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The Worst US Cities To Work In IT 538

Posted by timothy
from the hmm-if-atlanta's-on-the-good-list dept.
bdcny7927 writes with an excerpt from CIO.com to inspire some caution before your next job switch: "IT workers have their choice of many great US cities for work and play (Atlanta, Chicago, Seattle), but what are the cities that you probably should avoid? Here's a very unscientific, highly subjective and unapologetically snarky list of our least favorite US tech job locales."
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The Worst US Cities To Work In IT

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  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @12:06PM (#28440109)
    Okay, I don't really believe that. I just always wanted to see what that sentence looked like in print.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Skreems (598317)
      I was surprised to see Atlanta on the "good" list myself.
    • by Jake Griffin (1153451) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @12:08PM (#28440139)
      Wow... I'm from Detroit and I laughed so hard when I read that. When people ask me what I thought about my time there I always tell them that "Detroit is a great place to be" then pause a minute and add "from."
    • by JeanBaptiste (537955) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @12:09PM (#28440167)

      makes Detroit look like Paris.

      • Re:Gary Indiana (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Darth_brooks (180756) * <clipper377.gmail@com> on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @01:34PM (#28441555) Homepage

        Pretty much. There's nothing quite like that thick yellow smog that hangs in the air over Gary, or that lovely smell of sulfer and despair that reminds you "Yep, this is Hell. Enjoy your visit from the safety of the highway or the train, and thank your lucky stars you don't have to get out."

        "Detroit" proper certainly sucks, but it's never really had an IT infrastructure to start out with. Outside of Compuware, high-tech jobs just don't exist there. I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that those 440+ IT jobs in "Detroit" are postings from Livonia or Novi, which is about the same as equating a job posting in Simi Valley with one in Compton.

        I worked IT for a Community College that serves Detroit. By far the most dysfunctional IT organization I've ever seen. After getting hired, the first thing my boss told me was "I can't believe they hired you, you're not related to anybody here." Dozens of redundant administrators with no real job function other than drawing a paycheck, a single, insanely flaky DNS and AD server (located downtown) serving 5 remote sites that would wipe out connectivity across all campuses when it went down. I finally started SSH tunneling all of my traffic to my home connection so I could at least keep myself entertained. One of my favorite moments was when one of the network administrators was on site and I showed him what I was doing. His first question: "What's SSH?" By that time, I wasn't even remotely surprised. I was slightly surprised when I saw that job posted internally after the same admin moved to a different role. Starting salary: 65k. A junior admin with no skills whatsoever pulling down that kind of money. God only knows what his bosses made...

        I was finally "indefinitely laid off" (no one ever got fired, downsized, rightsized, or had their position eliminated. You were simply placed on indefinite lay off. I heard of people getting called back to their jobs 5+ years after they got laid off) by the "Senior Associate Vice president of human resources", and yes, there were associate VP's of HR, VP's of HR, and a President of HR. If you were in the HR department, you were some form of Vice president. Or you were a secretary who was assumed to be boning and or related to his or her associated vice president. I had two weeks vacation and was told that I had a signing bonus from the union contract (Yep. Union IT. The union was equally incompetent) coming to me upon my "lay off." I was paid 8 hours vacation (the payroll system was never, ever right. They said I had 8 hours, they paid me 8, and sent me to one of the dozens of voicemail boxes that never got checked.) and told that the bonus didn't really apply to me due to a quirk in the rules.

        So I walked away with a day's pay instead of a month's, and I framed the letter. I use it as a reminder of how crappy an organization can really be.

    • by gr8_phk (621180) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @01:26PM (#28441407)
      Sure, they show a picture of some crappy neighborhood in the city. Just north, Oakland county is one of the richest in the nation. The other suburbs are just fine too. Let's set Detroit aside for a moment and consider Michigan in general. Some points:
      1) We've got more coastline than California - and it's fresh water.
      2) We've got 4 seasons (which is good or bad depending on your preference).
      3) More second homes than any other state (most on the water).
      4) We've don't get earthquakes, hurricanes, forest fires, termites, poisonous spiders/snakes.
      5) We do get the occasional tornado, but far less than most of the midwest.
      6) Education: we've got plenty of geek-schools.
      7) Manufacturing. Does anyone care? We can build anything here - tech included
      8) We've got an enormous set of technically capable people just waiting for companies to set up shop here.
      Outside the 139 square miles of Detroit, Michigan is a paradise compared to a lot of places.
      • by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @02:19PM (#28442409)
        That should be Michigan's new state motto "Aside from Detroit, we're great!" ;-)
      • by Colonel Korn (1258968) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @03:30PM (#28443607)

        Speaking as someone who moved from CA to MI, and who has also lived elsewhere in the country...

