IT in Germany - how to look for work in major cities of Germany

    To leave for Germany, if you have experience in IT, is quite simple, and many articles on this topic help to make a choice. This article will not be an exception, it contains stories of 5 emigrants who shared their experience in major cities of Germany and told what to do to find a job and successfully move up the career ladder. As a bonus - features of survival in a foreign team and pleasant pieces of the German work environment. The article is written in the format of a mini-interview, 6 questions and answers from each author.

    Stuttgart , Roman's personal experience

    1. Why Baden-Württemberg?

    Baden-Württemberg is the cradle of the global automotive industry, and Stuttgart is the birthplace of the Mercedes-Benz and Porsche brands. In Neckarsulm Audi sports and luxury cars are produced.

    In the voting for the most beautiful land of Germany, Baden-Württemberg took second place, losing only to Bavaria, which is logical - the beauty of the Alps is hard to beat. The beauty of Baden-Württemberg - hilly terrain, a lot of forest, postcard towns.

    The Black Forest is a mountain range in the west of the earth, covered with relict forest. This is a real fairy-tale forest from the tales of the Brothers Grimm, a unique region with an original culture and cuisine, rich in hot mineral springs.

    The climate of Baden-Württemberg is the sunniest and warmest in all of Germany.
    The pearl of Baden-Württemberg is Lake Constance with a unique microclimate in which even palm trees grow.

    The geographical location allows you to spontaneously travel to France and Switzerland, while the ski resorts of Austria are still relatively accessible. If you go far to Austria, in the Black Forest in the winter ski resorts are working.

    Schwarzwald forest in Baden-Württemberg

    2. How to find a job?

    Due to the abundance of the automotive industry, there are a lot of C / C ++ developer jobs. Of course, the market is not limited to this, we need ABAP-ery, and front-end, and Java-and C # -developers. Testers are also in high demand.

    Work sensible prosovikam find quite easy. If you do not count on fortune and do not expect that the work will find you yourself (which, by the way, happens quite often), then the search takes place, as usual, on LinkedIn and its German counterpart - In general, in LinkedIn, recruiters are more likely to search for English-language jobs, and Xing for German. In addition, some companies arrange special hire-events, something like a job fair or speed-dating for job seekers and employers. At this event, my friend got a good position in Bosch.

    A significant part of the companies are located in the suburbs of Stuttgart. Because of this, you can not live in the city itself, which is notorious because of polluted air and terrible heat in the summer, but in pretty towns near nature, where the air is noticeably cooler and cleaner in summer, while spending 15 minutes on the road by bicycle .

    3. Do they help with the move?

    Very dependent on the offer and company. It is not considered shameful to ask for it, most companies after a hint offer a relocation bonus. Denying a lift is considered bad form.

    In large companies can help with the search for housing, which is a big problem - the demand far exceeds supply.

    4. Required language and professional skills

    Honestly, it was pretty scary to go to another country without being 200% confident in their skills and experience. From a distance, it seems that in the west only supermotivated ultraprofessionals work. I hasten to disappoint you, there is nothing special about the level and, accordingly, the requirements for employees are not here. In large companies, the pace of work is quite relaxed, deadlines are very humane. In startups it can be different, but in any case, the employee’s security is rather harsh labor legislation, prohibiting work for more than 10 hours a day, on Sundays and holidays, and so on.

    Many companies work in English for an international team or market. If you are able to complete a technical interview in English, there will be no problems in the process. The same goes for German.

    The Germans are very fond of when people learn their language and speak it. They love to boast of its complexity and encourage any attempt to master it. Any attempts to speak German are always met with enthusiasm, loyalty to language errors at a very high level. The Germans have a trait - somewhat unceremoniously correct the speaker if he makes mistakes. Do not take it for rudeness, they are well-meaning.

    At first, the interview will be long and dreary, but everything changes quite dramatically when the applicant has already worked a couple of years in Germany and will receive a permanent residence permit. Employers are much more willing to take a person who already lives in Germany and has the experience and resident status. This seems obvious, but I would like to make a special emphasis on this, because the contrast in the difficulty of passing to the first company in Germany and the following ones is simply discouraging. At one of the interviews I was told in plain text - “well, you have already lived and you know that how much, you have resident status, therefore we will not torment you much”.

    5. International team. How to interact / make friends with colleagues

    There are two types of culture in the type of communication: "coconuts" and "peaches". The Germans, like the Russians, are bright representatives of the "coconut" culture, that is, their juicy flesh is enclosed in a solid shell. But if you managed to overcome the initial barrier and establish contact with the German, he will become a very close friend, completely trusting you.

