What is the single best area in which to live, in order to have a career in software development while also living an active, healthy life? Ideally, software and other types of jobs would be plentiful, the air and water clean, transportation reasonable, and outdoor activities plentiful and nearby.


You should really try Oslo, Norway if you like to move around a bit.
Clean air, lots of forests surrounding a relatively small city (1mill including the suburbs), lots of jobs for good software developers, and good wages even when you factor in the absurdly high cost of living.

Public transportation is also very good, so you can get to work in the city center from the outskirts of town in 30 min.

The language can be a bitch tho, but everyone speaks English, so you should have no problems learning Norwegian in your own pace.
And since we are a social-democratic paradise you get full health coverage, 5 weeks of vacation, and lots of national holidays.

We also have strict laws on working conditions, so most companies will treat you with respect.


Why not live where the computer, and most of computer programming, was born? :)

9 accepted

I was wondering the same a couple of weeks ago and San Francisco and Seattle came as the most attractive options. Why? 'cause there is a lot going on there right now, lots of startups, lots of big companies, cities are easy commuted and best of, wherever you go you will find interesting people from the business with amazing ideas that could resound on your own and give opportunity to great things...

I am from Costa Rica, and I look forward to be part of such a thing... be able to get me mind blended with others and have the possibility to change the world while at it... priceless.

Second, there are good places to party and socialize.



P.S. Keep in mind I am still single and in love with technology so that has lots to do in it; and a party or 2 are never a thing to look away from ;)


Do specify which country you are talking about. We're not all in the US, you know. ;)


I live in Israel and we seem to be following Paul Graham's theory of startup hubs (http://www.paulgraham.com/startuphubs.html). Most programming jobs can be found in or very near Tel Aviv. Of course, Israel is relatively small and commuting is always an option...


In Canada, you might try Waterloo, Ontario. The University of Waterloo has one of the best undergrad computer science programs in the world, and many large software companies have offices here, including RIM, Sybase / iAnywhere, OpenText, Google, Maplesoft, MKS, Sandvine, NCR, and McAfee. Plus there are rumours that Stephen Hawking is considering moving to Waterloo to work at the Perimiter Institute for Theoretical Physics!

Waterloo is a lovely city, about an hour from Toronto. There are no earthquakes or hurricanes, though we do have steaming hot summers (well, not so much this year) and very cold winters. On top of all that, the best part is that you get to live in Canada! :-)


Telecommute... and live where you want... Rural Virginia, Seattle, Florence, Singapore, <insert cool place to live here>. Take a little less in monthly salary in return for regular trips to the home office.


If you want to check out some heighborhoods and evaluate their walkability, then this site could help: http://www.walkscore.com. It is especially helpful to compare different job offerings for their surroundings.

As for "the best" area: home is where the heart is. So, you decide.


A couple more...I assume you mean "inside the US" since you mentioned San Francisco...

Research Triangle Park, North Carolina is software development's best-kept secret. Clean air (relative to California ;), high quality of life index, usually voted among top 5 places to live/work, especially if you're single. Presence of Research Triangle Park with IBM headquarters, large installments for pharma (GSK, etc), some game-programming companies, and 4 or 5 major colleges. Tons of jobs and relatively low cost of living.

Dallas, Texas (include Austin) has a huge IT market, low cost of living, and again, less traffic/smog/etc. than west coast or east coast cities. Blockbuster, Lockheed-Martin, TI, American Airlines, etc. all have huge installments here. Also tons of game-development shops here an in Austin, etc.


I recommend Huntsville, AL and surrounding areas(Madison, Athens, Scottsboro). It's one of the upcoming high-tech centers of the US given it's close proximity to NASA and Redstone Arsenal as well as growing private sector. The cost of living is very low compared to those strange foreign places like CA or DC;-) Your little 1000 sq ft house in CA could get you something around 2500-3000 sq ft out here depending on where you go and probably have some change left over. Lots of great outdoors out here from fishing, jet skiing, golf, etc. There are some really great schools from public to private and a big homeschooling community. It's not as backwards as you might think;-)


I just moved to Seattle from Los Angeles and would say that it meets all these qualifications.


His parents' basement? J/k ;)

The Washington DC metro area is chock full of software opportunities, even in time of a recession thanks to the general stability of government funding. Outside of Silicon Valley and up in MA near MIT, I'd have to say this is one of the meccas of software engineering.


For the U.S., I've got to recommend Newark, DE (and not just because I live there). We have plenty of parks, good school systems, lots to do, and we're in commuting distance to Wilmington (lots of big business--I work for Bank of America) and Center City Philadelphia. There are lots of companies using a variety of technologies, both web-based and otherwise.


What is the single best area in which to live, in order to have a career in software development while also living an active, healthy life? Ideally, software and other types of jobs would be plentiful, the air and water clean, transportation reasonable, and outdoor activities plentiful and nearby

Well, given that statement, how about New Zealand? Plently of development jobs (esp in Auckland or Wellington), and the rest fits in nicely.

Pity they pay in $NZ ($1 NZ == 66c US), but other than that....

I'm enjoying the UK (London) at the moment. It's close to Europe (and the US) for travel, the pound is worth something, the jobs are varied and on a scale I can't get at home (NZ) - eg the site I'm working on, which is a medium site by UK standards, has about the same number of hits as one of the largest NZ media sites. And NZ only has a 2 or 3.

Depends on what you want to do, really!


It's best to live in a white square box with a laptop with wifi.


I recommend Manhattan to work and the Hudson Valley to live. Easy access to the hustle and bustle of New York City with great country living. I am near vineyards, farms, dairies, orchards, historical sites, museums, etc. The culture is incredible and diverse and the food is second to none.

My commute is just over an hour from door to door, and most of that time is spent relaxing on the train and not dealing with traffic. It is nice to be able to be close to work, but far enough away that you can get value for your dollar in real estate, too. I couldn't live in the city, since I need more room. We are on almost an acre and a half with over 2,500 sq. ft. with a monthly cost of less than most studio apartments in the city (at least in neighborhoods a person would want to live in, that is).

People are friendly here and there is a lot more focus on community than what I saw when I lived on the west coast.


I've worked as a C# Developer in Toronto, Vancouver, Seattle, and Sydney. I have to say Sydney is by far the best. Tonnes of high paying software development jobs using cutting edge technologies. Sydney has amazing weather, with an active lifestyle, lots of great restaurants and bars, not to mention beautiful beaches everywhere.

The salaries in Canada are are pretty terrible compared to the US, most of Europe, and Australia! Waterloo is an extremely boring town if you're looking for lifestyle. Vancouver is a great city, however, salaries are low. I think Canada has a huge brain drain because the salaries in the US are much higher and often more cutting edge jobs.

Seattle is great for jobs with relatively good salaries. Livability is average though.


Tel Aviv has a very strong high tech market, and a very diverse life. Of course knowing Hebrew helps.