has led to a significant rise in salary and remuneration packages being offered to cyber-security professionals. Full Stack Developers We have seen a lot of companies seeking to remove the traditional departmental gap between backend and frontend developers by moving towards more agile and scrum methodologies. Full stack developers are able to seamlessly integrate the software layers and are aptly suited to work on cross-functional teams. Furthermore, start-ups actively seek out full stack developers due to their wide range of skills, they understand the full cycle of software development and can be a one man band in the early stages of a start-up. As a result, demand for full stack developers is increasing year on year with Indeed statistics portraying a 607% increase in the UK and a 207% increase in the US between 2015-2018. ​Data Scientists Data science is a vibrant field to be in at the moment. It carries a lot of dynamism in terms of the skillsets that candidates need to be successful, as well as the impacts that good data science can have on an organisation. In 2017, a report by the European Commission signified that the number of data professionals will increase year on year by approximately 14.1% by 2020. As data science is a relatively new field, there is a clear talent shortage with the European Commission estimating that 769,00 data science positions will go unfilled by 2020. Data science is a lucrative career being the highest paid profession on Glassdoor (in the US) for 4 years running with a median salary of $95,459. European counterparts such as the Netherlands and the UK offer a median salary of €69,000 and €65,000 respectively. Switzerland offers the highest salary in the EU with a median salary of €115,000. Machine learning and AI are two other areas within data science that are ones to watch. These innovative activities are very new but hold substantial future potential as they can be effectively implemented to improve business processes and products in a wide variety of industries. From predictive analytics to self-driving cars in the automation industry, this technology is going to influence the majority of industries in the future. Machine learning is one of the fastest growing jobs on LinkedIn with data showing that there are now 9.8 times more machine learning engineers than there was five years ago. The roles here presented are just a fraction of the growing roles within IT. Other prevalent jobs that are on the rise include; Web Application Developer Computer Systems Analyst Data Analyst & Data Administrator Mobile App Developer Market Research Analyst Blockchain Specialist UX & UI Developer


Neighbourhoods of Berlin

Neighbourhoods of Berlin

When relocating to a new city, it can be very difficult to know what part of the city to move to. You may ask yourself several pertinent questions such as; What is the most affordable area to live in? Where is best to raise a family? What area has close access to public transport? What area has the highest concentration of restaurants, bars and coffee shops? Berlin is very unique city as it is divided up into twelve distinct neighbourhoods, each with their own look and feel. Each neighbourhood offers its’ own set of advantages and disadvantages depending on what you are looking for. Below is map of how Berlin is divided. Rental prices fluctuate between each neighbourhood. Below is a rental price map for the city for a two-bedroom apartment of 70m squared (without bills and utility costs). As with most cities around the world, rental prices rise significantly the closer you get to the centre. Thankfully, Berlin operates a highly affordable and reliable public transport network enabling people to live outside of the city centre without having to face a daunting commute to work every day. Mitte is steeped in rich history being home to the Jewish Memorial and the Reichstag. It is the city centre and government district. In recent times, the neighbourhood has transformed becoming the hotspot for start-ups, particularly around Torstrasse. As a result, rental prices have increased significantly within the last decade as highly skilled and often highly paid expats move to this start-up hotspot. Friedrichshain - Kreuzberg is a very trendy and culturally diverse area in Berlin with endless bars, restaurants, art exhibitions and the infamous Berghain. There’s always something to do in this popular neighbourhood. This area is also very close to many corporate and tech offices which only serve to further increase the already high demand for housing here. This one of the most expensive areas in the city. Charlottenburg is the heart of West Berlin and is more organised and cleaner than the rest of the city. It’s home to the famous food court KaDeWe and the most exclusive shopping street in Berlin, Kurfürstendamm. Charlottenburg is the luxury side of Berlin and rental prices here are also quite high. Prenzlauer Berg is one of the most family orientated areas in Berlin famous for its vast amount of young families located there. It’s quite a trendy area home to a cluster of cool start-ups. Rental prices here are slightly more affordable but have be rising year on year due to the increase in start-up activity in the area. Neukolln is an area in Berlin with relatively cheaper rent than the rest of the city. Neukolln is very close to Kreuzberg and acts as a more affordable alternative to those wishing to live near the trendy, start-up centre of Berlin. Rental prices here are slowly rising year on year. Lichtenberg conveys remanence of its Eastern heritage with countless Eastern German Plattenbauten, massive building blocks that now look a bit outdated. Lichtenberg is slowly gaining traction as the city centre is easily reached by public transportation and the prices of Lichtenberg apartments are still extremely affordable. Hellesdorf is similar to Lichtenberg but also plays host to the famous Gärten der Welt, which is a great park to get away from all the noise of the city. The area plays host to a vibrant mix of people and major renovations have taken place giving the promenade a facelift. Treptow and Köpenick are also great neighbourhoods for families to live in. They are full of green parks and picturesque lakes, perfect for a day trip during the summer months. Rental prices here are more affordable compared to other parts of the city. Templehof is most famous for its now closed city airport. Nowadays the district is a popular location for Berliners to hang out and engage in activities such as skating and kiting. Rental prices here are more affordable on the outskirts but gradually rise the closer you get to Kreuzberg/Mitte. Steglitz – Zehlendorf are quieter districts on the west of Berlin perfectly suited for families. It’s calmer than the rest of the city with noticeable less traffic. Rental prices here average around €750 per month as it is one of the best areas in Berlin for families. Reinickendorf is one of the lesser know areas of Berlin. Tegel Airport (TLX) is located here along with some nice spots such as Tegeler See (lake). Rental prices here are on average much cheaper than other parts of the city. Spandau is unique as its’ inhabitants don’t consider themselves ‘Berliners’. It’s like a separate small town within a city full of nature and lovely lakes. Rental prices are quite affordable here, as you get closer to Charlottenburg, rental prices increase significantly. Looking to work in Berlin? Check out our latest vacancues here.