The "valley" is Santa Clara Valley, which is a full 45 miles away and a very diverse set of neighborhoods.
"There are no slums. There are no marginal areas." <-- have you seen some parts of east San Jose, or east Palo Alto? Or since "the valley" apparantly includes more than the actual geographic valley, what about Richmond or Stockton near the docks? I wouldn't suggest stopping at red lights at night.
I've lived in "the valley" my whole damn life. My family has ties going back to the gold rush days. I have no idea where it is that you lived, as it sure as hell doesn't resemble anything I recognize.
I'm sorry you had such a shitty experience.
As for slums and marginal areas -- yes, they exist, but even there the costs of living can be high, and in terms of livable low-cost areas, such as you might find in Chicago, or Detroit, or Berlin, not so much. Land-use planning, growth limitations (California is ultimately water-constrained), NIMBYISM, and real-estate inflation have and are taking their toll on the area.
Regarding affordable living, I think you'd be suprised what you can find. In just about every county there are affordable housing developments and less affluent areas. Those people taking your fast-food order for minimum wage and cleaning your house have to live somewhere.
Of course even entry level jobs in tech preclude you from the government assistance many poor people here rely on. But "I make too much money for affordable housing" is bit different thing to say than "SF has no place for you to fall ... There are no slums. There are no marginal areas."
That pretty much tells you everything you need to know about this writer. It doesn't seem hard to imagine that if you're a hacker wannabe who thinks things like having a tumblr are important to selling your skillset, or doesn't realize that outside trendy startups in the valley git is still far from universal, you're gonna have a bad time in the valley. And I say that as someone who hates the valley and couldn't be happier that I chose Boston instead.
Keep hating, you wear your jealousy on your sleeve...
Also, it appears you followed a simple node tutorial and you are calling it a "platform." I'm not sure jealousy is the correct word here. If writing blog posts and following tutorials is your idea of being a developer, I'm not surprised you had a hard time in the Bay Area.
Put in the coding time, stop overselling yourself, and maybe then you will be attractive to potential employers. Blaming your failure on everyone else isn't getting you anywhere.
A blogging platform is a similar sort of project. Any novice programmer can build one given enough time and motivation. Building a polished one is an accomplishment, but it's by no means a feat of programming creativity or a demonstration of vast skill.
When I hire junior developers I'm looking for people who know at least a few different programming languages and are skilled with a number of different tools. I'm not looking for a tumblr blog or deep knowledge of git. Git can be reasonably taught in a week or two; a programming language can't.
Most startups use a few different programming languages. Mine used 3 before we were acquired. Since we were acquired we now use 6 languages on 4 OSes (Win,Lin,QNX,iOS) to provide our sensor-based solution to our clients. A real hacker is the kind of programmer who can quickly adapt to such an environment and get up to speed quickly. That's not what defines a hacker* , but that's what makes them so valuable.
* I define a hacker as someone skilled at creatively misusing available technology to solve hard problems under extreme constraints
TLDR; couldn't make it in the valley so I skipped the country.
The person who submitted this is not me, but I guess they found the commit. Must have been digging. If you have any questions, feel free to reach me at email@example.com.
>If you have a Tumblr site you haven't updated in six months and you call yourself a programmer, you're an embarrassment to the language you claim to know.
>You know who gets acqui-hired? White guys. The occasional cute blonde.
This is written by someone who thinks git is the end all be all tech skill to learn. This is person is not a dev, but is telling devs what they should be doing. Not only that, but this is another example of the tech elite 'shitting' all over the homeless, and she's exhibiting racism and sexism in this article. Pass on this ugly post...
EDIT: And what does this line mean "...using Git to keep your work cryptographically secure..."?
"If you don't know Git, you don't know shit. If you have a Tumblr site you haven't updated in six months and you call yourself a programmer, you're an embarrassment to the language you claim to know."
Like, really, is a tumblog now the way a programmer's skill is evaluated? Git? No one cares if you know git, it's not a core competency unless your job somehow directly involves maintaining an SCM system. Are we from the same planet even?!
