I want to say first that I went to school down in southern California and I still love it down there however for my industry, technology, I love it up here.
Let’s talk about the cons of San Francisco Bay area:
- Expensive housing
- Besides San Francisco, very spread out, made up of many cities like Mountain View, San Jose, Palo Alto, etc
- For you single men, there are not a lot of women
- No good public transportation for the whole area
- Sometimes it’s really cold and windy in SF city
Now the pros:
- There are a ton of technology companies in the area
- If you love outdoors, this is the place for you
- For you single women, there is hope for you with the high number of men
- BART is convenient for those traveling up to the city
- SF is up to an hour away
Alright, so let’s get down to why I really love living in the Silicon Valley area.
- There is a strong sense of community among technology folks. People love to exchange ideas. People are very nice when it comes to meeting strangers.
- On any given night, there is a tech-related event to attend and most often it’s under $20 or free
- There are two major universities nearby (Stanford, Berkeley) and sometimes they host cool women-related and/or tech-related events
- We have well-known tech companies in the area such as Google, Yahoo, IBM, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc
- We have major VC players in the area, just in case you get the itch to start something
For those career-minded, ambitious folks, you should consider living in an area where your industry is bustling with people and companies. When I did my MBA at UC Davis, I took a class called Technology Innovation taught by Professor Rodney Lacey. In this class, he talked about the benefits of being in the same area as your peers. Basically, by interacting with your peers and working for different companies, you build up your own knowledge. Companies are located in an area like Silicon Valley, even though the real estate is very expensive, is to get access to the wealth of knowledge, the people. If you are a techie and live in the Silicon Valley area, you are doing yourself a disservice if you are not getting out and networking with your peers.
So what does this mean to you? Move to an area where things are happening in your industry! Just kidding. I suggest that you network with your peers and consider switching companies sometime in your career.
If I wasn’t in the technology industry, I would think twice about living in the Silicon Valley area.