January 27, 2023


For computer aficionados

The best US cities for remote software developers

The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped several people’s mind-set towards do the job, from embracing greater flexibility to an evolving marriage with the physical workspace.

For software program builders specifically—who tend to be able to perform where ever they have an net link strong more than enough to open up an IDE and Slack—location is starting to be considerably less critical than high-quality of life.

Where the most proficient US-based mostly computer software engineers would formerly have to relocate to towns like San Francisco, Seattle, or New York for the most effective options, a new established of emerging hubs is speedily making up floor in phrases of quality of lifetime and general earning prospective.

“As extra businesses shifted to distant or hybrid performing styles, we had commenced to see appreciably improving prospect performance outdoors of the additional-recognized tech hubs,” wrote Patrick Wu, a data analyst at specialized using the services of expert Karat, in a website write-up.

Developers shift from San Francisco, Seattle, and New York

According to a recent examine by Karat—which assesses technical candidates based mostly on a how possible they are to go an interview—while people large a few US tech hubs even now have the best concentration of software package engineering expertise right now, metropolitan areas like Pittsburgh, Atlanta, and Portland, Oregon, are speedily putting them selves on the map for using the services of supervisors.

For instance, fintech large Stripe is now choosing 74% of all new joiners (not just builders) from outdoors of the San Francisco Bay Place and Seattle, up from 39% in the initially quarter of 2019, in accordance to CEO Patrick Collison.

Similarly, Cloudflare has observed its San Francisco office environment shrink in 2021, as 90% of new hires arrive from outside the Bay Spot, in accordance to CEO Matthew Prince. “I consider the level at which the tech business is heading global is however underappreciated, and that this will be a huge tailwind for the earth more than the next ten years,” Collison tweeted.

“The put to be was Silicon Valley. It feels like now the location to be is the web (which is in all places). I assume this craze to only accelerate,” Airbnb founder Brian Chesky tweeted in reaction to Collison. Chesky is at present operating his have grand personalized experiment of functioning out of diverse Airbnb homes each individual pair of months.

Whilst dollars is even now the terrific motivator for developers trying to get a new role, with 65% prioritizing better payment when switching roles, overall flexibility is the most significant factor for 65% of developers contemplating whether or not to remain in their latest job, trumping even income at 59%, in accordance to analysis by developer hub Stack Overflow.

“The increase of distant operate, even before the pandemic, planted the seeds that are now bearing fruit in the type of the developer exodus: Developers fatigued by corporate hierarchies, long commutes, high-priced metropolitan areas, and corrosive company cultures have been shifting to distant self-employment for a ten years,” wrote Eira May in a Stack Overflow web site put up.

The new US distant tech hubs for builders

For additional software program engineers, like AWS principal engineer Jaana Dogan, the pandemic-driven shift to distant operating has opened up a whole new set of options about where by they choose to reside.

“It’s a candidate’s market at the second and they have more electricity than at any time,” Karat cofounder Jeff Spector instructed InfoWorld.

“The joke about just about every choosing conversation ending in “must relocate to San Francisco” just is not real anymore,” wrote RedMonk analyst James Governor in a site put up. “These variations had been established in area before the pandemic. Now they’re in stone. We’re not heading back to the world’s elite program engineers all residing in 1 city.”

These trends are obviously driving a shift toward secondary tech hubs and past as distant do the job is getting to be the norm for engineers. So, the place are they heading?


With a 40% move charge, Karat’s major-ranking secondary metropolis for hiring remote software package engineers is Pittsburgh. An outstanding pool of personal computer science graduates, low-priced rent, and underneath-average dwelling charges make Pittsburgh a very eye-catching area for companies to supply distant engineering talent.

Pittsburgh has a price of residing index of 81, which is crowd-sourced by Numbeo and measured relative to New York Metropolis, which would rating 100. For context, San Francisco has a price of living index of 94 and Seattle 89.

California over and above the Bay

Though California remains a tech expertise sizzling location, the map is increasing further than just the San Francisco Bay Location into cities like Los Angeles, San Diego, and even more compact communities like San Luis Obispo, Lake Tahoe, and across the border into Oregon.

Each Los Angeles and San Diego noticed their normal move costs on Karat jump considerably above the past calendar year, now standing at 40% and 29%, respectively. Fantastic climate, a expanding tech scene, and a expense of living index beneath 80 make equally towns powerful possibilities to the Bay Region. Software package developers’ salaries are on the substantial aspect much too, averaging $86,500 in L.A. and $81,500 in San Diego, according to Payscale.