        1) We've got more coastline than California - and it's fresh water.
        ---Yes, but I prefer cliffs and the ocean. Still, the MI coast is very nice. I wish that there were mountains here in MI, though. It's so incredibly flat, except for the UP, which is rather remote. In CA you have the ocean on one side, then some 2-4k foot tall mountains, than 2-3 hours to the east are 10-14k peaks. CA also has rain forests, and deserts. I miss the variety.

        2) We've got 4 seasons (which is good or bad depending on your preference).
        ---Winter: Very few people go outside. Plans that involve any travel have a 1/5 chance of needing to be changed unless you are willing to drive on uncleared roads. Many drivers don't think that tailgating should be put on hold when the roads are icy, so there are major delays (okay, only around Detroit) due to countless accidents.

        --Spring: Once it stops snowing, things are gray and muddy for 1-2 months before anything green appears. Then plants suddenly appear and they do it with a vengeance. I marvel at the explosion of plant life. The green part of spring lasts about 1-1.5 months before...

        -Summer: People spend all their time in the sun and complain (in my town here) about how cold it is whenever the 90% humid air drops below 80 degrees F. Having been deprived of sunlight all winter, many people have an obsession with it now. An odd side effect that I see all across the mid-west is the popularity of tanning salons, and of the very dark tan worn for as much of the year as possible. It leads to a lot of 30 year old people looking 45 because of skin damage.

        -Fall: 2-3 months of beautiful weather. My favorite time of the year here.

        3) More second homes than any other state (most on the water).

        -I'm not surprised to hear this. Nearly everyone I know here has a house "up north"

        4) We've don't get earthquakes, hurricanes, forest fires, termites, poisonous spiders/snakes.

        -No termites, really? I think we do have latrodectus variolus (black widows). We do get flooding, both widespread and localized to a basement when the "sump pump" dies. I'd never even heard of such a thing before I moved here.

        5) We do get the occasional tornado, but far less than most of the midwest.

        -There are half a dozen tornado warnings here each summer, but only one tornado near town every 30 years.

        6) Education: we've got plenty of geek-schools.

        -Ann Arbor has a great school (and is a great town). In terms of high schools, I'm a bit less positive. My significant other taught some college classes here and found that a lot of students, even brilliant students, had never written a single research paper in high school. Students who were smart enough to go to any college but who didn't know their way around a bibliography or citation were wronged by their schools. We spoke to some high school teachers who said that the state curriculum dropped research papers when the No Child Left Behind Act appeared. A lot of high schools still teach research papers, but a lot don't, because it's no longer a required topic by the state. I think that's a mistake.

        7) Manufacturing. Does anyone care? We can build anything here - tech included

        -I wonder how hard it will be to retool factories that have been closed for years to accommodate new goods.

        8) We've got an enormous set of technically capable people just waiting for companies to set up shop here.

        -That's absolutely true.

        Thinking MI makes me sad. I'm definitely an outsider (and in my oddly insular little area I've heard people from elsewhere referred to as Outsiders with a capital O), but I've found enough to like that I've got some affection for the state. I hope that the plans to revive the state with green industries work, but I worry that the decay of places like Detroit may not stop.

  • Urban jungles (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I've never seen one proper city that didn't feel like a very suffocating place, full of busy little bees who have no idea what it is to take the time to smell the roses. I could never live in one. Any ideas about which suburban or rural areas are good/bad to work in for IT jobs?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The Austin/Round Rock area is nice. It's growing fast, but your still never more than a few minutes away from a field of cattle. They're also building big assed roads out here, without the traffic to fill them yet. Seriously, the DOT budget here must be _insane_.

