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Ask HN: Anyone work in Honolulu?
98 points by zeno00 on June 5, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 49 comments
Hey, I live on a Hawaiian island and I'm trying to migrate from freelance work (too all encompassing, stressful for what I get paid) to a "real" job.

Is the market as poor as it looks? I don't really care about the poor pay compared to the Bay but it doesn't look like there's anything there besides defense contractors.

I've been a software developer on Oahu for ten years and I'm currently working on my own startup with my brother [1]. There are plenty of "real" jobs over here but to be honest, the community of talented developers on island is so small that you're not going to find the jobs online. Go to the local meetups and ask around and you'll find plenty of people that are hiring.

Not sure what your background is but if you're interested in the work we're doing at Kumu hit me up (think github meets gephi focused on social impact). We're hiring and have found it incredibly hard to find local developers that A) know their shit, and B) don't already have a better offer.

All in all, if you're a decent human being and you're good at what you do you'll have no problem finding a job wherever you look.

[1]: https://kumu.io

Your product seems interesting, although I do not fully understand it. Am I right in assuming it's a data viz tool aimed at people and orgs trying to improve society? What's your elevator pitch?

Yeah that's the gist of it. Helping people make sense of complicated relationships so they can make an impact.

If you're interested in this stuff Donella Meadow's book "Thinking in Systems" is a great introduction: http://www.amazon.com/Thinking-Systems-Donella-H-Meadows/dp/...

You're going to have to deal with lower pay, combined with the higher cost of living -- it's a double-whammy that not many are prepared for when working in Hawaii.

'Not many jobs announced in public, except for Entry-Level stuff. The few higher-level jobs that ARE announced are usually environments with shameful turnover rates.

My recommendation: Unless you've got something lined up, it's not worth staying in the islands to hunt for a great tech job -- you could spend months trying to find something worthy of a solid skillset; or you will be deeply dissatisfied working in a less-challenging job just to get by.

Having said that, I'm always on the lookout for great talent for my own shop. .NET or Java backend (WebServices), or top-notch front-end Angular2 against Node or Rails. I can be Googled for contact info.

It's definitely not as active as the mainland but there is a small startup community worth checking out around accelerators like Energy Excelerator and Blue Startups. I think Energy Excelerator has done a pretty good job of tapping into the defense and hospitality industry on the islands for capital and launch markets for their startups, and then finding roadmaps for their startups to break out later on into larger consumer and enterprise markets.

I just moved to Oahu (Kaneohe) from the mainland, thanks to flexibility of a 100% remote gig. Worth checking out, and if you play your cards right you can get a solid salary to boot. weworktremotely.com, angel list, etc.

Hi bjhoops1, I also moved to Kaneohe (about a year ago). I also have a 100% remote job, so there's no commute into town each day, its nice.

Awesome! Windward side FTW. :D

Aloha from Kaua'i! How do you enjoy O'ahu?

> weworktremotely.com


Aloha from Kaua'i! How do you enjoy O'ahu? I've only been in Honolulu a few days (but lived on Kaua'i about 6 years)

So I get to do the HN thing, be overly curt and negative. Yay!

You're doing it all wrong! You already have the dream form of job, freelancer living in Hawaii. You just need to suck it up and fix the problems with your job (which you can do because you are your own boss)

For video material, Google "Fuck you, pay me!" Then check out these 2 people - Brennan Dunn "How to double your freelancing rate" and search HN for comments by patio11.

P.S. I spent 2 of the best years of my life living in Oahu, trying to get back :)

I work for a small company in Kailua building real estate websites. The tech community here is small but super fun!

What's your skillset? Hit me up - kevin at realgeeks dot com

I'm glad there's a community in existence!

I'm primarily a web developer, been making websites since I was a kid and transitioned into that professionally years ago. I feel most comfortable and prefer to work in Python but I've worked with a bunch of languages.

The most recent thing I worked on that I thought was cool was taking all of the voting data + voter history from a state for the past 15ish years, cleaning it up, creating a database out of it then making it accessible with a webapp, allowing different queries to be run through the front end, generating stats, etc.

I'm going to toss you an email.

I have a software engineering shop in Hawaii called Slickage and we're a team of 6. There are a few other shops in the area. Yes, the Bay Area does have better pay but we're trying. What up @kevin1024!

I live right up the street from your company I think ..Hele/Keolo "The Shack"

I built and owned and ISP for 14 years ..yes full data center in my basement (intercape.com). I learned it all working for Cape Internet a regional ISP bought up by Earthlink. Sent my credentials to your company but no reply. I am not a programmer .. my best skill set is troubleshooting and building servers (bind,apache,qmail etc)

Have not been able to find work here yet. So I went out and got 4 CompTIA certs. Hoping for something soon. If you know anyone that needs a good admin ...william 3897569

Hi, I live on Oahu but I've been working for a remote company on the mainland for the last 4 years. When I initially started my job search for jobs in Honolulu, I found several leads on techhui.com, so I would start there if you're looking for local work.

Aloha, I'm not on Oahu, but Maui. Pretty abysmal here as far as tech work. Been here since February, and now playing with the idea of looking for "real" work.

Still hacking on pet projects.


I'm actually on Maui too for about 2 years. It is indeed dead here for tech work. There is some stuff in the Maui Tech Park.. Boeing, defense stuff. And I've see some job listings occasionally for work in Wailuku but it's mostly IT work.

There's tons of money floating around here, I feel like there's an opportunity somewhere to start something cool but it has eluded me so far. Good luck!

There certainly is, and it's a bit insane. My email is in my profile. Hit me up if you ever wanna hit the beach with some beers, talk tech/code and bon fire. :)

What's wrong with defense contractors? Sends like a good match to the island pace of life?

