Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Higher-paid, faster-growing tech jobs are concentrating in 8 US hubs (hiringlab.org)
288 points by fern12 on July 28, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 269 comments

I get that you work with what you have (in this case, a corpus of job postings), but a ranking that places Baltimore in the top three tech hubs fails the sniff test. CBRE has a better list here (email registration wall): https://www.cbre.com/research-and-reports/Scoring-Tech-Talen...

I'm biased in that it places Atlanta unusually high, but overall it is a better, less surprising ranking:

  Bay Area
  New York
  Washington DC

Their data is obviously broken. If you look at the source, it is "Indeed", which is obviously not an unbiased sample of data.

Let's pick a huge employer in Silicon Valley, Facebook, and search for jobs on Indeed.


Not a single Software Engineer position.

And I really don't think hot San Francisco startups are using Indeed to look for talent, which is why SF falls so low on their rankings

Indeed is a scraper with lots of low quality inventory or as my boss ex Total Jobs director said "shit inventory".

Tier one employers don't normally advertise on indeed


Which is also why Indeed's previous article "Where are the Highest Paying Tech Jobs in the US" is complete garbage. Shows SV average at $111k. SV and SF have disproportionately high portion of Tier 1 companies and positions, many of which will never show up on Indeed.

How can you talk about SV without Facebook? Facebook has 20k employees, about half of them in SV.

Where do they advertise?

Top-50 universities, reaching out to engineers with reasonable resumes directly and leveraging the networks of their employees with referral bonuses. Plus way more inbound interest than they can easily vet.

So recruiters and referral bonuses.

The article's methodology is silly because it measures tech listings as a percentage of job listings. Choosing a scale-neutral metric ignores the network effects associated with population density. For example, a town with a hundred jobs of which 99 are tech would top out this metric.

The sample is definitely biased because it is only Indeed data, but I disagree about the scaling. I think using percentage of overall jobs that are "tech" is fine. It's their attempt to neutralize metro areas that overall use Indeed less than others.

Since this is only looking at populations greater than 1 million, I think an area with an overwhelming percentage of tech jobs such as your hypo 99% would be very interesting to anyone hunting for a tech job.

Again, this is Indeed, so job seekers and employers are the target audience of this post.

Atlanta is the center of tech ambitions for the southeast. It has a lot of Fortune 500 company headquarters - Turner Broadcasting with 18+ major online brands, Home Depot, Lowe's, etc. Yahoo and Google had offices. There are also a lot of small satellite consulting firms. Cost of housing is much lower, though traffic is bad as well. It's a nice green city, but Venture funding is low, so it depends on your ambitions.

I'd be very cautious about Atlanta. Outside of Google, many of the companies there are wanting to pay salaries I'd consider substantially below market (even including COLA) compared to the other hubs.

That includes those fortune 500 companies (a couple of whom had internal recruiters bail when I mentioned my current salary + the COLA number). Cutting your real estate costs by $12-15k goes a long way but it doesn't magically cover $40k+ paycuts. It is good for employers (for instance, one guy was willing to disclose "I got two guys with Master degrees for $20k less than what you wanted.") but not so good for employees on the upper end of the pay scale. (i.e. above 6 figures outside of SF/NYC)

It is anecdotal, just my experience after looking to move there.

If we're going to be anecdotal, I moved to Atlanta from Boston. I now have lower expenses, a higher salary, the weather is better, cars last twice as long, and people are less abrasive. Every time I check there are more startups, more new buildings, more people, more opportunities...

Just my experience after having moved here.

I just moved to Atlanta from Seattle and got a 25% raise in the process. In fact I had two similar offers to choose from.

I had a much different experience applying for jobs as a data scientist in Atlanta - of the companies I got offers for, the base salaries + total comp were similar to what glassdoor reported for data scientists in silicon valley, albeit just a hair lower. According to the various online cost-of-living calculators, I'd have to be making about $200k in the Bay Area to be living the same lifestyle.

Though looking at glassdoor data for Atlanta, it does look like data scientists have an average that's almost $34k lower than san francisco. So maybe I just got lucky.

> I got two guys with Master degrees for $20k less than what you wanted.") but not so good for employees on the upper end of the pay scale.

MIT grad, data scientist here. Again, if you are not a top data scientist, it will work fine for you. I routinely get offered $300K/year as a recent PhD grad in the Bay area. I would not get anywhere near proportional compensation in Atlanta or even Seattle.

That's some incredible money, congrats!

I'm not going to pretend this is scientific in any way, but using online COL calculators (http://money.cnn.com/calculator/pf/cost-of-living/index.html), $300k in San Francisco is supposedly (taken with many grains of salt) equivalent to $172k in Atlanta, which you could surely land?

Those calculators are ridiculous because they assume you spend your entire income. The cost of living adjustment only applies to what you spend when evaluating which salary:city combination is ideal for you.

Those calculators are ridiculous because they assume you spend your entire income.

For most Americans that's pretty close to being correct - the average savings rate is around 6%. (https://www.fool.com/investing/2016/10/03/heres-the-average-...)

You don't think that varies a lot by income? My impression is that savings as a percentage go up dramatically with income. I don't think I know anyone working in the industry that considers it reasonable to not max out their 401k, and who doesn't save substantially on top of that.

This would be quite difficult for someone on an average salary with kids, or sometime who works in an industry where keeping up appearances is important.

OK, savings rate does vary by income, according to the Fed: https://www.federalreserve.gov/econresdata/2016-economic-wel... . They only break things out into three income brackets (0-40K, 40K-100K, 100K+) - but even in the 100K+ bracket the median savings rate is somewhere between 6 and 10%, which isn't quite "max out the 401k" level. It looks like the data is available (https://www.federalreserve.gov/consumerscommunities/shed_dat...). The survey asks about level of education, what field that education was in, and number of children, so something like what you're asking about is actually checkable.

That's mostly a choice for high income earners, and much of that discretionary spend costs similar amounts no matter where you live.

Vacation costs, Amazon splurges, etc, don't change between Akron and SF.

The thing that's impossible to make up in these COLA calculations is retirement savings. Putting away 10% of $300k is very different than 10% of $172k. And you don't have to retire where you work.

What is that like as VP of data science?

> I'd be very cautious about Atlanta. Outside of Google, many of the companies there are wanting to pay salaries I'd consider substantially below market (even including COLA) compared to the other hubs.

If most companies are paying a certain salary, doesn't that imply that salary IS market rate?

I don't think you can directly compare salaries across cities even after factoring in cost of living since it ignores the fact some places are more desirable to live in than others and thus should command "premiums".

I've heard this anecdotally as well. I've also heard that companies are willing to pay big money to get you in from other tech hubs only to screw you down the line on bonuses. It's tough to justify a raise at an Atlanta tech company when you're the guy or girl who's already paid more than everyone else.

Also, people overestimate the effects of cheaper housing. Yes, cheaper housing is nice but one has to remember that lots of things cost the same no matter where you live. Food, transportation, travel, and education costs are mostly static across the country. It's important to factor that in and not get dazzled by the fancy house or condo you can suddenly afford.

> If most companies are paying a certain salary, doesn't that imply that salary IS market rate?

In my particular case, the "market rate" at Location A is ~$40k higher (after COLA) than the "market rate" in Atlanta.

So, when I mean "market rate" I mean "My options at Location A + the options in Atlanta."

> I don't think you can directly compare salaries across cities even after factoring in cost of living since it ignores the fact some places are more desirable to live in than others and thus should command "premiums".

