The best US cities for remote software developers

The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped lots of people’s frame of mind toward function, from embracing higher versatility to an evolving partnership with the actual physical workspace.

For computer software builders specifically—who are inclined to be equipped to work where ever they have an web link powerful enough to open an IDE and Slack—location is turning out to be considerably less critical than top quality of lifetime.

In which the most talented US-based computer software engineers would formerly have to relocate to cities like San Francisco, Seattle, or New York for the very best opportunities, a new set of emerging hubs is quickly producing up ground in terms of quality of everyday living and general earning likely.

“As a lot more businesses shifted to remote or hybrid doing work types, we had begun to see drastically improving prospect general performance exterior of the much more-proven tech hubs,” wrote Patrick Wu, a details analyst at complex hiring specialist Karat, in a blog site publish.

Developers shift from San Francisco, Seattle, and New York

In accordance to a modern study by Karat—which assesses technical candidates dependent on a how most likely they are to go an interview—while these large a few US tech hubs continue to have the highest focus of software program engineering talent now, cities like Pittsburgh, Atlanta, and Portland, Oregon, are quickly putting themselves on the map for choosing managers.

For example, fintech huge Stripe is now hiring 74% of all new joiners (not just builders) from outside the house of the San Francisco Bay Region and Seattle, up from 39% in the initial quarter of 2019, in accordance to CEO Patrick Collison.

Likewise, Cloudflare has observed its San Francisco office environment shrink in 2021, as 90% of new hires come from outside the house the Bay Spot, in accordance to CEO Matthew Prince. “I assume the charge at which the tech marketplace is heading world-wide is nonetheless underappreciated, and that this will be a massive tailwind for the environment more than the future ten years,” Collison tweeted.

“The put to be was Silicon Valley. It feels like now the spot to be is the internet (which is everywhere you go). I assume this craze to only speed up,” Airbnb founder Brian Chesky tweeted in response to Collison. Chesky is at the moment working his own grand personalized experiment of functioning out of different Airbnb attributes every few of weeks.

Even though funds is nonetheless the great motivator for builders looking for a new function, with 65% prioritizing much better payment when switching roles, flexibility is the most vital issue for 65% of builders considering no matter whether to stay in their present job, trumping even income at 59%, in accordance to analysis by developer hub Stack Overflow.

“The rise of remote do the job, even just before the pandemic, planted the seeds that are now bearing fruit in the sort of the developer exodus: Builders fatigued by corporate hierarchies, very long commutes, expensive cities, and corrosive firm cultures have been shifting to distant self-work for a ten years,” wrote Eira May possibly in a Stack Overflow site submit.

The new US remote tech hubs for developers

For extra program engineers, like AWS principal engineer Jaana Dogan, the pandemic-pushed shift to remote doing the job has opened up a entire new established of selections relating to where they pick to reside.

“It’s a candidate’s market place at the instant and they have more power than at any time,” Karat cofounder Jeff Spector advised InfoWorld.

“The joke about every single hiring discussion ending in “must relocate to San Francisco” just is not genuine anymore,” wrote RedMonk analyst James Governor in a blog put up. “These adjustments had been established in spot ahead of the pandemic. Now they’re in stone. We’re not going back to the world’s elite software engineers all residing in just one town.”

These tendencies are clearly driving a shift in direction of secondary tech hubs and outside of as remote operate is turning into the norm for engineers. So, the place are they heading?


With a 40% go level, Karat’s best-position secondary city for using the services of distant program engineers is Pittsburgh. An great pool of laptop science graduates, low cost hire, and beneath-ordinary residing costs make Pittsburgh a highly attractive area for providers to supply distant engineering expertise.

Pittsburgh has a value of dwelling index of 81, which is crowd-sourced by Numbeo and measured relative to New York Metropolis, which would rating 100. For context, San Francisco has a charge of residing index of 94 and Seattle 89.

California outside of the Bay

Whilst California stays a tech talent sizzling location, the map is increasing further than just the San Francisco Bay Region into metropolitan areas like Los Angeles, San Diego, and even more compact communities like San Luis Obispo, Lake Tahoe, and throughout the border into Oregon.

Equally Los Angeles and San Diego saw their common go fees on Karat soar drastically over the past yr, now standing at 40% and 29%, respectively. Terrific climate, a expanding tech scene, and a value of living index below 80 make both of those cities compelling alternate options to the Bay Place. Application developers’ salaries are on the substantial facet way too, averaging $86,500 in L.A. and $81,500 in San Diego, in accordance to Payscale.


