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Scotland: Situation for Cloud/Devops contractors?

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    Scotland: Situation for Cloud/Devops contractors?

    Hi guys,

    For personal reasons, we (my family that is) are currently considering moving to Scotland (somewhere between Glasgow and Edinburgh). We currently live close to London.
    To assess whether that is a good idea (as in financially viable), I was hoping for some input from you kind ladies and gents.

    To be more specific: I have been working down here in London for well over 8 years as a contractor in Systems Administration (Linux, BSD), Systems Architecture, and Cloud Architecture/Engineering (soon to be AWS double-certified on professional level), and another almost 10 years before that in a different EU country (same field minus Cloud, which wasn't a thing back then).

    I have no illusion about daily rates being as high in Edinburgh or Glasgow as they are here in London (neither are costs of living), but I'm wondering how healthy the contractor market in my field is up there. I didn't have a lot of success researching this, because many sources are not up to date and job listings very often show a rather blurred picture, mainly because most contract roles are not actually publicly advertised (the clients' preferred recruitment agencies will have them). Contacting recruiters at this stage directly is probably waste of time, since most are only interested in contractors who are immediately available, but it will take us about half a year before we can move.

    I wonder if anybody from Scotland (recruiters or contractors alike) could shed some light on their experience?

    Thanks a lot!

    #2
    Have been living in Scotland for 7 years had to commute to England for contracting in an enterprise software niche. Just once was a client in Scotland. Now work almost remotely for North Ireland based client.

    Scotland Amazon AWS Contracts, Contractor Rates for Amazon Web Services (AWS) Skills in Scotland - 26
    Amazon AWS Contracts, Contractor Rates for Amazon Web Services (AWS) Skills - 1806

    Scotland has 26 ads while nationwide 1806 matches for "AWS". Just as an illustration.

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      #3
      Scotland is mainly offering Banking and Finance roles, RBS have a big migration on, other than that, there's a sauage factory in Peebles looking for a stuffer...

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        #4
        Originally posted by stek View Post
        Scotland is mainly offering Banking and Finance roles, RBS have a big migration on, other than that, there's a sauage factory in Peebles looking for a stuffer...
        Don't forget the packing department in the fudge factory. We usually have to get migrants in from England to work there though.
        When freedom comes along, don't PISH in the water supply.....

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          #5
          Originally posted by FK1 View Post
          Have been living in Scotland for 7 years had to commute to England for contracting in an enterprise software niche. Just once was a client in Scotland. Now work almost remotely for North Ireland based client.

          Scotland Amazon AWS Contracts, Contractor Rates for Amazon Web Services (AWS) Skills in Scotland - 26
          Amazon AWS Contracts, Contractor Rates for Amazon Web Services (AWS) Skills - 1806

          Scotland has 26 ads while nationwide 1806 matches for "AWS". Just as an illustration.
          Thanks for your answer, FK1. The statistics were quite interesting actually. In comparison with other areas in the UK, which we have considered moving to, Scotland (especially the Glasgow-Edinburgh area) does seem to be doing okay, though, if I use some other relevant keywords; at least not much worse.

          To the other not so helpful hugely entertaining posts: Cheers, good to know that packing jobs are available and usually awareded to immigrants from England, should bench time threaten to eat up my battle chest. :P

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            #6
            Originally posted by Kraut View Post
            Thanks for your answer, FK1. The statistics were quite interesting actually. In comparison with other areas in the UK, which we have considered moving to, Scotland (especially the Glasgow-Edinburgh area) does seem to be doing okay, though, if I use some other relevant keywords; at least not much worse.

            To the other not so helpful hugely entertaining posts: Cheers, good to know that packing jobs are available and usually awareded to immigrants from England, should bench time threaten to eat up my battle chest. :P
            You are doing this the wrong way. Never make the assumption you will be working where you live. It leaves you far too exposed when you are out of contract. Pick areas that are nice to live near that have even better escape routes.

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              #7
              Originally posted by bobspud View Post
              You are doing this the wrong way. Never make the assumption you will be working where you live. It leaves you far too exposed when you are out of contract. Pick areas that are nice to live near that have even better escape routes.
              I'm aware of that, thanks. Been contractor long enough to know that flexibility will be required at some point. (I hope you didn't think that I'd seriously consider packing fudge.)
              Flight from Edinburgh to London takes me ~2 hours including check-in/security, if tulip hits the fan, and my current daily rates there would cover flight and accommodation and still make a comfortable living (just considerably less convenient than working near home).

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                #8
                Originally posted by Kraut View Post
                I'm aware of that, thanks. Been contractor long enough to know that flexibility will be required at some point. (I hope you didn't think that I'd seriously consider packing fudge.)
                Flight from Edinburgh to London takes me ~2 hours including check-in/security, if tulip hits the fan, and my current daily rates there would cover flight and accommodation and still make a comfortable living (just considerably less convenient than working near home).
                You forgot to add in the airport transfers both sides.
                "You’re just a bad memory who doesn’t know when to go away" JR

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by Kraut View Post
                  I'm aware of that, thanks. Been contractor long enough to know that flexibility will be required at some point. (I hope you didn't think that I'd seriously consider packing fudge.)
                  Flight from Edinburgh to London takes me ~2 hours including check-in/security, if tulip hits the fan, and my current daily rates there would cover flight and accommodation and still make a comfortable living (just considerably less convenient than working near home).
                  I used to commute from Edinburgh area to London area for years as a contractor. Mixed trains and flights and both Heathrow and City airports depending what location.

                  Initially arrived Sunday evening and departed Friday evening. Sometimes Saturday morning. Later arrived midday Monday for the most clients.
                  You would rather arrive on a site 1 pm if a train and 11 am if you fly.

                  The most annoying thing was for me - rail disruptions happened every third week regularly and normally.

                  I am very certain your annual income would be twice less as a result of living in Scotland but your living costs could be twice less as well. At the same time you could spend three times less to buy or rent than in London area.

                  If take an average IT rate as £450pd then £100pd will go to the expenses.
                  Given you are human-being you will contracting less months as will be tired more from commuting and your family would demand it. So that is why your overall income will be reduced.

                  It is likely you would have to pretend (initially) you live in London. Agents tend to find locals first.

                  Not sure about how sensible to live in cities as Edinburgh and Glasgow close to airports. 1 hour more or less to commute does not matter if you travel twice a week.
                  I lived 30 minutes from Edinburgh airport now I moved to a semi-rural area 1 hour from both airports.

                  I could not imagine myself living in England while 90% of my clients (historical and potential) based in England. And for a moment I do prefer remote work visiting clients from time to time. For that working pattern you should be unique or cheap enough, or both.

                  Good luck in your search and happy settlement! Be sensible though
                  Last edited by FK1; 27 June 2016, 23:34.

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                    #10
                    Nice post.
                    'CUK forum personality of 2011 - Winner - Yes really!!!!

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