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Old 02-22-2014, 10:16 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
555 posts, read 708,995 times
Reputation: 1173

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lollapalooza773 View Post
Well said.

"You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to sydlee again".
Thanks for reading my wordy post.
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Old 02-22-2014, 11:30 AM
 
1,478 posts, read 2,191,237 times
Reputation: 1597
Quote:
Originally Posted by sydlee View Post
It would be interesting to see stats about this. Admittedly, I lack the stats as well, but I do know from experience that a lot of people from all over the Bay Area, not just SF, commute to the South Bay, where tech companies are located. Plenty of commuters coming in from the East Bay, a huge swath of land where it can be (relatively) more (cough, cough) affordable than other areas. Lots of people commuting in from the "Peninsula," which lies north of Silicon Valley, to name a few commuter centers.
Ask and you shall get. 70,000 people per day commute from San Francisco/San Mateo counties into Santa Clara county. If you split them, it's about 4-5% of employed people living in SF and 14-15% of employed people living in San Mateo and a fairly small percentage of overall workers employed in Santa Clara Co.

It's still a decent number though. For example, 5.7% of employed Cook Co residents commute to DuPage county. I'm willing to be that a lot of them are located in places like Oak Park, Schaumburg, Lagrange, etc. If we had the numbers of Chicago residents commuting to work in DuPage county, it might only be 2%. City of Chicago is probably a more apt comparison to SF city/county.

San Mateo kind of shows the split between SJ and SF: 21.4% commute to SF County and 14.3% commute to Santa Clara Co. 58.3% work within San Mateo (not at all uncommon as a pretty significant portion of employment is fairly mundane/common service jobs within the community.
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Old 02-22-2014, 11:40 AM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
15,322 posts, read 21,308,429 times
Reputation: 7293
Quote:
Originally Posted by sydlee View Post
I wanted to think a bit before responding. I'm not from Chicago, but DH and I are seriously considering a move there. But we're still not sure. For the last year, I've been watching the job listings, keeping tabs on the tech sector (where we come from), watching housing prices, reading up on politics, taxes, the pension situation, reading city-data etc. We have roots in tech startups, but we are probably older than most of the young whippersnappers talked about in the news these days. Assuming we can be considered "talent," I figured this question is something I can address:
I am in the tech industry in Chicago and as long as you have the talent, they won't care how old you are (unless it's like 70 years old and your health is failing you). I recommend you check out this site, which is the main startup community site in Chicago. It has profiles for all companies, how much funding they've gotten, etc. There's also a social network in there which links people together either ideas wise or stuff like someone has an idea for a new site/app and needs people to form the company

Chicago Startups | Built In Chicago

However, I recommend you keep reading on for more commentary from me about the tech industry here.

Quote:
DH, who is from the Midwest, says summertime is wonderful.
Summer is amazing in Chicago, at least in my opinion. At least it can be - if you are finding yourself bored in Chicago during summer than you have to be the most anti social boring person ever. There's a ton going on - the absolute best time of my life so far was an entire summer of a few years ago. Absolutely amazing, but again it depends on who you're around and how much you get out.

Quote:
All the attractions/amenities: Navy Pier, that bean thing park you guys have (yes, I am going to be one of those people who visit the bean and take a photo of myself in front of it when I visit this year), your theater and music scene, your new bike lanes and bike share program, that chocolate bridge I've heard about, etc. These are all very cool things, but it's the overall message that these things put together send: Chicago is alive. Chicago is a city that invests in itself and has an eye on the future. Chicago is a city that moves -- and is moving forward.

(Or maybe I've read one too many Rahm Emanuel press releases.) ;-)
Ha! The last line. Navy Pier and the Bean are OK once in awhile but definitely not something you'd go to a lot as a local. Theater scene is good - not a ton of HUGE theaters, but there's a lot of smaller ones and performances going on all the time all over the city. There's performances spaces in many areas that a lot of people simply miss. Some good music to be had too.

