back to article UK is 15th best place in the world to do IT

Blighty has been ranked as the 15th best country in the world in which to try to make use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT). Sweden is top, just barely pipping Singapore to the post, and other Nordic and Asian Tiger nations dominated the top 10. The rankings in question are those on the Networked Readiness …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Top 20

    in case you're on dial-up

    1 Sweden

    2 Singapore

    3 Finland

    4 Switzerland

    5 United States

    6 Taiwan, China

    7 Denmark

    8 Canada

    9 Norway

    10 Korea, Rep.

    11 Netherlands

    12 Hong Kong SAR

    13 Germany

    14 Luxembourg

    15 United Kingdom

    16 Iceland

    17 Australia

    18 New Zealand

    19 Japan

    20 France

    1. ratfox
      Dead Vulture

      Good idea

      Not that I am on dial-up, but this should IMO have been included in the article... Or at least, say, the position of US.

      Bad reg!

      1. O RLY


        The position of the US was in the article. First paragraph below the bolded bullet points:

        "Britain's ICT stakeholders apparently just don't care as much as Nordic ones, with Finland (third), Denmark (seventh) and Norway (ninth) well ahead of us. Likewise North America is a lot better place to try and get things done in IT than here: the USA placed fifth and Canada eighth."

      2. Tom Wood

        Why just post a table

        when you can explain it all in several paragraphs of riddles?

  2. Anonymous Coward

    15th worst or 15th best?

    Make up your mind!

  3. John Smith 23

    acient rivals

    mind you germany was ahead of us

  4. brain_flakes

    I asked my Finnish friend about it

    I have a Finnish friend who worked in IT in London and currently works in Helsinki, she replied "Can I go and shoot the researcher?". I think she disagrees with the report's conclusion.

    She also suggests that Sweden is only #1 because of Minecraft :)

    1. Buzzword

      London != UK

      It would be interesting to see where London (and the south-east) would rank if it was included as a separate entity from the UK. For a company choosing to relocate or opening a European office, the choice of specific city is at least as important as the choice of country.

      See also Richard Florida's seminal article "The World Is Spiky".

      1. CollyWolly

        true, but....

        Yeah, defenetly easier to get an IT job in London. Pity it is an extortionate shithole to live in.

        1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: true, but....

          a) Do not diss my hometown.

          b) That's the worst spelling of 'definitely' I have ever seen.

          1. moonface


            That definitely was especially bad!

            Any chance of ElReg incorporating an automated spell check in the comments box? I defenetly need it myself. You know what, as a proud British technology news and opinion website you should really make use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT)! Wouldn't like to see us fall further down the league table.

            Or....Sarah, as you are quite good a spotting these things and you do have to read the posts any way. Could you do the honors?

            1. Minty

              Re: chance of ElReg incorporating an automated spell check

              Fairly slim ;)

              Firefox, Chrome & Safari all have a built in spell checker that I believe is turned on by default.

              Afaik, IE doesn't, but there appear to be plugins:

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Re: true, but....

            He has a point though, London is way too overpriced for anything, and many places in London are just shitholes :|

          3. Dave 15

            do not what?

            Diss? Thats a town in Norfolk, I expect the folk from there would be horrified if this lovely little place were compared in any way shape or form with the politician and banker filled extortionate, polluted, over crowded, smelly, dirty mess that is London. Whatever the spelling used.

      2. Mark 65

        Position of London ex UK

        I think the whole point is that salaries weren't included (from what I read in the 3 points) and hence someone moving from London to <insert city/country> would likely take a pay hit and think their new environment somewhat crap especially if they came from financial IT which pays rather well.

        1. Dave 15

          Financial IT

          I've never understood why financial IT pays so well until I tried to get a job doing it.

          Apparently the only people who can do financial IT are people already doing financial IT. IF you are not already doing it you can't possibly do it. The skills are so specialised and so different from any other IT that it would be physically impossible for you to learn to do financial IT before the next ice age. Financial IT is done by miracle workers who look down on God as all he coul dmanage was the universe and that is clearly not as specialised, good or impressive as financial IT. Financial IT is something that God, Allah and whoever else aspire to be able to do. Mere mortals - whether they have written and managed other IT projects for 30 years - are not able to achieve the standards of brilliance and God like qualities required to do IT. In fact this is so certain they won't get invited to an interview.

          This of course leads to the problem that there is a very limited pool of these absolute genius wonderful God like creations, these freaks of nature so of course only the minutely small number of people available need to shuffle in an ever increasing spiral of cost from one place to another. No one else is allowed in. No one else could possibly do the job. When the minutely small number of geniuses all die out I suppose the whole of the City of Londons financial machine will just collapse into dust.