    In contrast to the "coconuts", for example, the United States and Japan are considered a "peach" culture - they are initially very friendly and smiling, but only to a certain extent.

    The concept of “friendship” in such cultures is somewhat different from ours (and German).
    Because of the hard shell, the Germans are considered rude, unfriendly and cold. In the work team, as a rule, the Germans keep a certain distance - only on-site courtesy, a minimum of personal information and talks on neutral topics.

    There are a lot of interest clubs in Germany - aircraft modeling, horses, shooting. For almost every class there is a “ferfe” - community. If the language level permits, in such communities you can easily make interesting acquaintances and even friends. In such places people are more open for communication and new acquaintances.

    And also in Germany there are very (VERY!) Many Russian speakers. For each large city, a chat is created in Telegram, people often get acquainted via Instagram, in language courses, in a driving school, and even on the street. You should not speak Russian loudly out loud things that you would not want to disclose - it is quite possible that they understand you.

    In general, IT, and especially software development, is always a very “colorful” environment, there are always many nationalities in it. Even the conservative Swabia in this regard is not much inferior to cosmopolitan Berlin. In any more or less large team there will always be about a dozen different nationalities.

    6. How much do they pay, is it expensive to live?

    Baden-Württemberg is the richest land of Germany in terms of per capita. In terms of the average salary, Baden-Württemberg came out on top in 2017, ahead of Bavaria.

    The level of expenditure corresponds to the income of the population and is also one of the highest in Germany. Stuttgart in second place in the cost of rental housing, second only to Munich. True, yielding by a huge margin. The average price for renting a three-room apartment without frills is from € 1,000 per month, excluding utilities. Treshka in a new building in a new area will already cost from 1300 €. Dinner in a restaurant for two with alcohol from 50-60 €, doner shawarma from 4-5 €.

    The average salary of senior in the area of ​​Stuttgart and Karlsruhe is about 65000-70000 €. There are salaries and 80,000 €, but all that is higher is already with the managers. If the position of Senior SW Developer / QA is offered for less than € 60,000 per year, this is a very strong reason to think and bargain. With such a salary, it is quite worthy to live with a family, but taking into account the cost of living, this will not be the most luxurious life. With a salary of € 5,000 a month after taxes, around € 3,300 will be paid out to married / married if the spouse is out of work and € 2,900 to singles.

    Thanks to high salaries and moderately expensive rentals, Baden-Württemberg is one of the most economically profitable lands.

    Dusseldorf, Darya's personal experience

    1. Why Düsseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW).

    Dusseldorf my husband and I chose to live in the first place because in this land he had previously studied at a university. And secondly, because there are so many other large cities just around Düssel - Cologne, Essen, Dortmund. So, many different possibilities.

    2. How to find a job.

    In Germany, unlike in Russia, there is not one site where suitable IT-vacancies lie (oh, HeadHunter!). Here they will be 7-10, and one aggregator from the Labor Exchange (JobCenter). In addition, the practice of directly hiring a person through social networks like or is very common, so it’s hard to talk about employment in IT if the profiles there are weak and there are no diplomas of various courses attached to them. Germans not only require constant self-development from applicants, but also invest themselves well in employee training. I found a place for a trainee in a startup in the Startplatz business incubator (a branch in Düssel and Cologne). Found on Facebook - this is a common practice when companies run advertising vacancies through social networks or even placed in the vacancy section of the MarketPlace.

    3. Whether help with the move.

    I did not have to move. But there is insider information (from the boss and other inhabitants of StartPlatz) that the Germans willingly hire employees from Eastern Europe or from Russia, because they work well and are less demanding than German employees, do not ask for additional payments for processing, do not skip, hold on to their a place. Now my startup is working with freelancers from Kiev and is thinking whether to hire one of them in Germany.

    4. Required language and professional skills

    I was interviewed in German, but it was possible in English. In my work, when the special complex started, which is also explained in English by Anglicisms, I used English words. With staff from other countries, we interacted completely in English. In general, of all the startups in the incubator, 20% used only English between themselves and with mentors. It turns out that even your project with investments can be filed without a national language.

