Tech industry climbs out of Silicon Valley, moves abroad
Have open source, will travel
Open... and Shut Silicon Valley may well be the center of the technology universe, but it's no longer the locus for technology jobs.
That honour now goes to the Washington DC area, according to new research, followed by New York and with a range of other metro areas growing their tech presences at a torrid pace. In short, while Silicon Valley may be the place to define the future of technology, for those who just want to find a good technology job, it may be worth looking beyond the San Francisco Bay Area.
Based on new LinkedIn data, it's clear that the technology industry is having a field day in terms of net job growth, even as industries like pharmaceuticals and newspapers are getting hammered. But what is much less clear is just how much tech jobs are growing even within stumbling industries like telecoms, banking, retail, and more.
While the rate of growth for tech jobs varies by industry, there's growth across the board, according to Dice.com data. This growth isn't being driven by start-ups, either. It's being fostered by old-school and new-school enterprises alike, at various stages of company growth. As MapMyFitness vice president Matt McClure persuasively argues, the notion that "only start-ups create jobs" is silly and relies on fuzzy math, and even fuzzier thinking.
Most of these companies hiring tech professionals aren't even classified as "tech" companies. The likes of Google, Facebook and Microsoft can only hire so many people. But as industries as varied as news media and banking reinvent themselves, they're seeking tech professionals to give them a leg up, and to both understand and invent the future.
For example, Raleigh, North Carolina, is listed as one of Dice.com's fastest-growing cities for tech jobs, with a 50 per cent growth rate since March 2011. Raleigh is, of course, home of Red Hat, the Linux leader, but at just 3,760 employees globally as of February 2011 – and roughly 700 in Raleigh – Red Hat isn't the company that's hiring everyone in the area. In fact, the primary industries for Raleigh-Durham are government, education and healthcare.
Or take Richmond, Virginia, then second-fastest growing city in the US in terms of technology jobs. Over half of its jobs are in Government and Services. Yes, Richmond has seen an increase in IT and semiconductor manufacturing jobs, but the primary tech growth is in non-tech industries.
Because, as it turns out, every industry is increasingly fuelled by tech.
Yes, if you're an engineer the demand for your skills may be fiercest in Silicon Valley or New York City. But the tech job boom is actually happening at a faster pace outside these two areas, providing plenty of jobs for those who don't want to relocate.
As open-source luminary Eric Raymond once pointed out, the vast majority of the world's software is written for use, not for sale. By extension, most of the world's technology jobs are going to be filled in places not normally thought of as tech centres, because every company, whether it's a clothing manufacturer or an insurance brokerage, is increasingly driven by technology.
The one constant in all this tech hiring, however, may well be open source. Whether you're building technology for use or sale, open source provides much of the raw materials, as a variety of studies detail. So stay home, contribute to your favorite open-source project, and take part in the geography-agnostic tech jobs boom. ®
Matt Asay is senior vice president of business development at Nodeable, offering systems management for managing and analysing cloud-based data. He was formerly SVP of biz dev at HTML5 start-up Strobe and chief operating officer of Ubuntu commercial operation Canonical. With more than a decade spent in open source, Asay served as Alfresco's general manager for the Americas and vice president of business development, and he helped put Novell on its open source track. Asay is an emeritus board member of the Open Source Initiative (OSI). His column, Open...and Shut, appears three times a week on The Register.
Re: Washington DC
You have a false premise that government is non productive. Its not profit making, but exists to facilitate the functioning of the rest of the state.
Try moving around a city without a government and see how far you get without being mugged, burned or just starving due to the anarchic conditions meaning there isn't enough food.
Oh, and the city wouldn't have come into existence without a government to manage it. Private roads don't tend to go very far, the profit motive isn't there...
So, government is productive, if you allow the meaning of productive to go beyond the extremely narrow definition of 'profit making'.
This article is about growth in head count, not GNP. So the arguments around whether government expenditure should be included do not apply.
> They really should not count
Government contractors can count? Is this a new breed of contractor then?
Coming from someone who clearly has trouble seeing beyond the silly valley haze, and thinks he's done the world a service by sticking that into an otherwise completely US-centric blogpost-by-any-other-name. Well, that was enlightening.
Silicon Valley's success is NOT about how many tech jobs are there-HARDLY
Its about financing and incubation. Nowhere else in the US even comes close to Silicon Valley as far as venture capital and seeing a start up through various stages of development like SV can---other places can brag about having a bunch of tech support and customer service jobs related to the industry but as far as decision making, engineering & the infrastructure to bring all aspects together and bring innovations to the global market, Silicon Valley reigns supreme by quite a distant margin.
Re: Washington DC
Ooh. What fun!
"He's right, your wrong. Communism proved you were wrong by being a complete and utter failure in every country in which it was attempted. Government only exists by taking money from those who are productive."
Setting bad grammar aside for the moment, you are making an equally fallacious argument as the OP. Yours is summarised nicely here -> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accident_(fallacy)
Just because you consider communism to be a failure, doesn't mean that all government is a failure. To believe otherwise is really showing a lack of intellectual rigour.
FWIW communism ran for 80 years in Russia, and has run for 90 years in China. I wouldn't call that a failure, as most world democracies have been in existence for far less time.
Imagine what the large cities of the world would turn into if there was no government?
"But then you knew that when you pointed out that the state wasts money on things that would not be built if people had a choice how their money was spent"
I certainly did not. I pointed out that government support the activity of the state by building things that there is no incentive for private individuals and companies to build. This is extremely different. If the government didn't perform these services, society would collapse.
"Also I've moved around many 3rd world cities but the only place I've been mugged is in London. But then in those 3rd world countries they shoot muggers instead of waiting for the police to fail. I guess adding a bit of danger to a muggers life is a disincentive"
You have a broad brush idea of the '3rd world'. Its not some kind of hellhole with no government.
It's a totally outdated idea in any case (1st = western democracies, 2nd= communist, 3rd= neutrals), there's a reason the term used now is 'developing world'.
There are very, very few places on earth without governments, for a good reason, people will construct one if one doesn't exist, because they are necessary.
By all means pretend that we could all happily live without governments in place, but don't expect me to join your delusion on the strength of your misguided and selective arguments.