          1. Anonymous Coward

            @Dave 15

            Nice rant. Shame it isn't true. I moved into the Financial Services IT sector about 6 years ago after an extensive IT career elsewhere. There was no barrier to coming in as a lateral hire, and in fact I would claim that of my colleagues in the industry about two thirds are graduate recruits and about a third are lateral hires. I would point out though that the industry is highly cyclical. When I originally tried to get a job in financial IT in 2002 I couldn't even get an interview. That was because of the downturn after the dotcom crash. In 2005 I had no problem getting interviews, although I would point out that the interview process was a lot more thorough than any interview process I had been through before. But after the financial crisis in 2008 it became very hard for anyone to get interviews any more, because financial services wasn't recruiting.

      3. Dave 15

        if only

        Imagine the fun if we could drag London with all its dishonest politicians, money grabbing bank ponces, pollution and over crowding and moor it somewhere close to the Dutch coast

        Wouldn't things here be much better.

    2. Lars Silver badge

      Finnish women

      will always consider any country better than Finland, I suppose it has something to do with genetics. Inbreeding should be avoided.

    3. Handle this!


      Surely it is

  5. ratfox

    Semi-useless rankings

    Well, not completely, but one should not sweat the details of who is just behind whom... This takes into account various stuff such as "broadband penetration" and "smartphone ownership" which can plumb a country without having much influence on the actual work conditions of IT employees.

    Thumb Up

    You can guess...

    ... why this might be a welcome shopping list for an aspiring IT emigrant like me.

    The UK has lost a lot of it's appeal over the last few days.

    In the UK my creative work/communications data can be stolen by people like BT's Ian Livingston/Kent Ertugrul and no one will go to jail.

    Fuck that.

    Thanks Reg.

  7. batfastad
    Jobs Horns


    As a remote IT dev that's a decent shopping list of places to upgrade myself to! After all... why live in the UK if you have the option not to.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        where to

        ... and was the grass *really* greener ?

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

          1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

            Re: I'm still here, aren't I?

            Er, we're all really happy for you?

          2. Dave 15


            Lived there, returned to the UK, moving back. 'nuf said...

      2. Anonymous Coward

        I aksked the same question about 2 years ago

        Then I moved to london with 90% of the rest of the sector. Everybody I work with is from countries in the top 10 of that list. Lets take wild guesses why..

        This is like one of those life satisfaction surveys where the more nordic your country is the higher you place and it matches perfectly with the suicide rate rankings and the people making the numbers [up as they go along] aren't asking why.

        Not for nothing but equating consumer broadband speeds with how good a country is for tech business is like worying about the sale price of strawberries in spain when you know they'll all end up in the UK supermarkets anyways.

        Ignoring that - we're pretty well cabled up on a global level and investment in consumer broadband is for the companies involved to sort out. Sure maybe Denmark is better cabled up for consumers but it has like a 95% tax rate to pay for it, which is why Denmark's rich tend to live anywhere but Denmark.

  8. sisk


    "Other nations of IT interest could be deemed to include India ... and a very high placement indeed for a nation in the third, low-middle, income group"

    Of course they're highly placed for their income group. That's where 90% of the world's call centers are.

  9. peyton?

    Japan #19?

    Did they not include mobile devices in the "ICT" umbrella?

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Indi eh ?

    Where the hell do them Bangalorean job stealers stand ?

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Someone had to start this.

      I dont want to open can of worms,but blighty has stolen much more worth than these jobs from india.

  11. Charles Manning


    I prefer to live in rural NZ on the wrong end of a 2Mbps link. Sitting here appreciating my home office door open and the sound of tree frogs with a backdrop of a paddock of sheep.

    Gigabits aren't everything. Defunutly.

  12. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    Now you've pushed my button...

    Well start teaching kids in schools that "ICT" ( ICT my arse, it's IT! ) does not begin and end with MS Word and Excel!

    We might get somewhere if they starting teaching kids some basic idea what's inside the little grey desktop box. No I am not expecting bored 12 year olds to understand kernel development or file system coding, but some basic idea about the major components that are in most gadgets and how they work together might be a start.

    Typing out a letter to Santa Claus and filling in a spreadsheet about the colour of cars outside the school gates? Yeah that's gonna make sure we have O/S admins and developers in the next generation!

    1. Anonymous Coward

      A few years ago...

      I have to agree with you "The Fuzzy Wotnot". A few years ago, I hosted a school trip to the software firm where I was working. About half way around the tour, I asked the kids who wanted to work with computers. Not a single hand went up. When I was a kid in the 80s, ask the same question and a quarter of the class would have put their hand up.

