back to article UK is 15th best place in the world to do IT

Blighty has been ranked as the 15th best country in the world in which to try to make use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT). Sweden is top, just barely pipping Singapore to the post, and other Nordic and Asian Tiger nations dominated the top 10. The rankings in question are those on the Networked Readiness Index …

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Anonymous Coward

Top 20

in case you're on dial-up

1 Sweden

2 Singapore

3 Finland

4 Switzerland

5 United States

6 Taiwan, China

7 Denmark

8 Canada

9 Norway

10 Korea, Rep.

11 Netherlands

12 Hong Kong SAR

13 Germany

14 Luxembourg

15 United Kingdom

16 Iceland

17 Australia

18 New Zealand

19 Japan

20 France

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Dead Vulture

Good idea

Not that I am on dial-up, but this should IMO have been included in the article... Or at least, say, the position of US.

Bad reg!

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US

The position of the US was in the article. First paragraph below the bolded bullet points:

"Britain's ICT stakeholders apparently just don't care as much as Nordic ones, with Finland (third), Denmark (seventh) and Norway (ninth) well ahead of us. Likewise North America is a lot better place to try and get things done in IT than here: the USA placed fifth and Canada eighth."

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Why just post a table

when you can explain it all in several paragraphs of riddles?

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Stop

15th worst or 15th best?

Make up your mind!

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acient rivals

mind you germany was ahead of us

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Happy

I think you'll find it's...

two world wars and one world cup!

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unfortunately

Sod all 1966 (or whenever it was)

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I asked my Finnish friend about it

I have a Finnish friend who worked in IT in London and currently works in Helsinki, she replied "Can I go and shoot the researcher?". I think she disagrees with the report's conclusion.

She also suggests that Sweden is only #1 because of Minecraft :)

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London != UK

It would be interesting to see where London (and the south-east) would rank if it was included as a separate entity from the UK. For a company choosing to relocate or opening a European office, the choice of specific city is at least as important as the choice of country.

See also Richard Florida's seminal article "The World Is Spiky".

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true, but....

Yeah, defenetly easier to get an IT job in London. Pity it is an extortionate shithole to live in.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: true, but....

a) Do not diss my hometown.

b) That's the worst spelling of 'definitely' I have ever seen.

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Heart

Spelling

That definitely was especially bad!

Any chance of ElReg incorporating an automated spell check in the comments box? I defenetly need it myself. You know what, as a proud British technology news and opinion website you should really make use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT)! Wouldn't like to see us fall further down the league table.

Or....Sarah, as you are quite good a spotting these things and you do have to read the posts any way. Could you do the honors?

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Pint

Finnish women

will always consider any country better than Finland, I suppose it has something to do with genetics. Inbreeding should be avoided.

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Stop

Re: chance of ElReg incorporating an automated spell check

Fairly slim ;)

Firefox, Chrome & Safari all have a built in spell checker that I believe is turned on by default.

Afaik, IE doesn't, but there appear to be plugins: http://www.iespell.com/

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Position of London ex UK

I think the whole point is that salaries weren't included (from what I read in the 3 points) and hence someone moving from London to <insert city/country> would likely take a pay hit and think their new environment somewhat crap especially if they came from financial IT which pays rather well.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Re: true, but....

He has a point though, London is way too overpriced for anything, and many places in London are just shitholes :|

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Minecraft???

Surely it is hattrick.org?

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if only

Imagine the fun if we could drag London with all its dishonest politicians, money grabbing bank ponces, pollution and over crowding and moor it somewhere close to the Dutch coast

Wouldn't things here be much better.

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do not what?

Diss? Thats a town in Norfolk, I expect the folk from there would be horrified if this lovely little place were compared in any way shape or form with the politician and banker filled extortionate, polluted, over crowded, smelly, dirty mess that is London. Whatever the spelling used.

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Coat

Financial IT

I've never understood why financial IT pays so well until I tried to get a job doing it.

Apparently the only people who can do financial IT are people already doing financial IT. IF you are not already doing it you can't possibly do it. The skills are so specialised and so different from any other IT that it would be physically impossible for you to learn to do financial IT before the next ice age. Financial IT is done by miracle workers who look down on God as all he coul dmanage was the universe and that is clearly not as specialised, good or impressive as financial IT. Financial IT is something that God, Allah and whoever else aspire to be able to do. Mere mortals - whether they have written and managed other IT projects for 30 years - are not able to achieve the standards of brilliance and God like qualities required to do IT. In fact this is so certain they won't get invited to an interview.

