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Can Europe now compete with Silicon Valley for engineering talent?

Peter Stojanovic

Is a 20 year long global engineering migration starting to reverse? Index Ventures' Dominic Jacquesson thinks Silicon Valley is starting to lose talent to Europe.

Dominic Jacquesson, Venture Development Director at Index Ventures, is very aware of the importance of engineers within a startup team.

However, even as startups hubs have begun to diversify and pop up across the world, engineering talent in Europe has continued to be attracted to Silicon Valley.

Jacquesson discusses the current standard of engineering talent in Europe during his interview with Hot Topics.

“There’s an unparalleled depth of engineering talent wars in Silicon Valley and as we see a lot of startups make the transition from Europe to California, so we also see the same in engineers.”

The caveat here is that that startup transition is slowing with every passing quarter; startups are starting to find value in their domestic positions whereas the engineering migration is down to Silicon Valley’s exciting jobs, lifestyle and extra perks.

Index Ventures published research around this subject recently, as Jacquesson explains.

“We’ve just published our most extensive study of enginering and product compensation and talent that’s been done in Europe and it revealed that option grants are on a par between Europe and US for individual contributor engineers…”

Index was surprised at these results as well as finding out that cash compensation is 30% lower in Europe too. It may be another contributing factor behind the engineering migration trends that the tech world has experienced.

“…I don’t think the culture of free breakfasts, lunch and dinners, dry cleaners, shuttle buses et cetera, is quite as embedded in Europe as it is in Silicon Valley.

The momentum being experienced by tech hubs outside of the US , means that the standard of engineering talent in Europe is rising.

“There’s a lot of home grown talent that’s evolved in Europe and we’ve hit a tipping point where the startup ecosystem here is seen as the hot place to be; I get a lot of inbound interest from high caliber candidates who want to be a part of it and that will change the game.”