      I'm not sure why the trend has changed so much. But I think it is because computers have become a commodity that you play games or surf the web on. Very few kids will try computer programming. When I was a kid, a lot of kids who had 8 bit micros played around with programming on them. During the late 90s and early 00s, programming to kids meant HTML (which isn't programming in my book because it isn't Turing Complete). Now, the closest most kids with computers get is arranging their Facebook page. I still remember a few years ago one of my friends asked me why I didn't have a MySpace page since they thought with my programming skills I could have the best MySpace page around!

      Another reason could just be the same reason that less kids are going into Engineering or other sciences. It is too hard.

      1. Dave 15

        Back in the good old days...

        You could get a trs80, bbc micro, spectrum or similar and write some real code that did something you could understand and see.

        Now you end up with a dev environment that takes several gigabytes and hours to install, documentation that means nothing and a 'drag and drop' system or some garbled xml which hides all of the nuts and bolts of everything from you. You then write some meaningless object oriented garbage that calls something to create something to call something else to swap the parameters before creating a virtual flop what bliss can catch whatever thingy in the what not thingy over there api which calls something somewhere that occasionally if you are lucky doesn't crash and burn before something somewhere might trigger a call back to something that creates another defined constant variable redundant flashy thingy which prints "hello world" on the screen in an incredibly small 258.222 gigabyte program created from 25243 lines of garbage 'code'.

        Would you want to do this? I am currently tracing through some supposedly embedded code, I've gone through at least 25 layers, 15 call backs 10 message queues and I still haven't linked the code that draws the box with the code that created it.... I know one end has got a single number slightly wrong.... This code wouldn't even fit on my first PC's hard drive.... embedded my backside.

    2. Dave 15

      That won't happen

      As a UK company we set up, ran a UK software apprentice scheme and successfully qualified a bunch of really quite excellent British engineers. They were experienced with a wide range of tools, developed code on a range of platforms (embedded, smartphones, linux and windows) and were able to more than hold their own in competitions with graduates from university.

      What thanks did we get? The local college we had to partner with took all the government money and the government (despite the local MP knowing about this scheme AND being in charge of things) promptly went out and gave Microsoft billions for them to create a software apprenticeship scheme. Microsoft STILL haven't got one running, still haven't created a single apprenticeship place with all that money. When they do finally manage it the apprentices will be excellent with visual studio and power point and sod all use with anything else.

      The British government - both Labour and Conservative HATES British industry, hates it with a passion and would rather strip us all of every penny we possess and give it away to their mates abroad. Thats where I am going - my coat is already on, the job in the bag and I'm off.

  13. Is it me?


    Wonder how much of this is due to our general attitude that IT is a cost and not a benefit or opportunity. Part of the general British view that any infrastructure is a cost, me thinks.

  14. <user />


    I wish we could avoid this stupid abbreviation.. it is IT.

    Only place I ever seem to see it refered to as ICT is in schools.

  15. coach outlet
    Thumb Up

    Where the hell do them Bangalorean job stealers stand ?

  16. Alan Bourke

    In the boom years

    here in Ireland we had a great chance to put in broadband to match Sweden et al, but we can thank a cretinous government full of small-town politicians more concerned about parish pump politics and cows, and a scum incumbent telco more interested in lining their coffers than investing in infrastructure to thank for our lowly position. Cheers!

    1. streaky


      That isn't even true. Sure they attracted the likes of Google, Apple, Microsoft etc - but they absolutely refused to make them pay tax.

      There was no coffer-lining, there was simply no money.

  17. Steen Hive
    Thumb Up

    Working in IT

    I'm so glad I moved to Sweden decades ago, notwithstanding the quality of life in general is light-years ahead as well. Pity the language is composed entirely of tongue-twisters..


    Of course on the occasion one ventures home, one still perceives the vile stench of Thatcher wafting down through the years like the bad fart equivalent of background radiation and thanks providence for getting out in time.

    1. CD001


      That's what you get for seceding from the UK, no-one to blame but yourselves! :P

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      vile stench

      the vile stench of Thatcher wafting down through the years like the bad fart equivalent of background radiation.

      Glad you are enjoying life in Sweden. That Thatcher comment was just too funny but it does make you wonder how the Michael Foot utopia may have worked out.

      "from wiki...The 1983 Labour manifesto, strongly socialist in tone, advocated unilateral nuclear disarmament, higher personal taxation and a return to a more interventionist industrial policy. The manifesto also pledged that a Labour government would abolish the House of Lords, nationalise banks and leave the then European Economic Community."

      It's too hard to call, whether stench would have been even more vile. At worst we may have even found ourselves forced into learning Russian tongue-twisters. Who knows.......

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