You might not know Michael O. Church, Baltimore Tech Community, but if this blog post is to be believed, he has already moved to Baltimore from New York. (Hell, his Twitter bio reads “Baltimore, MD,” which practically makes it Facebook official.)
A computer programmer, Church thinks it’s “a strong bet” that Baltimore will become a major technology hub in the U.S.
I think Baltimore is a strong bet for 10-15 years into the future. Don’t get me wrong: it’s probably not even a top-20 technology hub right now. As a whole, the city has some serious issues, but the nice parts are safe and affordable and the place has the “smart city” feel of a place like Boston, Seattle, or Minneapolis, which means that there’s seriously strong potential there.
We’re more than inclined to agree with Church’s impression, as Technically Baltimore prognosticated Baltimore’s worthiness as a major tech hub to be still some 10 years down the line.
We’re also inclined to say Church is smart for pointing out what we have called Charm City’s delicate appetite for embracing personal risk, especially when it comes to local tech talent bailing on a sure-thing, six-figure-salary engineering job to try its hand at a startup. Church writes:
Investors who know the city agree that it has a lot of engineering talent, but that a large proportion of it is tied up in “cushy” government and contractor jobs, and the fear is the typical VC-funded startup will struggle to compete. Those companies will be paying a little more, if they paid Bay Area/New York salaries, than the government think tanks, but not enough (for most people) to justify the sacrifices in terms of job security, interesting work, career coherency, and overall autonomy.