    • Re:Urban jungles (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mh1997 (1065630) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @12:43PM (#28440707)

      Any ideas about which suburban or rural areas are good...to work in for IT jobs?

      Yes, but I won't tell at the risk of turning it into

      a very suffocating place, full of busy little bees who have no idea what it is to take the time to smell the roses

    • Re:Urban jungles (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Malc (1751) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @01:42PM (#28441703)

      Why would you live somewhere that requires you to have a car? What a crazy idea. I live in one of the larger cities in N. America and get around on foot or bicycle. It's at my pace. I live life at my pace - smelling the roses, or not. 5.30pm, minutes after finishing work... I'm sailing and chilling on one of the biggest lakes in the world.

      I've just got back from five months in Australia. In many ways, Melbourne is very similar to Toronto. I lived 45 km away from the city centre in SE suburbs. Never again. What a horrible way to live. Everything we wanted to do was 30 minutes min., probably 60 minutes drive away, on a highway. Talk about rushing around, not smelling the roses, and not actually doing anything. I loved my time in Australia, but I will never live in suburbia again. Out of the city is incredibly boring, and a dreadful lifestyle.

      Each to their own. Some people like it. I don't. I'm looking forward to moving to Europe's second biggest city later this year...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by vertinox (846076)

      I've never seen one proper city that didn't feel like a very suffocating place, full of busy little bees who have no idea what it is to take the time to smell the roses. I could never live in one.

      If you have a car: Yes

      If you walk and take public transportation: No

      I used to be stressed all the time living in a city with over 5 million people simply because of the horrible traffic everywhere all the time.

      So, one day I decide to get rid of my car. I got a job closer to home and now I take the bus everywhere an

  • No way (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Stargoat (658863) <stargoat@gmail.com> on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @12:09PM (#28440149) Journal
    I wish I would be transferred to Alaska. The hunting and fishing is great. There is room to breath. A man can raise a family in a manner more suitable to the American ideal. The commutes cannot be any worse than the suburbs of any major US city.

    Sign me up!
    • Re:No way (Score:5, Informative)

      by causality (777677) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @12:16PM (#28440271)

      I wish I would be transferred to Alaska. The hunting and fishing is great. There is room to breath. A man can raise a family in a manner more suitable to the American ideal. The commutes cannot be any worse than the suburbs of any major US city. Sign me up!

      I hope you already have a family going then, because Alaska has a terribly unfavorable male-to-female ratio. Unfavorable if you're a man, that is. Otherwise I do agree with you.

    • Re:No way (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Skyshadow (508) * on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @12:16PM (#28440277) Homepage
      Plus you get paid to live there by the Federal government. Of course, night life is somewhat limited and then there's always the Sarah Palin thing.

      The mistake this article makes it the classic one of assuming that IT folks (a) all want the same sort of things from life and (b) need to live within commuting distance of work. In reality, we cover the spectrum pretty well from TINKs to nuclear family members to shit-crazy Unibomber types to living in our mothers' basements.

      My fondest hope is to eventually work myself to a point where I can telecommute regularly and just live within an hour or two of a significant airport (aka, I need to be valuable enough to get away with this).
    • by MBCook (132727)

      Don't forget no taxes and a yearly check from the Permanent Fund.

    • I agree. I would love to move to Alaska. Any Alaskan companies looking for an experienced LAMP developer? I scan the job sites on a regular basis but haven't found any appropriate opportunities.

    • Already done (Score:3, Informative)

      by TFer_Atvar (857303)
      I live here, and I've got a friend who works for SourceForge ... I'm not sure in what capacity, though. There's definitely a demand for people with technical skills. There's also ample opportunities for infrastructure development if you're interested in the hardware side of things. The state is working pretty hard to improve broadband access (http://www.newsminer.com/news/2009/jun/21/fairbanks-representative-hopes-highlight-lack-alas/ and http://www.newsminer.com/news/2009/mar/16/internet-companies-hope-sti [newsminer.com]
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by winomonkey (983062)
      Alaska is actually a pretty great place to work, and Anchorage isn't too bad. If you are keen on doing contract work, there are more than enough big-oil and government gigs to keep local shops hopping (and hiring). If you like something perhaps a little more noble than working at an hourly rate for the oil man, there are some interesting shops up here doing software development. Want to work for a 10-year-old internationally-known telehealth company? We are hiring .NET ninjas at present. Nature is acce
  • Bozeman MT (Score:4, Funny)

    by Sponge Bath (413667) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @12:10PM (#28440179)

    Where until recently, your passwords were government property.

