When you decide to become a software developer, there are many things to think about: what languages to learn, whether to freelance or get a full-time job, and what starting salary you should accept, etc. But what about where you should live? Places like Silicon Valley or Manhattan might spring to mind, but it’s possible that smaller cities provide more opportunity for software developers. Read on to find out.
Moving Away from the Coast
Here’s the thing: ‘The places with the biggest growth in the sector aren’t on the coasts, but are mostly small and midsize cities in the U.S. interior,’ reports CBSNews. Job-listing company ZipRecruiter analysed job postings for tech jobs over the past year and then ranked the locations that showed the greatest growth. Their findings: the 20 fastest-growing locations in the US were away from the coast and were characterised by:
- Less competition from other applicants.
- A lower cost of living.
- Huge numbers of new jobs.
‘We’re getting to a moment where our largest cities are becoming almost an untenable living situation for young people. They’re so expensive and crowded. In order to live somewhere affordable, you have to live one-and-a-half hours away from the city center,’ said Cathy Barrera, chief economic adviser for ZipRecruiter. Information from the Census Bureau advises that only 30% of income should be spent on housing.
So, which smaller cities provide more opportunity for software developers in the US?
Top Cities for Tech Workers in the US
The cities that make the list tend to have a population between 100 000 and 1.5 million. The median house price is $200 000, which is affordable on a tech salary. Here are the top three fast-growing, and small, cities that offer the best opportunities for tech workers in the US, according to ZipRecruiter:
1. Huntsville, Alabama
Originally a sleepy farming town, Huntsville is now the fastest growing metro area in Alabama. It’s regarded as the 7th best city in which to live in the United States, according to a U.S. News Survey based on quality of life and job market.
2. Thousand Oaks, California
3. Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix came in at #19 on the U.S. New Survey of top cities, jumping from #44 in last year’s survey. And ahead of San Francisco.
These cities are all in the US, but what global cities provide excellent opportunities for software developers?
Top Global Cities for Tech Workers Worldwide
The website ‘Fast Company’ reports on a study conducted by Expert Market that polled 11 000 startups, investors and other stakeholders. The top twenty global cities were selected based on these factors:
- Time to start business
- Seed funding
- Startup output
- Average salary
- Cost of living
- Average rent
- Paid vacation
- Average commute
Guess which city topped the list? Berlin. Germany’s Silicon Valley, or Silicon Allee as it’s called there, is fairly new. Berlin offers two key advantages: low living costs and massive tech start-up opportunities. Its best asset, however, is its commute time, unlike San Francisco which has a terrible commute of up to 3 hours.
Here are the top ranked cities:
In closing, the city in which you live obviously has an enormous impact on your well-being. You may want to think a little outside the box and not just focus on the big US cities that people associate with tech. It’s a wide world out there and if you’ve got those in-demand tech skills, you can live in a variety of top global destinations. It certainly seems that some smaller cities provide more opportunity for software developers.