A Software Engineer’s Guide to Moving to London

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If you are a software engineer living in the UK, you are probably wondering what the biggest city can offer from a career perspective. No matter if you are an experienced engineer or just graduated with a computer science degree, London can be a good place, especially if you know what to expect. 

Read on to find out the answer to some of your questions regarding how to get a job, how to negotiate your salary, and how to relocate to the most vibrant city in the UK. 

How to get a job in London 

With more than 400,000 software engineers in London, no doubt you will run into some strong competition – more than in any other European city, actually. But do not let this fact discourage you – there are still many opportunities for software engineers in London. London-based companies admit that they face difficulties recruiting skilled workers, so, despite the competition, you can still land a great opportunity. After all, there are more than 5,000 tech startups in London. 

To increase your chances of success, there are a number of tactics you should consider. For example, a lot of tech companies use various job platforms such as Unicorn.io to find and hire talent, so make sure to examine different options and create a strong profile before sending your application. 

Also, keep in mind that in-person interactions and networking is very important when it comes o build relationships. Spend some time in London and get involved in various meetups, workshops, events, networking opportunities to increase the time you can spend with potential employers. Look into happenings especially in East London and the Old Street area where the London tech ecosystem is thriving. 

What to expect salary-wise in London 

Salaries for software engineers in London are generally higher than in the rest of the UK, so you have the chance to expect a bump when you relocate to London. And do not forget that there can be quite a variation according to different roles – for example, blockchain, embedded. Data engineers are the ones with the highest salaries in London. 

Research the average salaries to be familiar with what to expect and do not hesitate to negotiate your salary if you feel that you have been offered less than usual. Especially if you are an experienced engineer, there is no need to constrain – you can expect a well-above-average salary, and it is worth the effort to negotiate. 

Also, do not forget London’s cost of living is higher than in the rest of the UK, even in other big cities. Do not let yourself be limited by comparing to your previous salary. For example, expect to pay up to 50% more for rent and consumer prices in London compared to Manchester, so if you settle up for a salary that is average for Manchester, you will most likely struggle in London. You – and your future employer – should want you to feel comfortable financially to be able to be more productive and efficient. 

Even with the competitive job market and higher cost of living, the demand for software engineers and the higher salaries make London a great option for software engineers looking to make a career advancement and enjoy living in the capital of the UK.