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You will always a job in any city, state or country. Even if you suck, there will always be someone to hire you because the market of software engineers is hot and the numbers play in your favor

As someone who has tried to figure out how to live in the area I grew up (northwestern Minnesota) instead of New York or the Bay area, this isn't quite accurate. In many (most?) flyover states software jobs pay 1/5-1/3 what you would make in NYC. The only technology needed is .NET or sometimes Java - the last 5 years of "scaling Ruby" or whatever you were doing, are more like a five year gap in your resume. The number of available positions are orders of magnitude less than NYC or the Bay. Often, you can get paid more and have an easier time getting work if you're an IT dude, rather than a software developer. The other option is being a remote worker for someplace cool but you usually need to have a career somewhere else for a few years to make connections. Of course, the American outback might be a good place to hole up and work on your own software startup for a while, but as soon as you need to hire you'll have to move again.

If you want to be able to throw a dart at a map and pick up high paying work wherever you want, the answer is still being an MD. The worst MD in North Dakota can make what the best software engineer in Manhattan makes. In a weird inversion of most employment reality, doctors can often make far more in a rural setting than they can in a mid-sided metro, due to "hardship post" style compensation. The career that is a close second for job mobility is "physicians assistant" - they make 80 grand no matter where they live.

Your "scaling Ruby" experience is in great demand in Minnesota, as one would notice from the volume of postings on the Ruby Users of Minnesota (http://ruby.mn) mailing list. At least in the Twin Cities, there are a lot of developer jobs now. Most of them suck, but most jobs suck everywhere. There are fewer startups, that is very true.

Cool, I'll check it out. However, I live five hours north of the Twin Cities, and am not really looking for a job unless its something really cool.

" The other option is being a remote worker for someplace cool but you usually need to have a career somewhere else for a few years to make connections."

I thought this was true, but a recent job search proved this to be quite wrong (at least for me). There are plenty of telecommuting jobs out there now that do not require previous experience with the company or telecommuting in general. Additionally there are more and more purely distributed companies out there that don't even have an office (a possible solution to you start-up problem). You may not get paid SF/NYC salaries but you can get close enough (especially compared to the average pay for your area).

I have to agree with this. I recently moved from Green Bay, WI, to Seattle. Back in Green Bay, the only programming jobs are .NET or Java positions unless you find a place using far older languages like COBOL and friends. If you're unlucky, you'll be doing php for $10/hr or less. There are some system administration jobs but it's all support on a shoestring. The midwest is largely manufacturing and insurance, industries that don't value programmers very much.

Kansas City here - we've got Garmin (C, C++, Java, Python), Cerner, H&R Block, and Sprint headquartered here. We've also got a Samsung R&D office (Android) and an IBM office... The choices aren't exactly limitless, but there are jobs.

Agree in general. Lived in Omaha but just moved to SF about 9 months ago where I've been doing Rails development.

There's a few very companies trying to do cool development but for the most part you're best served if you're an expert in Java or .Net.

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