Quote:
Your city is a bit expensive in terms of home prices considering the poor reputation of the school district, but it's still relatively affordable compared to comparable areas of Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area (includes Silicon Valley). Your suburbs are clearly an excellent deal when it comes to attractive, affordable housing and well-regarded school districts. All this is true, even with higher property taxes (so far).
I agree, but the problem at least from what I've heard is the high schools. I know there's some nicely rated public elementary schools in town, and possibly middle schools. I think there's also something to be said about parenting - schooling can only go so far. I went to a very nice high school (not in Chicago area), and while a few teachers really encouraged me, my parents were the ones who provided me with the most perspective and support. I looked up to my parents because of their academic and professional accomplishments, but it took someone else I respected greatly (my voice teacher, actually) to let me know to always trust my parents on these things.

Quote:
Your economy seems, relatively speaking, diversified. You are no one/two-horse town the way Los Angeles has become and the way Silicon Valley is; by this, I mean you have quite a few big companies located there. That's extremely encouraging.
It's one of the most diversified economies in the country for sure. Definitely not a one trick pony.

Quote:
Chicago wins in terms of affordability. Sure it's not super cheap, but it's nowhere near the cost of San Francisco and L.A.
This is very true, but in all it depends on your situation, job, etc. I know I'd make more money in SF purely due to COL, but since my skills are highly in demand there, I'd probably get a raise on top of it.

Quote:
I've been watching Chicago's tech jobs. While not trying to talk badly about anyone's tech companies (for truly, I found your tech scene encouraging), I must admit all the press seems to show are companies located in these painfully hip, minimalist offices where tables and people sparsely populate the room.


Not really 100%. What you say is only partially true in reality. What you're seeing are the startups, but there's many other tech/tech oriented, or companies that have big tech divisions which have a presence in Chicago that aren't necessarily taking up small, cramped, "hip" offices. However, refer to what I say below about the "hip" factor because your judgement on this is clouded.

In any case, there are also lot of consulting firms that have tech people based in Chicago who have work all over the world. I can speak from experience in this because it's what I do. Some are more infrastructure people, but there's many software engineers who are consultants as well.

IBM, Oracle/BigMachines, Microsoft, Google, Motorola Mobility, Motorola Solutions, Cisco, CDW, Orbitz, CareerBuilder, Deloitte, Accenture, KPMG, Chicago Mercantile Exchange, SPSS (now part of IBM), Namco, Nokia, Gogo Wireless, US Robotics, Midway Games, Morningstar, Cars.com, Textura (recently had an IPO), etc.

Also many interactive/media agencies such as Razorfish, Digitas, IBM Interactive, Acquity Group, ARC Worldwide, etc.


Hell, I even know someone who creates casino software for machines in Vegas, Macau, etc in town for a well known company in that field.

Quote:
Why are startups spending so much money on hip furniture and generous square footage?
Are you a software engineer or programmer? Maybe you come from a different train of thought as me, but these things are extremely important. You'll even find hip furniture, foosball tables, etc at IBM offices around the world. It's not just small, hip startups that do this.

It's EXTREMELY important to be able to occupy your mind with something else when you're working on something complex in software development. Plain and simple. If you don't understand this, then I'm going to, no offense, question your experience. Maybe you're one of the few people who has never had something so difficult to work on that they need a distraction.

I can't tell you how many times I"ve done something else like played foosball, while I couldn't figure something out, and my subconscious mind has done the work for me while being distracted where I figure out the answer. I've had this happen in dreams before too as well as something as simple as taking a shower. These things are absolutely necessarily when you're dealing with complex software development. Not only that, but for stress relief. When you're in a stressful situation, a break is recommened when you can. If you think that it's only startups and hip companies that do this, then think again. Trust me on this one. Many large corporate environments offer the same thing - the only difference is that they are so well known for everything else that they don't have to advertise it. The company name and work speaks for itself. Once you go into their offices, you'll realize that they offer the same things in some capacity.
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Old 02-22-2014, 01:24 PM
 