To be perfectly honest, I consider Atlanta vs. where I am now a wash in most respects and a $40k premium is simply too steep for the difference. It isn't like I live in the Bay Area where rent is $40k.

There isn't such a thing as "market rate"

What companies did you look at and what do you consider market rate? You might consider Silly Valley salaries to be market rate but they're not. In fact those rates are what the top 1% of coders make if they're lucky. I would expect Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, and other competitive technology companies to pay those rates but market rate is going to be 60-180k. There are tons and tons of jobs paying in that range from less cool tech companies like NCR, AT&T, Borland (Micro whatever), and IBM. There are also tons of other companies headquartered in Atlanta willing to pay those rates like Rubbermaid, CTX (trains), Coca Cola, and Bank of America. There are also a lot of companies that tend to pay below market rate for coders because of the cool factor of working for them like the TV and Film companies.

> You might consider Silly Valley salaries to be market rate but they're not.

I don't work in the Bay Area, NYC, or a similar location. I'm comparing my current location to Atlanta.

This is now the third time I've repeated this ITT, including the OP.

Atlanta here. My house cost less than my post-tax salary… you can magically cover 40k paycuts.. in fact in SF that 40k would probably be rent alone.

Yes, but I don't live or work in the Bay Area.

The difference in rent/real estate is like $10k/year. I've been to Atlanta regularly for quite some time and I can assure you I know the exact difference in COLA as a result. ;)

I can assure you there are plenty of engineers making north of $100k in midtown

I hear Square's local office in Atlantic Station pays $150k+.

I have no idea what everyone else's salary is (and I'm not going to share mine), but Square Atlanta pays, well, and -- more importantly -- we have an amazing team. And we're hiring. Get in touch if you're interested: my email is ${USERNAME}@gmail.com

I think that's the case. A lot of the Google engineering team that originally was hired on that office closing came at 180+ I heard

I've seen 90-140 be pretty common for mid and senior engineers in Atlanta. That's not SF prices but housing is definitely cheaper. Maybe not for too long though

Yeah, and I've had multiple internal recruiters for these companies nope out at my equivalent salary in Atlanta. Maybe its just something wrong with me in the view of companies in Atlanta vs. where I live now then.

I moved from SF to Atlanta three years ago. I figure that Atlanta will always be cheaper because they can just build more Atlanta if they need to, whereas San Francisco is essentially an island.

This is absolutely true. Check Glassdoor.

Which midtown? Atlanta's midtow?

Atlanta's Midtown, which borders Georgia Tech and is a mixed business / residential district.

Thanks for this :)

Yeah, I'm sure they exist but everyone noped out at my current salary equivalent. So maybe its just my skillset isn't popular Atlanta or something about my personality turns people off in the Southeast vs. where I'm at now.

UPS hq is in Atlanta, too.

> ambitions


> had offices

As a former Baltimore resident, what exactly makes you think Baltimore fails the sniff test?

For example, Johns Hopkins University is IIRC the highest-funded research-focused university in the USA.

(Edit - adding link to support above : Johns Hopkins leads U.S. universities in research spending for 37th consecutive year : https://hub.jhu.edu/2016/12/07/research-spending-hopkins-nsf...)

Other cities on the list have ~half the research spending, plus ALSO large tech industries.

Balitimore-Columbia showed up because of Columbia, not Baltimore. NSA and several other agencies are in or near Columbia, plus the contracting firms who support them.

Isn't Johns Hopkins a medical university? Not exactly a Silicon tech hub.

A "medical university"? Strange, I wonder how I did my PhD in experimental condensed matter physics there :-)

It's a general research-focused university, like MIT. The oldest research-based university in the USA in fact.

Though you're right it's very strong in medicine and all things 'bio' including biochemistry, biophysics, bioinformatics, and biotech.

But it also has a strong astrophysics program, eg the Space Telescope Science Institute is based there.

And the JHU Applied Physics Lab is not too far away too.

But I'm not sure why you feel that med-tech and bio-tech don't contribute to a tech hub. Are you considering tech as purely web tech?

Baltimore has a lot of pure industry, too, totally unrelated to government - though if government work is your style, there's no shortage of it here. Granted, you won't find the same median salary you would in Palo Alto or Mountain View, but you don't have to deal with the same headaches, either.

Johns Hopkins has a medical school. But they have other schools too!

APL, too. And anyway, whence comes the idea that a medical school wouldn't have any use for people in our line of work? Bioinformatics is a thing!

Atlanta is amazing. It has an extremely low cost of living, yet there are tech companies here paying SF wages.

Anecdotally, my rent is $1300/mo for a 900 sqft loft directly on Atlanta's Beltline [1], and my total comp is (edit: decided to remove this since I might get doxed. I'll be happy to talk with anyone seriously considering Atlanta via email).

It's also been really interesting to see Georgia rocket to the #2 location in the US for filmmaking (a personal hobby of mine). The folks I know in the industry say we're poised to overtake LA eventually.

I mention this because Atlanta has a great mix of culture from a variety of different backgrounds. The music and arts scenes are particularly strong.

[1] https://beltline.org

>"It's also been really interesting to see Georgia rocket to the #2 location in the US for filmmaking (a personal hobby of mine). The folks I know in the industry say we're poised to overtake LA eventually."

You realize that this is solely because of Georgia making hundreds of millions of dollars in tax subsidies available to Hollywood right? This is not sustainable. Hollywood previously set up shop in New Orleans("Hollyood South")for the same reasons and then moved on to Georgia when those tax credits were capped in Louisiana. See:




I really want to like Atlanta, but the whole city makes my skin crawl.

Whenever we go there, usually to take in an MLB game, I just want to turn around and leave immediately. There doesn't seem to be any rational reason for it. When the spouse drives out of town to go stalk Walking Dead filming locations, the overwhelming sense of dread eases up, and I just get bored looking at bits of rural Georgia that were lucky enough to appear on television for one scene.

Maybe I'm allergic to peachtree streets.

In contrast, NYC, Chicago, Boston, Phoenix, Nashville, San Diego, Denver, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, and most other US cities I have visited just don't have an aura to them that I can pick up. Baltimore felt like I just walked in on someone who had been crying and was trying to hide it. Washington, DC, felt like someone was following me the whole time, like being hunted. Cincinnati felt great just being around it; it made me want to consider moving there.

Atlanta is just the opposite of that, every time I go. Just being there stresses me out for no readily apparent reason.

On paper, it seems like it should be great. Georgia Tech is close, and the local economy is great. All kinds of television shows and movies have that juicy Georgia peach at the end of the credits now, instead of Vancouver. The weather is decent for 10 months out of the year. Lots of local agriculture. Lots of roads leading out of town, and a hub airport for a relatively decent airline. Diverse, cosmopolitan culture, as long as you stay in the city limits and away from the suburbs. About the only thing it lacks entirely is a seaport. I just can't stand actually being there.

Lived in Atlanta. Glad to get out. I don't think I've disliked any city as much as I did Atlanta, and I have no idea why.

I feel similarly about Atlanta. I have a bunch of family there and have made 10-15 trips there lifetime. Something about the culture there just rubs me the wrong way.

I've lived in Baltimore, NYC, SF, and DC as an adult, and found something to like about all of them (although I laughed out loud at your description of Bmore). I really can't imagine moving to ATL. I think it's a 3rd-tier city that thinks it's a 1st-tier city.

Might be just the right ingredients of EMF Radiation and Climate which don't agree with you.

> It has an extremely low cost of living, yet there are tech companies here paying SF wages.

I am skeptical of this. I am early in my career, live in SF, and make north of $300k. I do not work for one of the big 4, and I know people making more than me. That's not imaginary money - it's all liquid.

