Author Topic: Best Place to Work in Tech and Surf in USA?  (Read 9411 times)

holeinthehand

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 5
Best Place to Work in Tech and Surf in USA?
« on: February 23, 2016, 01:29:31 AM »
I need your help.

I'm trying to balance achieving FI, advancing a career in technology, and surfing. I work doing web and/or mobile software development, and I'm wondering where the best city to base myself is. San Francisco just seems too expensive. San Diego and Los Angeles are in contention, but neither seem ideal. L.A. has more of a startup scene and culture bur the surf is better in San Diego. None of these places are what you'd call affordable either. Options seem rather limited actually.

I just want a place where I can work in my field and not spend an hour on the freeway to get to (probably mediocre) waves.

Ideally I'd work remotely so I could open up my options a bit but I'm not quite ready for that career-wise.

Any thoughts?

GhostSaver

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 63
Re: Best Place to Work in Tech and Surf in USA?
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2016, 07:28:20 AM »
Could you hook up with a government agency or defense contractor and get posted to Hawaii? They hire lots of it folks in general, but probably less so in web/mobile than in other fields. There is potentially decent enough pay to maintain some savings, even with the island cost of living.

It sounds to me like you want to network and push the career forward. I would probably just try to get into a good job near San Jose and surf Santa Cruz on the weekends. Maybe after putting in your time and networking you can transfer to a work from home position.

I don't think there is such a thing as an area with a start up culture for web and mobile developers that is also cheap. At least CA has decent surf.

AZDude

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1298
Re: Best Place to Work in Tech and Surf in USA?
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2016, 09:03:17 AM »
Quote
Ideally I'd work remotely so I could open up my options a bit but I'm not quite ready for that career-wise.

This is your best option. Depending on exactly what you do in tech, you should have plenty of options in any major city, its just a matter of affordability. West coast is expensive, although San Fran salaries are probably your best bet(no idea how the waves are in No Cal).

Just build up a quality resume why looking for that remote job. You will find it eventually.

junglejim83

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 26
Re: Best Place to Work in Tech and Surf in USA?
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2016, 09:23:41 AM »
Anywhere from SF to silicon valley would be the best bet.  There are plenty of good surf breaks.  The water temps require a wetsuit but not so cold that you need a hood or gloves and you need a wetsuit the majority of the year towards LA and SD.  And I am not sure there is a better area tech-wise.

I imagine there are tech gigs everywhere on the Pacific coast and HI but you might have to search harder.  If there are gigs that jump out at you in NYC, I know lots of people that take the subway out to the Rockaways and long island but it's not nearly as dependable as West coast surf and the best surf is in the late fall and winter unless there is a hurricane swell.

holeinthehand

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 5
Re: Best Place to Work in Tech and Surf in USA?
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2016, 08:28:15 PM »
Could you hook up with a government agency or defense contractor and get posted to Hawaii? They hire lots of it folks in general, but probably less so in web/mobile than in other fields. There is potentially decent enough pay to maintain some savings, even with the island cost of living.

It sounds to me like you want to network and push the career forward. I would probably just try to get into a good job near San Jose and surf Santa Cruz on the weekends. Maybe after putting in your time and networking you can transfer to a work from home position.

I don't think there is such a thing as an area with a start up culture for web and mobile developers that is also cheap. At least CA has decent surf.

I'd like to end up in Hawaii eventually, but given the nature of my work and my current level of experience (or lack thereof) I don't think it's feasible to go there now. Guess I'll have to sit around in traffic somewhere in CA until I'm well-established enough to take this show off the mainland.

meyling

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 46
Re: Best Place to Work in Tech and Surf in USA?
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2016, 06:46:44 AM »
Not ready to work remotely? Is that just because of a lack of experience? I'd say find a company that allows telecommuting, anywhere in the us. If you have to work in the office for a few months before you can work from home all the time I think that's worth it.

trashmanz

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 338
Re: Best Place to Work in Tech and Surf in USA?
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2016, 09:13:49 AM »
If you are in the U.S. it is hard to get around the fact that living near surfable (a word? :)) waves is going to be expensive.

