Re: [Nolug] NOLA opportunity (was Re: for Sale)

From: Mark A. Hershberger <>
Date: Wed, 08 Jun 2011 12:51:18 -0400
Message-ID: <>

"B. Estrade" <> writes:

> I am telling you why I love and miss New Orleans. It has nothing to do
> with tech or politics. I don't live in NOLA because of opportunity,
> remember?

I should clarify. I *did* post about politics. And even while living
there, I was bothered by politics. But politics didn't make me move.

Even rampant crime — my wife and I were robbed at gunpoint once — didn't
make us move.

It was opportunity. At the time, I was working as the “anti-spam” guy
for McDermott. When they replaced my Solaris MTA with a Barracuda
appliance and terminated the contract, I really wanted to continue
working as a fairly-well-paid person working with Unix.

Most of the readily available jobs that met my criteria in NOLA at that
time required an Oracle certification. I did think about getting one —
the cost-benefit ratio for an Oracle Cert is pretty good and demand was
there — but I am too much of what Fake Steve Jobs calls a “freetard” to
get one. The GPL really does mean something to me.

We sold our house in Carrolton, and, for a few weeks, I worked as a Perl
subcontractor for a guy in San Francisco on a mod_perl project he had.

After that, I went to work on a presidential campaign in Little Rock.

Even though the campaign was a flop and the pay was abysmal, it was one
of the best decisions of my career: I made a number of friends from
around the country and worked closely with them over the course of a few
months. Those relationships led to more opportunities than I would
otherwise have, living here in rural Pennsylvania.

So, yes, NOLA sucks as far as opportunities. Any place outside of a
major metropolitan area like New York or San Francisco probably sucks
a similar amount, at least for Tech jobs.

Which brings me to my point: It isn't WHERE you are or even WHAT you
know so much as WHO you know and how connected you are. You can have
great tech skills and still be stuck with a job in a New York City
bodega if you don't know how to leverage them.

Yes, a person in the right place with the right set of technical skills
can do amazing things. But if he doesn't have any way to build and
maintain some relationships that will help him when his current
situation is finished, he'll be stuck.

Hrm… I just wrote a blog post. Guess I can go post it now.

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