1,613 posts, read 2,142,839 times
Reputation: 885
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicago76 View Post
Ask and you shall get. 70,000 people per day commute from San Francisco/San Mateo counties into Santa Clara county. If you split them, it's about 4-5% of employed people living in SF and 14-15% of employed people living in San Mateo and a fairly small percentage of overall workers employed in Santa Clara Co.
This does not surprise me. I know there are SF residents working in Silicon Valley, but I suspected the numbers were not that big in aggregate. It gets a lot of press because of the Google buses and the like, but really doesn't make sense unless you're really into cities and urbanism.
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Old 02-22-2014, 01:48 PM
 
Location: Kent, Washington
10,254 posts, read 20,092,487 times
Reputation: 10281
The boilermakers and pipefitters in Chicago and northern Indiana are as good as any in the country, and better than most. People in the trades come from all over the country to work around Chicago.
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Old 02-26-2014, 02:42 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
555 posts, read 708,995 times
Reputation: 1173
Quote:
Originally Posted by marothisu View Post
I am in the tech industry in Chicago and as long as you have the talent, they won't care how old you are (unless it's like 70 years old and your health is failing you). I recommend you check out this site, which is the main startup community site in Chicago. It has profiles for all companies, how much funding they've gotten, etc. There's also a social network in there which links people together either ideas wise or stuff like someone has an idea for a new site/app and needs people to form the company

Chicago Startups | Built In Chicago

However, I recommend you keep reading on for more commentary from me about the tech industry here.

Summer is amazing in Chicago, at least in my opinion. At least it can be - if you are finding yourself bored in Chicago during summer than you have to be the most anti social boring person ever. There's a ton going on - the absolute best time of my life so far was an entire summer of a few years ago. Absolutely amazing, but again it depends on who you're around and how much you get out.

Ha! The last line. Navy Pier and the Bean are OK once in awhile but definitely not something you'd go to a lot as a local. Theater scene is good - not a ton of HUGE theaters, but there's a lot of smaller ones and performances going on all the time all over the city. There's performances spaces in many areas that a lot of people simply miss. Some good music to be had too.
Thanks for the info. Yes, I've been checking out that website. And yeah, I figure places like the bean aren't going to be a daily thing, but as a tourist, I simply will have to check it out. Smaller theaters and a strong local music scene are very cool and often thought-provoking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by marothisu View Post
I agree, but the problem at least from what I've heard is the high schools. I know there's some nicely rated public elementary schools in town, and possibly middle schools. I think there's also something to be said about parenting - schooling can only go so far. I went to a very nice high school (not in Chicago area), and while a few teachers really encouraged me, my parents were the ones who provided me with the most perspective and support. I looked up to my parents because of their academic and professional accomplishments, but it took someone else I respected greatly (my voice teacher, actually) to let me know to always trust my parents on these things.
Agree about the role of the parent. I do recall, though, that being surrounded by ambitious students and a culture of learning helped as well. Above academics, I'm going to prioritize physical safety first and foremost; the rest, I can handle as a parent. Don't know the district firsthand, but must admit so much of what I've read is extremely discouraging. We shall see.

Quote:
Originally Posted by marothisu View Post
It's one of the most diversified economies in the country for sure. Definitely not a one trick pony.

This is very true, but in all it depends on your situation, job, etc. I know I'd make more money in SF purely due to COL, but since my skills are highly in demand there, I'd probably get a raise on top of it.

Not really 100%. What you say is only partially true in reality. What you're seeing are the startups, but there's many other tech/tech oriented, or companies that have big tech divisions which have a presence in Chicago that aren't necessarily taking up small, cramped, "hip" offices. However, refer to what I say below about the "hip" factor because your judgement on this is clouded.

In any case, there are also lot of consulting firms that have tech people based in Chicago who have work all over the world. I can speak from experience in this because it's what I do. Some are more infrastructure people, but there's many software engineers who are consultants as well.

IBM, Oracle/BigMachines, Microsoft, Google, Motorola Mobility, Motorola Solutions, Cisco, CDW, Orbitz, CareerBuilder, Deloitte, Accenture, KPMG, Chicago Mercantile Exchange, SPSS (now part of IBM), Namco, Nokia, Gogo Wireless, US Robotics, Midway Games, Morningstar, Cars.com, Textura (recently had an IPO), etc.