  • The complete list (Score:5, Informative)

    by Whatsisname (891214) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @12:11PM (#28440187) Homepage

    The list for people that don't like slideshows:

            1. Detroit, Mich. - Jobs available: 449
            2. Bentonville, Ark. - Jobs available: 81
            3. Cleveland, Ohio - Jobs available: 211
            4. Syracuse, N.Y. - Jobs available: 49
            5. Tie: Boston, Mass., and San Francisco, Calif.
            6. Anytown in Alaska - Jobs available: 24
            7. Orlando, Fla. - Jobs available: 235
       

    • by lorenlal (164133)

      As a worker in the top worst city of them all:

      449 jobs? That's got to be a lie unless they're including the entire metro area. Also - those open positions are usually listed as open because someone's trying to hold onto the position so it gets cut instead of a human. I know this because:
      1) That's how my area "laid off" someone.
      2) I know plenty of people who have applied for some of these and received a lovely letter saying, "This position has been 'canceled.'"

      I'd also wager that many of the filings were

    • Re:The complete list (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jimbobborg (128330) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @12:19PM (#28440315)

      I find it funny that Boston is on both the best and worst list.

      • by garcia (6573) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @12:31PM (#28440503) Homepage

        I find it funny that Boston is on both the best and worst list.

        I recently was in Boston for the first time on business. I thought it was a great city as there was plenty of good food and night life as well as viable mass transit. Unfortunately there were the downsides too. I thought the city was "old" and "dirtier" than what I am accustomed to in Minneapolis and I definitely didn't feel terribly safe wandering around by myself at night. Would I live there compared to Minneapolis? Probably not but do I see why it's on both the best and the worst, yes.

        • Re:The complete list (Score:5, Informative)

          by paazin (719486) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @12:50PM (#28440837)

          I thought the city was "old" [...]

          Well, considering that it's one of the oldest cities in the US, not a really big surprise.

          [...] "dirtier" than what I am accustomed to in Minneapolis and I definitely didn't feel terribly safe wandering around by myself at night.

          Like most places, depends on where you are. Some sections of the Boston Metro area are pretty bad (Roxbury, I'm looking at you) but even in some of the "dingy" areas of the city (where many of the university students live) are actually quite safe and have a good amount of interesting culture and unique qualities you wouldn't find in the midwest or many other US cities.

  • Southern Utah.... (Score:5, Informative)

    by gandhi_2 (1108023) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @12:12PM (#28440205) Homepage
    Where a BS in CS or CIT makes 9 bucks an hour and an illegal migrant housing framer makes 30.
  • by ageoffri (723674) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @12:14PM (#28440241)

    I'd gladly take a position in Alaska. Wide open land with relatively few people. No overbearing State government that can't balance the budget, not much of an immigration problem up there either. Thanks to the oil revenues residents get checks from the State. About the only thing I would miss is being able to take the t-tops off on my Z28 even occasionally in the winter and pretty much all summer long.

    If I had to name a State as worst State it would be California. Land of tax and spend with no fiscal restraint, holder of first county to declare bankruptcy and likely first State to go bankrupt. Of course the single biggest reason to avoid California for me is that about 3/4 of my firearms are unconstitutionally deemed illegal by the State.

    • Wide open land with relatively few people.

      Don't forget the hordes of fearsome of mosquitoes.

    • by ari_j (90255)
      California would be the perfect state if not for all the Californians. It has just about every type of terrain and climate you could ask for ... but too many Californians passing too many Californian laws.
    • by eln (21727) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @12:43PM (#28440729) Homepage
      California's problem is not all the "tax and spend liberals", it's that it has the most boneheaded system of government ever devised. It's Constitution is huge and unwieldy, and can be changed by a simple majority vote. Its government can't do anything like raise taxes or cut spending to balance the budget because the referendum system blocks them from doing anything that's unpopular with 51% of the voters.

