European python developers

Martin P. Hellwig xng at
Wed Feb 27 19:20:12 CET 2008

jerry at wrote:
> Hi Python Enthusiasts,
> I am hoping one or two members of this list might help me locate in Europe
> to begin a small team of developers with a focus on python for the central
> part of the server development. 
> My personal first choice is Spain only because I like it, and will
> eventually have Spanish as a second language, but I am very concerned about
> finding people, especially considering costs. 
> I have worked virtually with three people from Ukraine and Russia, and a
> chap living in Germany all who appear to be talented and others have told me
> about other countries such as Poland. 
> The point is that I can't really afford to run around and experiment, so I
> was hoping for some helpful comments or suggestions on how to research, or
> where to look, or how to recruit.
> If this has already been a topic of the list, I would appreciate any
> pointers.
> Thanks, Jerry

Hello Jerry,

Moving to another country can be a daunting task, I moved from Germany 
to the Netherlands and looking forward to move to the UK. Friends of 
mine have moved to Greece and Spain, by this heard some of their 
troubles along the way.

First things first, you need to be sure that your motivation for moving 
is absolutely unquestionable (for yourself that is). If you move for the 
warm climate, consider buying a better coat :-)

Joking aside, of course you are a bit adventurous, otherwise you 
wouldn't think about it and of course you want to be well prepared, 
otherwise you wouldn't have asked :-)

Personally I think that wherever you go in the world you will be 
surprised how many qualified people live there, the only problem is that 
you have to meet them. Another problem is that you might not notice 
talented people because they have no experience in your area but are 
willing to get it. Saying it short, you won't have trouble finding 
qualified personnel when you are prepared to reward them well and/or 
train them for the purpose of your business.

Personally I always prefer (self) motivating personnel that are curious 
and smart. They might be not valuable instantly because they still have 
to figure out the tools but usually they are more the kind of people I 
like. I am well aware that the people I hire will grow in their 
specialty and eventually go on to better things, that is unfortunate but 
  it is just the way things go.

Never try to restrict people when they want to leave, give them a warm 
goodbye party and help them in their transition as much as you can. Not 
only is that good for the employee that left but it helps with the 
atmosphere among the remaining people and it gives me a good feeling.

One of the biggest problems when settling in another country for 
business purposes is the language, speak/read the language well enough 
before you leave your home country.

Second problem is culture, I am quite strict on my business 
communications and agreements. That means I will get totally frustrated 
in countries like Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal and the lower parts of 
France. I don't say I am right and they are wrong, the perception on how 
to do _any_ business is different and I can't adopt to theirs (so it is 
my problem and not theirs).

Third problem is regulations, thanks to the EU besides of the normal 
(lack of) regulations you have a ton more of them. The only thing that 
is in common for all of Europe is that it doesn't matter where you are 
or where you from, in a business dispute the local will be favored above 
the foreigner. In countries like I already mentioned and especially the 
sparse populated area's this can go into extremes.

Fourth problem is integration, even if you integrate it doesn't mean 
that locals will except you as a local. Sometimes the best you can get 
is that you are accepted but never be one of their own. Usually that 
does not rise to the surface but especially in disagreements you might 
find it illogical how some decisions are made, even if you get children 
that are born their, they still might be confronted with that.

So to wrap it up:
Speak the language before you arrive
Learn the cultural difference before you arrive
Embrace the new culture and be an active part of it
Be aware that you will always be a foreigner

If you do that, hiring good people will be no problem, that if you are 
not looking for PhD's in a very limited and specialized field that takes 
ages to master.


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