Yesterday it was 82°F in Denver, today it's snowing. Here's the view from our office in downtown Denver. Drab and dreary - perfect for the Avs Playoff Game tonight.
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In August 2006, I described how happy I was to be living in the DU Neighborhood and how we had so many good restaurants around. Today, I discovered there's a new Irish Pub that opened this week. While I don't live in the same house that I did in August 2006, I still live close by, a mere 5 blocks from Julie's house. While the old location was excellent, with Sushi, Indian and Liquor on the same block - my new location is 6 blocks from the Light Rail and a 1/2 block from the Elementary School Abbie and Jack will attend next year. DU is 5 blocks away - which is great for hockey games and gym memberships.
Why am I rambling on like this? I don't know, I just wanted to write down how much I like this neighborhood. With Spring starting yesterday, a beautiful day today and DU beating North Dakota last night - life is very good.
Today's agenda: skiing with the kids at Copper. WCHA Championship tonight.
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?
One of the reasons I love Denver so much is we usually have extremely mild winters. One year, it was 75°F on Christmas Day (no kidding). Back in college, I have fond memories of playing hacky sack outside in January. The last two winters, we haven't been that lucky. Our high temperatures have been mostly in the 20s and 30s for the last two months. Today, we got up to a balmy 53°F and it felt like spring time. Believe it or not, it actually made the news.
To celebrate, the kids and I took a walk to a nearby park and spent the better part of two hours swinging, sliding, playing tag and enjoying the nice weather. Abbie and I wore shorts and never noticed it was winter until the walk home with the sun setting. Tomorrow's high is supposed to be 60°F. You can best most of Denver will be outside enjoying the sunshine - I know we will.
Why our holiday decorations are still up, I couldn’t tell you, but I do have the answer you’re all looking for: the date of the next Denver Tech Meetup. You remember, the Denver Tech Meetup? The User Group without the User Group? But with beers? Denver’s least ambitious monthly(ish) (ha!) gathering of technology workers?
Yes, I’ve failed spectacularly in my ambition to hold these things every other month, as was the expectation back in 2005, but I’ve been a little busy. And as I’m fond of telling our clients, a percentage of something is better than an entirety of nothing, right?
So ignore the inset picture - I posted it merely for nostalgic reasons; two Thursdays from today we’ll convene at our probationary new venue (my bartending friend is now way uptown) and frequent Jabber hangout, the Celtic. 18th and Blake, for the Denver folks in the audience. Still very easy walking distance for yours truly, not to worry.
Let’s you and me cram as many Tech Meetups in as we can before I flee back east before the hell that is the Denver summer. If things break as I hope they will next week and the week after, it’s possible that I’ll have my own not-so-captive audience to drag along.
See you at the Celtic. No Smithwick’s, sadly, but there is Murphy’s.
It's shaping up to be a good month for meetups: Silicon Valley next week, Denver the following. I'm participating in a Consulting Panel at the local Ruby on Rails user group that same night. Hopefully they won't mind if I have a couple cold ones beforehand.
Last weekend, it snowed about 6 inches on Saturday afternoon. Ever since then, it's been c-c-c-cold (as Jack says) in Denver. During the day it's not too bad (in the 30s), but at night it's been getting into the teens. Apparently, last night was one of the coldest nights of this winter.
With all the cold, my house has become considerably colder in spots - particularly the living room (with high ceilings) and my office. Both of these rooms have vents in them, but they don't work. I've known this for quite some time - ever since I had Central A/C installed in August. The reasons these vents didn't work -- I concluded -- was because someone has severed the duct work behind them. I was telling a friend this a few days ago and he mentioned I should check to make sure ducts existed before I had anyone come out to "reconnect" them.
Yesterday, I pulled 2 of the 4 vents and had a look. Sure enough - no ducts! WTF?! Whoever added the back addition onto this house (in the 70s) must've put the vents in both rooms to pass an inspection, and that's about it. I'm having a guy come out to install a blower on my rear fireplace today in hopes of getting more heat into both rooms. If that doesn't work, I'll be getting some space heaters. I'm tired of being c-c-c-cold in my own house!
On a related note, it snowed another 4 inches yesterday, so we now have plenty of snow in Denver and the ski resorts are doing awesome. In the last 2 weeks, I've received 4-5 9" reports from the ski resorts on the front range. Crested Butte has over 5 feet of snow in the past 7 days.
With all the snow, it's been nice having Snow White. I'm so glad I'm driving her around instead of my old Accord. It should be fun taking her into the hills for a little pow-pow this weekend!
Tomorrow's Denver JUG meeting should be a lot of fun.
Our DJUG meeting this Wednesday, December 12th will be our annual end of year get together. It will start at 5:30 PM and we'll be meeting at the Wynkoop Brewery and Restaurant located at 18th and Wynkoop in the upstairs area where the pool tables and dart boards are.
No presentations, free pool and beer. What's not to like? I'll be there with bells on.
It usually snows in September in Denver. This year, it waited until today. It was awesome to wake up this morning and see the white stuff coming down. Bring on Ski Season - I'm ready!
The past week has been an incredible time to live in Denver. It all started last Monday when I went to the Rockies vs. Padres Wildcard Game. It was a beautiful night, we had club-level seats and the Rockies beat the Padres in a 13-inning, 5-hour marathon. It was the best baseball game I've ever seen in my life.
Fast forward to last weekend. The kids and I rented a condo in Winter Park with some friends. It was an awesome 5-bedroom place with a great view of the ski resort, a nice hot tub and an ideal location to watch Saturday night's sweep of the Phillies.
After a hike in the warm mountain air on Saturday, I received a phone call from a friend saying he couldn't make it to the Broncos game on Sunday and asked if I wanted his tickets. I leaped at the opportunity and sped down the mountain on Sunday to go to the game. While the Broncos game was pretty bad, it was still fun going to the stadium and watching them play.
The fun hasn't stopped yet either - I (somehow) got free VIP tickets to a Nuggets pre-season game tomorrow night and this weekend is the Great American Beer Festival. Unfortunately, I'm out of town for all the Arizona games, but I should be in town for the World Series.