Main image of article Can Austin Beat Silicon Valley as the City for Thriving Tech Careers?

Austin has surpassed Silicon Valley as a city with a thriving tech environment, according to a new survey from Blind, which anonymously queries technologists about a range of issues. 

Some 92 percent of technologists in Austin said their city fosters an environment in which technology careers and companies can thrive, in contrast to 85 percent of technologists in San Francisco and Silicon Valley who said the same thing. In fact, Austin managed to surpass the nation’s other major tech hubs on that front:

Austin didn’t win every category of Blind’s study, however. For example, 76 percent of respondents said that New York City was the best city for tech networking, versus 73 percent who said the same of Austin (and 70 percent who said Silicon Valley/San Francisco). Silicon Valley also came in number one with regard to career opportunities, although Seattle and Austin were close behind. 

For quite some time, Texas has done its best to siphon talent away from Silicon Valley and other tech hubs—and in some instances, it’s succeeded. For example, Oracle announced in 2020 that it would move its headquarters from Northern California to Austin; Tesla, Hewlett-Packard, and other companies also spun up new facilities in the state. That’s in addition to the tech companies such as Dell that have called the Austin area home for years, if not decades. 

In a Blind survey from mid-2020, some 29 percent of technology professionals said that Texas was “the next Silicon Valley” and that they planned to move, versus the 36 percent who said that “Silicon Valley will always be the tech hub” (the survey had 5,641 responses overall). 

However, burgeoning popularity comes with some downsides. Real estate prices in Austin have skyrocketed, according to The New York Times, raising issues related to everything from traffic to gentrification. Technologists in other tech hubs (notably Silicon Valley and Seattle) have been wrestling with this downside of success for years. Can Texas do things differently?