I kind of agree with the rest though. I had to visit SF a couple of times and really really didn't like it. Don't understand people who choose to live there, I'd rather put up with the rain and the grey of Seattle.
So you lived with shitty roommates...
> If you don't know Git, you don't know shit
...you're applying to places that value a Linked-In-style "skills list" over talent...
> If you have a Tumblr site you haven't updated in six months and you call yourself a programmer, you're an embarrassment to the language you claim to know.
...you think programmers actually use/pay attention to Tumblr...
and your telling us that the Valley is fucked? The Valley is indeed pretty fucked, but for precisely zero of these reasons. The only actual problem you named was the extreme income inequality and lack of affordable housing in SF, but you didn't really go into any depth at all about it. These are your own personal problems that you're trying to abstract onto the Valley as a whole. Not all of us have shit roommates. Not all of us try to work at places that seriously ask us questions about our git aptitude before they hire us. Not all of us blog. And by "not all", I really mean "very few".
Oh, and to go a little ad hominem/"constructive criticism" here, if you're really trying to make it as a writer... you need a lot more practice. I'm kinda gathering that this wasn't a polished piece, but... seriously. It just jumps back and forth between a number of completely separate topics with no connection, no narrative arc, and no concrete thesis. It's barely even readable in some places ("Tech Skills Still Pay the Bills" and "The Few and the Proud", especially).
Just because you spent some time with some tech bros in a house in SF doesn't mean you know what's going on here.
I'm sure you'll get some clicks on your Tumblr or whatever, but I can confidently say that doesn't define the work of an engineer in the Bay Area.
While I agree with you that the safety net in the USA need to be completely reworked, what country gives poor non citizens a chance to "make it" that you feel is acceptable?
The problem is the bouncing back part. It's easier said than done.
Now, not knowing much about The Valley's history (other than the obvious), I'm wondering if these problems you speak of were caused by an influx of techies who feel entitled in the area. The glory of movies like "The Social Network" encourage ambitious young hackers like myself to move westward because of Hollywood-crafted fantasies, rather than necessity or convenience. Consequently, meritocracy is diluted.
Thoughts? These ideas are more from my intuition than anywhere else; I've lived in Boston from birth.
Travel around and enjoy yourself if you have the means. Don't settle down somewhere without having spent a decent amount of time there. Live and work where you love, not where you feel like you should be. Basically follow that boring advice that parents have been giving children forever now.
>Consequently, meritocracy is diluted
Meritocracy is a clever facade that is used to blind "smart people" to the real ways of the world. Buy into it at your peril.
While hard work is a great way to learn, "getting used" is a hard lesson to learn. So, as a "youth", be wary.
There's more out there than VC funded startups. Much more.
I don't think I personally would prefer to live in SF, in large part due to the crazy expense, but you should try seeing how you personally feel about the area for yourself.
If you are a competent dev and you try and fail at starting your own thing, get a full time job. They will pay you enough to afford you your own place where the only person you have to clean up after is yourself. If you can't get a full time job, you probably are not the dev you thought you were, and you probably should head some place that has marginal areas where you can fall. You probably don't even have to go as far as Singapore.
wow, good thing I left the Valley in 2012, it was sad indeed.
Gwen_Bell or GwenBell?
Where should I go? I have all the money in the world and I'm looking to settle elsewhere besides North America.
OP: I like the way you rant.
Just commenting about Germany because you mentioned it. There are probably lots of other destinations with good potential. Ultimately they are all only as good as you make it.
I've left Italy a few months ago and moved to Amsterdam (studying and working), it's an amazing place, a massive change of settings for me. There are lots of startups, companies and opportunities for tech-minded people. Obviously, I repeat, my comparison is with Italy which, to be honest, is one of the worst places you'd want to found a startup in Europe.
Then, I advice you to not go to Paris. I've just left it for south east Asia (Laos) and it's amazing. However I hadn't meet any tech community yet.
Problem with Europe is that things are not that well there. Don't go to France. Germany and Netherland seems good for the next years but who knows how things can change. China and Russia are also interesting choices.
I personally would consider these cities (safe, strong tech community):
Berlin, Munich, Zurich, Vienna, Stockholm