This isn't meant to brag. I just think a lot of people underestimate how much you can make in SF if your skills are in demand.

Very few engineers (as a percentage of all engineers) even in the Bay Area earn that much (base, all-in, or otherwise). Typical non-management compensation (all-in) is going to cap out ~15% or more below $300k.

I've taken several salary surveys and done plenty of research through publicly available sites (e.g. glassdoor, linked in, payscale, etc.). For what it's worth, my all-in compensation is well below $300k/year as a senior engineer and is typically reported as being on or above the very high end of average. Given the propensity to exaggerate in these surveys I expect my salary to be even farther from the average than reported.

I'm not saying these salaries are normal - I understand I am highly paid. My point is you can typically do better financially in the Bay Area if you are great at what you do. And something I think a lot of people don't appreciate is that by moving to the Bay Area you are more likely to open yourself up to those opportunities in the future. I would have a completely different career had I never moved here.

I don't think "being great" is any more of a differentiator here than anywhere else. In fact here in the Bay Area who you knows matters more than what, just like anywhere else, and in some ways more.

Definitely agree with respect to opportunities, though. Even at double the cost of living or slightly more, the doubled salary means one is saving more in absolute terms and has access to a much better job market.

> In fact here in the Bay Area who you knows matters more than what, just like anywhere else, and in some ways more.

I got my current job applying through the website knowing nobody at the company. There are just more (and better) opportunities here.

You and the people you know are definitely outliers.

What are your specialties?

I recently made the switch to management, but before that I built robots - electrical, mechanical, and software engineering. The switch didn't really bump my pay - many of the engineers I work with make more than me. It is definitely easier to command a higher salary working on the software side of robotics, although I do know a handful of people doing hardware making even more (these people are truly outliers though).

What are the main toolsets in use / in demand on the software side?

I'm in the Bay Area and I'm feeling underpaid. Please tell me what to learn.

Off-topic: try a five day water fast for your migraines. You need neuronal autophagy.

Personally what I look at is what someone has built. If someone is a great engineer they can adapt, although there are some limits to this (I wouldn't hire someone who only works with MATLAB for a position that largely involves coding in C++). What I like to see are demos, not papers (although a demo of a paper is excellent).

ROS is something of a standard framework used in many places. AI is largely a buzzword and can mean many things, but ML tends to have more specific meaning. TensorFlow is becoming the commonly used library for all things machine learning. CUDA is becoming an incredibly useful skill, and GPU experts are always appreciated (including outside of robotics).

So play around with OpenCV if you want to work in computer vision, play around with TensorFlow if you want to do machine learning, and play around with ROS for learning how the backend of these systems work. If you want to be more of a specialist, learn CUDA and optimizing GPU code - I suspect that will be highly in demand for some time.

>Off-topic: try a five day water fast for your migraines. You need neuronal autophagy. reply

Tell me more.

Thanks, very helpful.

Most modern illness is caused by a pervasive lack of autophagy, which is basically a cellular cleaning cycle for your body. Since we're all rich and we eat and snack all the time, autophagy cycles are basically never activated. The body needs "feasting" for cellular growth, but is also _needs_ famine for cellular dismantling and re-purposing. Otherwise you'll have cells with damaged mitochondria that keep clinging to life even though they are broken and very inefficient. Sometimes these damaged cells even replicate out of control, AKA cancer.[1] Cancer cells, since they typically rely on sugar fermentation for fuel instead of oxygen, would normally be "marked" as damaged and dismantled during an autophagy cleaning cycle, but since we never stop eating sugar that never happens. Same with migraines.. in my view you basically have a bunch of damaged cells in your brain that need dismantled and cleared out. But unless you fast (or eat keto, however that's a bit less efficient for autophagy) your neural cleaning cycle simply never runs.[2]



Are these skills possible to acquire if you do not have a university background? I am self taught in everything, also learning math. I am make great money in frontend but would like to work with a more interesting skill set.

I think you can learn a lot if you become very familiar with ROS and just start building things (on the software side at least - much harder to pick up electronics and mechanics if only because of the material and machining costs). My first real foray into robotics was with OpenCV (which is part of ROS) many years ago. There are lots of tutorials online - find something you think is interesting and build it and go from there. If you really like it then start going to meetups (there are enough in the Bay Area for robotics) and meet other people, some of whom are amateurs and some of whom are professionals.

That would be my advice, although I have a university background so take what I say with a grain of salt.

Can you give a ballpark total comp for your ballpark years of experience? Atlanta is one of the places I've thought about moving to since it's not too far from my home town, but I've heard traffic sucks.

> Atlanta is amazing. It has an extremely low cost of living, yet there are tech companies here paying SF wages.

Atlanta is not paying SF wages. Trust me on this. But you are right. The cost of living is far better in Atlanta.

I moved to Raleigh back in '97 under the mistaken impression that it would be a major tech hub. While there are many good tech jobs there, the RTP area fell pretty far short of my expectations. Also, the dot-com crash gutted that area like a fish and I'm not sure the commercial real estate sector there has ever recovered even to this day. It was fun for a brief time in the late '90s. I moved away in '06, but went back to visit recently and now that area feels very overcrowded. I can't speak to the tech sector and how it is doing these days.

It fully recovered. I moved here in '12 from L.A. with a job that had the same pay, but the cost of living is probably close to half of California, so it was like having my salary doubled overnight. IMHO this place is a paradise for engineers who care about actual work life balance.

NC's growth has slipped in the last couple years, though, because of the HB2 nonsense. It'll be a few years before we recover our image.

It's only like doubling your salary if you spend your entire income. When you move to a new area, the change in disposable income is determined by salary - expenses*cost of living.


You make $100k in city A and spend $40k on expenses. That leaves $60k disposable.

You are considering a job in city B with half the cost of living and the same pay.

You still make $100k but your expenses have gone from $40k to $20k. Your new disposable income is $80k.

Cost of living is half but it's not like having 100% more income, it's 33% more .

Your math is right. But, you've got to understand the cost of real estate is much much more than double in SF. Realistically, in Ralleigh regional area you can pay 120$/sq ft vs 1000$/sq ft in the SF Regional area (perhaps 500$/sq ft if your willing to commute for 3 hrs/day).

Now, SF might be a great place if you have no kids, no expenses and rent a tiny little room. But, as soon as you want to have a family and backyard, you better get out! SF and CA in general is no place to raise a family. The key in this strategy is, don't put down roots in the CA bay area.

I live in SF, I understand the cost of real estate. I'm not arguing that lifestyle expectations are very different between cities. So given you move to SF and understand you'll be in a smaller house because that is the market norm, the COLA still is only on what you spend.

When my mortgage for a house on 1/2 an acre costs less than my 650 sqft apartment in L.A. did, it sure feels like my cost of living was cut in half.

When a round of golf at a Davis Love or Fred Couples designed course costs the same as playing at a shitty muni in L.A., it feels like my disposable income has tripled.

I did the opposite in 2011. Got tired of having nothing to do but go to bars and restaurants. Enjoying the LA life of having a beach and nice hiking at my door. Lots of diverse industries that need tech talent as well as a startup scene.

Raleigh felt stagnant when I left, with most of the jobs enterprise software in unsexy industries. Grass is always greener I suppose!

The Downtown Raleigh area picked up a lot after the market recovered. There's been a lot of regentrification and companies started moving into town instead of to RTP. There's Citrix, RedHat, a handful of co-working spaces, and many new stores/restaurants/breweries that have moved into Downtown Raleigh in the past 5 years. Downtown Durham has undergone similar changes.