Jennifury

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Re: Best Place to Work in Tech and Surf in USA?
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2016, 01:51:52 PM »
You might also try the east coast. My husband and I live a little south of Richmond Va. Virginia Beach area has ok waves but he drives down to OBX  (3-4 hours) about monthly to surf. I'm not sure about your line of work but we both have good tech jobs here. The salaries are surely a step down but the cost of living is incredibly low (if you look at VA cost of living it can appear high in state wide estimates but thats completely driven by DC suburbs).

ysette9

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5017
  • Location: Bay Area, CA
    • Insert Snappy Title Here (Journal)
Re: Best Place to Work in Tech and Surf in USA?
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2016, 02:12:59 PM »
I wouldn't give up on the Bay Area since it is such a fantastic combo of tech and outdoor activities. Try looking at a smaller town like Half Moon Bay for living and then look for a place to work on the other side of the mountains like San Mateo. Yes, the cost of living is high, but not as high as San Fransisco (note: locals call it "San Francisco" or "The City"; the only people who call it "San Fran" are outsiders), and you still have access to the same salaries. Good luck!

[New to surfing myself but having fun learning]

mxt0133

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1559
  • Location: San Francisco
Re: Best Place to Work in Tech and Surf in USA?
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2016, 02:18:47 PM »
An old co-worker of mine lives in Santa Cruz, which is about two hours south of SF and about 45 minutes from Silicon Valley.  He has a telecommute arrangement where he goes in to the office twice a week.  He love it because he likes to surf and that are lots of people that are looking to share apartments, it's a college town.

honeybbq

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1194
  • Location: Seattle
Re: Best Place to Work in Tech and Surf in USA?
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2016, 02:29:35 PM »
Auckland, NZ. :) Cheaper than California at least!

PencilThinStache

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 23
Re: Best Place to Work in Tech and Surf in USA?
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2016, 03:56:01 PM »
I love San Clemente, California for its surfing, but its tech scene is probably non-existent, and the COL is high. Oceanside, CA, the northernmost town in SD County, is probably the most affordable surf-proximate town in SoCal - moonlight in Encinitas and Scripps pier are both relatively close, and there are some ok breaks that you can walk to in Carlsbad and Oceanside. As far as tech work, I think you're probably best off finding a specific employer in/near a surf town, rather than trying to find a 'tech hub' to live in and look for work. If you're looking to do freelance/startup work, try looking for incubators in a few towns and then go visit them. Maybe you'll discover a small start-up community.

jeromedawg

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2881
  • Location: Orange County, CA
Re: Best Place to Work in Tech and Surf in USA?
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2016, 04:23:36 PM »
I love San Clemente, California for its surfing, but its tech scene is probably non-existent, and the COL is high. Oceanside, CA, the northernmost town in SD County, is probably the most affordable surf-proximate town in SoCal - moonlight in Encinitas and Scripps pier are both relatively close, and there are some ok breaks that you can walk to in Carlsbad and Oceanside. As far as tech work, I think you're probably best off finding a specific employer in/near a surf town, rather than trying to find a 'tech hub' to live in and look for work. If you're looking to do freelance/startup work, try looking for incubators in a few towns and then go visit them. Maybe you'll discover a small start-up community.

Seconding Oceanside or Huntington. COL in O-side is definitely a factor though. You could also consider taking a job in Irvine or around south OC and riding the Metrolink to/from. 

Do you need to live within walking distance of a beach? Or are you willing to strap your board down or throw it in your car and drive to a beach? I'm assuming your schedule would normally be to get your sessions in in the early morning?

Goldielocks

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6313
  • Location: BC
Re: Best Place to Work in Tech and Surf in USA?
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2016, 07:04:59 PM »
How about teaching in your field, from a surfable location and distance ed?

tj

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1249
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Maui
    • Arcadia Power
Re: Best Place to Work in Tech and Surf in USA?
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2016, 07:34:12 PM »
I love San Clemente, California for its surfing, but its tech scene is probably non-existent, and the COL is high. Oceanside, CA, the northernmost town in SD County, is probably the most affordable surf-proximate town in SoCal - moonlight in Encinitas and Scripps pier are both relatively close, and there are some ok breaks that you can walk to in Carlsbad and Oceanside. As far as tech work, I think you're probably best off finding a specific employer in/near a surf town, rather than trying to find a 'tech hub' to live in and look for work. If you're looking to do freelance/startup work, try looking for incubators in a few towns and then go visit them. Maybe you'll discover a small start-up community.

Seconding Oceanside or Huntington. COL in O-side is definitely a factor though. You could also consider taking a job in Irvine or around south OC and riding the Metrolink to/from. 

Do you need to live within walking distance of a beach? Or are you willing to strap your board down or throw it in your car and drive to a beach? I'm assuming your schedule would normally be to get your sessions in in the early morning?