      California is a great study in why populist democracy is a lousy way to run a huge and complex state.
    • by Ihmhi (1206036) <i_have_mental_health_issues@yahoo.com> on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @01:03PM (#28441051)

      If I had to name a State as worst State it would be California. Land of tax and spend with no fiscal restraint, holder of first county to declare bankruptcy and likely first State to go bankrupt. Of course the single biggest reason to avoid California for me is that about 3/4 of my firearms are unconstitutionally deemed illegal by the State.

      As a New Jerseyan, I am absolutely insulted and appalled that you think there's a state in this great nation more corrupt than us!

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Darth_brooks (180756) *

        I will go corrupt official toe to toe with you. You can have your Tony Soprano wannabes, and I'll put the city of Detroit against your whole exit ramp infested state! Hell, Monica Conyers [wikipedia.org] has more corruption in her little finger than any five state or local officials you can find.

        The gauntlet has been thrown down!

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by EricTheGreen (223110)

          I see your Michigan and raise you my Illinois.

          You're complaining about a piddly-wit mayor? Of our two most recent ex-governors, one is up the river and the other is likely joining him in a couple years. Our junior senator essentially bought his way into the job and got caught. And that's before we even bring Mayor "Chucky" Daley and his bankrupt-the-state 2016 Olympics and endemic "pay to play" city infrastructure contracts into the mix.

          I feel bad for the agony being experienced by MI right now, but you

  • What? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by qoncept (599709) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @12:19PM (#28440307) Homepage
    What a worthless list. What did anything they talked about have anything to do with IT?
    • Re:What? (Score:4, Funny)

      by oodaloop (1229816) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @12:27PM (#28440441)
      You mean besides the sports teams? What geek doesn't pick the city in which he wants to live based on how their sports teams are doing there?
    • Re:What? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @12:37PM (#28440609)

      What a worthless list. What did anything they talked about have anything to do with IT?

      Totally. I want to know which cities have the best (fastest/cheapest/least-restrictive) broadband to the home and have good/free muni-wifi. Which ones have a Fry's or the like, which ones are in states with low/no sales tax and/or don't try to impose "use tax" for mail-ordered toys. Which states don't require fingerprints to get a driver's license. Which cities have a "university culture." Which ones have cheap electricity for the server farm in my basement.

      Those sorts of things are a lot more specific to IT people than the weather and sports franchises.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by MozeeToby (1163751)

        Madison WI. No, seriously. Huge 'university culture', lots of middle/big town conveniences, a liberal city/county government and a moderate state government. I don't know about the broadband situation but I would imagine that with the number of students and young IT people in the area it's probably above average. I don't know what you call 'low' sales tax, but the state rate is 5%.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by iamhigh (1252742)
      It's CIO.com, nothing they talk about has anything to do with IT!
  • by heffy (1583469) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @12:21PM (#28440337)
    I wouldn't mind working in Alaska - lots of fresh seafood, cheap real estate, small town feel - if I can be sure my job is secure. Just like working in IT in some small midwest town, there aren't many options for switching jobs if you need to switch. How many large companies are hiring if you're an Oracle DBA in Alaska?

    That's the beauty of Silicon Valley. I can work at a company for a few years and move to another, similarly-sized company at a higher position without much hesitation or worry. There are hundreds, maybe thousands of small companies looking at hiring IT folks. That kind of job security is what makes California much more appealing than a smaller city.
  • San Francisco (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Skyshadow (508) * on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @12:27PM (#28440439) Homepage
    I love that San Francisco made the list -- I was just thinking last night about how I love everything about San Francisco except for the idea of living there. I'll take the Oakland hills any day and twice on Tuesday.

    I'm starting to wonder about California overall. The entire state is slowly sliding downhill (and not in a earthquake-into-the-ocean sense) thanks largely to the proposition system where any shitheaded idea can be made law by a simple majority vote -- I mean, if you ever need evidence that direct democracy is a terrible idea, look no further than CA.

    Institutionalized gay bashing? Check. Costly mandates we have no way to pay for? Check. And then there's my personal favorite, a short-sighted effort to limit property taxes whose only real effect is to hurt younger people just starting out and drive the schools into the shitter? You know it.

