Anyone here live in Seattle?

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I'm originally from California, currently living in New York City and now thinking about relocating to Seattle. I've been there a couple of times as a tourist and I really enjoyed the city. I'm wondering what the tech culture there is though? For example, here in NYC, it's pretty mixed. You can go out and not meet anyone working in tech, which is in contrast with San Francisco, which seems like almost everyone there works in tech. I enjoy the mixed culture in New York.

Apart from city culture, how is the nightlife? Transportation? If you live there or have lived there, feel free to drop what you love and don't love about the city!

Thanks!

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My wife and I just left Seattle (she got a new job in Portland), but it is a fun city!

It just so happened that most of our friends in Seattle were in tech, but I think it's easy enough to meet people who aren't. Amazon and Microsoft have a big presence (and Google and Facebook are starting to build up their offices), but my impression is that it isn't as overwhelming as San Francisco.

I'm not the greatest judge of nightlife, but there's a lot of different bars and clubs throughout the city. Capitol Hill is particularly popular, and Belltown has some nice places too. South Lake Union (aka Amazon's home base) is starting to get built up too, but you'll likely find primarily Amazonians in those places (along with high rent).

Transportation is solid for a city, but probably isn't as good as the subway system in NYC; there's one light rail that goes north from the airport, through the city, and up to the University of Washington, with planned extensions across the lake to the east side eventually. I thought the bus system was solid, but my wife insisted San Francisco's was better. Seattle doesn't have a standard city grid, so that can make things a little weird at times. Driving in the city is okay (with the weird mish-mash of grids causing a few areas with weird triangular intersections), although definitely expect traffic at rush hour. There's also a huge presence of Uber/Lyft/etc, so it's never hard to find a ride. I also found the city fairly walkable in general, so your legs can get you most places you want to go.

Some random bullet points of things I liked:

  • The Pacific Northwest is gorgeous, and it's pretty easy to get to places to enjoy the outdoors in most of its forms (hiking trails, ski resorts, boating, etc)
  • Views of Mount Rainier and the Cascades from the city are excellent (although not available year round)
  • Summer is beautiful and typically not too hot
  • Although it rains frequently in fall and winter, it's almost always only a light rain or a drizzle, and doesn't get much more intense than that (and certainly not as cold as places like NYC)
  • Being Amazon's homebase means some interesting experiments come there first, like the Treasure Truck and cashier-less Amazon Go shopping
  • The SeaTac Airport is a big hub, so you can get direct flights to most places on the west coast

And a few negatives:

  • Fall and winter (and early spring) are perpetually overcast and wet
  • Like most big cities in the US, homelessness and wealth inequality are problems
  • Apartment rents and house prices are high, although they might be cooling off a bit right now

Let me know if there is anything else specific that I can try to answer! 😊

 

Hey man!

Sorry for my late response, I just got around to seeing this. Congrats to your wife on the job!

I've been to Seattle once before and just driving around the area, I highly agree that it's super beautiful. I think that's what I dislike most about NYC, this place is great and all, but I miss being able to hop in my car and just driving out and away from the city. I don't see myself as a lifer in NYC so I'm beginning to consider what my options are. Seattle is probably going to be my next stop, it's a LOT closer to my family, and it the tech scene/job opportunities seem to be plentiful.

Seattle isn't anywhere as big as NYC though, so I'm wondering besides Amazon and Microsoft, are there plenty of smaller tech startups and or job opportunities? I guess I'm wondering how it compares to the likes of San Jose/San Francisco and NYC.

 

There definitely are smaller tech companies/start ups in Seattle as well, but unfortunately I'm not super familiar with that side of the industry. I want to say that there's a lot, but I don't quite know.

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Software Engineer currently living in New York City! Currently working front-end with React but looking to expand my skills to go full-stack.