Oceanside to Irvine would be a horrible commute, even by train.

GhostSaver

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 63
Re: Best Place to Work in Tech and Surf in USA?
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2016, 09:04:28 PM »
An old co-worker of mine lives in Santa Cruz, which is about two hours south of SF and about 45 minutes from Silicon Valley.  He has a telecommute arrangement where he goes in to the office twice a week.  He love it because he likes to surf and that are lots of people that are looking to share apartments, it's a college town.

Hey, OP. I came back to check on this thread out of curiosity. You're young and single, you want to get a lucrative career in web development going, and you want to surf. Don't overthink it and don't underestimate your own talent. Find a roommate in Silicon Valley or in the mountains between Silicon Valley and Santa Cruz. Find a job in Silicon Valley. Buy a decent wet suit. Your only limitation is your desire for shorter work hours or warmer water, and your own desire to kick ass. There are less talented people than you slaying those tubes and getting equity stakes at those startups. Go make it happen.

I'm a hack surfer but a very good skier. I live in the mountains above Salt Lake City and pull down a solid financial-sector salary. This sort of thing can be done: you just have to believe in yourself, work hard, and go kick ass.

msilenus

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 517
Re: Best Place to Work in Tech and Surf in USA?
« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2016, 12:23:56 AM »
If I were a big surfer I'd probably have joined The Trade Desk when it was small, and would be fabulously wealthy now.  So in your shoes, that's where I'd be shooting my resume.  Depending on which office you're looking at joining, I can't imagine that mentioning the surf in a cover letter would be seen as a black mark.  (But I also haven't spoken with any of those guys in years and years.)

http://www.thetradedesk.com

clarkfan1979

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1853
  • Age: 40
  • Location: Kauai & Denver
Re: Best Place to Work in Tech and Surf in USA?
« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2016, 01:53:11 AM »
The cheapest surf scene I have noticed is Jacksonville, FL. The city is fairly big, but I do not know of the tech scene. Your best bet is Silicon Valley and then try to work remote. You are young, so renting isn't that big of a deal. Your salary will increase with inflation with a tech job. If you were married with kids and wanted to buy a house, it would be different.

tj

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1249
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Maui
    • Arcadia Power
Re: Best Place to Work in Tech and Surf in USA?
« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2016, 11:43:18 AM »
My sister lives in Manhattan Beach, CA in a studio apt that rents for $750/month all utilities, cable and wifi inclusive. She's a mile from the beach, a mile from all the big defense contractors (one she works for and can walk to work) and the surf is pretty good there (and beach volleyball even better). So since the OP is single he/she isn't limited to LCOL areas when it comes to housing and can find a studio and room rental fairly cheap anywhere.

I had no idea Manhattan Beach was that cheap! Is Redondo and Hermosa as well? I need to check out those beaches. :D

sugarsnap

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 47
Re: Best Place to Work in Tech and Surf in USA?
« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2016, 08:49:40 PM »
San Jose / Santa Cruz.

CanuckExpat

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2980
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Travelling
    • Freedom35
Re: Best Place to Work in Tech and Surf in USA?
« Reply #20 on: February 28, 2016, 12:40:00 AM »
FYI, several of the larger tech companies in Silicon Valley run shuttle buses into Santa Cruz. The fancy kind with comfortable seats, wifi, take your dog, etc.

Nords

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3187
  • Age: 58
  • Location: Oahu
    • Military Retirement & Financial Independence blog
Re: Best Place to Work in Tech and Surf in USA?
« Reply #21 on: February 28, 2016, 06:49:10 PM »
I'd like to end up in Hawaii eventually, but given the nature of my work and my current level of experience (or lack thereof) I don't think it's feasible to go there now. Guess I'll have to sit around in traffic somewhere in CA until I'm well-established enough to take this show off the mainland.
Oh, c'mon.  We need you over here now, and all of those other surf spots are just too darn cold.

Try Hawaii for Blue Startups, XLR8UH, Energy Excelerator, the local Dev League, and a host of other tech initiatives.  Read old posts on Ryan Ozawa's Hawaii blog (like this one:  http://www.hawaiiweblog.com/2015/12/28/hawaii-tech-job-fair) and get a feel for what's in your current area of expertise.  Contact The Wirecutter (http://thewirecutter.com/jobs/) and see what you can do.  (Brian Lam founded it after he moved to Hawaii for surfing, and then decided to create his own tech job.)  Get a cheap apartment in Kaimuki or Kaka'ako and walk a few blocks to the surf.

