As an electrical engineer about to interview with a Boise company, this story is especially relevant to me. I currently live in the well established tech hub around Boston and am very happy that there are enough tech oriented people around here that I fit in with. Is the same the case in Boise? After spending a few days perusing various online forums I am now very concerned about moving to Boise. There seems to be a rampant problem of hostility towards outsiders or anyone different. I hope to have the opportunity to talk with people in Boise to find out if I am just seeing a vocal fringe element or if this is a wide spread problem.
I am a fan of the theories of Richard Florida such as those presented in his book "Rise of the Creative Class" His studies attempt to explain why some areas thrive, such as Silicon Valley, Boston, and Austin while others, such as Pittsburgh or Cleveland cannot attract or retain creative class people, such as engineers. He postulates that a place requires the 3 T's to thrive- Technology, Talent and Tolerance. From what I can tell (so far without visiting anyway), Boise needs some work on the 3rd T (acceptance of outsiders / foreigners / gays / alternative religions / etc.) if it wants attract and retain the engineers, and entrepreneurs that help an economy grow and thrive.
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