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Ask Slashdot: Why So Hard Landing Interviews In Seattle Versus SoCal? 506

Posted by timothy
from the seattle-freeze dept.
An anonymous reader writes "I have been trying to make the move to the Seattle, WA area. I liked the weather, the nature, the scenery and the tech environment. However, for whatever reason it seems like interviews are hard to come by. As a MS Stack software developer in LA, I barely had to do anything and recruiters always come knocking, either via LinkedIn or from past connections. Not to mention in general I got phone interviews for easily .8 of the positions I applied for. I wanted to finally make the move and fulfill a live long dream to live in Seattle. So I have been applying for positions in the greater Seattle, WA (King County) area. So far the ratio of positions applied to phone interviews is a dismal .1. Which is terrible considering the economy was much worse when I was actively looking for job in LA. Something isn't right because I am still getting offers for interviews here in SoCal, but not much from where I really wanted to be. What could I be doing wrong? Why such a contrast? Is the IT market in Seattle in poor shape? Or may be I just lack the proper connections in a new area? Am I just being screened out immediately for not being local? Or is it the prevalence of bigger corporations vs. smaller startups? And frankly as nice as the city is I can't move unless there's a healthy IT market to thrive by. I hope someone can point me in the right direction."
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Ask Slashdot: Why So Hard Landing Interviews In Seattle Versus SoCal?

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  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @02:29PM (#45611271)

    You seriously like the weather up here? Have you been here anytime other than July - September?

    I know a LOT of people that moved here after visiting in the summer... they don't realize what the weather is like most of the time.

  • by daemonenwind (178848) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @02:46PM (#45611621)

    There is, in the city of Seattle, a certain company with a legendary history in the world of computing. It has been known as... The Microsoft.

    Considering the turnover rate for Microsoft employment, Windows stack developers are probably as common there as waitresses with SAG cards are in LA.

    Your problem is that your skills are a rare commodity in LA but common as dirt in Seattle

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 05, 2013 @02:50PM (#45611667)

    I agree with the parent. There are a ton of people who move to Seattle & Portland from California & discrimination is very common. As someone who had to travel to Portland several times a month for 3 years+ you hear "local side" of this story. This is very real.

    So here are my suggestions:

    1) Make yourself look like a local as much as possible,

    2) See if you come up with a decent back story such as you are moving from Portland to Seattle. State the are too many people from California moving in. The prejudice will work in your favor rather than against you.

  • by ampmouse (761827) <ampmouse+slashdot@ampmouse.net> on Thursday December 05, 2013 @02:50PM (#45611681) Homepage

    I am just taking a stab in the dark here as I don't really know, but maybe there are a lot of "MS Stack software" developers in the home of MS. If they got a ton of them already in town why import more?

    Absolutely correct. I work in Seattle on FreeBSD, and there are plenty of places looking for employees (Amazon, F5, Isilon, etc.) with a Linux/BSD background. If you want to work on the "MS Stack" you are more or less going to be looking for a job a Microsoft. The market here is completely saturated with Microsoft employees who are looking for a change of pace. They actually do have 6 years of experience developing on frameworks Microsoft released 5 years ago.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 05, 2013 @02:52PM (#45611701)

    Supply and demand: people refuse to move to California because the taxes and cost of living are sky-high, so there are more openings that go unfilled.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 05, 2013 @02:56PM (#45611759)

    Most companies prefer local candidates. When they see that you are not local they may be crossing you out. They probably don't even want to pay to bring you up for an interview. You may want to note that you are looking to move at your own expense and like the Seattle area.

  • You aren't there (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jtara (133429) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @03:12PM (#45611957)

    It's pretty simple. It's because you aren't there.

    Move first. Then look for jobs. If you can't do that - forget it.

    Unless you have some very specific and needed skills, you need to already be local. And you won't fool anybody with a PO Box. Companies do not want to make the kind of commitment (if only moral commitment) that would be required, even if they don't pay relocation. It raises the bar for insuring it is a good match, and makes it more difficult for them to let you go if it doesn't work out.

    What it boils down to is your location is a complication to prospective employers. Why introduce a complication when (as others have pointed out) there are likely plenty of people with your skills who already live there? Nobody wants to screw around interviewing somebody who might or might not move to Seattle.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 05, 2013 @03:17PM (#45612005)
    If you are currently employed, you find a job before you move. Anything else just shows idiocy.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 05, 2013 @03:31PM (#45612165)

    I can second that. I've been a hired gun for 10 years. I'm actually in the process of moving from Denver to LA on my own dime (cost of living and weather reasons) and most of the place I've talked to don't want to extend an offer to me until I'm already local.
    There used to be a time when I was jetsetting across the country on the dime of the company trying to hire me. They just don't seem to want to do that anymore and I challenge you to find a position where relocation benefits are offered for anything less than CxO or VP x positions.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 05, 2013 @04:35PM (#45612901)

    If you are currently employed, you find a job before you move. Anything else just shows idiocy.

    If you want to live somewhere bad enough you just move, plain and simple.
    What shows idiocy is complaining about something and never doing it.
    You'll never get anywhere in life without taking chances.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 05, 2013 @04:42PM (#45613001)

    Linux does not dominate servers anymore. You are probably assuming that every Unix-like back end on the internet is Linux but this is patently false. Windows Server has gradually grown to beat Linux in the server space by total market share (though not by total traffic, due to the skewing by giant internet mega-corps like Amazon and Google that tend to need to roll their own, which is the great thing about Linux being open source).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_operating_systems#Servers

    Note that this will be somewhat skewed, since many companies that require multi-platform support will opt to run some of their Linux services in virtual environments that run on Windows (a big selling point of Windows).

    I agree that it is best to be well versed in Linux these days though. The future will be multi-platform, and developers who have both skills will be at a premium.

  • by mattack2 (1165421) on Thursday December 05, 2013 @05:03PM (#45613259)

    Even if it was more than a year's worth of house payments, couldn't it theoretically still be a win _if_ the cost of living in Seattle is _even lower_? I'm not saying it necessarily is, I just mean theoretically.

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