Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board

Your opinion on the situation in the valley

This forum seems to attract guys slightly above the average IQ. So i would like your valued opinion on two questions

1) Is the software industry coming out of the doldrums.? Is the situation getting better, than say what it was an year ago.

2) If i need a job in the valley and have around 4 years experience, what is the best way to go about it?. What websites should i visit or what has worked for you?

Monday, December 23, 2002

Aaaah. Forgive me!.,

I did not mean the "Slightly above part" !!!,

I meant much higher IQ. Sorry . need to get some sleep. Too much worries and too much of unsuccesffull job hunts !!!!

Monday, December 23, 2002

I'd say that the job market in Silicon Valley (that is the valley you meant, right?) is about as bad as its ever been. There are a whole lot of people out of work here right now.

If you subtract out the results of the dot-com meltdown, it's not nearly so bad, I think. An awful lot of the unemployed people around here seem to be "Web Engineers", people with little to no development experience before the boom, so they're just not (percieved as) employable right now.

Still, I do know of a few developers with real experience looking for jobs. It's not the bonanza it was when I first moved out here, that's for sure.

As far as how to find a job? Make sure as many people as possible have your resume. Do put it up on,,, etc. But you'll have a much better chance if you can get your resume into a company through somebody who works there.

Ask everybody you know who might know somebody who's hiring. Visit the websites of any company that might interest you, and search their online job listings.

You'll have a lot better chance if you take the initiative of finding a job you would be a good fit in and applying directly, rather than submitting your resume to a huge database cluttered with dot-com refugees.


Mark Bessey
Monday, December 23, 2002

Along the same lines ...

What about the housing situation in the Valley?  My wife and I were thinking about moving out there at the height of the dot-com boom (we're in Austin), but the cost of living there was insane at the time ... and we chickened out.

I've heard housing prices have dropped, as you'd expect, but how MUCH have they dropped?  What would a decent two-bedroom apartment in Silicon Valley go for these days?  What about a decent small house?

Tuesday, December 24, 2002

James: I no longer live in the Bay Area, so I'm basing this on the experience of friends and family who still do -- take it with a grain of salt.

My understanding of the situation is that prices for houses have come down very little, if at all, in the entry-level to midrange segments of the market. In general, you will still find it difficult to find a habitable single-family house in a close-in location for much under $500k. The competition in this price range may be less intense than it used to be, but it's still expensive. Condos, of course, may be cheaper.

Here are some numbers:

OTOH, I have heard that *rents* in some areas are actually coming down quite a bit from their peaks. I'd expect you can probably get a decent 2-bedroom place for around $2K a month these days.

Don't forget that there are other cost of living factors you'll have to consider if you move from Texas -- taxes being a big one. CA has quite high income and sales taxes (and possibly property taxes too, I don't know).

John C.
Tuesday, December 24, 2002

In SF you can find 2 bedrooms in the 1800 range, in decent neighberhood, check or for specifics

Daniel Shchyokin
Tuesday, December 24, 2002

House prices are about the same.  There are a lot of houses for sale but most sellers are choosing to not to sell rather than cut prices.  Sellers are going to hang on until the bitter end.  It will take a long time for them to get desperate and realistic.

Rents seem significantly cheaper than they were.

But, frankly, I advise people to stay away from the Bay Area.  First, you probably aren't going to live any better here than whereever you are.  Second, most jobs here are "cool" on the outside but are dull and mundane on the inside.  Three, ethics are pretty low around here compared to whereever you live; most outsiders would probably consider the average person here to be both a jerk and liar (when, really, that's just how things work in the Bay Area).

Anonymous Coward
Tuesday, December 24, 2002

I don't know anything about or anyone from that area.

But I am from Chicago and I go to school near Grand Rapids.

I should suggest that, based on the prices quoted by others in this thread, that you look for work in alternative areas. In Chicago, downtown and in a few specific suburbs specifically, prices are extremely inflated for what you are getting. Downtown a studio apartment goes for around $700 or $800 in some places (This is a rather high number for the area, but not by so much).

Now, on the other hand, at school me and my roomates split a $1200 rent for a 4 bedroom, two bathroom townhouse (not 1+1/2 bath, 2 bath). I think its like between 1100 and 1300 square feet. And this is the *highest* rent in the area (it is in a good location by the school).

Based on these observations, I suggest you look for work in areas not directly in or near massive cities or areas like the valley.

And look at other factors: Up in MI, Coke and other soda products are significantly more expensive than in Chicago, and there's the deposit on top of that. But gas (at times), has been over 25 cents higher in the south Chicago suburbs (not downtown). Of course, everything is closer to everything else and necessitates less driving in Chicago.

Just a couple things that jump out at me as worth considering when looking at any particular area.

Sorry for the US-centric nature of this post, but I know nothing about everywhere else :)

Mike Swieton
Tuesday, December 24, 2002

I live in just outside the bay area, and prices here are sky-high as well.  Recently the house across the street from mine sold for something in the high $300k area (thats an estimate, it was on the market for $430k, then $400k, then sold).  It was ~850 square feet, 2 bdr, 1 bath.  roughly 5000 square foot lot.  The house was built in the 1920's, but had just been remodeled to look like all the new developments (horrible, in my opinion).

So just outside the bay area houses cost too much as well :-(

Andrew Hurst
Thursday, December 26, 2002

Hiring companies are definitely much more selective but ther *are* jobs to be had. Check craigslist both for actual jobs as well as to figure out what types of jobs are available and what types of candidates are being seeked.

Real estate has come down a bit but it's still going to shock many out of towners.

Friday, December 27, 2002

It's horrible here in the bay area! Stay away! Listen to that guy that recommended chicago - I hear it's nice in january!

Monday, December 30, 2002

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home