The Best Cities to Start Your Developer Career

It is not new to see the high cost of living in tech-star cities like San Francisco, Seattle, or San Jose. It’s also logical. It makes sense. As companies grow, so do their demands for qualified tech talent. Landlords are not charities. As such, the rent they charge for their properties increases with the demand.
We set out to find the most affordable tech cities in America, whether you’re just starting your career in development or have been in the business for a while and want to lower your living costs.
The report’s purpose is to highlight cities that are often overlooked, but have affordable living expenses, lots of open developer jobs nearby, and thus, make it possible to start or continue a career as a technie. We then used a boolean search to in order to determine the number of available mid-level and entry-level developer jobs within a 25 mile radius of the area.
The cities were then ranked and assigned an “entry level score” and “mid-level score”, with housing cost weighted at 45 percent and the quantity of jobs at 55%. This weighting was chosen to give a slight advantage to job availability and filter out low-rent cities with very few jobs. Finally, we created a composite score for tech relocation where both entry-level and middle-level scores were equally weighted (50%).
Let’s now look at the top 10 most affordable cities for coding careers. Some of these cities are close to major tech hubs but others were quite surprising.
Detroit, MI
Photo courtesy The Motor City could soon be the Motherboard City, with its abundance of tech jobs and affordable housing. Detroit is the second-largest Midwest center for economic activity (just behind Chicago). It boasts a coastline that links the Great Lakes with a variety natural landscapes, parks and beaches to enjoy. Median Rent: $901Entry-Level Developer Jobs: 297Mid-Level Developer Jobs: 718
Baltimore, MD
Photo courtesy of wikipedia.orgBaltimore was the birthplace of the U.S. national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and it could be the birthplace of your career in tech, too! Baltimore is home to more than 60 federal agencies and research laboratories within 30 miles. This brings significant federal spending and jobs to the area. Entry-Level Developer Jobs 714Mid Level Developer Jobs 3 234
Bremerton, WA
Photo courtesy of bremertonwa.govLocated only a short ferry ride from downtown Seattle, Bremerton is a great place for tech jobs without paying the “city premium.” Plus, you can enjoy the variety of outdoor activities, scenic views and of course, the seemingly-infinite coffee shops that have driven so many to call Western Washington home. Median Rent: $1,334Entry-Level Developer Jobs: 690Mid-Level Developer Jobs: 4,231
Warren, MI
Photo courtesy of Warren, which is often called the City of Progress is located just outside of Detroit. It is the third largest city in Michigan. It shares many top employers, including General Motors and Chrysler Fiat automobiles. Additionally, it houses the headquarters of the United States Army Tank-automotive & Armaments Command and its subordinate Life Cycle Management Command. Median Rent: $1,034Entry-Level Developer Jobs: 251Mid-Level Developer Jobs: 785
St. Louis, MO
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.orgSt. Louis boasts the tenth-lowest median rental out of the top ten cities. There are also plenty of developer jobs available. The Gateway City is home nine of the ten Fortune 500 businesses based in Missouri. It could be your gateway to a new career in tech. Median Rent: $944Entry-Level Developer Jobs: 245Mid-Level Developer Jobs: 540
Pittsburgh, PA
Photo courtesy Pittsburgh was once a major center for the production and distribution of steel, iron, and glass. It is now a leader in medicine, education and health care as well as software engineering, software engineering, and other high-tech industries. The headquarters of Duolingo language education company is located in the city. It also hosts local offices of tech giants such as Apple, Google, and Microsoft. Median Rent: $926Entry-Level Developer Jobs: 153Mid-Level Developer Jobs: 611
Huntsville, AL
Photo courtesy huntsvilleal.govWhen people think of Alabama, the first thing that comes to mind is “blooming technology industry”. But it should! Huntsville is home to major military contractors and avionics companies. You can also call it home thanks to large Huntsville offices. It has the second-lowest median rent and a small number of developer jobs. Median Rent: $821Entry-Level Developer Jobs:

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