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Ask HN: 25 year old web hacker considering in person San Francisco job hunt
13 points by greyhat on Apr 20, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 8 comments
Hi HN,

I'm playing around with the idea of traveling to SF to try to find a job at a tech startup, and I have several questions.

Does the job market in SF live up to the hype?

How receptive are SF startups to people either dropping by or calling to setup meetings in town?

Is a week enough time to make the trip worthwhile, get a feel for the area, and meet with a lot of companies?

If I go the AirBNB route, what neighborhood should I try and stay in for best walk-ability to the startup heavy areas? (Alternatively, anyone want to rent their couch to me for a week? =)

Thanks for reading! Also, any other tips or links you want to throw in would be much appreciated. Things like http://paulstamatiou.com/atlanta-to-san-francisco-moving-cross-country and http://al3x.net/2009/10/04/so-youre-moving-to-san-francisco.html

I just recently had to find a job. I started looking on Monday and accepted a job by Wednesday afternoon.

If you are interested in working with a recruiter let me know and I can put you in touch with the person that helped me. I won't name drop but if you would like me to put you in touch I will be more than happy to.

Questions: - What technology stack(s) are you comfortable with? - What type of development are you interested in the most?

Suggestions: - Do not just take a job for the sake of moving out here. A means to an end is simply not enough in the bay. You need a life too and that costs $$. Make sure you take a job that will fulfill you financially and professionally. (I moved out here 2 years ago).

- Get in touch with a recruiting agency about 1 week before you arrive. They will fill up your schedule with interviews.

- Stay anywhere you can that is cheap and near Caltrain. You'll probably have to travel all over the peninsula for interviews so a central location does not apply.

- Check Meetup.com and other user groups of interest (if you are into Node, find the node user group meeting in the bay and be there). Fill your evenings with networking events so you can meet people. Once people hear your story they will take a vested interest in your success and they will help you find interviews and network. This I cannot stress enough. Use your personality and make people want you to move out here. A lot of people are transplants and will go out of the way to help a fellow transplant out.

Other than that - good luck. I think 1 week is enough for preliminary interviews but I would plan for 2 weeks if you can. With 2 weeks I am confident you will find an offer.


I would quite like to talk to your recruiter, my email is brianfarr@gmail.com. Thanks for responding!

So I stayed visited a friend last summer in San Jose. I decided that during that week, while he worked, that I would go out and see for myself how "dropping by" startups would work out. I was surprised by the reactions of some of the companies. Here is what happened when I did this, but remember this was not in San Francisco, but south (IE Mountain View, San Jose, etc.).

Established startups that were > 20 employees were very hard to talk to. They had recruiters working for them to find and hire people. Those recruiters were pretty much booked and didn't have any openings in their schedules. I was often referred to their website to apply and then wait to be contacted.

The smaller startups, those who had only a few cubicles / people, took my contact information and were going to pass it along. They didn't have recruiters (they are expensive) so they did their own recruiting. They also had places to apply online in which they referred me to.

In all I found it very difficult to just stop in and grab someone's attention. I will be moving out there at the end of this summer and hope to work on my startup. If that goes sour then I will definitely do things differently to find a job, more along the lines of what devs1010 suggested. I found more opportunities just talking to people with similar interests than just showing up in person to random startups.

As someone who moved back to the Bay Area recently, I spent a lot of time applying online, I mostly went out my way to avoid 3rd party recruiters as I'm grown sick of dealing with them. I wasn't out here to go in person like you are suggesting but I found that being persistent, going to company websites directly and applying was lining me up a steady stream of phone interviews. From there, its a matter of getting their interest and then they may pay for you to come out (the company that hired me covered my air fare). If you go the 3rd party recruiter route, you are most likely going to be spending a lot of time talking on the phone to these people having "fluff" conversations as they really don't know anything about programming and they are just grasping at straws trying to place you somewhere to get a commission. If you can find one that seems decent, then go with them, however be prepared to have to filter out some of these recruiters as many may be a complete waste of your time.

I have nothing to contribute to this thread, but am anxious to see the outcome of it.

I am a 25 year old just finishing up college, and am jumping right into the startup world the moment I graduate.. from Philly.

I'm curious to see how well received your Ask HN becomes, because everything I know about Silicon Valley just though the web. I'd enjoy hearing about your journey how you make it out there!

Thanks, I will definitely try to updated with the results and everything I learned, so other east coasters like me can have the chance, if they want it. Good luck!

SOMA is the best spot to stay. Also, email me! Yammer is hiring and we'd love to have you come in for lunch while you're in town.

Jeffrey Erickson UX/UI Designer @ Yammer Jerickson@yammer-inc.com

Thanks, and I emailed you!

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