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Possibly moving to Alberta - Have some questions.


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#1 firey

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 02:51

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.

 




#2 tntomek

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 03:16

Calgary, the climate is just that much better, city is cleaner. Yes its more expensive than Edmonton but you will also make more money, and don't worry about finding work, there is PLENTY. It will be slightly harder to find a rental as there are already tons of locals looking for a home, best bet is to actually fly here to find a place. As for game development, I'm not sure this is the right place, oil and gas money pushes salaries quite high making other forms of software development less practical here but its not absolute, I'm also a software dev living here for 8 years and only worked 2 in oil and gas.



#3 OP firey

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 11:28

Okay,  the population is quite high there, does it feel crowded like say Toronto? If the wages are higher to offset the living cost, that's good.  I know the tech area has good paying jobs (not as good as manual labor) but it helps if you can make a comfortable living and actually keep some of that money.  That makes sense regarding the development.   Maybe my best bet is to do what I do now, do game dev in my free time, and work a regular programming job for guaranteed income until I can raise enough capital.

 

So for the 6 years did you do another programming job? or did you have  difficulty finding something?  Do you work in the oil fields or just for companies based on oil/gas?



#4 tntomek

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 19:45

I don't think Calgary is crowded, and I used to live downtown and now in suburbs but this is a personal opinion that varies significantly, I work with someone from PEI and he would strongly disagree with me given he lived 5 minutes walk previously. Be aware that most work is in the core here so it's not trivial to just work from home and live in the burbs, but a lot of companies are pretty flexible with WFH for a day out of week.

 

I've been in the industry for over 10 years now, predominately on MS technologies with heavy web work. It was NEVER a problem to find well paying work if you are competent. Since moving to Calgary I've had 4+ jobs in 8+ years, always really liked where I worked but circumstances such as companies selling and closing offices forced me to leave. I sent you a PM so gimme a ring if you want to discus further.



#5 vcfan

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 19:51

lived in Calgary in the past. It is not crowded at all. In fact, its so easy to get from one end of the city to the other. Lots of space. Toronto is a totally different beast.