This of course leads to the problem that there is a very limited pool of these absolute genius wonderful God like creations, these freaks of nature so of course only the minutely small number of people available need to shuffle in an ever increasing spiral of cost from one place to another. No one else is allowed in. No one else could possibly do the job. When the minutely small number of geniuses all die out I suppose the whole of the City of Londons financial machine will just collapse into dust.

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@Dave 15

Nice rant. Shame it isn't true. I moved into the Financial Services IT sector about 6 years ago after an extensive IT career elsewhere. There was no barrier to coming in as a lateral hire, and in fact I would claim that of my colleagues in the industry about two thirds are graduate recruits and about a third are lateral hires. I would point out though that the industry is highly cyclical. When I originally tried to get a job in financial IT in 2002 I couldn't even get an interview. That was because of the downturn after the dotcom crash. In 2005 I had no problem getting interviews, although I would point out that the interview process was a lot more thorough than any interview process I had been through before. But after the financial crisis in 2008 it became very hard for anyone to get interviews any more, because financial services wasn't recruiting.

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Semi-useless rankings

Well, not completely, but one should not sweat the details of who is just behind whom... This takes into account various stuff such as "broadband penetration" and "smartphone ownership" which can plumb a country without having much influence on the actual work conditions of IT employees.

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You can guess...

... why this might be a welcome shopping list for an aspiring IT emigrant like me.

The UK has lost a lot of it's appeal over the last few days.

In the UK my creative work/communications data can be stolen by people like BT's Ian Livingston/Kent Ertugrul and no one will go to jail.

Fuck that.

Thanks Reg.

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Jobs Horns

Cool

As a remote IT dev that's a decent shopping list of places to upgrade myself to! After all... why live in the UK if you have the option not to.

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I asked myself the same question in 2004.

Then I emigrated.

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Anonymous Coward

where to

... and was the grass *really* greener ?

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FAIL

I aksked the same question about 2 years ago

Then I moved to london with 90% of the rest of the sector. Everybody I work with is from countries in the top 10 of that list. Lets take wild guesses why..

This is like one of those life satisfaction surveys where the more nordic your country is the higher you place and it matches perfectly with the suicide rate rankings and the people making the numbers [up as they go along] aren't asking why.

Not for nothing but equating consumer broadband speeds with how good a country is for tech business is like worying about the sale price of strawberries in spain when you know they'll all end up in the UK supermarkets anyways.

Ignoring that - we're pretty well cabled up on a global level and investment in consumer broadband is for the companies involved to sort out. Sure maybe Denmark is better cabled up for consumers but it has like a 95% tax rate to pay for it, which is why Denmark's rich tend to live anywhere but Denmark.

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I'm still here, aren't I?

The answer, just in case that wasn't absolutely clear, is an emphatic "yes".

I moved to Germany. Easy enough to do - we're all part of that big EU family, so all you need to do is find a job and go. Oh, and learning German is probably a good idea, too. Finding a nice German girlfriend is also a good move - if you're single - many speak English well (this helps them improve their English) - and have parents that do not speak English (this helps you improve your German!)

(I speak from experience, on the subject of German girlfriends: Mine got upgraded with Fiancée SP1, followed up with Die Frau Paket.)

With regard to AC's comment on London, I pay less tax than I would in the UK. I also have to endure far less bullshit regarding things like IR35 - there is no such thing here. Being married also means I get the use of my wife's tax allowance, if she is earning less (or earning nothing.) Living standards are better - way better - than the UK: From the IT angle, we have fast broadband, but from a real life perspective, we also have frequent rubbish collections, real privacy laws that actually mean something to the man on the street - and real beer, brewed in the same tavern you drink it in. Not to mention a total lack of killjoys (that's the real reason I would never ever consider moving back to the UK.)

Oh, and we have a café culture you wouldn't believe...

At the end of the day, my wife and I can work within somewhere commutable from home and bring home enough money to pay for a reasonable lifestyle, which includes restaurants, going out with friends, a few holidays per year, et cetera - and still manage to put away €2k each month. I do not know many in the UK (or London) who can say that - and neither of us are earning anything near an executive salary. Yes, income tax is higher here - but it is nowhere near what you would expect to pay in Norway or Sweden.

