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FWIW I too am in the city, though I no longer work professionally in tech. Some of the above conversation mirrors my experience, and may help explain why I’m not doing it any longer (that and I’m at midlife crisis age 😉).


I had my "mid-life crisis" round about when I emigrated from England to California. I bought a heavily-modified Mustang Cobra shortly after I arrived 🙂 But I moved here for the tech and it's been fascinating to see it wax and wane over the last two decades. I was at Macromedia when the dot-com bubble burst and 25% of the IT department was laid off in a single day! At least the roads were less crowded for a while, but a lot of the frivolous niceties of the Bay Area evaporated (although "Big Tech" seems to have brought a lot of them back).


Macromedia was a very relaxed company. Pretty much any tech was allowed. It was considered better to ask for forgiveness than have to ask for permission first. A lot of cool projects got started and ultimately failed and that was fine -- folks just moved on to other projects. I got to work with almost every division of the company, although I didn't work in any of the product teams except for a summer on the Flash Player team (working on their ActionScript compiler test suite, since I have a background in compilers and compliance test suites).


Then Adobe bought us... a very consensus-oriented company... you didn't get to do anything without approval first and you had to use corporate standard tech. I lasted a year. Aside from a brief period at a startup (doing Groovy, mostly) where I had to commute across the Bay 3 or 4 days a week, I've worked remotely for 13 years, first as a consultant (for clients all over the world) and for the last decade at the online dating I work at now.


I’m so glad that Clojure remains alive and well in San Francisco today!


Yeah I went through approximately 20 consecutive quarters of RIFs at the company I worked at during the bursting of the dotcom bubble (Vignette, HQed in Austin TX, though I worked in AsiaPac for 2 years and SF for another 4). Eventually had to quit to get out of there though (and only after I secured a sweet E3 visa that let me move jobs easily). 😉


Ah, I remember Vignette...


It was pretty awful seeing people get purged quarter after quarter, and never knowing if you’d be one of them…


Yeah Vignette had some great people, but a truly godawful technology. I’d previously been working with BEA Tuxedo, and I couldn’t believe how crap the core Vignette components were. In 2002 they switched lock, stock & barrel to J2EE everything (including EJBs etc.), which was arguably worse.


But at least Java was more sane than TCL. 😉


Hahaha... do you remember Broadvision?


I sure do! Last I heard (a few years ago now), they’re still around, basically as a company that sues other companies for using their stuff illegally. 😉


What’s bizarre to me is that the two arch-enemies (Interwoven and Vignette) both ended up together at OpenText. In the late 90s / early 00s that would have been unthinkable. 😉


The original BV framework was C++ and you had to write a subclass for pretty much every form field. Then they rebuilt the product in Java and made it a bit more generic. Then they rebuilt it again in JS.


And then there was the German competitor to BV that was all Java... can't remember their name...


Yeah the original Vignette architecture was C++, but all “user space” stuff was TCL - certainly a lot more sane than writing that kind of thing in C++.


Crazy "enterprise" web site building stuff that cost clients millions of dollars for a basic e-commerce or knowledgebase system...


Yep. And what’s interesting (to me at least), is that that’s stayed the same way, except now you spend that money hiring some web dev, and have them hand-code everything instead.


The promise of web content management ultimately didn’t pan out.


ATG was what I was thinking of...


Oh wow I haven’t heard that name in a long time. 😉


“Dynamo” was the product name, iirc.


Hey, it was BV tech that moved me to the Bay Area! I worked for a small UK company that did a lot of BV consulting in Europe and BV asked us to set up a US shop to take on "small" clients that BV couldn't be bothered with -- basically any project less than $1M in license fees. So I moved from London to Redwood Shores to run the new software arm of what was previously our hardware reseller (linked to Oracle)...


Ditto me with Vignette, albeit I worked for Vignette for 2 years in AsiaPac first (based out of Sydney).


ATG Dynamo was so much nicer than BV. I did a p.o.v. over Christmas one year with ATG, to show my company how much easier it was to ease and quicker to build stuff... but the licensing/consulting around it just wasn't as lucrative 😐