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What is Silicon Valley really like?

  1. Jan 24, 2008 #1
    What is Silicon Valley really like? Obviously, many big name tech companies are there, but what's the atmosphere like? Is it like any other city (but more expensive)? Are there tons of opportunities there?

    If I were to move there and work full time as an EE, would I also be able to participate in a startup company? Or is that something unheard of?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 24, 2008 #2

    berkeman

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    The main disadvantages of Silicon Valley are the cost of living (especially housing), and the traffic. The job market varies in cycles, and right now is a bit on the upswing. There are lots of different opportunities, and a wide range of types of jobs available (lots of different kinds of products to work on).

    If you're single and are okay with living in an apartment for a while (so no big money outlay for a house), then moving here is relatively easy. You would want to target a few companies here with work that you are interested in, and go through the interview process. If you're hired, the company should pay for your move.

    You will need to build up some targeted work experience and successes at your work, before you will be able to interest a startup. But there are definitely a bunch of them around the Valley, with new startups popping up regularly. If you are good in your work, you will get calls from headhunters pretty regularly.
     
  4. Jan 24, 2008 #3

    chroot

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    Tons of companies, tons of jobs, tons of opportunities. Silicon valley itself (the cities of San Jose, Santa Clara, Mountain View, etc.) is kinda run down and ugly, though. It's mostly just miles and miles of subdevelopments with tiny, 1960's houses, office parks, strip malls, and boring, sterile "downtowns." Silicon valley is desperately in need of gentrification.

    Luckily, the bay area is full of vibrant, beautiful places to live, and if you're willing to commute a bit, you can have a great job AND a beautiful home.

    - Warren
     
  5. Jan 24, 2008 #4
    Thanks for the replies!

    Wow, run down and ugly? I figured it would be the opposite. I've always had these great views of SV before, guess they're not real. :/
     
  6. Jan 24, 2008 #5

    berkeman

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    Like Warren said, it depends on the area. Palo Alto is nice, for example. Some parts of San Jose can be downers, and some can be dangerous... Although San Jose has been rated the safest big city in the nation recently, I think.

    Also, keep in mind that you are sitting right between the ocean and the Sierras and Yosemite and lots of other great places to play. The traffic in Si Valley makes getaways challenging sometimes, though, so you have to plan your getaway well.
     
  7. Jan 24, 2008 #6

    chroot

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    Yep, the bay area is one of the best places I've ever lived, and I don't want to leave it. The bay area as a whole is composed of many different, unique areas, and there are a million things to do in and all around it. It just happens that Silicon Valley itself -- again, I'm referring specifically to the cities of San Jose, Santa Clara, Milpitas, etc. -- is one of the least attractive places to live in the bay area. It's solely a center of business, not lifestyle or culture.

    - Warren
     
  8. Jan 24, 2008 #7
    Ah ok - just mainly business then. Answered my question.

    Thanks chroot and berkeman.
     
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