In Defense of the Midwest

Nicolas Tietz:

As an undergraduate, I always imagined that I would someday move to the SF Bay Area to live in the heart of the software industry. With this in mind, in my final semester at Kent State, I joined a Silicon Valley startup as their third engineer1. The staff at that time was split: one founder and one engineer were in Mountain View, CA; one founder and one engineer were in Ohio; and one engineer was remote. Nearly every month in the first year, I flew out to the Silicon Valley office to work with the engineers out there.
 Since then, we have grown to have a technical staff of about 20 people. We are split pretty evenly between the Silicon Valley office and the Ohio office. I spend most of my time in the Ohio office, but I do commute to the Silicon Valley one occasionally.
 Nearly every time I go out to California, my coworkers ask me the usual question: “so, when are you moving to California?” It seems like for people in the Valley, moving to California is such an obvious choice that it isn’t even a question of if I’ll move, but when. However, I truly love the Midwest and that I want to stay here for as long as I can. It’s not for everyone, but it is for me and maybe it is for you.