I'm a software engineer that doesn't live on the coast, Ask Me Anything!

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Hey friends! I am Conlin, a software engineer that lives in Indianapolis. I think I've got a good perspective on tech outside of the Valley and away from the coasts.

I've been a developer for a while, depending on how you count. I got paid to write code for the first time almost 10 years ago. I studied Economics in college with a minor in Computer Science and (almost) one in Sociology.

I've worked lots of different kinds of jobs, from consulting to a small dev team, to now working at a rather large "scale-up" company.

Let's do this!

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As far as the tech stack goes for the projects in Indiana, do you feel they follow the trends with the buzz words you hear from the companies at the coast?

What about the community? What kinds of tools, languages, technology is popular in use or in learning?

 

Hmm it really depends. A lot of companies around here are .Net stack. The tech industry is a lot older here than many people realize, which means a lot of the more established companies are using "older" technology. A lot are adopting things like React or Ruby on Rails to build new versions/tools within their companies. I'd say there is a healthy attraction to "buzz-wordy" technologies here. Companies are interested to try them and stay relevant, but not at the expense of the company.

There are tons of meetups for everything - React, JS, Rails, Elixir, .Net, and I think someone is starting a Golang one soon.

 

This. I'm employed in Springfield, Illinois and the job industry is largely .Net influenced.

 

Have you ever worked on a project that was contracted to the government (local, state, or federal)?

Have you always lived in Indianapolis?

What convinced you that you could make a living with your CompSci degree while (i assume) staying in Indianapolis?

Ever been on a project/job where you were the only one in your area on the team and the rest co-located elsewhere? If so, was that an experience you'd be willing to repeat?

 

Have you ever worked on a project that was contracted to the government (local, state, or federal)?

I have, but not in Indy. I had a contracting job that did work for the Chicago Police Department when I was an intern in college.

Have you always lived in Indianapolis?

Not in Indianapolis, but pretty close. I went college an hour northwest and was raised an hour southeast. But I have lived here for 2 years now.

What convinced you that you could make a living with your CompSci degree while (i assume) staying in Indianapolis?

When I originally went to college expecting fully to leave for one of the coasts and work there. Over the course of my college time, I learned about the incredible entrepreneurship community in and around Indiana and met some really great people building the kind of companies I really wanted to work at. The investment back into the community and the small size of the community really makes for a place where I feel I will be hirable for a long time. I am growing with the community, which a great place to be.

Ever been on a project/job where you were the only one in your area on the team and the rest co-located elsewhere? If so, was that an experience you'd be willing to repeat?

Yeah, I am actually volunteering some development time to a non-profit based around the US - some on the East Coast, some on the West and me in Indiana. I think it is more than feasible and something I would greatly consider in the future.

 
 

Oh yeah! I have a dog named Rowan and she is the best :) I love all dogs :D

 
 

Haha it's nice cause housing is actually affordable here. 😬

 

What books / resources do you reccomend for learning economics?

 

Oh jeez, good question. If you are interested in a good overview, I'd recommend something like this:

The Wealth of Nations - Adam Smith
The Theory Of Moral Sentiments - Adam Smith
Capital - Karl Marx
Thinking Fast and Slow - Daniel Kahneman
Capital in the Twenty-First Century - Thomas Piketty
Debt: The First 5000 years - David Greaber

I've also heard good things about this one:
Basic Economics: A Citizen's Guide to the Economy - Thomas Sowell

 

Debt: The First 5000 Years is one of the best books I've ever read. Great rec.

 

How is the local community?

Being away from the major population centers do you find yourself driving far to attend events?

How is the job market in Indianapolis compared to NYC/SFB?

 

How is the local community?

The local community is really great. There are meetups for all sorts of things and you can definitely make an impact here. No one is really a stranger, which I find really wonderful. Are there specific parts about the community you'd want to know more about?

Being away from the major population centers do you find yourself driving far to attend events?

To be transparent, Indianapolis is the 16th largest city in the US. There is a lot to do here. The biggest downside as far as events go is that we don't have a saturation of the tech scene that the coasts have. Most meetups are attended by a lot of the same people every week and you get to know everyone involved pretty quick. However, I am always surprised by the number of people who show up to different events - I always meet someone new at the Indy Hackers Holiday social, which happens every year.

Driving is also pretty easy around here - it's 3 hours to Chicago, 5 to Nashville, 1.5 to Louisville, and ~4 to St. Louis. That is a lot of places within "day trip" status, depending on how you count.

How is the job market in Indianapolis compared to NYC/SFB?

The job market is pretty good, but I don't know if it will ever compare to NYC/SFB. There are just SOO many people there. If you want to get hired at an Indy company though, it is really easy to meet the people you should know to get you an introduction there. Lots of companies are growing and Salesforce now has a headquarters here that is hiring developers like wildfire. It's a great place to be if you want to grow quickly and get involved.

Hopefully, that didn't sound too much like a sales pitch for Indy. We definitely have room to grow and we aren't for everyone - but I think it is an incredibly viable option for a lot of people.

 

Hello conlin, This is Mukund.. I want become a software developer / mobile app developer ... and presently I am workinkg on it..
But I don't want to do 9-5 job as developer .
my question is what are the options available for software developers other than job for living? what are the other source of income for a developer except doing 9-5 job

 

Hey there! That's a really good question. Freelance development jobs are an easy way to add some supplemental income on top of any other jobs. If you want to stay in the tech realm, you could write and try to generate some income off of that or work IT for local businesses? Or you could work another 9-5 and do development on the side.

Hope that helps!

Classic DEV Post from Apr 1

What's your favorite coding joke/comic etc?

Let's have them! ...

Conlin Durbin profile image
Software Engineer at @Lessonly πŸ’» Working on http://stdio.app βš’οΈ writing at http://dev.to/wuz ⌨️ art+community+tech πŸ‘ΎπŸŽ¨πŸ˜ http://pronoun.is/he