Smells like team spirit: how techies can thaw their frosty neighbors

  • Smells like team spirit: how techies can thaw their frosty neighbors
    Independent.t. E.
    In Seattle, the locals are not very fond of newcomers. It has always been, from the Yukon gold rushes in its development of the 20th century as the financial center of the Pacific Northwest.
    https://www.independent.ie/business/technology/news/smells-like-team-spirit-how-techies-may-yet-thaw-their-frosty-neighbours-37310541.html
    https://www.independent.ie/business/technology/article37310540.ece/dfcd3/AUTOCROP/h342/2018-09-13_bus_43986404_I1.JPG

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In Seattle, the locals are not very fond of newcomers. It has always been, from the Yukon gold rushes in its development of the 20th century as the financial center of the Pacific Northwest.

But as I sit here, a transplant from Ireland, via new York, I can definitely feel it. Outsiders don’t always feel particularly welcome.

I sometimes wondered whether this is due to the inflow of young technical staff who are moving here in droves.

When I got here [a year ago] and the movers dropped the box, I got it pretty quickly.

“Amazon, Microsoft or Facebook?”

If you are someone who looks like they might spend too much time on the computer, it doesn’t matter whether you work for a tech company, but what.

It’s not bad I think. The population of Seattle grew by 20pc since 2010, and much until the above-mentioned three companies.

But this hostility…

The city historically hostile to outsiders, there is even a term for this.

In the ‘Seattle freeze is a phenomenon to be given to native Washingtonians to be polite but not overly friendly and warm.

It is so ingrained in the culture that ‘the Seattle times’ (local newspaper) once called it “crucial to our collective civic character.”

But it is not so simple.

Dislike Seattle outsiders – and, ironically, high-tech companies – clashes with love of Seattle to talk about work.

“So what do you do?”this is a question from bartenders, taxi drivers, and first dates. Largely, your employer defines you. (I saved from IRL, because despite working in tech, I work for a nonprofit. The altruism of the company means that I do not snarky or sarcastic remarks.)

Friends who works for one of the largest technology companies to summarize the kind of preaching they heard from local Seattleites, when it becomes clear who they work for.

“Newbies are ruining famously ofigitelnaja in Seattle”.

“You drive up housing prices”.

“You’re changing the character of the city.”

There in the area based on social network here is called the door – open it anywhere in Seattle (it works the area you use it), and you can read people who complain to each other ‘techies’ are ruining the city.

Sometimes, the mood to achieve a more active level. Earlier this year, protesters physically blocked the bus bringing workers to Microsoft, as well as a streetcar full of Amazon employees.

None of this was helped by the fact that technology companies are not all the warmth in the direction of the city, either.

In may in Seattle passed a tax on large businesses here to fight the growing problem of homelessness.

Tax of the target companies is over $20 million in gross revenue. The city authorities will doubtless have had a large technological firms in mind.

But they decided that without the massive power that the big technology firms these days in Seattle.

In the ‘poll tax’ caused an absolute ruckus. Less than a month, the city Council reversed its decision.

Amazon has led the charge against the tax, going so far as to stop the construction of a major new project in protest. It was a lesson; a mess with Jeff Bezos and other big tech firms at your own risk.

They were just against taxes? Were lawmakers to grovel?

Here on earth, it looks as though some of the concerns of local residents is justified. Homelessness and lack of adequate services for mental health are huge problems in the city.

Undoubtedly, the development of technology contributes to this, not to help him. Looking at annual growth, the prices of rent in recent years would make your hair turn white.

Looked at this way, there is a feeling that Amazon and other tech companies should not be allowed to grow naturally.

But as it is for us, programmers immigrants? Ask any Amazon or Microsoft employee and they will tell you that they often feel themselves to demonize those who lived in the city for many decades. Now, they regularly blame every problem for the city.

Seattle’s distrust of strangers and immigrants is also on the final chop nose to spite your face.

I work in the it ecosystem, so I might be a little biased. But when it comes down to it, the local people of Seattle look a gift horse in the mouth.

These companies bring jobs and innovation to cities where they are based. They bring tangible economic growth.

Technical support employees are, as a rule, educated, ambitious, and relatively wealthy – exactly the kind of people who can accelerate the development of the local economy. High-tech jobs are also multipliers: a recent study showed that every one high tech job creates four other.

(Obviously, this is not my opening line of conversation with a taxi driver.)

I even go so far as to say that techies help with the dreaded Seattle freeze.

As I mentioned, my non-profit work protects me from the wrath of the locals, and I spent a lot of time talking with them about how the city has changed over the last few years.

One of the most common things I hear is that the city seems friendlier.

People smile on the street, and actually know their colleagues. If you start a conversation with a stranger in a cafe, you’re more likely to get a response than a cold look.

What’s going on? My hypothesis is that local native Seattle is increasingly becoming a minority. Today, more than half of the software developers of the city were born outside the United States, not to mention outside of Seattle. These newbies have forgotten that Seattleites should be parochial.

Young techies can change the character of the city, but I suspect we do it more convenient.

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