Tech industry climbs out of Silicon Valley, moves abroad

Have open source, will travel


Open... and Shut Silicon Valley may well be the center of the technology universe, but it's no longer the locus for technology jobs.

That honour now goes to the Washington DC area, according to new research, followed by New York and with a range of other metro areas growing their tech presences at a torrid pace. In short, while Silicon Valley may be the place to define the future of technology, for those who just want to find a good technology job, it may be worth looking beyond the San Francisco Bay Area.

Based on new LinkedIn data, it's clear that the technology industry is having a field day in terms of net job growth, even as industries like pharmaceuticals and newspapers are getting hammered. But what is much less clear is just how much tech jobs are growing even within stumbling industries like telecoms, banking, retail, and more.

industry_growth

While the rate of growth for tech jobs varies by industry, there's growth across the board, according to Dice.com data. This growth isn't being driven by start-ups, either. It's being fostered by old-school and new-school enterprises alike, at various stages of company growth. As MapMyFitness vice president Matt McClure persuasively argues, the notion that "only start-ups create jobs" is silly and relies on fuzzy math, and even fuzzier thinking.

Most of these companies hiring tech professionals aren't even classified as "tech" companies. The likes of Google, Facebook and Microsoft can only hire so many people. But as industries as varied as news media and banking reinvent themselves, they're seeking tech professionals to give them a leg up, and to both understand and invent the future.

For example, Raleigh, North Carolina, is listed as one of Dice.com's fastest-growing cities for tech jobs, with a 50 per cent growth rate since March 2011. Raleigh is, of course, home of Red Hat, the Linux leader, but at just 3,760 employees globally as of February 2011 – and roughly 700 in Raleigh – Red Hat isn't the company that's hiring everyone in the area. In fact, the primary industries for Raleigh-Durham are government, education and healthcare.

Or take Richmond, Virginia, then second-fastest growing city in the US in terms of technology jobs. Over half of its jobs are in Government and Services. Yes, Richmond has seen an increase in IT and semiconductor manufacturing jobs, but the primary tech growth is in non-tech industries.

Because, as it turns out, every industry is increasingly fuelled by tech.

Yes, if you're an engineer the demand for your skills may be fiercest in Silicon Valley or New York City. But the tech job boom is actually happening at a faster pace outside these two areas, providing plenty of jobs for those who don't want to relocate.

As open-source luminary Eric Raymond once pointed out, the vast majority of the world's software is written for use, not for sale. By extension, most of the world's technology jobs are going to be filled in places not normally thought of as tech centres, because every company, whether it's a clothing manufacturer or an insurance brokerage, is increasingly driven by technology.

The one constant in all this tech hiring, however, may well be open source. Whether you're building technology for use or sale, open source provides much of the raw materials, as a variety of studies detail. So stay home, contribute to your favorite open-source project, and take part in the geography-agnostic tech jobs boom. ®

Matt Asay is senior vice president of business development at Nodeable, offering systems management for managing and analysing cloud-based data. He was formerly SVP of biz dev at HTML5 start-up Strobe and chief operating officer of Ubuntu commercial operation Canonical. With more than a decade spent in open source, Asay served as Alfresco's general manager for the Americas and vice president of business development, and he helped put Novell on its open source track. Asay is an emeritus board member of the Open Source Initiative (OSI). His column, Open...and Shut, appears three times a week on The Register.


Other stories you might like

  • Colocation consolidation: Analysts look at what's driving the feeding frenzy
    Sometimes a half-sized shipping container at the base of a cell tower is all you need

    Analysis Colocation facilities aren't just a place to drop a couple of servers anymore. Many are quickly becoming full-fledged infrastructure-as-a-service providers as they embrace new consumption-based models and place a stronger emphasis on networking and edge connectivity.

    But supporting the growing menagerie of value-added services takes a substantial footprint and an even larger customer base, a dynamic that's driven a wave of consolidation throughout the industry, analysts from Forrester Research and Gartner told The Register.

    "You can only provide those value-added services if you're big enough," Forrester research director Glenn O'Donnell said.

    Continue reading
  • D-Wave deploys first US-based Advantage quantum system
    For those that want to keep their data in the homeland

    Quantum computing outfit D-Wave Systems has announced availability of an Advantage quantum computer accessible via the cloud but physically located in the US, a key move for selling quantum services to American customers.

    D-Wave reported that the newly deployed system is the first of its Advantage line of quantum computers available via its Leap quantum cloud service that is physically located in the US, rather than operating out of D-Wave’s facilities in British Columbia.

    The new system is based at the University of Southern California, as part of the USC-Lockheed Martin Quantum Computing Center hosted at USC’s Information Sciences Institute, a factor that may encourage US organizations interested in evaluating quantum computing that are likely to want the assurance of accessing facilities based in the same country.

    Continue reading
  • Bosses using AI to hire candidates risk discriminating against disabled applicants
    US publishes technical guide to help organizations avoid violating Americans with Disabilities Act

    The Biden administration and Department of Justice have warned employers using AI software for recruitment purposes to take extra steps to support disabled job applicants or they risk violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

    Under the ADA, employers must provide adequate accommodations to all qualified disabled job seekers so they can fairly take part in the application process. But the increasing rollout of machine learning algorithms by companies in their hiring processes opens new possibilities that can disadvantage candidates with disabilities. 

    The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the DoJ published a new document this week, providing technical guidance to ensure companies don't violate ADA when using AI technology for recruitment purposes.

    Continue reading
  • How ICE became a $2.8b domestic surveillance agency
    Your US tax dollars at work

    The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency has spent about $2.8 billion over the past 14 years on a massive surveillance "dragnet" that uses big data and facial-recognition technology to secretly spy on most Americans, according to a report from Georgetown Law's Center on Privacy and Technology.

    The research took two years and included "hundreds" of Freedom of Information Act requests, along with reviews of ICE's contracting and procurement records. It details how ICE surveillance spending jumped from about $71 million annually in 2008 to about $388 million per year as of 2021. The network it has purchased with this $2.8 billion means that "ICE now operates as a domestic surveillance agency" and its methods cross "legal and ethical lines," the report concludes.

    ICE did not respond to The Register's request for comment.

    Continue reading
  • Fully automated AI networks less than 5 years away, reckons Juniper CEO
    You robot kids, get off my LAN

    AI will completely automate the network within five years, Juniper CEO Rami Rahim boasted during the company’s Global Summit this week.

    “I truly believe that just as there is this need today for a self-driving automobile, the future is around a self-driving network where humans literally have to do nothing,” he said. “It's probably weird for people to hear the CEO of a networking company say that… but that's exactly what we should be wishing for.”

    Rahim believes AI-driven automation is the latest phase in computer networking’s evolution, which began with the rise of TCP/IP and the internet, was accelerated by faster and more efficient silicon, and then made manageable by advances in software.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022