Silicon “See ya!”

Silicon “See ya!”

OR: Why you don’t need to go to San Francisco for career in software

Richard Hendricks and Nelson Bighetti are unimpressed with their quality of life in Silicon Valley.

In the pilot episode of HBO’s Silicon Valley, dopey protagonist Richard Hendricks and his pal, Nelson “Big Head” Bighetti are on their way to work in the corporate shuttle. Richard, like so many Bay Area residents before him, is lamenting the high cost of rent (starting at $2,800 in Palo Alto). Big Head rolls his eyes and looks out the window over his shoulder.

“Why is it so expensive here?” he asks. “Look at this place. It’s a shithole.”

Nevertheless, the Valley’s big boys (Apple, Google and Facebook) each bring on about 300 new employees per week, using competitive pay, amazing benefits and the promise of a tech elite lifestyle as bait.

However, the six-figure salaries on offer, which would afford a lavish lifestyle in other parts of the country, are making local software developers feel poor — particularly those trying to raise families.

The high cost of living is displacing service professionals, and restauranteurs are terrified to set up shop, as profit margins are slim and staff are hard to come by.

Being seduced by the Silicon Siren? Allow us to bust some modern-day myths.

MYTH #1: The pay is great.
TRUTH: Your landlord’s pay is great. Yours? Not so much after living expenses. A senior hire at a large company can expect to earn in the neighborhood of $150k to start, and you can expect to drop up to half your take-home earnings on just the basics (rent, utilities, phone). This amount increases as you move north along the bay from San Jose to San Francisco — you may remember the CraigsList ad for a rentable crawl space with a dirt floor that received serious enquiries… is that a world you want to live in?

MYTH #2: San Francisco is where the opportunities are.
TRUTH: San Francisco is where the VC’s are. If you’re not in the startup scene, or you have an idea that you can get off the ground without Silicon Valley investment, then opportunities abound wherever there’s a laptop and a wifi connection. In Stack Overflow’s 2017 Developer Survey, more than 11% of respondents report working remotely full-time, and 64% say they work from home at least one day a month. The trend is catching on: Zapier, a tech startup with an entirely remote staff, is even offering new hires a “de-location package” to allow their new hires to leave the Bay Area for a better quality of life elsewhere.

MYTH #3: The tech community in Silicon Valley is the best anywhere.
TRUTH: While there is a higher saturation of devs in the Bay Area than most other cities (and you’re more likely to run into people talking shop in public), the size of a community is not necessarily indicative of its quality. There are opportunities to converge with developerfolk around every corner; in Savannah, for example, you can attend recurring events like Tech Tuesday, Open Savannah, Make It Mobile (← That’s us!), and Startup Grind. You can go to one-off talks about tech topics (self-driving cars, anyone?) or learn new skills at RailsBridge workshops. If you need a daily fix of tech talk, you can join techSAV’s Slack channel. Have a look on for gatherings in your community. If none exist, then start one. If the internet has taught us anything, it’s that you are not alone in the universe and there are more like-minded people out there than you think.

Do you work remotely and love it? Do you have a favorite tech group in your community? Tell us about it in the comments, or email us at

Source: Medium:Remote Working
Silicon “See ya!”

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