Between Raleigh and Durham, it's mostly sister-sites for larger tech companies. Personally, I've worked at NetApp, Citrix, and now Nutanix -- all within 25 minutes of my house in Cary.

Not much of a start-up scene, AFAIK.

There are a handful of co-working spaces that house startups around American Tobacco Campus in Durham and Downtown Raleigh. There's not much VC in the Raleigh/Durham area though so most are bootstrapped by founders.

Ok, but to be fair the DC and Baltimore metro areas are, effectively, becoming one big sprawl. The city centers are 50 miles apart and the beltway exburbs where much of the tech facilities are actually located are even closer together.

Atlanta has GT though, which is exploding with both startups and major players investing in on-sight "innovation-centric" locations.

That, and there's some really cool startups in stealth mode I've yet to see mentioned here, some breaking $10m in revenue and others getting funded left and right.

Atlanta is on the rise.

I thought stealth mode meant that a company had yet to launch. Do you mean that they're not pursuing press, just keeping their heads down and making money?

My apologies, I mean that yes their press is non-existent but they're printing money, 2 of which with zero fundraising and 1 who recently passed $1 mil on only $100k investment. They're doing great, GT has several major incubators competing with each other over all the companies being formed by GT's (seemingly recent) push towards startup culture.

Well are you at liberty to say who they are?

Very small companies so.

Be realistic for a minute, they can probably not afford the talents from HN.

Email me?

Toronto has got to be the worst deal on that list in terms of salary vs cost of living.

I grew up in Toronto, and I'm not sure. There are people in SF who make 110k a year, but pay 3000/month for a studio apartment.

Rent in Toronto broke 1600 CAD for a one bedroom apartment recently. Not quite 3000 USD, but also consider you'll get paid significantly less than half and probably get less office benefits (such as free meals) as well.

Those people would be considered bad with money. You can definitely have way better quality of life in San Francisco and 110k total comp is kind of on the low side (at that point you would probably be making 60k in Toronto though).

It also misses several key areas, like Dallas Ft.Worth which is 4th in absolute number of tech talent, before Chicago, Seattle, Atlanta, LA, Boston, Houston. With e.g. Austin only half of these numbers.

With the pay stats, it's similar: E.g. Newark is #5 but does not even appear on the op's list.

So those 8 hubs, are not the biggest or highest paid, only the ones which match San Jose statistically the most. It's outright silly. https://mapping.cbre.com/maps/Scoring-Tech-Talent-2017/

Yeah but then you'd be living in Dallas instead of Austin...

I was like, hot damn, cheap housing and good paying jobs, I'm moving to Baltimore!!

You know they censored two-thirds of The Wire because it was too gruesome and horrifying for TV? Those were the parts that accurately depicted what living in my town is like. I personally had half a leg gnawed off by rats in my first week here - and that puts me well ahead of the curve! It's a terrible and terrifying place and you'll be much better off if you stay away.

(Seriously, though, hit me up via my HN profile if you're interested in getting a sense of what the industry and life in general are like here - it's a great town that's been very good to me, and I'm always happy to talk about it!)

I have some friends there, it seems livable :) But I'm in Canada so I'm not seeking U.S. employment "in these turbulent times", if you know what I mean. 8) Thanks for the offer though!

Hey, you do you. And, sure, any time!

you've got John Waters so you're already ahead of the game

I mean I don't, and no wonder. But we do, sure. He's a treasure.

Well you could move to Baltimore and take the MARC train into your DC tech job if cheap housing is what you're optimizing for.

Cheap housing and long travel times are not enviable at all.

As far as long travel times go, trains can be good because you can take your laptop and it's usable time to work on your own projects, watch a movie, play games etc.

I'd be more concerned (with zero knowledge of washington) over whether or not the train + connections would take me near most of the tech jobs.

There is a cost to having to commute more than an hour to work compared to living 5 minutes to work by walk. Once you try the difference you won't go back unless there are serious economic differences between the two choices.

Read this article the other day. Makes my 25 min commute seem like a cakewalk.


An hour commute by foot and train is not at all the same animal as an hour by car. Only the latter is wasted.

The options available when standing on a train (podcasts) are about the same as driving (radio). If you're talking about a train with 1:1 or better seats per passenger, though, sure.

I've had an hour-long walking and train commute for the last year, and by the end was extremely burnt out. Moved to a smaller and more expensive place in the city with a 15 minute bike ride and couldn't be happier.

MARC gets you to the DC metro, and the DC metro gets you to the places where you'd likely be working. You might walk as much as half a mile or a mile from your stop if you're somewhere unusually far-flung, but that's not too likely in the first place and, assuming a modicum of fitness, hardly a problem in any case.

> As far as long travel times go, trains can be good because you can take your laptop and it's usable time to work on your own projects, watch a movie, play games etc.

Can be, but often aren't. The trains in the three busiest commuter rail lines are not really conducive to laptop use if you are my height (6'4") because of the seat pitch. I have tried to use my XPS 13 on NJTransit trains, but I need to hope I get a row to myself so I can slant sideways to actually get my laptop at a usable angle.

You could legitimately say similar things about Atlanta though.

Think about a major employer of engineers that is just a few exits south on the Baltimore Washington Parkway.

There is No Such Agency

Hint in username.

Wasn't there a front page article on here about Pittsburgh the other day?

Toronto is not a tech hub haha. We have a huge financial district and lots of "financial startups". The salaries are absolute bottom tier though. 50-60k USD at the high level.

In my experience, 50k USD is entry level pay (~1-2 yr experience). Tech salaries tend to cap out at around 100-120k USD for director/VP roles, but you can reasonably expect to find 80k USD jobs if you're a software dev who's reasonably up-to-date with one of the in-demand tech stacks and have a few years of experience.

80k CAD = 64k USD. I can make 2-2.5x more for the same job, remotely. Around 140-160k USD.

In my experience, a 80k CAD position would translate to a ~100k USD position. A 140-160k USD position would translate to a ~120k-140k CAD position.

I can't stop thinking about moving to Austin, Raleigh or Atlanta. The cost of housing difference is truely vast. For a typical 2K sq ft with nice backyard the difference is 3m$ vs 300K. It's like getting 2.7 million$ signing bonus! Google and facebook can't compete with that - the best facebook can muster is 100K signing bonus.

I have no idea where you live now, but the weather can be vastly different in those states than what you're used to. Atlanta weather, on top of lots of other factors did not bode well for me and I left after less than 2 years.

I just searched for open jobs in Baltimore and was surprised. It has more than Atlanta FYI (not a thorough search though)

> but a ranking that places Baltimore in the top three tech hubs fails the sniff test

NSA headquarters is in between Baltimore and Washington DC and there is a lot of other major government contracting work along that corridor. There is a lot of IT work available in the area, even if it isn't in Baltimore proper.

Yeah, theres something wrong here. It put Orem/Provo on the list when all of the tech jobs in Utah are actually further north. Mainly in Lehi and Salt Lake City.

Utah County is definitely the center of the Utah tech boom. Between UVU and BYU there are lots of small college-fueled startups in Orem/Provo, and many more mature companies formerly based in SLC are moving farther south, at least to Draper/SoJo if not over the point of the mountain.

This move has been underway at least since the mid-oughts, but it has accelerated lately after Adobe's investment in the Thanksgiving Point area and as Utah County's outskirts (Eagle Mountain and Saratoga Springs) have started to recover from the mortgage crash.

I'm more concerned about SLC's long-term prospects at this point; no one seems to want to go further north than 7200 S anymore.

