SPUG: Living in Seattle

Jacinta Richardson jarich at perltraining.com.au
Mon Aug 8 20:14:30 PDT 2005

G'day everyone,

I'm visiting this list in hope to ask you for some advice.

My husband and I run a very successful business in Australia (Perl Training
Australia) and have not been looking to work for anyone else.  Our business
allows us great control over what we do, when we do it and how long we spend
on it.  Our commute to work is generally short and life is great.

My husband has just been offered a job (out of the blue) in Seattle which is a
loooong way away from Melbourne, Australia.  The company is willing to cover
costs of moving and would provide health insurance as well.  I *presume* that
they'd be willing to either provide me a job as well or help me find one.  As my
expertise is similar to my husband's, that shouldn't be too hard.

Any job offer would have to be extremely compelling for us to give up our
wonderful business and life-style, but we're open to considering what compelling
might be.

So... although we currently are thinking that we'd rather not take it, I was
hoping for some general advice on what kind of things we should consider?  I
also have some questions.

What are the living costs in Seattle?

Is there any public transport?  (neither of us drive at the moment).

What kind of living options are there?  At the moment we have a 3 bedroom house
with a big back yard, vegie garden and chooks.  Are we likely to find ourselves
pent up in a shoebox in Seattle?

Is Seattle vegetarian friendly?  What are restaurant prices like?

What's crime like?  We rarely have drive-by shootings in Australia, and when
they do occur it's the talk of the news for weeks!  In fact, any shooting in
Australia is talked about on the news for weeks.  I know Seattle isn't New York
and I presume New York isn't as bad as Law & Order makes it out to be.   But how
friendly is Seattle?

If we were to go over there we'd be doing programming work for a big, well-known
company.  I suspect that our current 30 hour weeks would go back to being 60
hours or more.  In Australia a lot of jobs are heavily unionised and workplace
laws ensure things like minimum holiday leave: 20 days/year etc.  What kind of
things are granted by law in Seattle?  What would you suggest we make sure gets
added to our contract?

What's a fair wage for a highly skilled Perl programmer, who is obviously good
enough to be brought from overseas?

I've heard that SPUG is very active, so what socialising options are there for
Perl programmers in Seattle?

Thankyou for your help.


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