    I mean, maybe having worked with users for all these years, it's a little more obvious to me that people are (by and large) stupid assholes, but I feel there's enough evidence to convince any reasonable person at this point. Which is why we still have the proposition, I suppose.
  • Ok, so I have lived and worked in IT in Orlando for the past 10 years and on top of it all, I work from home. Trust me on this, there is nothing that beast working out by the pool in January in T-shirt and shorts and a cold one.

    And climate, well.. for 9 months of the year, the climate is perfect, warm and not humid. For three months, July-September, it's hot and humid and that is also the peak of hurricane season. But I prefer 95F and an occasional hurricane over months of waist deep snow and below zero .
  • If we're talking sexy IT companies like Microsoft, Google, Apple, Sun, then you won't find much outside cites in California.

    But say, Houston, has (had, when I lived there) lots of good IT jobs, obviously serving the oil industry. But they were still great jobs.
  • Bentonville? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by shystershep (643874) * <bdshepherd@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @12:31PM (#28440493) Homepage Journal
    I wish they'd enlightened us as to some of their 'subjective' reasons for their choices. The Northwest Arkansas metro area (Fayetteville, Springdale, Bentonville & Rogers) regularly makes the top ten of 'best places to live' lists. It's not New York, if that's your thing, but then they listed Boston & SF, too, so WTF?
  • In this economy... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DesScorp (410532) <DesScorp.Gmail@com> on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @12:33PM (#28440549) Homepage Journal

    ...the worst cities are those with no jobs. The best cities are the ones with jobs. If you want to pay your bills, you go where the jobs are.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    doesn't include Troy, NY? Or Urbana, IL? Or Waco, TX?

    Or how about Washington, DC? Hint: IT guys are low on the totem pole, and politicians, lobbyists, and AOL execs let you know it.

    And San Francisco is a BAD place to work? Sounds like these guys sampled the local flora. Hint: if it really did suck, real estate prices would be as in Detroit or Cleveland. And if traffic really is the issue, what about Atlanta, Dallas, and Los Angeles?

    FWIW, Cleveland and Pittsburgh aren't THAT bad. And yes, I do mean it

  • . . . these stories will be definitely much more amusing. C'mon . .. let's hear 'em, from our overseas folks:

    Lack of titty-bars in Riyadh? Being offered a rat for dinner in Beijing, and being told that it is a "big mouse"? Water cooling your CPUs with raw sewage, which comes from the same source as the drinking water?

    There MUST be some really god-awful places on this planet for IT work, that makes Detroit and their Ohio pals pale in comparison.

  • Snarky indeed... (Score:3, Informative)

    by merc (115854) <slashdot@upt.org> on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @12:39PM (#28440645) Homepage

    I live and work in San Francisco and quite frankly I love it. I've never experienced any of the issues the article claims plague our city (I'm not sure what iJacking is, but my eye sockets are just fine).

  • This is all you need to know, math guys: Syracuse holds the title for the U.S. city (pop: 50,000+) with the highest average annual snowfall (115 inches), besting even Anchorage, Alaska (114 inches). It also has a bit of a problem with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) due to all that snow and not a lot of sunshine. It's called the Salt City: A good thing, since there's all that snow and ice on the roads.

    Available IT jobs in Syracuse (as posted on June 18 on Dice.com): 49

    I'm tired of seeing people endlessly trash Upstate because of what they read about the winter. What the summary doesn't tell you about the 115 inches of snow is that you rarely have more than 10 inches on the ground at a time; the weather trends for this area lately have seen snow coming primarily on the leading edge of warm fronts in the winter. The result of this is of course you'll shovel your driveway on Monday and then put on sunglasses and a very light coat by Wednesday. In reality every winter in Upstate New York has been near-record warmth for the past several years, and after the short winter season (only about 3 months in reality) the rest of the year is temperate.

    That said, the economy of Upstate New York does leave something to be desired; but that can be said for many other parts of the country as well.

    But I might be brought to disembowel the next person who reads about Upstate New York and then trashes it over weather that they have not experienced for themselves.