I'm guessing the reason so many companies are in Utah County is because of tax incentives, but it's still weird to me. I would think that it's harder to attract talent to an office in Provo, seeing as the stereotypical tech worker is probably going to prefer living in SLC where there's less Mormon influence and more going on socially.

But Mormons are very well represented in the tech labor market, so it probably isn't that hard to attract talent in Utah county, it's just not the same mix of people who are working in SLC.

I would guess it's more real estate. Between South Draper and Lehi there is tons of room for new construction (especially now that the prison is moving). There has been a huge amount of office construction there over the last ten years and continuing today. Office space in SLC proper has to cost a fortune by comparison. Building/renting there gives you good geographic positioning to attract employees from both the SLC valley (about one million people) and the Utah county valley (about 500,000 people).

Lehi is part of Orem / Provo MTA which I'm guessing is how these are split up.

I'll bet Provo / Orem beats SLC on a lot of these metrics just because of Vivint and a few other bigger names.

Breaking out SF from "Silicon Valley" seems like an outdated approach to segment the data. I would say for the past decade, "Silicon Valley" includes SF, Peninsula through San Jose for all intents and purposes. I see people, who live in SF, commute down to Peninsula and vice versa. The job market in the Bay Area is all pretty fluid.

I find it interesting to see the difference. I moved from San Jose to work in the city 8 years ago and to me, anecdotally, it's always felt like that was a trend, startups were coming to SF and so was the talent and that "silicon valley" was the tech hub 10-15 years ago. So seeing real data that's showing what's actually happening is very interesting to me. I'd like to see more break downs of south bay vs SF/Oakland tech jobs and startup growth.

You can be in both metro areas for the same job even. My wife works for Adobe. She spends half her time in SF and half her time in San Jose, depending on whom she needs to work with on any given day.

Reasons for Seattle: 1) take a long shower 2) wash your car 3) water your lawn 4) cheap electrical rates 5) enjoy the outdoors 6) awesome IPA's 7) pot is legal 8) great culture 9) moderate weather as global warming progresses

downside - traffic is horrible.

That is my take as a long time Seattlite.

Been here 12 years and while I agree with those things (not that I care for IPA or weed), there are HUGE major cons:

-Traffic is quickly becoming worse than all cities in the US and the tunnel nightmare will not solve that (many projections say it will make it worse)

-Local and regional bureaucracy is far worse here than comparable west coast cities

-Massively regressive taxes due to no state income tax (consumption taxes disproportionately levy the burden on poor people, and regional small business taxes/fees/etc are incredibly bureaucratic here in comparison to other areas, though the state laws are favorable)

-NIMBYism is just as bad here as it is in SF, and worse in some areas

-As a result of the above, property values are skyrocketing at rates faster than some areas of SF. My $230k townhome in the middle of a "bad area" bought 4 years ago is worth $500k+. This is ridiculous. There is no reason I should have experienced a 100% ROI windfall for simply accidentally timing the market for housing.

Heroin epidemic is especially bad here, Seattle City Police have been investigated and busted by the US DOJ in the past, high school education has serious redlining going on which encourages private schooling (which is insanely expensive here), and so forth.

I love it in Seattle but it's very much moving the same way SF is, and in many ways, trending much worse.

You act like people are forgoing some Epic Utopia City to live in Seattle. Hate to break it to you but every major US city has these problems and usually more. Dysfunction is at every level.

The "cons" are literally comparative to other cities.

There are plenty of nice school districts outside of Seattle. Bellevue, Shoreline, Northshore....

Coming from LA, I'm looking forward to cheaper housing prices when I move there next month.

>Bellevue, Shoreline, Northshore

That's the issue. It's all urban flight to suburbs. I live in the inner city and see it every day.

And of course, that means heavy commuting and long drives to where the tech campuses are.

What? Most of the campuses are on the east side. Unless you are working for Amazon or maybe Apple, your commute is super easy from Bellevue vs. Seattle. Coming down 405 from another can suck, however.

Nothing new with east and north side schools being better than Seattle schools. It was that way in the early 90s when I was in HS.

Yeah, I admit I was thinking of Amazon because of personal bias...it's the only PNW company I have any experience with.

Amazon is the perennial company in Seattle, but the Seattle's tech center has always been dominated by the empire Bill built (aka, Microsoft). Google, for example, has two campuses, a smaller one inFremont (which is Seattle), and a much larger one in Kirkland (to attract former MS employees). Ditto for Facebook.

(I just noticed Facebook is located in South Lake Union now as well...that area is getting hot!)

Yes, but Bellevue is itself a cluster of tech and only minutes away from Redmond. Also, I've been told it's like being back in India :)

Seattle was nice but it had no lightning bugs so I left. Lightning bugs are important.

There are a lot of nice things about Seattle, but I moved away after over a decade because I found that almost never seeing the sun was making me incredibly depressed. Moving to a place that's sunny has improved my quality of life even more than I could have imagined. YMMV.

Did you move to Philadelphia?

Southern California.

Also: no income tax. If it's introduced, people will leave in massive droves, because as nice as those things are, 6 months of rain every year is not everyone's cup of tea

The rain's not so bad. The 9 months of grey is.


Seattle is very progressive, and highly in favor of income tax.

Nah. Seattle is really faux progressive, thankfully. Two of the world's richest people peacefully coexist with a massive (and growing) population of homeless people, and all those Hillary-votin' rich yuppies will run away the moment they're forced to put their money where their mouth is. 2.25% tax in Seattle itself is already being contested. And state income tax is not really possible as it requires two thirds majority.

State income tax will also be met with the largest employers here expanding to other municipalities and states that play by their favorable rules. I worked at one of the tech giants in management consulting and they have had contingency plans to ship stuff to Austin the minute taxation became more of a burden on income.

Good, I hope they do leave, and it's 9 months of rain, not 6 :). Will the last person to leave Seattle please turn out the lights?

So you'd like to turn Seattle into Detroit? I take it you don't live here.

Actually, I'm a PNW native, my parents were, their parents were, ... My dad lost his job as part of the big Boeing bust of 1971 (where the "will the last person to leave Seattle please turn out the lights" sign came from!). Seattle as ALWAYS been a boom and bust town way before I was born.

We always exaggerated the rain and the people just kept coming. So there must be something else going on.

Yes, exactly, thanks for reminding me, one BIG reason I have stayed and work remote, I get 10% more.

Traffic has gotten so much worse since I first came here in 2011. The good news is that Seattle is small enough that you can walk to most places just fine, and the bus and light rail systems are fantastic.

As a motorcyclist, whenever I was in SEA on my motorcycle I was always dismayed that lane splitting / filtering is not legal in the state. Motorcycling is still the fastest way (for me) around SF and the Bay Area, and the lane splitting in dead stopped traffic is a large reason why I started riding in the first place.

California is the only state in the US where that is legal. I'm guessing serious traffic problems are the reason why.

I read somewhere that California has a tradition of lane splitting due to the fact that it was an early adopter of multiple controlled access freeways that would be often have traffic jams for miles. Most early motorcycles would overheat if not moving, so motorcyclists had a high incentive to drive between stopped cars in a traffic jam. This tradition continues to the present day, even though legality of lane splitting is still not defined in California. The American tradition of that which is not prohibited is allowed, still applies in this case.

This is actually still a problem with some air-cooled bikes, and a lot of even the common beginner bikes made up into the 00s are air-cooled. The bike overheating aside, when you're sitting stopped on 101 near Mineta airport on a gasoline-powered heater, you will overheat too.