There are things like clearances and drug tests that a lot of people in tech find prohibitive to working for a defense contractor.

I guess if drugs are a big part of your life that could be a dealbreaker. But what's the big deal about clearances?

People who are ideologically opposed aside, the biggest problems with jobs that require clearance AFAIK is the cost and turnaround time, meaning that companies may only want to hire people who are already cleared- or you can be sitting around without work for a long time. Many jobs that require clearance also may require work locations that lack the flexibility of other jobs (if you're working on-site for example, then you may have strict working hours, severely locked down workstations with restricted internet access, etc.)

I don't do drugs but I wouldn't take a programming job where I had to do drug tests

For the same reason that you wouldn't work for an employer that monitored your bank account balance or your diet?

Or are drug tests special somehow?

Given a lot commenters seem to be working remotely, what sort of internet speeds are you getting or any other challenges you have run into?

I am thinking of potentially working out of Kauai or Hawaii but I am concerned about internet connectivity among other things.

Last week I did a speed test from the condo I was staying in Kapaa and got 35/5 mbps which isn't terrible. Right now on the mainland I only get 50/5 mbps and that works well enough for video chat.

I don't know about other islands, but on Oahu you can get up to 300 down with Oceanic TWC. I was pleasantly surprised.

Wow that is significantly better than my mainland connection but I live in a rural college town right now (also TWC). What is the upload like?

Also do you have issues with latency or other network performance issues with the mainland? I have found video chatting and screen sharing to be useful tools when working remotely.

Do you have a resume? I have a position open. Remote is ok.

Have you tried full-time remote? Benefit I see in your case is you are a few hours behind, which meshes well with late workers in California :-)

What about working at / through the universities. UH or HPU used to hire quite a bunch of people in tech. (Alumni speaking)

Hey so if anyone is a Django expert and wants a little part time work helping direct a semi-green coder building a webapp for a fulfillment business, shoot me an email at alex@monthlyboxer.com

Bonus points if you're in HI so I can expense a trip to visit you :)

I know of 2 ex-coworkers who live{d} on Oahu while working full time for a tech shop. It was possible only because they were able to get full time remote positions at employers based out of California.

What's your skill set? I'm CTO of a startup in Honolulu and we will be hiring a Rails developer soon. If you don't do Rails, I'm connected with other startups here.

I gave up on the local market pretty early, at least for Linux work. I work 100% remotely now from Kapolei (just west of Honolulu) for a company on the mainland.

We ran Netgate.com from Hawaii from 2004 to 2011, when we moved (back) to Austin for high school for our son.

He just graduated.

Maybe I'll get back to Oahu in 5 more years.

Funny I was just daydreaming about doing just this.

Currently in SV but considering a move out there for a couple years before heading home to the East Coast.

You should do it, being by the ocean is great. You'll find tons of things you love.

Just curious. How do you manage the rusting of equipment? Tried living by the sea, but the A/C, fans, and everything else including the PC monitor was rusting away after 6-16 months

Remote is possible, what is your focus?

Why Honolulu if you live on Maui?

Why is this flagged?

...and why can we still reply to comments on a flagged article? Also, normally I have a "vouch" option on flagged submissions, but not on this one.

Something is weird here. I wonder if for some reason the submitted actually included "[flagged]" in the title and so it just looks like a flagged article?

Recent software changes. The system used to say [flagged] only when the story was both heavily flagged and dead (closed to new comments). Now it says [flagged] if the story is heavily flagged, dead or not. Flagged-but-not-dead was the case here. That's why you didn't see a 'vouch' link, btw; there's no need to vouch for posts that aren't dead, since the purpose of vouching is to unkill them.

The reason we did this: stories that have a lot of flags but also a lot of comments don't get automatically killed by the software. This led to confusion and a lot of "why is this post not on the front page" questions. Displaying [flagged] in the title in such cases should answer, and thus preempt, most such questions. Plus HN users like it when they get more information, which this is.

Similarly, we're now displaying [dupe] on stories that are marked as duplicates but not dead.

Hah, I definitely didn't add 'flagged' to the submission. Looks like it disappeared off the front page too which sucks. I emailed the mods(?) so maybe my poor post will receive clemency.

(Replying here as well as via email in case other users want to know.)

HN is for stories that gratify intellectual curiosity, which this one arguably doesn't. Plus we have rules against people using HN threads for job/hiring/seeing-work posts (except in monthly threads designated for that). Those are probably the reasons why users flagged your submission.

On the other hand, it's a borderline call, the discussion is reasonably good, and the Hawaii angle is novel, so we'll cut you some slack and turn off the flags.

By the way dang, I just want to say thanks to the mods for still keeping a human hand in things.

I do understand that a site that has this volume of interaction needs automated moderation. But it's nice to see people step in and override the algos when necessary.

As a side note to people talking about AI eating the world: how could we train an AI to make these kinds of judgment calls? (This coming from me as a huge AI fan, I am really interested in possible solutions)

P.S. While I'm here, I did have to chuckle about Alan Kay's stackoverflow question about progress in CS being closed as not suitable for SO. Sometimes even human algorithms fail :)

Thanks! Btw, if people want to make sure that we see their question they should email hn@ycombinator.com. Appeals to mods from HN comments are hit-and-miss because there's no way for us to read all the comments.

We haven't looked much into AI-style algorithmic approaches for HN moderation; we will eventually. But we're also interested in figuring out how to decentralize more moderation to the community, and what software we can build to support that.

I'm delighted to confirm that Alan's questions (and better still his answers) will always be "suitable" for Hacker News. They practically define suitable! https://news.ycombinator.com/posts?id=alankay1

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