Irrespective of its historic function in the hardware aspect of the tech field, many thanks in component to companies like Compaq, Texas Instruments, and Dell, there has been substantially created just lately of the Longhorn State’s burgeoning place as a modern-day tech hub, primarily subsequent Elon Musk’s decision to transfer the Tesla headquarters there from California in 2021.

Currently, the Karat review reveals that even with some significant tech businesses and executives shifting to Texas throughout the pandemic, Texas has not observed a substantial uptick in its normal specialized interview move level, suggesting there has not been a flood of new developer expertise to towns like Houston and Austin.

Thanks to the absence of point out revenue tax and lower rents, individuals metropolitan areas do have a distinctive charge of residing edge over other towns stated below, with Houston at 65 and Austin at 67 on the Numbeo index, and salaries normal $72,000 in Houston and $77,000 in Austin, in accordance to Payscale.

Portland, Oregon

Coming in fourth on Karat’s rankings with a 40% go charge, Portland, Oregon, has clearly benefited from the migration of tech staff from the Bay Area. The town and its suburbs like Beaverton and Hillsboro could be greatest recognised as the house of athletics manufacturer Nike, but the Silicon Forest also has deep tech roots, with computing pioneers Sequent, InFocus, and Planar established there and important tech organizations Hewlett-Packard, Tektronix, and Epson with many years-old analysis and producing arms.

Currently, Portland however boasts a big technological innovation sector, a cost of residing index of 78, and typical developer salaries of $75,000, in accordance to Payscale.


A 36% pass fee on Karat, excellent universities, a cost of dwelling index of 77, common salaries of $75,500, and a remarkably various inhabitants make Atlanta a promising place for using the services of distant engineers. This has been reflected by big investments in the metropolis from tech firms like Airbnb and Google.


Dwelling to some of the ideal universities in the world, Boston was America’s very first tech hub, with Route 128 giants like Electronic Machines, MITRE, Information Typical, Raytheon, and EMC. It then fell into disfavor as California’s Silicon Valley ascended first in laptop or computer engineering and then in computer software engineering, but that is transforming as developer positions have proliferated in bigger Boston.

The town has a respectable 31% pass amount on Karat, but with a price tag of living index of 86, Boston is not significantly more affordable than the West Coastline tech hubs or New York. This is reflected in the regular developer salaries, even so, which are higher at $88,000, according to Payscale.

Other remote developer hubs

Of course, these are not the only metropolitan areas exactly where good software program engineering talent can be found. Florida, in distinct Miami, is quickly getting a hub for exercise about crypto and Web3 growth, and Nashville, Denver, and Charlotte, North Carolina, have all observed significant influxes in tech expertise due to the fact the pandemic.

But genuinely, wherever in the environment is now a feasible selection for several software program developers. “Great expertise is just about everywhere and people today are beginning to wake up to that,” Karat’s Spector mentioned.

Really do not depend out the common tech hubs

Continue to, never undervalue the attract of the key tech hubs like the San Francisco Bay Spot. Despite Pittsburgh’s attractiveness, just one modern University of Pittsburgh graduate, Zhengming Wang, will not be being in Pittsburgh just after he graduates with a bachelor of science in computer science.

Acquiring developed up just outdoors of Philadelphia, and immediately after obtaining a style for the world of work as a result of internships at program providers Qualtrics and Gusto, Wang is prepared to distribute his wings outside of Pennsylvania many thanks to a job offer at small software package startup Retool, which is based in San Francisco.

“[At Gusto] I was in the workplace a pair of occasions a week, dependent on the commute,” he mentioned. “I liked likely into the workplace, staying around persons, and getting those people serendipitous conversations. Personally, I would want to operate someplace with that hybrid alternative.”

Irrespective of the included value of residing, graduates like Wang see the extended-expression opportunity expense of not becoming in a significant tech hub as way too higher to move up. “San Francisco is continue to exclusive and I examine about Pittsburgh or Austin getting the following tech town, but I never see it,” Wang explained. “Pittsburgh is even now rather blue-collar and doesn’t have that experience of becoming a tech hub like the Bay Place does. It doesn’t have the same startup scene San Francisco does.”

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