Matt RaibleMatt Raible is a Java Champion and Developer Advocate at Okta.

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Over 10 years ago, I wrote my first blog post. Since then, I've authored books, had kids, traveled the world, found Trish and blogged about it all.

What's the Java Job Market like in Denver?

I recently received an e-mail from someone asking me a number of questions about Denver's Java Job Market. He's moving from Seattle to Denver and asked me the questions below. Since Denver is one of the best places to live on Earth, I figured some other folks might like to hear my answers.


For senior architect types, is the market strong?
I believe it is. I haven't looked for a local gig in quite some time, but when I did back in June - there was lots of opportunities.

Any good employers you could recommend?
Not really, I've done contracting for the most part for the last 11 years. I've always enjoyed smaller companies. The best place to find Java jobs is by subscribing to the Denver JUG Jobs mailing list. There's jobs posted several times per week (both full time and contract).

Any companies to avoid?
Not that I know of.

For senior types, what type of salaries or hourly rates should I expect to find?
I think you'll be lucky to make over $100K as a full-time employee. You can certainly work your way to 110-120K after a couple years, but I think it's tough to hire into that. I'd expect 90+. As a contractor, you can expect $60-70/hour. There's definitely opportunities to get 90-100/hour, but they're hard to find because you have to eliminate the middle-man (recruiters).

Are Colorado Springs or Boulder good options for looking for jobs?
Boulder is definitely hopping. Colorado Springs - not so much.

Are contract positions good in Denver?
I've always liked contract positions.

Any recruiters that would be good talk to?
Lauren Ford is a good resource I've worked with in the past. You can tell her I sent you if you send her an e-mail.

Anything else you'd recommend?
If you can, get a gig downtown. Baseball Season starts in April and downtown has a buzz about it that's very enjoyable. Either that or Golden so you can be close to Mountain Biking.


One thing I forgot to mention in my reply is how valuable LinkedIn has become when searching for jobs. I've always believed being well connected is the key to career success and LinkedIn allows you to use the power of network very easily. You may think I'm biased because I work there - but how do you think I got the job there in the first place? ;-)

Posted in Java at Feb 22 2008, 09:59:22 PM MST 2 Comments

Seems like the Springs is more of a good place to be if your career has something to do with technology that is not Java. I know several people who make a living in technology down there, but it's usually in the realm of something the Defense Department would pay for or some kind of hardware/network hardware type of gig. Still good technology area, just not so much for Java engineers as Denver and Boulder are.

I guess it depends on your personality and where you'll live when you move here, but I've had two different gigs in the Interlocken area (halfway between Denver and Boulder on Highway 36) and really like it. No stinky alleys, no bums, not a lot of hustle and bustle, mountains right there when you step out of the office, you don't have to pay to park.

On the other hand, the Interlocken area isn't nearly conducive to good happy hours and walking to a baseball game or any number of small outdoor events being held downtown in the summer time.

I was downtown for personal reasons the other day, and saw that the lot I parked in a year ago for $7 a day now costs $9 bucks a day, and I'm thinking it probably cost something like $4-$5 a day 6 years ago.

For someone who grew up in the country, it's really annoying to have to shell out that kind of cash to let your car sit in a certain spot... just on principle.

Posted by Bryan Noll on February 23, 2008 at 09:55 AM MST #

Colorado Springs is definitely someplace you would want to get defense clearance to get steady work, with 5 instalations (including NORAD while it lasts) in town. And there is pleanty of Java work to go around if you have said clearance. ISS, ITT, Lockeed Martin, Northop Grumman, GTE, Verizon Business. Oracle, FedEx, etc, plenty for a town it's size. Not as much in the VC funded (i.e. small with potential) company space anymore since ChannelPoint scared most of that off during the dot com melt down. Boulder is the best place for VC companies in that regard.

Like Bryan said, there is also a lot of non-Java stuff as well, mostly Microsoft (dot net in particular). Configuresoft, Progressive Insurance, and almost all of the defense contractors I listed above have need of C# types, and most will cross train.

But if you aren't into defense or don't like military towns, you wouldn't be happy in COS. It would be like moving to Vail and hating skiers.

Posted by Danno Ferrin on February 23, 2008 at 10:21 AM MST #

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