A Canvas for Thought

September 23, 2007

Craigslist Software Jobs: Canada vs. San Francisco

Filed under: perspectives,wild speculation — vednis @ 11:57 am

I recently checked out the Canadian Craigslist scene after reading some recent posts by Guy Kawasaki.  I’ve heard that Craigslist is big in the San Francisco Bay area, but how is it catching on in Canada’s largest cities?  I devised a small survey to compare the regions, and wow, what a difference.

I compared Canada’s largest city, Toronto, and the surrounding area (known as the GTA), to the San Francisco Bay area.  I also threw in Montreal, Vancouver, and their surrounding areas.  I looked at some of my software specialities, including the Python programming language and Linux, and at some general Web2.0 activity indicators.

As searched on Sept. 23rd, 2007:

S.F. Bay GTA Vancouver Montreal
Population (2006) 7 million 5.5 million 2.1 million 3.6 million
Python in Jobs 386 27 23 16
Linux in Jobs 1157 247 244 75
Ruby in Jobs 259 31 55 6
Python in Gigs 14 0 0 0
Ruby in Gigs 41 0 0 0
AJAX in Jobs 577 222 121 41
Developer in Jobs 1206 772 456 141
Software Engineer in Jobs 1458 98 99 26
Programmer in Jobs 269 234 169 80
Startup in Software Jobs 234 10 4 4
Startup in Internet Engineering Jobs 179 4 1 4

heri noted in the comments that the Montréal numbers are irrelevant, because most job postings will be in French.

Some interesting observations:

  • Why does everyone in S.F. want a Software Engineer, but in Toronto they only want Developers?
  • I have heard that the Linux scene in Toronto is pretty dead.  Answer: yep.
  • I have heard that Vancouver is a bigger tech hub, per capita, than Toronto: perhaps, going by the Cutting Edge Indicators (Ruby, Open Source/Linux, startups, and overall Craigslist usage).

Do keep in mind that this is just a survey, and unscientific in every way.  But do feel free to have fun with the numbers, and draw your own conclusions.

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  1. hmmm
    putting montreal in the chart is irrelevant here, most businesses use the french language to post job listings.so noone uses craigslist, apart from Canadians who come from other provinces or american companies who just happen to settle in montreal.

    (although i agree that vancouver miht have a “bigger tech hub per capita” than montreal)

    Comment by heri — September 24, 2007 @ 8:33 am

  2. Canada is not a high tech economy. It economy is based on natural resources, banking and insurance.

    Comment by Llib Setag — September 24, 2007 @ 9:32 am

  3. @llib setag

    can you please explain the part about “banking and insurance”

    i just read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canada#Economy which lists natural ressources and trade as Canada’s base for economy.

    Comment by heri — September 24, 2007 @ 1:04 pm

  4. heri, thanks, I didn’t consider that.

    Llib, true, and the size of the job pool may matter less as a result. That is why I threw in the searches for Linux, Ruby, and so forth. I wanted to get a feel for how closely the Canadian high tech industry is following the cutting edge.

    I don’t believe that you can lag behind the cutting edge just because you have a small technology base – especially when the cutting edge is right up there on the internet for all to see and read about. I believe that the tech companies in San Francisco have an obvious competitive advantage by using cutting edge technologies, and one would think that Canadian actors would quickly adopt the same tools as those used South of the border; if not to compete against U.S. companies on the global Internet, then to stand above the crowd in Canada.

    Comment by vednis — September 24, 2007 @ 1:13 pm

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