I came to Germany in 1996 and have been working since then as a programmer mainly in Freiburg. I am now a freelancer and commute between Freiburg and Lörrach at present. I was happily married until my German wife sadly died of a genetic illness in 2009. Fortunately, I have found another wonderful person... I return to Scotland now and then, but Freiburg is now my home and I feel totally settled in South Germany.
I learned German at school and much later in evening classes in Edinburgh. So when I arrived in Germany, I had the basics. In my second job, my boss paid for me to have one-to-one sessions at a language school and I learned advanced grammar. I mostly spoke German with my wife and would read German books to her. I also talked in German at work and this helped me to steadily improve. On my CV, I describe my German as being "verhandlungssicher". I have found that it is definitely an asset in looking for IT jobs.