Before starting this post, I want to thank whoever posted my previous post about using the Digg API with Ruby and Rails to dzone. It recently made their front page, and a good amount of traffic headed this way. I hope someone found a good use on that small beginner tutorial.
Anyway, after working a while on this blog and my main site, I would like to tell the story on why this site is here today. I decided to take a look at some Rails hosting, as I wanted to start learning and actively using Ruby on Rails, so I got this small website to just experiment with different things. I had never gotten any type of web hosting before (well, outside my awful Geocities pages back in 1998 while learning HTML with Frontpage, but I hope those remain buried forever), so it was nice to finally have my own little space on the web, with a nice-sounding domain name.
However, after a while, what else was I going to do with this web space? So, I decided to start a blog, and use the main site as a way to post my resumé, my work and what I do for a living. Granted, I still don't have too much stuff going, but that's something I hope to change in the coming months. But the real reason of this site's existance? I want to move to San Francisco and get a job over there.
Don't get me wrong. I love Puerto Rico, and all of my family and friends are here, who I'll certainly miss a lot if I leave. However, I find my chances of career advancement very limited here. The entire programming landscape, like most everywhere, is dominated by Microsoft products. And at this moment in time, I have no interest in learning .NET, C# or any other Microsoft-based language. I'm not anti-Microsoft at all, but I think my time will be better spent with what really interests me at this time, which is virtually all about open-source.
That's the biggest difference between Puerto Rico and the United States, particularly San Francisco. There's just many, many more opportunities for me to work with Linux, Ruby, Rails and any other open-source software available. Every time I search for job openings here in Puerto Rico, it's pretty much all the same: System Administrators need people with MSCE certifications to work with Windows 2000/2003, or web developers who need to know ASP.NET. I've never seen an opening that needs someone who knows how to work with Red Hat Enterprise Linux servers, or web developers who know Rails, Django or any other open-source programming language.
Searching in different websites and job boards, it seems that California has many jobs that fit my interests. And while I'm still a relative 'newbie' in many programming languages, I know that if I find work in something that I would totally do for free if given the chance, I would give the proverbial 110% to that job, instead of viewing it as simply a paycheck. While I'm currently a bit happier at work due to what I'm doing now, I've been down that road at my current job, and it's not really a good feeling to just go to work simply to pay the bills. I want to accomplish something. I know I won't do that here, at least at the moment. I want to go somewhere and be part of a team that does something great.
I've been planning most of this year on what I need to do. I really don't need to worry about family, as they're all very supportive of me, and with no girlfriend or spouse, nothing is really tying me down here. I'm just saving money to be able to go later this year, hopefully before my 27th birthday this November. If all goes well, I'll be a San Francisco resident by the time in 2008.
I've done a lot of research about the city and the Bay Area in particular. I've seen a lot of job openings, and I imagine it's very competitive to land a good job there. But the thing that's really holding me back now is that it's expensive. I mean, at my current apartment, I'm paying a mere $200 per month; The cheapest one-room apartments over there are at least $750. So that's a pretty scary thought, going over there without a job will be tough. I guess I'll have to get used to Ramen noodles. I hope they're as cheap as they are here!
So, any recommendations? I really hope someone from the Bay Area gets to read this and can leave a comment to set the record straight as to how life is over there, especially as far as job openings and the cost of life is. And if by any small chance you're an employer (or are close to one), feel free to browse my resumé. I'm completely available to move to the Bay Area is needed. Hopefully this blog leads to the change I need for my career.