July 05, 2011
In a recent discussion concerning Indiana/Indianapolis, talent, and the tech scene, Brennan Knotts suggested that Indy needs something like NYC's AdoptAHacker. That sounds like a great idea to me! I think a good place to start is a question that AdoptAHacker answers with their "Why NYC Rocks" page: why? Why would a developer want to pick up and move to Indy?
Thankfully, Brennan and Chris Zelenak offered their own lists of reasons they think a developer from elsewhere should choose Indy.
- Variety of different local tech stuff. People working on online marketplaces, people working in robotics, people working in startup services, consultants who work on just about anything, college students and telecommuters for out of state biz who are here because of family, or because it's cheap.
- Scenery. Indiana is quite pretty, Indianapolis especially so. There's some sprawl unfortunately, but there's some nice urban areas, some pretty wooded spots, and all usually well intermixed. Lots of camping and outdoors stuff nearby if you want to take advantage of it.
- The food and beer in Indy is pretty good imo. Indiana beer is some of the best in the world. I'm not fucking playing with you.
- Lots of hustling. Lots of new businesses starting up, trying out ideas, making things happen. Sometimes they stay here, sometimes they don't, but it's cool to see.
- Indy the city is doing a lot of infrastructure improvements to enhance quality of life downtown. Downtown is a really cool place to be right now, as well as some other areas around town ( Broad Ripple, Fountain Square, I'm sure others but those are the places I live in / typically go to ).
Z went on to say "It's not a "world class city" as people like to trumpet the phrase. It's just a good one, with a lot of cool people." I love that quote. I imagine it's a bit too humble to make a marketer's tri-fold pamphlet, but that's partly why I love it.
- The cost of living is very low, so if you're trying to start a business, you're money will go much further. Lower burn rate = longer runway
- It is a great place for families. Not all devs and entrepreneurs are in their early 20's with no familial ties so this is important.
- The airport is very nice and airfare tends to be much lower than other airports in the region (Chicago, Cincinnati, Louisville). In other words, it's easy to get away.
- The residential options down town are blowing up. You can have the urban lifestyle if you want it (and again, it's cheap)
- Developers are in high demand here. If you moved to Indy for a job, and that job didn't work out, you have lots of other options for employment.
- The state is in strong financial health and has become a model for other states in the region. (If I had more time I'd link to some articles and some stats)
- You are in very close proximity to a lot of major metro areas (i.e. lots of potential customers, especially if you're b2b) Chicago, Cincinnati, Louisville, Dayton, St. Louis
- (I think the great beer has already been discussed)
- We're hosting the friggin Super Bowl this year. They don't just let anybody do that. [Editor's note: they let Detroit host it a few years ago. We might want to let this argument go.]
I think those two have said it better than I could. I would add, though slightly nebulous, this city feels like it's going somewhere right now. The tech community is growing. The art community is growing. The mayor has a bicycling initiative. I could go on listing small things that, to me, indicate a cultural shift. More telling, perhaps, is this: from 2000 to 2009, the population of 18-34 year olds in Indy held steady. (If you grew up in Indiana, you understand how big of a deal that is. If you didn't, listen: someone writes an article about the tragedy of Indiana losing that age group every year. Big deal.)
I have digressed. This is about taking one small step towards boosting the technical talent in Indianapolis. Help me do it. What do you think? Why Indy?
August 25, 2010
Indianapolis is teeming with jobs for hackers right now. There are jobs across the city enveloping many colors of programming: web development, mobile development, desktop development. Backend and frontend. High profile and internal. Senior and junior. Corporate and startup. Don't believe me? See for yourself.
You can work for a hot startup in Indy by becoming a web developer at FormStack. It's a LAMP job; Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP.
The SMS Question/Answer company you know and love, ChaCha, is looking for all sorts of Java developers. (Each individual listing, at the moment, represents more than one opening, I hear.)
You can write Ruby at nFrame, building their internal systems for their helpdesk, managed services, and administration; or you can become a technical co-founder of young startup PocketTales, helping kids love reading.
RewardSnap is looking for a Ruby developer to work on the Rails app(s) to support their iPhone application -- soon, their Android app, and a BlackBerry app. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
You could even dive in to C++ at Exacq, working on IP video surveillance -- client and/or server.
This is not a comprehensive list. These are just the jobs I've come across accidentally, incidentally, and via a quick poll of some of the hackers I know. If you know of an opportunity absent from this list, let me know! If you want one of those jobs, why are you still reading?
July 10, 2010
I invited Justin Williams (@justin), founder of NSIndy, to write a post about it, as I've had several people asking about NSIndy. Who better to tell you what it is than the founder?