Also many interactive/media agencies such as Razorfish, Digitas, IBM Interactive, Acquity Group, ARC Worldwide, etc.

Hell, I even know someone who creates casino software for machines in Vegas, Macau, etc in town for a well known company in that field.

Are you a software engineer or programmer? Maybe you come from a different train of thought as me, but these things are extremely important. You'll even find hip furniture, foosball tables, etc at IBM offices around the world. It's not just small, hip startups that do this.

It's EXTREMELY important to be able to occupy your mind with something else when you're working on something complex in software development. Plain and simple. If you don't understand this, then I'm going to, no offense, question your experience. Maybe you're one of the few people who has never had something so difficult to work on that they need a distraction.

I can't tell you how many times I"ve done something else like played foosball, while I couldn't figure something out, and my subconscious mind has done the work for me while being distracted where I figure out the answer. I've had this happen in dreams before too as well as something as simple as taking a shower. These things are absolutely necessarily when you're dealing with complex software development. Not only that, but for stress relief. When you're in a stressful situation, a break is recommened when you can. If you think that it's only startups and hip companies that do this, then think again. Trust me on this one. Many large corporate environments offer the same thing - the only difference is that they are so well known for everything else that they don't have to advertise it. The company name and work speaks for itself. Once you go into their offices, you'll realize that they offer the same things in some capacity.
I come from a tech startup background; that's probably why I zeroed in on those companies and noticed the hip, minimalist look of the offices. Yeah, I totally get what you're saying about problem solving and how sometimes the most effective way is not the obvious, direct way. And I readily admit to playing foosball, air hockey, and whatnot. I don't object to having that kind of stuff around the office.

What I do find odd is the investment in hip furniture and wide open spaces in a swank, presumably expensive, office. I have limited experience in this industry, but I don't recall stylish surroundings and furniture improving startup performance. Not to glorify being cheap or anything (for a lack of funds can hinder), but there's something to be said about being crammed together in some non-descript, affordable building with plain furniture, whiteboards and maybe a foosball table in the meeting room, occasional free food, and weekly beer breaks. It's lean and efficient. Things tend to coalesce.

I also find it odd that office perks (foosball, office yoga, free beer/liquor, after work socials, free food, massage, etc.) are promoted so prominently in jobs listings (though I don't object to the actual existence of said perks). Hard to explain this one. Kinda tacky, IMO. Places too much emphasis on the trappings of a successful startup rather than the startup's vision and project, so I have to wonder about the company. This is a grey area, and I'm sure there are folks who see nothing wrong with this.
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Old 02-26-2014, 02:43 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
555 posts, read 708,995 times
Reputation: 1173
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicago76 View Post
Ask and you shall get. 70,000 people per day commute from San Francisco/San Mateo counties into Santa Clara county. If you split them, it's about 4-5% of employed people living in SF and 14-15% of employed people living in San Mateo and a fairly small percentage of overall workers employed in Santa Clara Co.

It's still a decent number though. For example, 5.7% of employed Cook Co residents commute to DuPage county. I'm willing to be that a lot of them are located in places like Oak Park, Schaumburg, Lagrange, etc. If we had the numbers of Chicago residents commuting to work in DuPage county, it might only be 2%. City of Chicago is probably a more apt comparison to SF city/county.

San Mateo kind of shows the split between SJ and SF: 21.4% commute to SF County and 14.3% commute to Santa Clara Co. 58.3% work within San Mateo (not at all uncommon as a pretty significant portion of employment is fairly mundane/common service jobs within the community.
Thanks.
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Old 02-27-2014, 09:41 PM
 
Location: Nort Seid
5,288 posts, read 8,162,569 times
Reputation: 2454
Chicago made its bones as a transportation and commerce hub. The IT industry can learn/ignore that as they will, the important takeaway being we are no island unto ourselves.
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