Inspite of its historic function in the components facet of the tech marketplace, thanks in portion to businesses like Compaq, Texas Instruments, and Dell, there has been a great deal built a short while ago of the Longhorn State’s burgeoning posture as a contemporary tech hub, in particular pursuing Elon Musk’s selection to move the Tesla headquarters there from California in 2021.

Today, the Karat research reveals that even with some significant tech businesses and executives transferring to Texas through the pandemic, Texas has not seen a sizeable uptick in its normal complex interview pass fee, suggesting there hasn’t been a flood of new developer talent to cities like Houston and Austin.

Many thanks to the lack of point out money tax and very low rents, individuals cities do have a distinct price tag of residing edge more than other metropolitan areas shown listed here, with Houston at 65 and Austin at 67 on the Numbeo index, and salaries normal $72,000 in Houston and $77,000 in Austin, in accordance to Payscale.

Portland, Oregon

Coming in fourth on Karat’s rankings with a 40% move rate, Portland, Oregon, has evidently benefited from the migration of tech personnel from the Bay Place. The town and its suburbs like Beaverton and Hillsboro could be ideal recognised as the house of sporting activities manufacturer Nike, but the Silicon Forest also has deep tech roots, with computing pioneers Sequent, InFocus, and Planar started there and big tech firms Hewlett-Packard, Tektronix, and Epson with a long time-aged investigation and production arms.

Currently, Portland nonetheless offers a substantial technologies sector, a cost of residing index of 78, and typical developer salaries of $75,000, in accordance to Payscale.


A 36% go amount on Karat, excellent universities, a price of dwelling index of 77, regular salaries of $75,500, and a really varied population make Atlanta a promising area for selecting remote engineers. This has been mirrored by significant investments in the town from tech companies like Airbnb and Google.


Home to some of the greatest universities in the entire world, Boston was America’s very first tech hub, with Route 128 giants like Digital Machines, MITRE, Information General, Raytheon, and EMC. It then fell into disfavor as California’s Silicon Valley ascended initially in computer system engineering and then in application engineering, but that is switching as developer employment have proliferated in increased Boston.

The metropolis has a respectable 31% pass price on Karat, but with a price of living index of 86, Boston isn’t much more affordable than the West Coastline tech hubs or New York. This is reflected in the common developer salaries, however, which are high at $88,000, according to Payscale.

Other distant developer hubs

Of training course, these aren’t the only towns in which great software package engineering expertise can be observed. Florida, in distinct Miami, is rapidly getting a hub for exercise all-around crypto and World wide web3 enhancement, and Nashville, Denver, and Charlotte, North Carolina, have all noticed important influxes in tech talent considering the fact that the pandemic.

But actually, everywhere in the planet is now a practical solution for lots of software package builders. “Great expertise is everywhere you go and individuals are beginning to wake up to that,” Karat’s Spector claimed.

Really do not rely out the traditional tech hubs

Nevertheless, really do not undervalue the attract of the important tech hubs like the San Francisco Bay Location. Regardless of Pittsburgh’s attractiveness, a single new University of Pittsburgh graduate, Zhengming Wang, will not be being in Pittsburgh immediately after he graduates with a bachelor of science in laptop science.

Owning grown up just outside of Philadelphia, and soon after finding a flavor for the planet of work through internships at program firms Qualtrics and Gusto, Wang is completely ready to spread his wings outside of Pennsylvania thanks to a task present at small software package startup Retool, which is dependent in San Francisco.

“[At Gusto] I was in the business office a couple of occasions a 7 days, relying on the commute,” he explained. “I savored going into the workplace, getting around persons, and possessing individuals serendipitous discussions. Personally, I would want to get the job done someplace with that hybrid option.”

Despite the extra cost of residing, graduates like Wang see the prolonged-term possibility expense of not remaining in a significant tech hub as way too high to pass up. “San Francisco is however distinctive and I read about Pittsburgh or Austin remaining the upcoming tech town, but I really don’t see it,” Wang claimed. “Pittsburgh is nevertheless really blue-collar and does not have that feeling of currently being a tech hub like the Bay Place does. It doesn’t have the similar startup scene San Francisco does.”

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