Tech Transformers

London tops San Fran for tech talent (there’s a catch)

London is the tech hub of Europe

A new report is trying to pour cold water on the idea that Silicon Valley is the place to find the best and most technology talent. Step forward … London.

According to analysis from Stack Overflow, an online developers' forum, and the U.K. capital's promotional company, London & Partners, the city is home to more tech talent than New York, San Francisco and any European city.

London houses more than 71,000 professional developers with the nearest European competitor city being Paris with 40,538 IT programmers.


"London is a hotbed for tech talent. With Europe's fastest-growing tech hub and some of the world's leading universities, London based businesses can benefit from access to an unparalleled talent pool," Mayor of London Boris Johnson, said in a press release accompanying the report.

London tech workers paid less

But the report has a caveat: London may have more developers than the combined areas of San Francisco City and the Valley but if the area studied is expanded to include the wider San Francisco Bay Area, then the total number of developers rises to 83,262, over 11,000 more than London.

Also, London tech workers are paid less than their San Francisco counterparts. In Britain's capital, the average salary for an IT professional is $87,622 but in San Francisco, this rises to $123,054.

Fintech leader

Still in Europe, London is leading the way in several of the most in-demand areas of development. London has more developers who can make apps for Google's Android mobile operating system than Berlin and Paris combined. And if somebody is looking for a Microsoft developer, London has 30,062 of those, versus 18,758 in San Francisco.

The sad fact about Europe’s $1B-tech companies

London has been an attractive city for venture capitalists to park their money, particularly in the financial technology, or fintech, sector, where the U.K. capital is seen as a leader. Britain's technology companies raised $1.5 billion during the first six months of the year with London-based companies securing 80 percent of that money, according to London & Partners. London also houses a number of unicorns – or businesses worth over $1 billion – such as TransferWise and Funding Circle.

At the same time, U.S. technology companies including Amazon, Facebook and Google have all established headquarters in the city.