Actually lane splitting has been legislated in the past year and is definitely legal when not >15mph faster than nearby cars.

What I read is that what "lane splitting" is was legally defined in 2016 but the action was not officially sanctioned or made illegal. Illegal lane splitting is covered under reckless driving. You can see some of the CHP recommended guidelines here[1]. If you have a reference for the lane-splitting legislation, I'd appreciate it as a California rider myself.


Chicken-and-egg: no other state allows lane splitting out of concern the citizens wouldn't know how to drive amongst such motorcyclists.

Also, motorcycles aren't exactly a large block of votes. And, many lane splitting bills include helmet provisions which are a non-starter for some riders.

Source: watched as attempts failed multiple times in Texas.

It's been getting progressively worse, but they recently added HOV lanes both ways on I-90 between Seattle and Bellevue and that has decreased commuter congestion fairly markedly for pretty much everyone who lives in Seattle and work on the Eastside. The HOV lane additions eliminated a few merges so it's now better for everyone. Once the train is running in place of the recently-bygone reversible express lanes life will be even better.

+1 for the bus/rail systems. They also recently upgraded the bike lanes downtown and added some fancy bike lanes in several neighborhoods. I'm hoping over the next few years they expand the light rail through the other neighborhoods.

You can walk to most places if you have chosen hyper-inflationary, expensive, gentrified housing in the city.

Which is utterly astounding to me. The traffic was beyond atrocious when I left in 2002. The Bay Area was a significant upgrade in terms of traffic.

No state income tax has to be a big advantage too.

However the rain and lack of sun kills me. I could handle year round rain if it meant it's at least sunny a lot too. It would suck, but personally the lack of sun affects my mood too much.

Otherwise especially with the no state income tax, if I'm making pretty good bank, and moving isn't an issue, moving to Seattle would be a top choice. Instead, the people who do move for tax reasons have almost all moved to Florida/Miami. Two to Austin and one to Vegas.

There's certainly less sun in Seattle, but it's not too bad: https://www.currentresults.com/Weather/Washington/annual-day...

SF has about 60 days more of sun per year: https://www.currentresults.com/Weather/California/annual-day...

Personally, I find the weather quite nice in the PNW.

The traffic though... it's really the worst. Traffic is constantly bad during business hours.

Does it depend on where you are in the Pacific Northwest for sun? Like is it consistent with the location of the city? I'm wondering how much sun Portland and Vancouver get.

Yeah it isn't too bad. But I get seasonal depression on top of issues already. So it would be hard for me personally. Weather is great though.

From what I've observed, Vancouver weather is closely correlated to Seattle weather (it's fairly close to Seattle). I haven't actually compared the data though. Similarly, I would imagine that weather in Portland is quite different than the Seattle/Vancouver area. The entire King County area experiences the same weather - Lake Washington probably influences things, but anecdotally I haven't heard anything like "location foo gets more rain than location bar".

Generally, the weather is Seattle is heavily influenced by Puget Sound and the rain shadow east of the Olympic Peninsula (parts on the west side of the Olympic Peninsula are actually classified as rainforest). So we get less rain than you would think and it's fairly moderate.

Re. some of those: Seattle also has the highest water bills in the nation (http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/data/rain-soaked-se...)

Seattle has some pros but, of the 9 points listed, 4 of them are wrong - #1-3, as mentioned above, are invalidated by the insane water rates in Seattle. #8 is subjective but this is literally the first time I've ever heard someone say Seattle had a great culture. Edit: Also, the weather in Seattle may be "moderate" temperature-wise but it's definitely not for everyone and the majority of folks would just classify it as "dreary".

Why would you wash your car or water your lawn in Seattle?

As much as it rains here, during the summer, it actually rains so little that you have to water your lawn if you want it to stay green.

> downside - traffic is horrible.

Pretty sure I hear that downside for every major US city.

I just hope Seattle doesn't turn into SV...

The only downside you can think of for Seattle is traffic? Are you serious?

They looked at tech job listings as a percentage of ALL job listings in cities with a population over 1 million. How does that show a "tech hub"?

I would bet NYC has more total tech jobs (as well as open listings) than a lot of the "tech hubs" on the list.

I was just wondering why NYC was not on that list. Baltimore is very close to DC, is it really two different regions?

Not really. They are close. There are places you can live that are a reasonable commute to both. Also, I know people that make the commute in both directions. MARC train helps.

Source: I live and work in Baltimore.

And really it's hard to determine what differentiates the data between DC and Baltimore for a lot of tech jobs. The ranking calls it Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, so that probably means Fort Meade and a lot of other tech jobs that might be more 'in-between'.

I don't understand why Indeed breaks up San Jose / Sunnyvale / Santa Clara and San Francisco / Oakland / Hayward, and also fails to include Palo Alto, Mountain View, Menlo Park, Cupertino, etc. It completely distorts the proportion of fast growing jobs that are in these 8 tech hubs.

The reason is that they broke it down by MSA: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Metropolitan_Statistic.... Palo Alto and nearby cities are in the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara MSA.

Ah, thank you.

When they go on to infer that fast growing jobs come out of the hubs, their adherence to that standard distorts the numbers downwards. Reader beware.

Disappointed Los Angeles didn't make the list but not surprising. LA has all the right things like colleges (UCLA USC Caltech and others) and same CA employment laws as Silicon Valley. It has big companies like Snapchat but just can't seem to cross that threshold into major tech hub. Maybe Hollywood is just too dominant here, similar to how NYC isn't on the list because finance dominates there.

When I lived in Los Angeles, a significant amount of tech jobs I applied / interviewed for where in the industry. It's possible they are over-looking all the major studios (Sony, NBC, etc), along with the very large support for gaming and movies. Data pipeline, meta data management, and streaming are just a few things that are popular out there.

I think the difference is that many companies in LA are smaller and independent, but I caution that anyone who thinks that Hollywood is more than a small fraction of Los Angeles work hasn't explored much of the city. E-commerce and random website dev is also a much larger market than any town I've seen.

Another problem is the shear size of the city and the accompanying suburbs. You have tech in Pasadena, Burbank, Santa Monica, Torrence, etc, and no sane person would make these cross-town drives every day. I don't think that many people who live in LA even realize how large the place is, and possibly wouldn't realize that many "cities" aren't cities at all, but a part of LA.

In my observation, there is more tech work in LA than Austin, but I digress.

Video games traditionally (Electronic Arts, Westwood Studios -> Blizzard). You have Symantec and now Google and Snapchat. The Adsense guys were in LA as well. Doubleclick was in Pasadena. Match.com, Tinder, Grindr, and a few others around. So there is a mixture of things. Santa Barbara has some tech as well. I think UCLA needs to foster more of a tech transfer mentality. Stanford profs go and develop tech companies. UCLA ones do not to the same extent (or if they do they leave UCLA). I could be wrong about that but that's how I see it. I think Stanford has a better deal on student housing as well vs UCLA, but I could be wrong. UCLA has 44k students vs Stanford at 16k. Travis Kalanick came out of UCLA and has a story about raising a term sheet back in the day for a previous company that was written like a movie term sheet (aka really bad). So that may have something to do with it as well. But I think it is changing. The Bay area is bursting at the seams so you will see the market evolve.

> NYC isn't on the list because finance dominates there

In 2014, New York City had 165,300 finance jobs (NAIC code 523) and 365,500 tech jobs (541), broadly defined [1].

