Category Archives: Houston

Stuff about my favorite city, my hometown

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

As promised, Here are the slides for my talk at the Houston Technology Center’s Web Based Startup School on 6/17/09. The slides aren’t really useful on their own since I only used them as a visual aid in the talk, but they might trigger some memories for those in attendance.

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? – What it Takes to Become an iPhone Developer


Since the opening of the iPhone app store, many developers have turned themselves into true success stories. While these stories are more exception than rule, their telling has inspired countless others to give iPhone development a shot. The app store is a revolution in software distribution, and it gives independent developers the power to make their own success. If you are considering becoming an iPhone developer, or if you are just curious what it’s all about, this session is for you. You will learn how to get the SDK, how to join the iPhone developer program and some common iPhone business models. We will also look at the technical side of iPhone development and get a look at the tools of the SDK. Since this session falls on the day of the release of iPhone OS 3.0, we will also get a good look at the new features in the OS and SDK that enable even more rapid development and new business models.

[Download PDF]

Our Secret is Getting Out!

I’m a little late to the Houston boosting party this time around, but I can’t resist an opportunity to do a little bragging. It’s been over a year since I [last wrote about Houston]( “Where do software developers get paid the most?”), and since then, the national press has developed a bit of a crush on my favorite city.

Kiplinger went so far as to dub Houston the [#1 city in the U.S.]( “No. 1: Houston, Texas –”):

> It’s the city of big plans and no rules, beat-the-heat tunnels and loop-the-loop highways, world-class museums and wiry cowboys, humidity that demands an ice-cold martini and the biggest damn liquor store on the planet. How could you not love Houston?

Now, [Newsweek is getting into the game]( “Houston, We Have No Problems | Newsweek Voices – Daniel Gross |”):

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Where do software developers get paid the most?

According to data from the [Department of Labor](, it’s Houston. The blog at []( crunched the numbers from the DoL for us and adjusted them for cost of living. This wasn’t even a close race, folks. Here are some highlights from the post:


Top 10 Bottom 10
Rank City Adjusted Salary Rank City Adjusted Salary
1 Houston $102,908 1 Honolulu $38,766
2 Austin $93,844 2 San Francisco $44,937
3 Fort Worth $91,614 3 San Diego $48,181
4 Arlington $91,614 4 New York $50,492
5 El Paso $85,741 5 Oakland $51,428

> …

> Who knew that a developer in Houston had more than twice the buying power of developers in San Francisco.

> …

Well, I didn’t **know**, but I’m far from surprised. Houston is a serious bargain for anyone who wants all the amenities of a major US city for around half of the cost. The city boasts top notch [cuisine](, [opera](, [regional theatre](, [symphony](, [sports](, [rodeo](, and [parks](,_Houston,_Texas), and that’s just the stuff that I care about :).

Houston also has a large, thriving developer community supported heavily by the financial, biomedical, and energy industries. The [Python](, [Ruby](, [Java](, [.NET](, and [Agile Development]( user groups each consistently draw at least 20 members to almost every meeting. That’s not bad for a city that spans more than 600 square miles.

Houston also has a burgeoning tech start up community powered by its favorable business climate. It’s not a stretch to say that a $100,000 investment in a company in the Valley will probably burn out in about half of the time as the same investment in a startup headquartered in Houston.

There is no scarcity of programming talent in Houston, either. With [Rice University]( and the [University of Houston]( in the city limits and [Texas A&M University]( a mere 90 miles away, the market gets pumped full of eager developers at the end of every semester. As for experienced developers, who do you think has been powering the space program and the energy industry all of these years?

It’s no secret that I love Houston, and, yeah, I’m a bit of a cheerleader, but I hear a lot of negative things about Houston from people around the country. Most of that negativity is baseless, and it comes from people who have visited Houston only briefly or not at all. Try spending a couple of weeks here, and [I’m sure you can find something about the city that you love]( So, if you’re a developer, and you want to live and work in a big city, hop a flight to Houston (you can get here non-stop from pretty much anywhere in the US). [There]( [are]( [a]( [lot]( [of]( [software]( [companies]( [here](, and I’m sure one of them would love to have you.

Hail Storm at the Office

There was a fierce hail storm at the office yesterday, and I was able to catch a little of it on my camera. It’s hard to see much past the gate, but I didn’t want to step out from underneath the ledge on account of the chunks of ice falling from the sky. The winds were pretty heavy. It looked like the front edge of a hurricane. FYI, the bigger one [here]( looks better.

Thankless Job

Being a public servant is a mostly thankless job. Although I don’t have a whole lot of love for our local politicians, it’s a little more clear to me now why they seem to have little respect for the citizens of our fair city. It’s easy to put yourslef on a pedestal if the people you see outside of your circle look like this. If I had to put up with this every day, I’d probably have killed myself long ago.

[via blogHouston]