Hello. I'm Justin Williams, a local Cocoa developer and the founder of NSIndy, Indianapolis's new NSCoder Night chapter. If you've never heard of NSCoder Night, it's a weekly event that takes place in cities all around the world where Cocoa developers come together for some coding and camaraderie in the relaxed atmosphere of a coffee shop or pub with a wireless network. [Note: More info on NSCoder Night in general can be found here: nscodernight.com -- mileszs]
Indianapolis has a monthly gathering called IndyiPhoneDev where local iOS developers have gathered for a formal presentation and a bit of social interaction. It's a great time for current and aspiring platform developers, but it's only once a month. There's where I hope NSIndy can fill a void by offering a more casual, low key gathering during those off weeks so local developers can chat about the latest product announcements, demo what they're working on or get that second set of eyes on a code problem that's been vexing them.
If you're a current Mac or iOS developer or aspire to be one, join us every Tuesday night at the Panera Bread on East 82nd St at 7PM. For more information and announcements, be sure to follow the NSIndy Twitter account at http://twitter.com/nsindy. Hope to see you there.
Thanks, Justin! Check out Justin's blog as well as the Mac software from his company, Second Gear.
If you would like to contribute a post to the IndyHackers blog, please email me at email@example.com. I'd love to have more posts on meetings in the area, cool things hackers are doing in the area, or any other idea you might have. Send me your idea!
June 01, 2010
There's a new meetup in town: The Scala meetup! Organized by JR Boyens, the first ever Indy Scala meetup will take place Monday, June 7th. Sign up at Meetup.com if you're interested in checking it out. If you're not familiar with Scala, a great place to start is the official Scala language website.
Up until recently, the Indy Scala meetup (Carmel, IN counts) was the largest Scala meetup in the world. Unfortunately, Göteborg, Sweden recently passed us, with 14 members compared to our 12. We cannot let this happen! This is 'murica.
The Challenge: Check out the first Indy Scala meetup, and push Indy past those Swedes once again! Go! Sign up now!
April 24, 2010
I recently started a minimal-but-hopefully-effective job board 'round here. But why? Everyone's got a job board. Also, doesn't everyone just use Craig's List anyway? That one is freakin' FREE!
There are several reasons that I felt a job board tailored to the passionate, user-group-attending programmers in the Indianapolis area would be valuable for both the programmers and the employers.
There's no good place to find or post those jobs now. There are a surprising number of jobs open for that demographic in the area.
IndyHackers is already tailored to the user-group-attending programmers of the area. The site was originally created to simply hold information about meetings in the area that might be interesting to a programmer. So, many of the rock stars (, ninjas, or no-buzz-word-needed solid programmers in Indy are checking the site frequently. In other words, the audience that many employers want already exists here.
There's no effective, targeted, and affordable place to find or post these jobs now. There are several places you can find and post jobs. CareerBuilder. Monster. Newspaper classifieds. Craigslist. Posting to CareerBuilder $419. Posting to Monster costs $385. Currently, posting to the Indy Star uses CareerBuilder (and thus costs $410). Craigslist is currently free for Indianapolis (though it's reasonable to think it won't always be -- Craigslist charges in SF, elsewhere). Whose eyes are viewing the jobs on Craigslist? Whose eyes are looking at the big boys for your ~$400? In my experience, the answer to both of those questions is "contractors and recruiters". If you're a programmer, do you ever find yourself browsing CareerBuilder or Monster? Craigslist? Perhaps it's just me, but I never look at either. I do check IndyHackers frequently, though.
There are a surprising number of jobs open in the area. In the past couple months, I have heard rumor of seven to eight Ruby on Rails jobs. I was not seeking a new job, or asking around about jobs available, and yet, in the small Indianapolis Ruby programmers community, there were seven to eight jobs floating around. In what most people are calling a (still) down economy. Is that possible? The New York Times seems to think so, as they talk about in their article Will Startups Get Squeezed by a Tech Hiring Binge? . So, now, not only is there a tech hiring binge by existing companies, but startups need to work harder to find the people they need as well.
IndyHackers has an audience. It fills a need. There are a lot of jobs that should be posted to this sort of job board. Indy needs a hacker-oriented job board!
[^rockstar] : I hate seeing rock star, ninja, and various other buzz terms in job postings, but I hate to the same degree the number of people who vomit the same view of why it's wrong: "You don't want a rock star, all rock stars are coke-head, prima donna, flaky, outcast assholes." Rock stars can often be confident, hard-working, incredibly passionate people who take immense pride in their craft. In other words, both parties are wrong and ridiculous.