Right now I live in a medium sized city (100k pop) near Ancaster/Hamilton and work as a software developer. Have gone to school for Programming, and have worked at my current place of employment for 4 years doing a variety of programming (C++,VB6,C#,PHP,HTML,MySQL,Access,Java) doing Windows, Linux, and Android development.
My SO wants to move to Alberta, as she has family out there, and has been wanting to move out there for a while. Her plan is to move at the beginning of July, and me come as soon as possible. We have a son together so she doesn't want him to be away from me for long. I won't go into specifics about the situation, but long story short, she plans on moving, and wants me to come but knows I can't just up and move without being set. She will have help out there monetarily while I will not.
So anyways.. back on topic. I've seen quite a few job postings (browsing the job bank) for programmer jobs which I think I am qualified for (all languages they want I am proficient in, and have the experience year wise and education wise they want). However, I would really like to get into video game development and not just the standard programming position. I have seen a few game development positions but I am not sure I am qualified as my physics knowledge is weak, and I am fairly new to things like GL (have written some, but not anything game worthy). I'm solid with the languages.. just not some of the concepts or game development ideas.
If I was to move out there, where is a good city to live (not crazy crowded, but something closer to where I live now). Is it better to live in Edmonton or Calgary? I have a vehicle and would probably end up driving it out there. As my life and living revolves around computers, I obviously need a solid internet connection, so being way out won't provide that.
Is the Job market fairly strong? Is it worth applying to the jobs (including game dev ones) online, and see if I get any offers, or is it tough to get in and I should wait and apply in person?
How much money would be a good starting point to get myself stable and ready to go? I was thinking $5000 - $10000 should be enough to get a place to stay, and if I have a job I can start making money and be sufficient off of that. And to the point of a place to stay, is it best to rent a room? or look for say a 2 bedroom apartment. I know it will be tough with a 1 room and having my son over, but would it be a good idea if it's a room rental there is no major commitment is there? What is average price of renting/housing?
I know this is a fairly lengthy post, but having not moved (outside of for school, and only an hour away from where I was raised) a lot of the decisions were already made. The job I have now was offered to me via a co-op I did, so I didn't need to apply. So if anyone can provide any feedback if not regarding Alberta then if about Relocating in general that would be great.