That time I moved to Sweden...Posted 2014-03-10
In 2012 I moved from Australia to Sweden to join the tretton37 family. This is my story, but it could also be yours. Well except for the “2012” part – that ship has sailed.
tretton37 took a risk in hiring me – they had never hired a non-Swedish speaker before, especially one from so far abroad. In turn I took a risk on them – I had never even visited Sweden! What could possibly go wrong?
As it turns out, the answer to that question is a suitably understated “not much”.
Finding the right employer from the other side of the planet is a tricky business. A mutual friend introduced me to tretton37, and within minutes I was speaking to one of their founders on JabbR. Okay, okay, that part was easy. I’d love to say it was all that simple but of course, tretton37 takes recruitment very seriously.
Through the magic of Skype we organized two interviews; the first was a relaxed chat about tretton37 and Sweden, the merits of pizza vs. salad, and of course a little about myself. A few days later we had the technical interview covering standard .NET questions, code review, and general “shop talk” about our industry. There were no mountains to be moved or manhole covers to be pondered. I appreciated both interviews – relevant questions were asked and even if I was nervous, not once did I feel like the company was trying to find a way to make me slip up and fail the interview.
Since this post is useful for foreigners like myself, I should probably take a moment to answer the question, “Why Sweden?”.
Well, Sweden is a world leader of equality and fairness in society. Universal healthcare and education, gender equality, gay rights, and environmental sustainability are all basic truths of the Swedish society.
Not travelling alone? Your partner and children can migrate with you, and here they can work, study, and participate in the community as they wish.
Starting a family? How do 480 days of paid parental leave sound?
Worried about speaking only English? Swedes are ranked the best in the world for English as a second language.
Competitive salaries, proximity to the rest of Europe, a distinct lack of deadly animals (did I mention I’m Australian?), and long, dark, cold winters – wait, what?
But seriously, I’ve found that Sweden is a pretty nice place to live, even considering the fact that “winter is coming” was a way of life here long before some guy wrote a book about it.
For me, the great attractions of tretton37 were the people and the company culture. My colleagues are passionate, dedicated, diverse and interesting. Starting any technical discussion amongst the programmers invariably leads to a hearty exchange of opinions and approaches. Better still, tretton37 welcomes and encourages our individual ideas. We each have genuine potential to shape the company and make it how we want it to be. It is so refreshing to raise an issue and see it not only discussed, but also fixed, and a real joy to propose an idea and have it excitedly attempted and refined.
At the end of the day, tretton37 is simply an easy company to like. Good people, good management and good core values. We invest back into the community through Leetspeak and the best-catered user group meetings around. We strive to be better and to challenge any tradition. It’s a great feeling to be proud of the company you work for.
If you are interested in being part of the family, here are some links to read about tretton37, Sweden, or the migration process:
Shameless plug: Are you a ninja? We are hiring in all our offices.