Devin Mullins wrote:
> While we seem to be rife with OT threads, I thought I'd throw in an OT 
> question that's been percolating in my mind for quite a while.
> 
> Where do you recommend to live? Feel free to provide just a city name, 
> or to go into detail. When I say "for a programmer," I'm mainly 
> referring to the existence of programming jobs, but other aspects, such 
> as the existence of ?UGs, proximity to nerdy attractions, etc. could 
> play a part. Also feel free to just tell me some places to look for 
> ideas, and then tell me to Get to Googlin'. :)

Google isn't a bad start, it can help you find assorted lists and 
articles on "The 10 Best Places to Live", for numerous definitions of 
'best'.  Get a sense of cost of living, weather, crime rate, that sort 
of thing.

Worth looking into.

> 
> Obviously, the usual places show up: Silicon Valley, Wash DC (where I am 
> now), *insert big city here* -- any info you have about why you would or 
> wouldn't recommend one of these would be appreciated. I'm also looking 
> for places that are off-the-beaten path (but still accessible, so 
> Fraser, B.C. is out of the question, sorry) -- Portland, OR and even 
> Bend, OR seem to be attracting techies, for example. Why? Should I be 
> interested, too? Why or why not? I have preference towards places in the 
> US, but if you have hometown pride, you are of course welcome to give it 
> shoutout. :)

I'm in Scottsdale/Phoenix.  Nice enough, though to gets, um,  HOT.

I've had poor luck with maintaining a Ruby users group, and my general 
take is that the climate and geography thwart a thriving social culture. 
  (But I'm involved with Refresh Phoenix, so maybe that will improve.)

You really do need a car to get anyplace here, and there seems to be 
little sense of spontaneity.  I'm a born and raised New Yawker, and I 
deeply miss the street life, the ability to hop on the bus or subway and 
just go someplace fast, easy, and cheap, or the option to walk and walk 
for miles, with endless stimulation.  So, in comparison, Phoenix seems 
terribly isolated and sterile.

There are developer jobs here, .Net and Java work, plus some chip makers 
  (Intel, Motorola) are in the area.  It wouldn't be a *bad* choice if 
you can handle the weather, but culturally it's a wasteland.  (But if 
you like hiking and the Great Outdoors, the Grand Canyon is about 4 
hours away, there is skiing up in Flagstaff, and the desert really is 
beautiful.  San Diego is about a 5-or-6 hour drive, too, for the beach.)

Also, we've been having a real estate boom, and house prices have gone 
nonlinear.  Still cheaper then Cali; the surreal housing costs of the 
Left Coast are part of what's driving up costs here.

> 
> For the short term, I'm stuck here earning a living, and for the medium 
> term, I'm probably going to go where my long-time friends are, in Calif. 
> (SF? SB? LA? SD? not sure), but I'm trying to plan ahead a little more 
> than I have in the past, so am hoping to build an arsenal of info. You 
> guys are the best group I could think to ask.
> 
> I'll provide a little about DC, in fairness to y'all, and maybe as a 
> template.
> 1. The housing market here is ridiculously expensive. I think it might 
> be going down a *little* soon, but yikes, it's high.

Seems to be a common story.


> 2. It's probably because high tech jobs are in high supply here. Gov't 
> contracting is the name of the game, and while you probably won't be 
> using Agile methodologies to build the Next Big Thing, you'll at least 
> have a fairly well-paying and steady job.
> 3. Weather's not fantastic. Temperate climates. Warm for its latitude 
> because of some sort of wind thing. Generally pretty cloudy during the 
> Spring/Fall, though, due to its proximity to the water.

I spent a few months of winter in Manassas some years ago. Not really 
bad.  Less snow than NYC at least.  More snow than Phoenix.

Anyways, I always have half a mind to up and move, so I'm  also curious 
to hear what people say on this.


James

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