Now is the best time to build your Hawaii experience.  You can always move back to California later...

holeinthehand

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 5
Re: Best Place to Work in Tech and Surf in USA?
« Reply #22 on: March 01, 2016, 05:37:07 AM »
An old co-worker of mine lives in Santa Cruz, which is about two hours south of SF and about 45 minutes from Silicon Valley.  He has a telecommute arrangement where he goes in to the office twice a week.  He love it because he likes to surf and that are lots of people that are looking to share apartments, it's a college town.

Hey, OP. I came back to check on this thread out of curiosity. You're young and single, you want to get a lucrative career in web development going, and you want to surf. Don't overthink it and don't underestimate your own talent. Find a roommate in Silicon Valley or in the mountains between Silicon Valley and Santa Cruz. Find a job in Silicon Valley. Buy a decent wet suit. Your only limitation is your desire for shorter work hours or warmer water, and your own desire to kick ass. There are less talented people than you slaying those tubes and getting equity stakes at those startups. Go make it happen.

I'm a hack surfer but a very good skier. I live in the mountains above Salt Lake City and pull down a solid financial-sector salary. This sort of thing can be done: you just have to believe in yourself, work hard, and go kick ass.

Thank you for this awesome reply. I know I'm overthinking it. I have that tendency :). SF definitely has the startup scene on lock and the surf there is pretty decent as well. Since these are my working years I'm ready to put in the work. I also want to surround myself with really smart people and SF seems to be the best place for that. I guess I'm more worried about how SF has turned into this monoculture techopolis. Web/mobile development for me are a means to an end. I have many other passions and interests (like surfing for example). I'm worried the work/life balance will skew too far on the work side in SF.

P.S. I'm from Utah. Lived the last six years in Salt Lake. Love it there. If I didn't feel so compelled to surf, I'd of just stayed put.

holeinthehand

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 5
Re: Best Place to Work in Tech and Surf in USA?
« Reply #23 on: March 01, 2016, 05:42:48 AM »
I'd like to end up in Hawaii eventually, but given the nature of my work and my current level of experience (or lack thereof) I don't think it's feasible to go there now. Guess I'll have to sit around in traffic somewhere in CA until I'm well-established enough to take this show off the mainland.
Oh, c'mon.  We need you over here now, and all of those other surf spots are just too darn cold.

Try Hawaii for Blue Startups, XLR8UH, Energy Excelerator, the local Dev League, and a host of other tech initiatives.  Read old posts on Ryan Ozawa's Hawaii blog (like this one:  http://www.hawaiiweblog.com/2015/12/28/hawaii-tech-job-fair) and get a feel for what's in your current area of expertise.  Contact The Wirecutter (http://thewirecutter.com/jobs/) and see what you can do.  (Brian Lam founded it after he moved to Hawaii for surfing, and then decided to create his own tech job.)  Get a cheap apartment in Kaimuki or Kaka'ako and walk a few blocks to the surf.

Now is the best time to build your Hawaii experience.  You can always move back to California later...

Haha. Love this post. Going to check out some of these resources. Thank you for the reply!

CanuckExpat

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2980
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Travelling
    • Freedom35
Re: Best Place to Work in Tech and Surf in USA?
« Reply #24 on: March 02, 2016, 08:35:20 PM »
I have many other passions and interests (like surfing for example). I'm worried the work/life balance will skew too far on the work side in SF.



Wish I wasn't such a crappy swimmer, I'd like to give surfing a try.

uneaqs

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Re: Best Place to Work in Tech and Surf in USA?
« Reply #25 on: March 02, 2016, 11:28:38 PM »
An old co-worker of mine lives in Santa Cruz, which is about two hours south of SF and about 45 minutes from Silicon Valley.  He has a telecommute arrangement where he goes in to the office twice a week.  He love it because he likes to surf and that are lots of people that are looking to share apartments, it's a college town.

Hey, OP. I came back to check on this thread out of curiosity. You're young and single, you want to get a lucrative career in web development going, and you want to surf. Don't overthink it and don't underestimate your own talent. Find a roommate in Silicon Valley or in the mountains between Silicon Valley and Santa Cruz. Find a job in Silicon Valley. Buy a decent wet suit. Your only limitation is your desire for shorter work hours or warmer water, and your own desire to kick ass. There are less talented people than you slaying those tubes and getting equity stakes at those startups. Go make it happen.