    The requirements are standard, like any marketing department of an IT product I've seen. However, the Germans meet two features. The first is Legacy. We sawed landings on Wordpress with the plugin Thrive Architekt (visual block editor). They stopped working stably if it was necessary to make some kind of decision outside the standard set of blocks. Therefore, a strange choice, given the existence of Tilda, WebFlou and Redimag. It is due to a slightly lower price and mentors who are accustomed to something and teach the same wards. I noticed the second peculiarity three times with various German managers. It is the belief in the potential of the applicant. If the boss (not the HR recruiter) thinks that you can do this work, even if at the current stage you lack tools or knowledge, he will take you into the project and give you time,

    5. International team. How to interact / make friends with colleagues

    In this startup, the founders are Germans, the backend is sitting in Egypt, the frontend will be in Kiev, the freelancers are both Germans and Russian-speaking. There was another intern - a girl from Britain, almost without German. Therefore, we talked partly in English, partly in German. If the product were international, and not only for the German market, then they would speak boldly only in English. We must not forget, we were sitting in a business incubator, so in the common areas of coworking we constantly communicated with the guys from other projects. All people - young and open, constantly discussing working cases, sharing experiences and helping each other. Great atmosphere.

    6. How much they pay, how expensive it is to live.

    The interns in our company were paid a symbolic 650 euros per month. It is assumed that a trainee is still a student, so money is more likely to be paid for two working hands, and not for professional skills. In general, Vietnam is in third place in terms of total wages in Germany. Usually, there are no specific numbers in the vacancies, so the temperature in the hospital can be found here in German, the job can be written in English). In Germany, the market is well developed and you can fit into almost any budget for food and entertainment. Fundamentally the cost of housing will be different. In Düsseldorf and Cologne, the highest rent in the NRW. But transport is well developed, you can live in a small city (remember that there are a lot of them, unlike other lands) and the same hour as in St. Petersburg, go to work and pay for housing one and a half times less.

    Cologne, Darya's personal experience

    1. Why Cologne

    Cologne is the largest city in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia near the capital of Düsseldorf and the former capital of Germany Bonn. In Cologne, a large cluster of media (radio and television) and an impressive programming community with startups and mitaps!

    2. How to find a job?

    From Russia and the CIS countries are very willing to hire programmers. You can help fill out the English profile on, recruiters will find you by keywords. The Germans themselves love to look for work through and We had the rare case when recruiters purposefully searched for programmers in Russia, a vacancy hung on the good old

    3. Do they help with the relocation?

    It depends on the office, but more often yes than not. If the employer is large, then it is easier for him to transport the person, help him to draw up documents on the spot and even pay for housing for the first time, because rent an apartment for a long time here is very difficult . Offices are more modest sometimes give lifting, and you are looking for housing. Most often, HR is attached to you, which as a translator goes with you to all the necessary authorities (register and register in the Town Hall, open a bank account and get insurance).

    4. Language and professional skills

    To work as a programmer in Germany on the Blue Card you need only English. Formally, the German A1 can be useful if you do not pass under the terms of the Blue Card and will receive a work visa, but for an employer it is not as easy as Blau Karte. In terms of professional skills, PHP, JavaScript, Java programmers are welcome at the request leaders. New knowledge and specialties at the interface, such as DevOps, DataScience and Business Intelligence, are welcome.

    5. International team. How to interact and make friends with colleagues.
    Soft skills, or communication skills and teamwork skills for Germans can stand above your professional skills, so try to smile more often, help colleagues, conduct small talks, have lunch with the team. On Fridays, there are often activities from beer time, where everyone talks about a bottle of beer, what they did a week before going to a football or an evening in the evening. If the team is completely international, then there will be no problems with communication, if there are only Germans around, try to learn the language and be open.

    6. How much do they pay?
    Salaries can be viewed in this analytical article on the salaries of the past 2017 based on an anonymous survey of IT people who have moved to Germany

    Berlin, Anya's personal experience

    1. Why Berlin?

    After studying at a German university, where I entered “in my old age” (that is, at 29), I found practice in Berlin and moved. A typical story - in Germany, many graduates are looking for work in almost all of the European Union and go to where there is the coolest option.

    2. How to find a job?

    The easiest place to start is with sites like and , explore options, try sending a resume and see how HR works . I advise you not to send letters of the same type, but to test different options and approaches. Another hint - if you are planning a trip to Berlin, make a note in the summary that in 2-3 weeks you will be in the city and will gladly visit a personal meeting.

    3. Do they help with the move?

    Medium and large companies help with relocation and paperwork, as well as provide accommodation for the duration of the search for a permanent apartment. The conditions in different companies are different, but since hiring expats in Berlin is common, as a rule, no difficulties arise.

