It's Occasionally Techy in Philadelphia
November 3, 2015 11:39 AM   Subscribe

After 10+ years away, I'm considering the possibility of moving back to the Philadelphia area for the right career opportunity. Unfortunately, I don't know much about what the job market for software developers is like there now. Does anyone have any thoughts on what things are like for senior software developers in Philly these days, or any recommendations for reputable tech recruiters in the area? What about some good companies to work for that believe in work/life balance, are paying decent money, and doing interesting things? Details follow after the fold.

I've got about 16 years of experience, and certainly could find something here in Pittsburgh, but nothing's really grabbing me so far as a good next step for my career, so I'm trying to cast the net a little wider. Our preference would be something in the city proper, or maybe in Chester/Montgomery/Bucks/Delaware counties.

I want to avoid the finance and defense sectors, and would like work that's very research-y in nature. I don't want anything that focuses on the Windows/.NET stack if I can avoid it. My primary languages these days are Python, C, Scala, Java, and a little JavaScript, with a pretty heavy focus on databases and "big data" things like Spark more recently. I don't want to do consulting, and am looking for permanent full-time positions only.

Mature start-ups are okay as long as they don't expect me to routinely work 50+ hour weeks just because they're offering stock options. Established companies are okay as long as they're doing interesting work and not just maintaining a bunch of legacy systems. I work for a university now, so jobs connected to academia would be great, but I suspect the pay scale might be a problem.

I thought about contacting some of the recruiters that are always spamming the job postings with opportunities in the Philly area, but got really bad vibes from most of them. Does anyone know of any recruiters in the area that might be willing to be patient with someone who's not looking to take the first job that comes along, and will help me focus my search instead of just trying to steer me toward the jobs they have available now?
posted by tonycpsu to Work & Money (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I think Philly has a pretty active Python Users Group meetup. I'm in scientific programming in academia (Penn), and even I'm occasionally tempted to go out for interviews with companies in the city, despite the low stress of my current spot.

Penn is willing to pay for the right person/right position; not industry level, but not too far off considering other benefits. I know that UPHS is building a data science team and paying for it.

UPHS positions don't come up in the Penn job search engine, but a bunch of others do. You probably want to filter by F, G, H IT-band positions at least. (The listed amounts in "salary structure" are the middle third, I believe.) It's where I'd start in your position.
posted by supercres at 12:08 PM on November 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

Aaand now I'm seeing that nothing is currently posted as a G or H, and only one thing as F.

I think this is one of the positions on the data science team that they're willing to pay pretty well for. (After so many years in academia, though, my scale might be broken relative to industry.)
posted by supercres at 12:11 PM on November 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

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