I'm a hack surfer but a very good skier. I live in the mountains above Salt Lake City and pull down a solid financial-sector salary. This sort of thing can be done: you just have to believe in yourself, work hard, and go kick ass.

Thank you for this awesome reply. I know I'm overthinking it. I have that tendency :). SF definitely has the startup scene on lock and the surf there is pretty decent as well. Since these are my working years I'm ready to put in the work. I also want to surround myself with really smart people and SF seems to be the best place for that. I guess I'm more worried about how SF has turned into this monoculture techopolis. Web/mobile development for me are a means to an end. I have many other passions and interests (like surfing for example). I'm worried the work/life balance will skew too far on the work side in SF.

P.S. I'm from Utah. Lived the last six years in Salt Lake. Love it there. If I didn't feel so compelled to surf, I'd of just stayed put.

I live in Pacifica, just 15 miles south of SF. I work in tech in downtown SF, and before having kids, surfed regularly in town or at whichever break was working. There's plenty of options within easy dawn patrol range. Culture-wise, there's still a strong undercurrent of artsy, nature-oriented counterculture types to keep things interesting. It can take time to find a good group of friends, but it's definitely doable. COL is astronomical right now, but so are salaries for talented folks. If you can get a few years experience working here on your resume, your chances of getting a higher paying gig somewhere else go way up (in my experience anyway).

Good luck!

sunnsurf

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 16
  • Age: 43
  • Location: Orange county, ca
Re: Best Place to Work in Tech and Surf in USA?
« Reply #26 on: March 03, 2016, 11:11:31 AM »
I live in Huntington Beach, aka Surf City. It's wonderful here. Also plenty of Tech jobs in this area.

holeinthehand

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 5
Re: Best Place to Work in Tech and Surf in USA?
« Reply #27 on: March 12, 2016, 12:51:47 AM »
An old co-worker of mine lives in Santa Cruz, which is about two hours south of SF and about 45 minutes from Silicon Valley.  He has a telecommute arrangement where he goes in to the office twice a week.  He love it because he likes to surf and that are lots of people that are looking to share apartments, it's a college town.

Hey, OP. I came back to check on this thread out of curiosity. You're young and single, you want to get a lucrative career in web development going, and you want to surf. Don't overthink it and don't underestimate your own talent. Find a roommate in Silicon Valley or in the mountains between Silicon Valley and Santa Cruz. Find a job in Silicon Valley. Buy a decent wet suit. Your only limitation is your desire for shorter work hours or warmer water, and your own desire to kick ass. There are less talented people than you slaying those tubes and getting equity stakes at those startups. Go make it happen.

I'm a hack surfer but a very good skier. I live in the mountains above Salt Lake City and pull down a solid financial-sector salary. This sort of thing can be done: you just have to believe in yourself, work hard, and go kick ass.

Thank you for this awesome reply. I know I'm overthinking it. I have that tendency :). SF definitely has the startup scene on lock and the surf there is pretty decent as well. Since these are my working years I'm ready to put in the work. I also want to surround myself with really smart people and SF seems to be the best place for that. I guess I'm more worried about how SF has turned into this monoculture techopolis. Web/mobile development for me are a means to an end. I have many other passions and interests (like surfing for example). I'm worried the work/life balance will skew too far on the work side in SF.

P.S. I'm from Utah. Lived the last six years in Salt Lake. Love it there. If I didn't feel so compelled to surf, I'd of just stayed put.

I live in Pacifica, just 15 miles south of SF. I work in tech in downtown SF, and before having kids, surfed regularly in town or at whichever break was working. There's plenty of options within easy dawn patrol range. Culture-wise, there's still a strong undercurrent of artsy, nature-oriented counterculture types to keep things interesting. It can take time to find a good group of friends, but it's definitely doable. COL is astronomical right now, but so are salaries for talented folks. If you can get a few years experience working here on your resume, your chances of getting a higher paying gig somewhere else go way up (in my experience anyway).

Good luck!

Thanks for this. You have confirmed what I've been thinking, which is that a few years working in the startup/tech scene in SF is probably the best option for setting up my career. I think there's a good chance that having SF on my resume will pay dividends in opportunities down the road. As long as I can get in at least a few surf sessions a week while I'm building my career, I'm happy. Add the fact that there are a lot of good breaks within striking distance and it's looking better and better. Now I just need to snag the job! :)