Essential Swedish tech jargon all programmers in Sweden should know

Sweden’s tech industry is booming and its many tech companies are constantly on the hunt for international talent. As a result, English is often the official ‘work language’ - but that’s not to say you won’t hear plenty of ‘Swinglish’ around the office.

Essential Swedish tech jargon all programmers in Sweden should know
Photo: C3L Tyresö

Not being able to speak Swedish isn’t a deal-breaker if you want to work in Sweden’s tech industry, but learning the local lingo does give you a big advantage. For Ukranian national Anna Tytarenko, who is currently in the first semester of Swedish for Programmers (SFX-IT), a specialised Swedish language course for tech professionals, speaking Swedish is key to getting a foot in the door of the industry. 

“In my experience, it’s key to both understand and be able to speak the Swedish language in the Swedish IT industry. Most of your colleagues in Sweden will speak Swedish with one another and your boss usually expects you to learn good Swedish as soon as possible.”

Photo: C3L Tyresö

Find out more about the Swedish for Programmers course today

SFX-IT teacher Linus Lindgren says he is surprised by how quickly students get the hang of Swedish IT lingo. The part-time instructor, who also runs his own IT business, says that his courses aren’t just about learning the language – he always incorporates practical skills and provides insight into how the Swedish tech workplace ticks. He adds that students are also required to give presentations about their coding projects in Swedish which makes learning the typical tech vocabulary a requisite for progressing in the course.

Key to integration

Many job postings (even on LinkedIn) are written in Swedish – and many vacancies require a good grasp of Swedish. According to Anna, who holds an advanced degree in computer science and worked in the IT sector in Ukraine before relocating to Stockholm, learning the lingo of the Swedish IT workplace is key to integrating and becoming a part of the team.

“Our instructors – many of them working professionals in the IT industry – teach us both the coding and IT slang that is used in Sweden,” Anna tells The Local, adding that all her courses are primarily taught in Swedish. “This helps us to understand the working culture better as well as the Swedish language in general.”

Find out more about the Swedish for Programmers course today

Photo: C3L Tyresö

Whatever SFX-IT is doing, it’s doing it right. Linus recalls past students have successfully been able to land internships or jobs before their studies are even complete.

“In the past, students who had prior knowledge of the programming language C#, and who have also worked diligently and proactively to learn Swedish, have been able to land internships before even graduating from my course,” says Linus. “Insofar as I try my best to impart my own industry expertise, for anyone who has some tech background, the course is a good introduction to what it takes to thrive in the Swedish IT industry.”

C3L Tyresö’s SFX-IT – Swedish for Programmers course is open to anyone interested in kickstarting a career in the Swedish IT industry. The part-time course is offered in-person at the C3L Center for Lifelong Learning in Tyresö, is available for distance learning and can be combined with full-time employment.

This article was produced by The Local Creative Studio and sponsored by C3L Tyresö.


Cookie fight: Austrian activist in tough online privacy fight

Five years after Europe enacted sweeping data protection legislation, prominent online privacy activist Max Schrems says he still has a lot of work to do as tech giants keep dodging the rules.

Cookie fight: Austrian activist in tough online privacy fight

The 35-year-old Austrian lawyer and his Vienna-based privacy campaign group NOYB (None Of Your Business) is currently handling no fewer than 800 complaints in various jurisdictions on behalf of internet users.

“For an average citizen, it’s almost impossible right now to enforce your rights”, Schrems told AFP. “For us as an organisation, it’s already a lot of work to do that” given the system’s complexity due to the regulators’ varying requirements, he added.

The 2018 General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) imposes strict rules on how companies can use and store personal data, with the threat of huge fines for firms breaching them.

While hundreds of millions of euros in fines have been imposed following complaints filed by NOYB, Schrems said the GDPR is hardly ever enforced. And that’s a “big problem”, he added.

He said the disregard for fundamental rights such as data privacy is almost comparable to “a dictatorship”. “The difference between reality and the law is just momentous,” Schrems

‘Annoying’ cookies

Instead of tackling the problems raised by the GDPR, companies resort to “window dressing” while framing the rules as an “annoying law” full of “crazy cookie banners”, according to Schrems.

Under the regulation, companies have been obliged to seek user consent to install “cookies” enabling browsers to save information about a user’s online habits to serve up highly targeted ads.

Industry data suggests only three percent of internet users actually approve of cookies, but more than 90 percent are pressured to consent due to a “deceptive design” which mostly features “accept” buttons.

Stymied by the absence of a simple “yes or no” option and overwhelmed by a deluge of pop-ups, users get so fed up that they simply give up, Schrems said. Contrary to the law’s intent, the burden is being “shifted to the individual consumer, who should figure it out”.

Even though society now realises the importance of the right to have private information be forgotten or removed from the internet, real control over personal data is still far-off, the activist said. But NOYB has been helping those who want to take back control by launching
privacy rights campaigns that led companies to adopt “reject” buttons.

 Shift of business model 

Regulators have imposed big penalties on companies that violated GDPR rules: Facebook owner Meta, whose European headquarters are in Dublin, was hit with fines totalling 390 million euros ($424 million) in January.

One reason why tech giants like Google or Meta as well as smaller companies choose against playing by the GDPR rules is because circumventing them pays off, Schrems said.

Thriving on the use of private data, tech behemoths make “10 to 20 times more money by violating the law, even if they get slapped with the maximum fine”, he added.

Contacted by AFP, both companies said they were working hard to make sure their practices complied with the regulations.

Schrems also accuses national regulators of either being indifferent or lacking the resources to seriously investigate complaints. “It’s a race to the bottom,” Schrems said. “Each country has its own way of not getting anything done”.

Buoyed by his past legal victories, Schrems looks to what he calls the “bold” EU Court of Justice to bring about change as it “usually is a beacon of hope in all of this”.

Meanwhile, the European Commission is considering a procedures regulation to underpin and clarify the GDPR.

In the long-run, however, the situation will only improve once large companies “fundamentally shift their business models”. But that would require companies to stop being “as crazy profitable as they are right now,” Schrems said.