USA Locations Where Not To Relocate

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If you're a PHP fan like I am, I have a word of advice. Don't live
where I have relocated near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, USA. It's
probably the most backward place on the planet, where IT workers are
not respected, are highly underpaid, and gigs are few and far between.

I used to work in Raleigh, NC (the Research Triangle area) USA and IT
and programmer jobs were plentiful. Then, all of a sudden, my wife had
this desperate need to move back home with her folks in rural South
Carolina near Myrtle Beach. Her father donated a bunch of land to her
so that the idea was that we could sell our North Carolina house, build
a fabulous mansion in South Carolina (because the land was free), and
make a decent living out here. Boy, was that stupid! It's a miracle I'm
here after 5 years.

First, while we were building our house down here, the Raleigh housing
market was overbuilding and house values were depreciating too much. We
ended up with a house that wouldn't move and so we lost $50K extra
investment we had put into the home in order to offload it. Then, after
we built our home as general contractors, we ended up with a seriously
faulty foundation because a foundation huckster took us for a ride. The
house began to sink by 1 inch, so we brought the builder back to repair
it. Unfortunately, the builder ended up doing major damage on house by
shattering a column and causing severe cracks throughout the house. The
back of the house then continued to sink to where it is now 2 inches
lower there than in the middle of the house. We ended up burning
through $20K of retirement savings to get RamJack to jack the house
back up. They weren't finished and to my disgust came back and had the
audacity to ask us for $20K more to finish the job. We kicked them out.

Next, I was traveling back and forth with a gig in Manhattan, with a
company still riding on dot com era venture capital money oddly enough,
and then to my shock was laid off when 9/11 happened. So I ended up
being 4 months unemployed and ran up some credit cards.

Next, I finally landed a gig near Myrtle Beach, SC, but was highly
underpaid. I was doing okay, with good salary prospects for the future,
doing that for about 2 years, when all of a sudden I was told my job
was outsourced to another country and I could either hit the road or
move over into IT operations. I did the unfortunate thing of becoming
an overworked slave in IT operations because then my wife could remain
happy and I could perhaps get some semblance of a chance to do PHP work
here or there. At least my primary task would be Linux work, which I
appreciated. (I love Linux!)

The job compounded, however. The pressure increased, I rarely had any
opportunities for PHP work, they added heavy security auditing and
documentation tasks on to my workload, I had to go "oncall" in an
"oncall rotation", the server room's server count tripled, and a whole
range of other stressful headaches were added to my life from the job.
Meanwhile, my manager was a freshman while I was a seasoned 15 year
veteran of IT, and we began to bang heads out of his personal
insecurities. Some days I tell you I am very frustrated with him and
want to just walk out. However, I have no where else to go. If I move
away, first I have to figure out how to sell a faulty (but beautiful)
house. Second, I have to get my wife to agree to it, and she's not
interested because she's got the best job she ever had and she is close
to her relatives here. My children, as well, are on a scholarship track
as long as I remain in South Carolina.

I've looked for PHP telecommute opportunities, but I cannot find them,
or I find project bid sites that pay too low. All I need is to make
about $60K a year -- it's not too much to ask, is it? My PHP skills are
very sharp because at home I have continued projects that I plan to
release as part of a company some day far, far in the future.

So whatever you do, do not relocate anywhere near Myrtle Beach, South
Carolina to think you can get a web development job of any shape or
form because most of the good jobs are sucked up. You won't get paid
well, or people will want too much of your work for free. They won't
appreciate you. They will be rude with you and be combative, regardless
of what they say about Southern USA hospitality here. And those IT
people you meet here are often phonies with nothing more than a college
degree and the ability to write HTML web pages, nothing more.

It's also unfortunate that my phone rings with recruiters for
Linux-based PHP gigs, and my inbox is flooded with them, but not a
single one is for telecommute or for nearby locations within several
hundred miles.

Re: USA Locations Where Not To Relocate

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I won't say where I live and work exactly, but ... I've found the danger  
sign to be the number of veterinarians in the area as evidenced by the  
signage visible when driving.

Also, the lack of high-end coffee shops is a danger sign.  If everyone gets  
their coffee at the local gas station ... beware.

Where I am, if your cow or horse is sick, you can find a vet on every  
corner.  But, if I want computer parts, I have to go 50 miles North to a  
certain very large city.

I also conjecture that cows stunt the intellectual development of humans in  
the area by projecting bovine thought waves, which propagate for at least  
half a mile.  That conjecture certainly explains a lot of human behavior  
around here ...  

Re: USA Locations Where Not To Relocate

David T. Ashley wrote:
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Is that the way to say you don't give a crap?

Re: USA Locations Where Not To Relocate

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Not at all.  I find the OP's complaints very relevant and something to learn  

The lesson to be learned might be that if one does work that can only be  
found in some locations ... don't buy a house.

I've also had some colleagues in the past who would frequently take jobs far  
away and rent an inexpensive apartment in the city where they're working  
while the spouse lives in the house in the "base" location.  

Re: USA Locations Where Not To Relocate

David T. Ashley wrote:

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In my experience, if you're a web developer, you can earn a living from  
a mud hut in the Congo if you so choose.

As long as you have broadband, phone service, and good electricity - the  
ZIP code is irrelevant.

But if you're looking to be a tech with a local company - choosing a cow  
pasture is a really, really bad choice.

Re: USA Locations Where Not To Relocate

Sanders Kaufman wrote:
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This really only works well when you have no second mortgage, your
spouse works, and your wife's salary can pay at least for the two cars
and the house, with your salary handling everything else. Otherwise, it
takes time to build up enough projects and momentum to get to a point
of being able to run a family on what you're talking about. That is,
unless you wrote a software package that seems to be really hot. That's
at least what I'm doing for now. I'm tolerating my no-nothing, abusive
boss for now, doing server operations when I hate it, and then writing
the "killer app" on the side that I plan to release in a FOSS
environment (free) and make money from indirectly (or get bought out,
JBoss style).

Re: USA Locations Where Not To Relocate

Alfred wrote:
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I'm a web developer the sole bread-winner and my house is paid for.
There's a lot of us out there.

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I call that the "lottery" strategy.  It's like hoping to land a whale  
while fishing for shrimp.

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