To illustrate why this article's metric is silly, consider that in 2014 about 4.1 million people were employed in New York City [2][3]. Thus 4% of employees worked in finance and 9% in tech. Hoboken, New Jersey, meanwhile, had 34,054 people employed in 2014 [4] and, in 2015, about 7,300 employed in finance [5] (22% of total employment). I guess we should crown Hoboken, instead of New York City, as the nation's new financial capital.

[1] https://www.labor.ny.gov/stats/PDFs/Significant-Industries-N...

[2] https://www.bls.gov/regions/new-york-new-jersey/data/xg-tabl...

[3] http://www1.nyc.gov/assets/planning/download/pdf/data-maps/n...

[4] https://datausa.io/profile/geo/hoboken-nj/#category_industri...

[5] https://datausa.io/profile/geo/hoboken-nj/#category_occupati...

Yeah, same story with Chicago. Big tech scene (esp finance), some big universities (Northwestern, UChicago, UofI, IIT, etc)...

But in the end, it's the country's third largest city, the metro area is huge, and tech is just one industry of many. The number of jobs may be large, but the percentage will never be as high as with small, specialized towns.

And I see that your handle is the zip code for River North. Well played.

Like NY, the population is just way too big for percentage ranked metrics.

Those metrics can be misleading, though: if you want to change jobs, you care more about "total number of other interesting opportunities in this one field" than "number of opportunities in this field compared to other fields."

Whatever happened to telecommuting eventually making it relatively unimportant where you live? Will this happen in the forseeable future, or will the best tech jobs continue in this trend of centralizing around major hubs?

Despite what HN may say, remote working is still fairly rare and highly competitive. Managers will want to see butts in seats for a long time.

Telecommuting/remote/WFH opportunities are as rare as ever. Companies are shying away from it as they begin blaming it for productivity issues that are the fault of completely different problems, e.g. bad management and culture. I don't foresee remote/WFH taking off any time soon.

Nah, they're hiring remote workers like crazy. They're just working very remotely: India.

To me the future is now. I telecommute to a place that's 1400km(875 miles) away. Funny thing is apartments are less expensive in the city in which the office is located, but I choose not to live there.

This is not US only phenomenon. Agglomeration externalities create large productivity differences and it seems that they are constantly being underestimated.

Cities have higher productivity than other areas and larger cities have much higher productivity than smaller cities (in the developing world). Cities are like brains where bigger city thinks qualitatively better.

Housing constraints in larger cities put limits to the aggregate growth. Recent paper: "Housing Constraints and Spatial Misallocation, Hsieh and Moretti." http://eml.berkeley.edu//~moretti/growth.pdf

>We quantify the amount of spatial misallocation of labor across US cities and its aggregate costs. Misallocation arises because high productivity cities like New York and the San Francisco Bay Area have adopted stringent restrictions to new housing supply, effectively limiting the number of workers who have access to such high productivity. Using a spatial equilibrium model and data from 220 metropolitan areas we find that these constraints lowered aggregate US growth by more than 50% from 1964 to 2009.

Cities are cool to think about for that reason. They're formed because it's more efficient logistically for all these economic actors to come together. However, they're unpleasant (in some ways, but not others) to live in because of side effects of the same processes: concentrated noise, pollution, etc.

DC and Baltimore is the land of govt contracting where designers and developers can command hourly rates of 60 to 100 an hour based on skill-set. There's tons of demand too and the cost of living is fairly inexpensive.

I just left my high paying govt contract job as I tried working things out with a co-worker who suddenly became a real S#$t to work with .. tried one on one with him & then with management. Overall nothing changed after months so I left and will be starting a better paying job in 2 weeks. There's too much demand to sit and take crap from anyone.

Can anyone speak to.the job market in the DC metro? I've been thinking a lot about moving back to the east coast and DC seems like a decent trade off between cost of living and interesting jobs (compared to my home NYC).

What kind of jobs are in DC, what's the salary range like?

I just moved from Philadelphia to DC for a job, and I am still biased towards Philadelphia. The jobs I see around here seem to be slanted towards government and non profits.

The biggest problem is the absurd high cost of living, Housing prices are high for miles out of the city, and they spike along all the major forms of transportation. Unless you like sitting in traffic for hours a day you will be paying a premium for housing. Traffic is also a mess.

It has been my experience that you would be much better off in Boston, NYC, or Philadelphia ( I would check out Philly, very low cost of living and a burgeoning tech scene )

Philly is cheap and we are getting more start ups. There are a lot of tech jobs though, but the downside (for some) is that many are in the suburbs either on the main line or in New Jersey, and I don't think that will change much until the city business problem tax is lowered.

I think the business and wage tax are putting a dampener on growth, but they haven't prevented the city from still putting on tech jobs. If you don't mind the wage tax I knew lots of people who did reverse commutes and they worked out well. I think of any city I have lived in philly is right on the cusp of being the next breakout place to be. Its a great city with amazing cultural institutions, the best food scene on the east coast, low cost of living, a lot of great educational institutions to churn out talent and a pretty good regional transit system. If they can fix their governance issues and attract some more capital willing to lead big rounds I think they could hold their own against NYC and boston

Only thing keeping me from moving into Philly is the wage tax. I think within the next year I'm just going to bite the bullet and do it.

Just negotiate that factor into whatever salary you get. I feel like firms in the city proper realize they need to add a couple thousand to compete with suburban firms

The latest stats I've seen for us here in the DC metro area are that we have 7 of the 10 richest counties in the U.S. That tells you a lot about the density of opportunity here. The downtown areas have gentrified amazingly in the last several years. Nice place to be if you want to be close to things.

I was in Seattle recently and it's a truly beautiful city with a stunning landscape. But seemed kinda sleepy compared to DC. I was in Silicon Valley also recently and came away scratching my head why anyone would wish to live there now - miles upon miles of industrial parks, seemed kinda run down even in Cupertino. But just my 2 cents.

The majority of jobs in DC metro are government contracting as you would imagine. That is not to say there are not interesting opportunities available. A few startups and many small contracting shops filling niche spots for the Gov.

IMO the cost of living in not good in DC metro. Very high home prices, only below SF, Boston, NYC. Lower salaries than SF/NYC across the board. Upper middle class in DC requires 200k income, many families here with two 100k earning parents.

I left the DC area in 1998 after programming there for 13 years. Wages were suppressed by government white collar salary caps, which also constrained contractor incomes. A decade later, housing costs had more than doubled, yet wages hadn't budged. AFAIK, the CostOfLiving vs salary ratio remains just as unattractive today, making DC the most uncompetitive tech hotspot I know.

It should be noted that most people don’t live in DC proper - most commute in from the suburbs. My friends in the area all bought houses in places like Fairfax, Springfield, and between Baltimore and DC. House prices are not cheap, but I’ve heard $600k for a nice house quoted to me.

DC proper is just ridiculous. Thankfully you can find more reasonable places just across the river with a short commute time.

And the price difference is similar for apartments. I'm paying $1000 for a ~1000 sqft apartment on the cheap side of the bridge. I have a coworker paying $2500 for a smaller place in DC. The difference in commute time is 5 minutes.

Boston doesn't seem to be doing very well in the long-term. I moved here to take advantage of both the presence of tech jobs, and to live in an accepting, progressive blue state. If I want to stay in the area, what field should I be transitioning into?

I know the Boston area has a lot of medical/health companies around, and it might be worth it to start looking at those kinds of companies as a long-term solution. Are they still a good choice for MA tech jobs?

The Boston area has quite a bit of tech jobs and pays pretty well, with the main issues being that everything is falling apart and people are crazy.

Sounds like SNAFU to me.