    • by ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @12:59PM (#28440979)

      The other point to note is that in my experience (in Rochester, NY), upstate New York actually knows how to handle snow. The roads are clear and safe to drive 99% of the time, with plows deployed the moment snow starts sticking. Contrast with, say, D.C. or Seattle (both of which I've experienced) which regularly run out of salt, fail to plow many streets for up to a week, etc. And of course, the drivers in D.C. and Seattle don't know how to deal with snow/ice: at the first flake, ancient reptilian instincts cause them to drive straight into trees, jersey barriers, other cars, etc.

      So yes, there's more snow, but it's not an additional inconvenience, as long as you don't mind the cold in the first place.

    • by TheRealMindChild (743925) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @01:00PM (#28440991) Homepage Journal
      Pffft. If people cared the facts, we'd have little to talk about here and action movies would be 10 minutes long.
  • by Ex-Linux-Fanboy (1311235) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @12:44PM (#28440731) Homepage Journal

    In this economy, any IT job is a good job.

    Of everyone who was in my circle of friends working in the IT and computer industry in the mid-to-late 1990s, the only people who have jobs today are in middle management. Not one non-manager I knew back then and know today is working today in the tech industry.

    I became an ex-pat, teaching English, translating documents, and helping with the Windows machines in an accounting office in Mexico. I would like to return, but there are just no jobs stateside where I want to live right now.

    One friend saved enough money to semi-retire; he, right now, is living with his family to minimize expenses and off of savings. He's not really sure he even wants to return to the industry; the last job he had a couple of years ago left him really burnt out.

    Another friend lost his job at a video game company in the late 1990s. He never got hired in the tech industry again, and is currently living off of a military disability pension, paying his debts and planning on returning to college.

    These are my luckier friends. Two friends, who have families to raise, both very recently lost jobs in the tech industry and have no idea when they will get work again. One is living off of savings and is really scared when he will get a job again. Another didn't have as much savings, had to leave the apartment he was leasing, and is currently shacked up with a buddy who lets him sleep in the extra bedroom in exchange for computer help; his wife and kids are living with their family.

    I am sure either one of these guys would accept a job in Cleveland or Alabama or anywhere else where the company is willing to pay them enough to support their family.

    It's a really scary time to work in the tech industry. If you have a job, and it pays enough to support your family, thank the lucky stars you're still working. Not everyone is as lucky as you right now.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by geekoid (135745)

      Lucky stars? My ass. I thank the hard work, diligence, years of earning a rock solid reputation and maintaining social contacts.

      The stars can kiss my ass.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gad_zuki! (70830)

      >Of everyone who was in my circle of friends working in the IT and computer industry in the mid-to-late 1990s, the only people who have jobs today are in middle management.

      Not surprised. The 1990s drew in tons of unqualified unprofessional people into IT. Anyone who could install ICQ and reboot an Win98 machine got some kind of job by clueless hiring managers. These people didnt develop professionally, they didnt finish school, they couldnt write a basic admin script, didnt know any OS9 or OSX let alone

  • Missing (Score:5, Interesting)

    by waterlogged (210759) <crussey@[ ]mail.com ['hot' in gap]> on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @12:47PM (#28440789)

    Washington D.C. The entire metropolitan area is one big mess. I have to plan my WEEKEND trips to the grocery store with severe traffic in mind. The area/weather/people are nice enough. However, with the addition of the commute times, I am basically holding down another part-time job just to get to work and back. I work 10-12 hour days just to avoid sitting in that mess for 3-4 hours a day.

  • They missed a couple (Score:5, Informative)

    by HangingChad (677530) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @01:06PM (#28441111) Homepage

    My personal worst list:

    • Memphis, TN - The capitol of North Mississippi. Grimy, dirty, backward city with one of the highest crime rates in the country. Not even tourists want to go there anymore. Redbirds Stadium is a great place for a ball game but entertainment outside that sucks ass.
    • North Platte, NE - If there's a place that can make Memphis look attractive, it would be that hell hole of a city.

    I agree with Bentonville. Wal-Mart has to outsource development because it's such a crappy place to work and then you have to live in podunkville, AR, for the privilege of working in a crap shop. Their turn over is high and even the really good people I know who have worked there hated it.

