Mid November 2018 I decided I had grown tired of working in London so decided to make a change. A job offer appeared in my Inbox for a position at a large company based in Nuremberg, Germany. With very little research I decided to go for it.
Work wise it was an interesting project with great people, here are my general observations from my time there.
Germans are somewhat more reserved than people in the UK.
However in the work environment they will get right to the point, no politely dodging around a painful subject like in the UK. This seems rude at first but it’s definitely more efficient and refreshing after a while.
There is a large immigration population in Nuremberg, mostly from Turkey from what I’ve seen. Most seem to assimilate well, starting up small businesses around the City.
Turns out I moved to Germany around the time of the worst possible weather. Sideways freezing rain for weeks on end makes you appreciate the “warm” smog bubble of London a little more.
Businesses such as supermarkets close much earlier in Nuremberg. There are no 24 hour stores anywhere and on Sundays everything is closed.
There are few if any grocery delivery services. This really makes you appreciate the Ocado/Tesco/etc services in throughout the UK.
Parking is limited in Nuremberg, as is the enforcement of illegal parking. On every inch of kerb in the populated areas you’ll likely find a car carelessly parked at an interesting angle.
On the plus side, where real parking spaces are found they are much wider than those in the UK. (Thank you German automotive industry).
In the city in Germany, just as in other cities such as London there’s the usual aggressive driving style you’d expect. However on the motorways/autobahn the style differs significantly to that of the UK.
- People keep to the slower lanes when not overtaking (this never happens in the UK).
- It’s not unusual to be driving at 155 mph and have another car breeze past you.
- Motorways in Germany are of a higher quality, holding much less standing water in the rain.
- Unlike the UK, when it’s raining people don’t forget how to drive. 95 mph in heavy rain seems normal in Germany.
In London I was accustomed to using debit card for all transportation and contact-less for most purchases.
In Nuremberg however there seems to be an obsession with holding cash in your hand. The only places that seemed to take card were large supermarkets. All bars would only accept cash, I couldn’t find a reason for this, it’s either cultural or for money laundering purposes.
Nuremberg is a clear winner in this respect. Even though I was working at a large organization I saw the following working hours patterns.
Monday – Thursday: 8:30am – 4:30pm
Friday: 8:30am – 3pm
While in London… well I’ll just quote the CEO of a company I recently worked with:
Work starts sometime before 9am and ends sometime after 6pm.
Clearly madness, especially for Software Engineers.
Interestingly with the shorter hours in Germany I found my productivity sky-rocket. I was doing more work in a shorter time and felt refreshed every morning. If only companies in London would learn ;)
In conclusion – London suits myself much better and as I sit on this train returning to the Land of Smog, on arrival I’ll have a new appreciation for the infrastructure and attractions at my disposal 24/7.