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Denmark: Programmers wanted

After my presentation in Aarhus as part of ITForum.DK’s get-together, I chatted with Babak Djahari, a lobbyist for the tech sector. I asked what his issues were, half afraid he was going tell me how Net neutrality is a communist plot, but then I remember that, oh yeah, I’m not in America. He said the industry’s main issue is a shortage of programmers. The pay is excellent but, he said, programmers are considered nerds. Also taxes are very high (65-70% at the high end) and the weather is less than ideal; he says there’s only fall and winter, and during the winter there are only six hours of light. (Since when do geeks see the sun anyway?) On the other hand, you get to live in Denmark, the beer is great, there are lots of Danes here, English is the second language, the Danes rescued my people during WW II, and you’ll be just in time for when nerds become the new cool people, just like in the US.

After the meeting, I bicycled from the hotel to Aarhus, about 5k along the bay. I used one of Aarhus’ free public bicycles and had an exceptionally pleasant ride. After returning the bike to one of the stands, I wandered aimlessly, i.e., I got totally head-facing-backwards, wasn’t-I-just-here lost. The part of the city I saw — which included the pedestrian section — was quiet, old, unpretentious, possibly student-y. I went to an Asian restaurant, thinking I might find something vegetarian there. There was nothing on the menu, but they wokked up some vegetables. Then I wandered, trying to find the bay because my only way back to the hotel would be by biking along the water, although first I would have to bike a few miles to figure out I’m going in the wrong direction, since my experience has consistently taught me that the right direction is always the second direction, and no amount of figgering or trying to cheat the system (“Which is the way I wouldn’t go? That must be the way!”) circumvents this law of personal physics. Amazingly, I fell into a worm hole that brought me directly to the hotel, where “worm hole” = “taxi.”

Now I’m on my tiny balcony overlooking the bay, from which I can see the loading docks, carbon paper clouds, and lights drifting toward my family. [Tags: denmark travel programming ]

6 Responses to “Denmark: Programmers wanted”

  1. Denmark has always been super-high on my places to live other than Australia (where I live now). Plus they love Aussies – their Crown Prince married one, after all.

    Did Babak give you any info on where or how those of us with an interest in the Dark North might go to find more out?

  2. Depends on what you want to know.

    One place to start is here:

    Or here This one is aimed at tourists, but contains a lot of background information on Denmark, too.

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