    4. Necessary skills

    Transport ready specialists and beginners with a unique set of skills. For example, if you worked in a game dev and know a Japanese or localization guru and know how to manage a team. In general, the unique experience, knowledge of the languages ​​in demand by the company (and this is not always German!) And high adaptability are appreciated.

    The fact that it's cool to be a programmer will not even write - and so it is understandable. These guys are ready to take even the junior and teach right on the burning bike.

    5. International team. How to interact and make friends with colleagues.

    An international team is already a standard in Berlin start-ups, so even at the stage of hiring you will be tested for tolerance, openness and ability to get along with people. To adapt almost every company has German courses, team events and activities organized by the employees themselves. For example, evening games, parties with international cuisine and joint trips to mitapy. In general, it is not necessary to have supernormal abilities to make friends and form a social circle. The main thing is to get out of the introvert's corner and learn how to support the notorious small-talk.

    6. How much do they pay and is it expensive to live?

    Berlin is far from a record holder in wages, as a rule, they come here for a vibrant nightlife and creative freedom. A novice specialist can claim a salary of 40-45 thousand euros per year, experienced guys can safely ask 60-65. Adjusted for taxes is not so much, but the quality of life will still be higher than with a similar salary in Moscow. At least, the examples of many of my friends who have moved - speak about this and never regretted it.

    Munich, Alexandra's personal experience

    1. Why Munich

    Everything is very simple - I strenuously hantili to my current company. I passed interviews purely for the fan, people to see, to show themselves, to check their level. I didn’t plan to move to Munich at all, since I didn’t really like the city, but when I arrived for an interview, I fell in love with the nature around and decided that it was worth it. And there are a lot of companies in Munich, if you suddenly want to change jobs

    2. How to find a job.

    There are two ways - to fill out your profile on two sites - linkedin and xing thoroughly and to expect requests from recruiters. Or search directly for firms that always have a page with a list of open vacancies. The first method is good when you already have a good track record of work. Very often the work is through acquaintances, or simply requests in local chat rooms, we in Munich have a chat for visitors , where they also periodically ask for or offer vacancies. It is easier to start the process, since the resume goes to the HR department directly through the employee and loyalty to such recommendations is greater.

    3. Do they help with the move?

    In our company there is a relocation bonus, or they represent an apartment for the first 2 months, which is a very good option in the realities of Munich, or it seems they pay out 2,000 to move. I know that many firms in Munich practice such a bonus or at least somehow, but they help.

    4. Necessary skills

    Despite the fame of Munich as a conservative city, there are a lot of international companies and concerns where they speak English. Therefore, German is of course important, but even with English you can find a good job. For the rest, everything is like everywhere else - good technical knowledge, communication skills and open minded thinking, and getting an offer will not be so difficult. Many firms know and recruit people from abroad, so even if you are not in Germany, this is not a problem for your job search.

    5. International team. How to interact and make friends with colleagues.

    Our company has 33 nationalities. Sometimes it seems to me that when discussing a new candidate, he has more chances if he is from a country that is not yet represented in our company. Jokes jokes, but I think such a team gives only advantages. You begin to more understand other nationalities and their habits and customs, many people increase the tolerance and acceptance of other people. For our current world, where borders have long been erased, this is one of the most important qualities in order to remain competitive. Every month we have a cultural month in the company, where people from one selected country talk about their culture and bring different national food.

    6. How much do they pay and is it expensive to live?

    The salaries of programmers in Munich start anywhere from 45-55k per year for juniors programmers or testers. 60k is considered to be the base plate on which to rely on the offer, especially if you need to feed the family. Well, above, depending on what experience and how you agree. At the same time, Munich is the most or one of the most expensive cities in Germany. Food and clothing in supermarkets as a whole is the same throughout Germany, only restaurants, various entertainment and rent are more expensive. The main part of the salary is eaten up by it, for one person it is somewhere at least ~ 800 euros per month, if a family of two people or there is a child, then certain rules on quadrature and number of rooms are in effect. Under such conditions, a family apartment costs at least 1,500 euros per month. If you're lucky. Nevertheless, in Munich every year more and more immigrants because living in the heart of Bavaria is in itself a unique experience. Currently underwaya survey for 2018 , if you already live and work in Germany - I invite you to fill out, there will soon be actual salary results.

    Among other things, for all lovers of reflection, and if I didn’t have to go somewhere, I have a link to our immigrant card in all corners of the earth for you - there are personal channels in the telegraph already moved there (most of the time are in Europe) where people share their impressions and lifehacks, as well as general chats of cities in different countries. There you can also find links to the channels of the authors of this text.

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