I guess it depends on what you count as a 'tech job.' I'm in Cambridge, and obviously the universities are major employers, and biotech/pharma is a dominant industry (our neighborhood surrounded by labs).

Software engineering, I guess, which is my field. I've heard that university work in this tends to be mediocre (and with pay to match), although biotech/pharma can be good.

I've been in the area for a while and have done both plus standard software jobs.

University/academic jobs do tend to have low pay but do usually have great benefits. The work varies, sometimes super cool sometimes not. It tends to be a mix of people REALLY into what they're working on and people who'd rather not be working at all riding a cushy gig.

Biotech/pharma pays better and if you like the domain can be really cool. The software isn't that much different than the rest of the world for the most part. In most places be prepared to be viewed as a second class citizen as the MDs and PhDs get top billing.

All this said i believe that the bio space is where to be as a software pro in Boston

> Boston doesn't seem to be doing very well in the long-term.

Can you expand on this?

I was going off of what the article said - not so much my own perception of the market.

Baltimore and Raleigh are tech hubs, and New York is not?

In 2000 when the dot-com's went bust, things were not so bad for IT in New York because the other industries were still going along - media, advertising, fashion, and of course, finance. San Francisco has all its eggs in one basket.

Plus New York has Stack Overflow, Spotify, Computer Associates, IBM, Seamless, Rockstar Games, Kickstarter and companies like that as well.

The problem with this article is its focus on the fraction of a city's total jobs that are high tech, not the number of high tech jobs.

Raleigh's total market is small compared to NYC's, of course (~2 million in 2013). Even then I can't believe a high fraction of work in the Research Triangle area is tech related. Aside from the 3 universities, it just doesn't have many significant tech employers these days. It's been decades since anyone mentioned tech business in RTP in the same breath as other hubs in the vicinity like DC, Charlotte, Atlanta, or Houston.

I won't argue about a relative comparison to other cities, but the claim that there aren't a lot of tech jobs doesn't hold water.

Searching for largest employers in Durham and Wake county, you'll see that there's a lot of tech. IBM is third largest overall employer in Durham, SAS is fifth in Wake, Cisco is seventh, followed by plenty of others that aren't quite as big. (Red Hat headquarters are here but they don't even make the list I searched http://d4.nccommerce.com/QCEWLargestEmployers.aspx).

What the triangle doesn't have is "sexy" tech. There's a lot of medium or small satellite offices, companies like Fidelity, Lenovo or Credit Suisse hiring people, and so on. Far fewer consumer oriented startups.

Red Hat, IBM, Fidelity Investments, Cisco, NetApp, SAS, Citrix/Sharefile, Quintiles.

They all employ thousands or close to it in RTP/Raleigh. These are just the ones I thought of off the top of my head, I am sure there are others.

IBM alone employs 10,000 people in RTP.

> I am sure there are others

There is a large government contractor presence in the triangle (DC is what, a 30 minute flight?). Epic's main office, Nvidia and Kitware have offices.

I'm curious if IBM has more jobs/tech in New York or in Raleigh. The Research Triangle Park campus is massive, and they have some huge datacenters there too.

Like the other person said, I think it's because of the fraction, which I think is perfectly valid. If it was just pure numbers, the list would be just the largest cities in the country. Going by fraction helps weed out the fact that while NYC might have a lot of tech jobs, it has a far greater number of finance jobs. Raleigh has a lot of tech jobs and not a lot else, so in terms of how focused on tech the city is, Raleigh wins.

I agree, New York. Years ago, having engineering lap experience, I looked at engineering positions offered in Newsday compared to elsewhere. I decided that at that time there was probably nowhere in the world with as many engineering jobs listed in any paper within commuting distance as there was in a typical weekday Newsday want ad section. If you work in engineering, live on LI, and travel, bring the day's Newsday and compare.

There are some highly technical (and specifically information-techical) jobs in finance that don't seem to be included here. This may also be the case for other areas, as well.

As someone in finance this is quite interesting to me, do you have any examples? Job titles or sample postings?

For one thing, titles beginning with 'quant' seem to be missing, though perhaps I did not dig deep enough.

Move to Round Rock folks! You can get a 4000 sq.ft. home, a half acre yard and a pool for less than a San Francisco studio. You pay $4000 a month to rent a 1 bedroom? You can rent a whole house here for half of that. Pay is the same if you just ask. Too many jobs and not enough local people to fill them.

Round Rock is an exurb tho. If you're ok with that, then great! But it's hardly and apples to apples comparison. A better comparison is the going rate for rent in Austin proper.

I'm looking at that area. Currently in Seattle. Can you give me some advantage of round Rock, cedar Park or Austin? My current employers office is near The Domain in North Austin. It looks like I can get a decent house in Austin, but cedar Park and round Rock also look nice.

South Austinite so I'm a bit biased, but here's my take. Cedar Park and RR are quite a ways out of the city and traffic in Austin heading north/south is atrocious and getting worse, fast. You can live up there cheaply but if you're coming for the Austin city experience, you may be disappointed. If you do end up that far north, I would recommend looking into Pflugerville, as well, which is a very nice area.

The Domain/Arboretum is between those suburbs and the city and it's a booming area these days with a lot going on. My advice would be to look near there or south of there for your housing. This gives you good commute flexibility for jobs in the burbs and the city, and makes getting into the city much more pleasant.

I think the only advantage would be cheaper housing. They are fairly typical suburbs so it all really depends on what kind of lifestyle you are looking for.

Traffic going North/South is getting really bad, so if you are wanting to be central/downtown during the weeknights you're going to want to stick around for a while and delay your commute or somehow offset your commute.

I have a coworker who lives in cedar park (our office is by UT) and fortunately for him his manager allows him to come in around 10 and leave at 4 to miss the traffic, but he has to make up for hours later in the evening.

Texas is a hot and humid political mess. At least in Colorado, your vote won't go to waste.

I don't see how Texas is more of a political mess than CA, NY, or NJ.

Also, diversity sometimes looks like places other people love and you don't care for.

Mind sharing more?

Hot as hell. More humid than hell half the time, oddly dry the other half.

Sure it's hot and humid, thankfully everything is Air Conditioned and I'm in the pool every night.

No public transportation means no public transportation that smells like urine. Since housing is so cheap everyone has nice cars.

The desirability of transit is not because people love taking the subway, it's because cars as the main form of transport do not scale well with city size.

Anecdotal example: when we lived in Tel Aviv (bad transit, although probably not as bad as many places in the US) I had several jobs and it would take me 50-60 minutes to get from home to work or vice versa.

This was not just me but is usual in greater Tel Aviv, unless you can afford to live in the city (almost nobody with kids does, metro tel aviv has 3.7m residents vs 450k for the city itself).

We've lived in Vienna before we moved and moved to Berlin after, both cities with great transit (that sometimes smell like piss). Both metros are comparable in size to TLV (metro Vienna 2.6m, metro Berlin 4.5m) and I've had several jobs in either - it usually takes 30-40 minutes to get to work and again it's not just me but the common case.

There is public transportation and hopefully it's on the way to getting better. I personally take the bus to work everyday. Cap Metro is adding bus routes on the mopac express lanes from RR to downtown Austin.

The problem is there is a culture of driving in Austin and not of taking the public options. Most people don't even know what is out there. We could do with quite a few less cars on the road.

Since pay is high in the bay area, I have a couple of nice cars.

Thankfully the climate is outstanding so I don't even need A/C.

Sounds like you'd have a lot of traffic then....

...which we do. Getting into Austin from one of the suburbs is a nightmare during rush hour and still a slow 'stop-and-go' at all other times.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact