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When it comes to software engineering and software developer jobs, Colorado is quickly emerging as the new hot spot in the United States. As software engineering can be a demanding field, large enterprise companies are leveraging the quality of life Colorado affords to deliver balance and spur creativity.
The tech industry, with its dynamic trends and technologies, requires you to be vigilant and willing to learn in order to keep up. Although not mandatory, long workdays can be common and if you’re not careful, you’ll find yourself out of shape both mentally and physically.
But as the tech industry continues to flourish, opportunities are bubbling to the surface in new and exciting places that not only offer a great job — they offer a great quality of life.
Colorado and the Denver/Boulder area in particular is an enticing alternative to more expensive cities like San Francisco, Seattle and New York. It offers competitive employment opportunities at established tech giants and nascent start-ups alike, while boasting the beautiful foothills of the Rocky Mountains and a variety of activities to keep your mind and body in tip-top shape.
Tech Giants Abound in Colorado
Google is currently building a 330,000 sq. ft. campus at the intersection of 30th and Pearl in Boulder, CO, with the first phase of the project scheduled to be completed later this year. When the first phase is completed, there will be room for up to 1,000 Google employees in new state-of-the-art facilities with more to follow as the construction enters the next phase.
“If you’re searching — or Googling — for proof that Colorado is a national leader for innovation and technology and continues to be a draw for business, look no further than Boulder and Google’s decision to expand here,” said Gov. John Hickenlooper according to timescall.com
Google is well known for its technological innovation with products like Google Drive, Google Maps and Google Now. But it also promotes a healthy work-life balance and the Boulder location is no exception.
“Great lovers of the outdoors, we grow produce in our onsite garden and practice our moves on a two-story indoor climbing wall. Re-energize while working on a deck with mountain views or restore your sense of focus in the quiet of our library.” –google.com
IBM is a global technology and innovation giant with a renowned history. The company has a 500-acre complex in Boulder, CO, with 2.5 million square feet of space in more than 26 buildings, incorporating 350,000 square feet of raised floor data center space. Scientists from IBM have produced six Nobel Laureates, 10 U.S. National Medals of Technology, five U.S. National Medals of Science, six Turing Awards, 19 inductees in the National Academy of Sciences and 20 inductees into the U.S. National Inventors Hall of Fame.
In addition to traditional tech giants, Colorado has the second largest aerospace presence in the US, with more than 400 aerospace companies calling Colorado home. A few major companies worth noting:
“From Kepler to Hubble Space Telescope to Dream Chaser and Orion, Colorado’s aerospace companies are at the forefront of space travel, exploration and groundbreaking research for the U.S. Government and NASA alike” –choosecolorado.com
But it isn’t just the larger, more established companies responsible for the Denver/Boulder areas ascent in the tech industry. There’s a booming start up scene that’s attracting people and money from all over the world. Boulder in particular, with its small, college town atmosphere, passionate tech community and proximity to the Mountains, is an exciting destination for software developers. Boulder currently has one of the highest concentrations of software developers (3rd) in the nation according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The numbers continue to grow, along with the funding:
“A total of 129 Colorado tech companies collectively raised more than $780 million, an increase of nearly $100 million over 2015 — breaking the record set in 2014 and marking Colorado’s best year of tech funding to date.” -builtincolorado.com
A Breath of Fresh Air
The Centennial state offers excellent weather (including approximately 300 days of sun a year) which complements the bustling tech scene and enables outdoor activities like camping, rock climbing, hiking (14ers), and white water rafting during the summer, and skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing during the winter.
There’s nothing like finishing a tough work week, then driving through the mountains and feeling the stress melt away. It’s hard to dwell on something work-related when you’re climbing up a mountain with gorgeous views in every direction. The reinvigoration by physical activity and fresh air will have you ready to go come Monday morning.
We’re not only good at getting our hearts pumping, we also know how to relax and have a good time. According to colorado.com, Colorado is home to nearly 230 established breweries and more than 10 percent of the nation’s craft breweries can be found here. This is quite an impressive statistic given that the state is home to less than 2 percent of the country’s population.
Colorado is home to relatively well-known breweries like:
- New Belgium Brewing Company
- Odell Brewing Co.
- Great Divide Brewing
- Avery Brewing Company
- Left Hand Brewing
But there are also many other smaller, more start-up like breweries appearing at a rapid rate in Denver and Boulder. Whether there’s a specific type of beer you prefer or if you’re exploring your options, there’s certainly a beer in Colorado that will suit your taste.
“The state is a beer-lover’s dream destination. Every kind of beer you can imagine is brewed here, from the well-known (Fat Tire and 90 Shilling) to rare seasonal barley and tripel ales.” –colorado.com
Quality of Life in Colorado
My office recently scheduled a day hike at Red Rocks Amphitheater with drinks after to celebrate. Going from an office to the sunny skies and mountains was the shock to the system everyone needed. The boost in morale was palpable. I don’t know about you, but I am more likely to go the extra mile if I know my boss cares about my quality of life. The hike made a difference to me and I bet it made a difference for the company.
If you’re looking for work in the tech industry and work-life balance is important to you, how could you pass up Colorado with all it has to offer?