It’s been three months since I first moved to San Francisco and decided I should share why I moved here in the first place. The primary reasons why I moved to San Francisco are for my career and to be around more like-minded people.
Career-wise, what made San Francisco appealing to me is the number and diversity of employment opportunities. In Connecticut, if you want to work with “technology” then you work for one of the many insurance companies headquartered there or an agency of some kind. In addition to available opportunities, there is also more parity between the job market in the bay area and my skill set and experience. For example, today Indeed.com reports 184 results for the “Python” in the entire state of Connecticut, while there are nearly 2,700 results for the San Francisco Bay Area. At one point in my life, I was told I was wasting my life messing around with GNU/Linux and other Open Source software. Things would have been a little better if I moved two hours away to either Boston or New York, but if I’m going to move then I might as well get better weather out of it, too.
I also moved to San Francisco to be around more like-minded people. Things that interest me (besides gardening and home brewing) are startups and tech. There were a few groups around my old location that were interesting, but they typically required an hour long drive to show up to their events. Often times, the groups failed early due to a lack of participation (including the hackerspace I founded but that story is for another day).
Thoughts so far
As I mentioned, I’ve now been here for three months. My thoughts so far are:
The place really is quite small. Especially in tech. Everyone seems to know everyone, which can be fun socially, but you need to watch what you say when you’re talking shop.
The Sillicon Valley/SF Bay tech isolation chamber is real (and so is the echo chamber). Companies sometimes seem huge when you’re in the bay, but if you talk to anyone from outside of the area, they’re like “Who?”
San Francisco’s neighborhoods are really awesome. SF is divided into a bunch of small neighborhoods, each with their own unique attributes. There really is a place for everyone.
I moved to San Francisco because I thought it would be good for my career and because I thought I would meet more like-minded people. This has certainly proved to be the case. What I was not expecting but have experienced so far is how small and isolated the SF tech scene actually is.