    Even with the economy in the toilet there are too many good opportunities out there to be stuck in a dreary job.

  • Orlando (Score:5, Informative)

    by Knowbuddy (21314) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @01:12PM (#28441199) Homepage Journal

    I've worked in IT in the Orlando/Central Florida area since 1996. It's not that bad. It's not some perfect Utopia, but nor is it one of the worst places to work.

    The Good

    • One of the cheapest costs of living, especially if you don't mind commuting from the burbs.
    • No state income tax.
    • Hundreds of miles of beaches within 90 minutes in almost every direction.
    • More theme parks than you can shake a stick at, most of which offer cheap annual passes to Florida residents. (True story: I used to live across the street from Universal, and would get up at 8am to go ride the roller coasters for an hour before work.)
    • Wide variety of cultures and food, so if you've got a craving for it, you can probably find it within a 10 minute drive.
    • Winters are beautiful and cool.
    • Rails-To-Trails has converted many miles of old railroad tracks into running/cycling trails. My favorite trail is a half-marathon long (13.1 miles) one way, with only 2 lighted intersection crossings.
    • The IT program at the local university (UCF) isn't bad, and is very tech-worker-friendly with its online options. Many of the local community colleges even offer certification programs (such as A+, CCNA, Oracle, and even RedHat) in both day and night school.
    • Shuttle launches are awesome and you can see them by walking outside. Yeah, they're going away in a few short years, but they're still awesome.

    The Bad

    • It's a commuter town. Get used to driving everywhere. The public transport (GoLynx.com) is laughably bad, especially for IT workers. (The buses don't run useful schedules near the tech areas such as Heathrow.)
    • The nightlife continues to decline, and many local lawmakers continue to nail down the coffin lid.
    • Yeah, we occasionally get hurricanes. Sometimes more than one per season. But they aren't nearly as bad as what you see on TV, and we don't panic like other places do. In most cases we shut down the town for 24-48 hours and then go right back to work.
    • The blue-hairs. Yes, they really do drive as bad as you've heard. Yes, they do get out and vote for things that will make you cry.

    The Ugly

    • The heat. Today it is 95F with a heat index of 109F. And it's not a dry heat. It is an oppressive, sticky, walk outside and break into an instant sweat kind of heat.

    The tourists aren't that bad, unless you are hanging out in the tourist areas. Which you aren't going to do after your first month here.

    In all, there's more good than bad.

  • by peter303 (12292) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @01:18PM (#28441287)
    Thats how they plowed into being the world's number one low-price retailer. They move a half trillion of product a year and know where most of it is any anytime to the single item. I not interested in business IT, but I have to admire their results. (Maybe they should have used some of that dough to hire style consultants like a Martha Stewart.)
  • by PPH (736903) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @01:42PM (#28441709)

    ... Redmond, WA.

    Yeah, mark this as flamebait. But sometimes its not about how many jobs are available, its about the quality of the work. I don't see anything attractive about a career that involves having to clean up after the 800 pound gorilla.

  • Big market bias (Score:4, Interesting)

    by buckeyeguy (525140) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @02:11PM (#28442261) Homepage Journal
    Top 10 list of "where the IT jobs are at": all big ad market cities. You can't pay me enough to move to Chicago, EVER, much less for a job, but it's on the CIO darling list.

    Bottom 7 list: small/mid-market and rust belt cities. Way to dig deep, CIO.

    Sure, Cleveland has it down side, but compared to the 'top 10 cities for IT jobs' that they also have a slideshow for, the place is WAY cheaper to live in, and if you're smart you're not living in the city anyway, when a nice clean house in the nice clean burbs is dirt cheap. Plus if you get overworked and have a heart attack, head over to the Cleveland Clinic; they'll patch you up real good.

    So people from SoCal, how's LA to work IT in, what with the crappy traffic and screwy government?

  • by Kostya (1146) on Tuesday June 23, 2009 @02:44PM (#28442823) Homepage Journal

    They sarcastically slam Boston, but then list it as one of the 10 cities where "all the IT jobs are". So make up your mind already.

    And as someone living in Boston, screw you and your list :-)

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