We do not live in a mansion - we rent a ~60qm flat - but the cost of renting it for a year can be paid with comfortably less than two months' pay (after tax.) We used to have a car - but we gave that up: Public transport is good enough, and it has saved us a ton in fuel and insurance costs. (If we have a big shop, we just take a taxi home - it costs us around ten euros a shot.) To some degree, I know we are spoiled - we live in Düsseldorf, which is a bit like living in a German Monaco - but we can afford it, because we do not fall into the trap of thinking we "deserve" or "need" a celebrity lifestyle - or its trappings. We just enjoy ourselves. We also like it here because there aren't any chavs, yobs or people who think that getting shitfaced is the only acceptable way to spend an evening (in any case, we have Karneval every year, which offers far more than the prospect of mere shitfacedness), and the crime rate happens to be very low; that's one big advantage of having neighbours that are obscenely rich. Yet *nobody* ever asks about how much your home is worth, over here - and I do mean *nobody*.

Hell, even the police here and polite and helpful. Complete lack of chip on shoulder, I might add - but then again, they all carry loaded guns, so they don't exactly need a bad attitude.

Is there anything I dislike about Germany? Sure. There's the red tape, for a start, which has to be Germany's number one export, before we even touch on the output of BMW or the Volkswagen group. We also have Islamic militants over here, although they aren't treated with the kind of kid gloves that the British authorities insist on using. We get stupid laws, sometimes (especially the ones about certain hacking tools), but on the other hand, we also have fair use rights when it comes to music and films. Many Germans also smoke - which is fine if you also do, but if you're a non-smoker, it will come as a shock to you. Some Germans have described Germany as the "service desert", and compared to the US, that's certainly true. But compared to the UK? I don't think the difference is that clear-cut. We're probably a bit better than Britain for service, but nothing worth writing home about, really.

In any case, if you ever do decide to emigrate from the UK and live here, you probably won't notice its faults within the first 3-4 years - the shock of actually living (rather than merely holidaying) in a first-world country will put rose-tinted spectacles on your face, and you'll be unable to see objectively for a few years. But after that period, you'll start to see the faults. Are they worth moving back to the UK for? It depends on what you value in life, as always. I miss the British sense of humour and PG Tips. I do not miss the backward (positively Victorian) British mindset, the Brit obsession with class status and political correctness - or the fact that crime is largely rewarded/ignored in Britain, with the direct consequence that it has flourished like the gardens of Keukenhof. Given that my wife and I plan on raising children, Britain would not be my first choice.

It really is a case of YMMV.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: I'm still here, aren't I?

Er, we're all really happy for you?

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Yup...

Lived there, returned to the UK, moving back. 'nuf said...

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Joke

India

"Other nations of IT interest could be deemed to include India ... and a very high placement indeed for a nation in the third, low-middle, income group"

Of course they're highly placed for their income group. That's where 90% of the world's call centers are.

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Japan #19?

Did they not include mobile devices in the "ICT" umbrella?

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Grenade

Indi eh ?

Where the hell do them Bangalorean job stealers stand ?

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ugh

Someone had to start this.

I dont want to open can of worms,but blighty has stolen much more worth than these jobs from india.

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Still...

I prefer to live in rural NZ on the wrong end of a 2Mbps link. Sitting here appreciating my home office door open and the sound of tree frogs with a backdrop of a paddock of sheep.

Gigabits aren't everything. Defunutly.

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Stop

ICT..

I wish we could avoid this stupid abbreviation.. it is IT.

Only place I ever seem to see it refered to as ICT is in schools.

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Hmmmm

Wonder how much of this is due to our general attitude that IT is a cost and not a benefit or opportunity. Part of the general British view that any infrastructure is a cost, me thinks.

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Flame

Now you've pushed my button...

Well start teaching kids in schools that "ICT" ( ICT my arse, it's IT! ) does not begin and end with MS Word and Excel!

We might get somewhere if they starting teaching kids some basic idea what's inside the little grey desktop box. No I am not expecting bored 12 year olds to understand kernel development or file system coding, but some basic idea about the major components that are in most gadgets and how they work together might be a start.

Typing out a letter to Santa Claus and filling in a spreadsheet about the colour of cars outside the school gates? Yeah that's gonna make sure we have O/S admins and developers in the next generation!

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FAIL

A few years ago...

