For my own personal reasons, I would like to move to Boston. The one obvious catch: I need to make money in order to do so. I'm in software support. It's a small company, so only one support tier before issues go to engineering. Lots of .NET and SQL Server work. I've been at it a few years. I have no idea how my skillset would measure up in a big city full of some of the brainiest people on the planet. Can I survive and thrive in Boston?
By the time I'm prepared to move, I'll have spent 2.5 to 3 years in IT (2 years at present), most in a software support role that involves finding, documenting, and fixing bugs in the code of all current customers, along with phone support and an on-call rotation. Also, occasional programming work on small product enhancements. In addition, I've been trying to advance out of support by learning as much about SQL server as I can, with an emphasis on stored-procedure and index design/tuning. Our DBA left the company, and management is trying to replace him with a part-time consultant, which is going horribly. So, I'm trying to fill the void and stand out. A couple of my optimizations and bugfixes have made it into our product framework, and I'm rapidly becoming a go-to person for all things database related. I presented a caching strategy to our VP of engineering that would speed up our slow reports. He wants it added to the framework and has emailed engineering asking if it's feasible. I've recently been tasked with analyzing the sprocs and views that drive the data panels on the admin console our product uses, and recommending schema changes to improve performance. This is part of a larger push to fix issues with a customer who is planning on a future high six to low seven figure deal with my company.
So, I have some resume credits that are unusual, given my job title. If possible, I would like to move into a database developer role (officially). I've been eating and breathing SQL for the last 18 months.
I would be more confident if I already lived in Boston and knew people there. I currently live in Pittsburgh, but could pack up and head to my parents' house in central Maine for a month or two, allowing me to interview in person on short notice. Will I be able to overcome the handicap of not living in Boston when looking for work there?
To maintain my current standard of living, which will include a car for at least the first year, I've calculated I will need to make $55,000 if I live in a one-bedroom in a place like Somerville. Given that in this previous question
, everyone thought I was grossly underpaid, I assume this is doable?
Will I be competing with a glut of dues-paying college grads for work? Is it a buyers' or sellers' market for IT talent in Boston these days?