The Silicon Valley area is based on the principles of cooperation and collective innovation. Really, this means that techies from other companies interact with one another frequently and even job hop every 2-3 years in order to gain more skills and experience. In my personal opinion, I think that techies are doing themselves a disservice by not getting involved with the local tech community. Imagine if you were in Nebraska or Ohio, you wouldn’t find such an innovative, entrepreneurial environment there like you would here. If you don’t take advantage of what SV has to offer in terms of a vibrant tech community, go live somewhere else because you’re paying too much for cost of living.
Local companies have a great opportunity to tap into this rich community in many ways. Here are my suggestions for managers of tech employees:
• Recognize external involvement during annual employee review time
• Be open to new ideas and technologies
• Hire more experienced candidates from the local area, not just new college graduates and internal transfers
• “Walk the walk” – interact with managers from other companies
• Cultivate an environment that encourages your employees to build marketable skills that other companies desire
• Sponsor and promote local tech community events