Newark ranked as one of 10 best cities for new programmers to live, work

By Tom Bergeron
Newark | Jan 23, 2020 at 6:15 am

San Francisco, Seattle, San Jose — even New York City.

None of these high-tech areas made the list of the 10 best places for a young programmer to live and work.

But Newark did.

That’s right, a survey by Coding Dojo, a coding boot camp company, ranked Newark as the sixth-best place for young programmers to live and work.

And it did so despite the city’s median rent of $1,830 a month.

According to the blog: “While Newark has the most expensive median rent on our list, it’s a short distance from New York City and its massive economy. When you consider the median 2-BR rent in NYC is $5,102, Newark’s mid-$1,800s doesn’t sound so bad.”

The blog said Newark has 1,654 entry-level developer jobs and 5,195 mid-level developer jobs. It lists Amazon, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase as the top businesses hiring.

Aaron Price, the CEO of the New Jersey Tech Council, was happy to see the state’s tech scene get attention.

“It’s great to see New Jersey recognized as an opportunity for coders to lean in,” he said. “Newark in particular has the advantage of an attractive cost of living combined with immense opportunity.”

Price said New Jersey destinations go beyond Newark, too.

“There are many hidden gems around the state where opportunities exist for programmers who want challenging, meaningful problems to solve combined with a great lifestyle,” he said. “This career and lifestyle hack may not last forever, so programmers should look for innovative company and startup career opportunities now.”

The blog cited its parameters for selection:

“The purpose of the report is to highlight cities that may be overlooked, but have affordable living costs, plenty of open developer jobs in the vicinity and, thus, are viable options to start or continue a career in tech.

“Our team conducted research by using publicly available tools and data, including NerdWallet’s cost of living calculator to find the median rent for a 2-bedroom apartment for a given city. Then, we used a boolean search on Indeed.com to measure the number of open entry-level and mid-level developer jobs within a 25-mile radius of the area.

“Cities were then ranked and given an ‘entry-level score’ and ‘mid-level score,’ with housing cost weighted at 45% and quantity of jobs at 55%. We chose this weighting to give a slight edge to job availability and filter out cities that had very, very low rent but also very few jobs. Finally, we created a composite ‘tech relocation score,’ where both the entry-level and mid-level scores were weighted equally (50%).”

Here’s the Top 10:

10. Vallejo, California
9. Austin, Texas
8. Huntsville, Alabama
7. Minneapolis
6. Newark
5. Lowell, Massachusetts
4. Atlanta
3. St. Louis
2. Detroit
1. Bremerton, Washington