I have to agree with you "The Fuzzy Wotnot". A few years ago, I hosted a school trip to the software firm where I was working. About half way around the tour, I asked the kids who wanted to work with computers. Not a single hand went up. When I was a kid in the 80s, ask the same question and a quarter of the class would have put their hand up.

I'm not sure why the trend has changed so much. But I think it is because computers have become a commodity that you play games or surf the web on. Very few kids will try computer programming. When I was a kid, a lot of kids who had 8 bit micros played around with programming on them. During the late 90s and early 00s, programming to kids meant HTML (which isn't programming in my book because it isn't Turing Complete). Now, the closest most kids with computers get is arranging their Facebook page. I still remember a few years ago one of my friends asked me why I didn't have a MySpace page since they thought with my programming skills I could have the best MySpace page around!

Another reason could just be the same reason that less kids are going into Engineering or other sciences. It is too hard.

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That won't happen

As a UK company we set up, ran a UK software apprentice scheme and successfully qualified a bunch of really quite excellent British engineers. They were experienced with a wide range of tools, developed code on a range of platforms (embedded, smartphones, linux and windows) and were able to more than hold their own in competitions with graduates from university.

What thanks did we get? The local college we had to partner with took all the government money and the government (despite the local MP knowing about this scheme AND being in charge of things) promptly went out and gave Microsoft billions for them to create a software apprenticeship scheme. Microsoft STILL haven't got one running, still haven't created a single apprenticeship place with all that money. When they do finally manage it the apprentices will be excellent with visual studio and power point and sod all use with anything else.

The British government - both Labour and Conservative HATES British industry, hates it with a passion and would rather strip us all of every penny we possess and give it away to their mates abroad. Thats where I am going - my coat is already on, the job in the bag and I'm off.

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Back in the good old days...

You could get a trs80, bbc micro, spectrum or similar and write some real code that did something you could understand and see.

Now you end up with a dev environment that takes several gigabytes and hours to install, documentation that means nothing and a 'drag and drop' system or some garbled xml which hides all of the nuts and bolts of everything from you. You then write some meaningless object oriented garbage that calls something to create something to call something else to swap the parameters before creating a virtual flop what bliss can catch whatever thingy in the what not thingy over there api which calls something somewhere that occasionally if you are lucky doesn't crash and burn before something somewhere might trigger a call back to something that creates another defined constant variable redundant flashy thingy which prints "hello world" on the screen in an incredibly small 258.222 gigabyte program created from 25243 lines of garbage 'code'.

Would you want to do this? I am currently tracing through some supposedly embedded code, I've gone through at least 25 layers, 15 call backs 10 message queues and I still haven't linked the code that draws the box with the code that created it.... I know one end has got a single number slightly wrong.... This code wouldn't even fit on my first PC's hard drive.... embedded my backside.

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http://www.coachfactory-outlets.com/

Where the hell do them Bangalorean job stealers stand ?

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Pint

In the boom years

here in Ireland we had a great chance to put in broadband to match Sweden et al, but we can thank a cretinous government full of small-town politicians more concerned about parish pump politics and cows, and a scum incumbent telco more interested in lining their coffers than investing in infrastructure to thank for our lowly position. Cheers!

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Badgers

Ireland

That isn't even true. Sure they attracted the likes of Google, Apple, Microsoft etc - but they absolutely refused to make them pay tax.

There was no coffer-lining, there was simply no money.

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Working in IT

I'm so glad I moved to Sweden decades ago, notwithstanding the quality of life in general is light-years ahead as well. Pity the language is composed entirely of tongue-twisters..

.

Of course on the occasion one ventures home, one still perceives the vile stench of Thatcher wafting down through the years like the bad fart equivalent of background radiation and thanks providence for getting out in time.

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Joke

That...

That's what you get for seceding from the UK, no-one to blame but yourselves! :P

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Anonymous Coward

vile stench

the vile stench of Thatcher wafting down through the years like the bad fart equivalent of background radiation.

Glad you are enjoying life in Sweden. That Thatcher comment was just too funny but it does make you wonder how the Michael Foot utopia may have worked out.

"from wiki...The 1983 Labour manifesto, strongly socialist in tone, advocated unilateral nuclear disarmament, higher personal taxation and a return to a more interventionist industrial policy. The manifesto also pledged that a Labour government would abolish the House of Lords, nationalise banks and leave the then European Economic Community."

It's too hard to call, whether stench would have been even more vile. At worst we may have even found ourselves forced into learning Russian tongue-twisters. Who knows.......

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