In article <433089C8.7080807 / comcast.net>,
Devin Mullins  <twifkak / comcast.net> 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'. :)
>
>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. :)

OK, I'm in Portland and you mentioned Portand, so here goes:
Why are all the techies moving to Portland, OR?  A few reasons: 
1) Lots of UGs.  UGs for languages (we have a really good one in pdx.rb, see:
http://pdxruby.org ), UGs for things like Agile programming, etc.  And lots  
of people are active in them. 
2) OSDL&Linus are here now.  This is a very Open Source friendly place. The 
Governor has even set up some sort of open source booster office in 
Beaverton.  More O'Reilly authors per-capita than any other US city.
3) The Weather: yes really.  From about mid-June through about mid-October I 
think this part of the country (and I'll include Seattle in this) has THE 
best weather in the country.  Not too hot.  Not humid.  Especially right now, 
we have 70 to 75 degree sunny days (it might rain 1 day out of 7 in 
September).  OK, from mid-October till mid-June it's gray and gloomy, but hey 
you've got to get some work done sometime, right?  And that's what all the 
coffee shops are for.
4) Scenery & stuff to do: Mt. St. Helens is about an hour away, the Columbia 
Gorge is close, Crater Lake is about 4 hours away.   One of the most scenic 
coastlines in the world is 1.5 hours away. Seattle is 3 hours away and 
Vancouver BC is about 6 hours away (by car).
5) cost of living (while rising) is still lower than the other major 
West-Coast cities (LA, SF, Seattle).
6) Very good public transportation system.  Almost as good as some European 
cities.  Probably one of the best in the US.

.... as far as jobs go, things were pretty terrible back in 2002-2004, but 
much better now.  I'm noticing a trend lately that a lot of people seems to 
be starting their own businesses here (as opposed to working for a company).
If you are into the big company thing then Intel has a huge presence here 
(15,000 employees - their largest site in the world) and Nike is based here 
as well.

>
>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.
>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.
>4. Traffic sucks. Combine that with the fact that you can only afford to 
>live in the boonies and you've got a recipe for un-fun.
>5. Entertainment is pretty decent, if you don't mind the traffic it 
>takes to get there. We've got the Kennedy Center in DC, Nissan Pavillion 
>out west in Warrenton, VA, all sorts of jazz, bars, etc. and DC is 
>obviously a pretty popular place for artists to include as part of a 
>national/regional tour. We've got fantastic museums and art galleries, 
>many of which are free.
>6. There's a very good variety of decent restaurants, and some very good 
>ones. Of course, for any genre X of food, there's apparently some city Y 
>that produces better X. Oh well. :)

Portland has lots of great little eateries.

>7. It's a big, suburban region. You're not going to see any "sense of 
>belonging" to the DC area, in people. You're not going to find that 
>'cept for probably way in the city (where it's urban), or way out (where 
>it's rural, in which case you'll find the annual Nokesville festival, or 
>whatever).
>8. I may be full of it.
>


Phil