California’s current COVID-19 shelter-in-place mandate brought the movement of tech workers to a grinding halt in Silicon Valley, disrupting its famous collaborative culture in a way never seen before. As innovators always do, however, tech companies responded quickly, rolling out a plethora of online collaboration tools and flexible remote work policies and procedures. This massive shift to distributed teams is now creating unprecedented opportunities for Central Valley-based workers who provide Silicon Valley employers a huge advantage over remote employees further from the Bay Area.

As the CEO of LaMar Software, a custom software consultancy, my teams understand how occasional face-to-face interaction helps remote colleagues build trust and work through complex product challenges faster.

Many leading Bay Area tech companies are already looking to hire software developers outside of Silicon Valley due to the region’s massive deficit of coding talent, exorbitant housing costs and congestion. Recently, Facebook’s CEO stated that, “At this point, we’re growing primarily outside of the Bay Area,” he told Facebook employees. “Obviously, we’re still going to be growing a bit here, but the infrastructure here is really, really tapped. You guys all see this driving in. The housing prices are way up. The traffic is bad.” The growing number of companies now leveraging remote employees will further accelerate this trend.

In addition to Bay Area tech firms looking in the region for talent, Central Valley companies are also experiencing an increased need for capable coders. Software is a key efficiency and profit driver for local companies in a wide variety of industries including food production and processing, construction and healthcare.

How can you benefit from this increased demand for tech talent? Take a look at Modesto-based Bay Valley Tech’s free seven-month code academy. The flexible part-time program enables working adults, current college students and graduating high school seniors over 18 years old to pivot into lucrative six-figure software development careers. According to Phillip Lan, president of Bay Valley Tech, “The hybrid online/onsite program only requires students to attend class physically once a week. This web development training program is created with input from tech employers who are advisors and mentors, and who offer paid internships to top-performing students.”

With the burgeoning demand for software talent, along with an increasing number of people now seeking software jobs in the Central Valley, interested students should apply for Bay Valley Tech’s code academy before this year’s available spots are filled. If there is a ‘silver lining’ outcome from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is this huge opportunity for Central Valley residents to reassess their work and financial situation and explore much more lucrative tech careers.

About Taylor LaMar Taylor is the CEO of LaMar Software (, a Northern California custom software consultancy with deep expertise in developing solutions for enterprise, IT and agtech companies. LaMar Software supports the local tech community through sponsorships and has mentored over 100 software developers in the Bay Area and Central Valley.