Amsterdam’s working style 

An article in the Dutch magazine Intermediair examines why Amsterdam is such a magnet for young software developers. It discusses, for example, the Amsterdam-based payment services company Adyen, a former startup that is now valued at more than 2 billion euros, with annual sales of more than 300 million euros.

Adyen builds all of its software in Amsterdam, and its leading status in the industry means that it attracts many high-level developers to Amsterdam. The company now has about 80 developers, about half of whom come from abroad. “They appreciate the working environment and the working style here,” said Adyen’s director of system architecture Michiel Toneman. 

Amsterdam as an international calling card

Another major IT employer based in Amsterdam is Booking.com, where 90% of the IT staff now comes from abroad. Booking.com has its headquarters on the stately Herengracht, with a roof terrace that overlooks Rembrandtplein. “This is our calling card,” said founder Geert-Jan Bruinsma. “An international appearance is very important.” One of the biggest draws is the lively and cultural city of Amsterdam itself, as well as the affordability of its housing. 

Many career paths in Amsterdam for IT talent

The Dutch online marketplace Marktplaats (Dutch link), which is part of eBay, also employs roughly 40 developers in Amsterdam, about half of whom are foreign. Their innovation program manager, Robin Schuil, said that the Dutch market offers more varied opportunities than elsewhere. “Here they can make a career,” he said, “either with established companies or in the rapidly growing startup community. That makes Amsterdam especially attractive.”

The high level of English in Amsterdam also matters, he said, as do factors such as the bicycling culture and Amsterdam’s high scores in terms of healthcare, safety, and education.