The number of growing businesses in our region has created the opportunity to expand talent recruitment efforts, including attracting talent back to Michigan. The good news is that Ann Arbor is a place where people want to live, work, and play, including those who have limitless career options. For instance, as a city, 70.4% of Ann Arbor residents hold a Bachelors Degree or higher. 

Ann Arbor is truly a unique city that leaves a charming impression on anyone who’s lived or visited the area. Usually, it’s just a matter of time until those Michiganders that leave for a few years feel the pull to come back and plant roots in this region. Ann Arbor is a great place for all; check out the recent accolades praising this region.

To shine a spotlight on this trend, we’re launching a new Q & A series with people who’ve returned home to build their high tech career in the Ann Arbor region. 


Meet Patrick Hopper, a Front-End Developer at BitBrew, a successful IoT company that resides off Main Street in downtown Ann Arbor.

What compelled you to leave Michigan?Patrick_Hooper1

I was born and raised in Michigan, so by the time I graduated I was ready to go see the world and try to experience life elsewhere (a sensation I think is pretty common for people who’ve been in one place their whole life). To go along with that, I was offered a job that gave me a chance to break into the web development field, which was a big deal because my degree was in Industrial & Operations Engineering and I didn’t have an extensive background in web development. Long story short, I ended up moving to Florida once I graduated.

When did you leave Michigan?

In December of 2013, when I graduated from the University of Michigan.

When did you return to Michigan?

In September of 2015.

What was the single most influential reason in returning?

Well, I think my wife and I (we met in Ann Arbor and moved to Florida together) just realized that the environment and culture that Michigan has to offer (especially around Ann Arbor) mesh very well with who were are as people and the ideas we have for our future. I know that sounds vague, so to be a little more specific, the Midwestern, laid-back vibe that Michigan has to offer, along with being a place that generally values family and work/life balance, provided really compelling reasons for us to want to be here. Beyond that, Ann Arbor is awesome and offers a community with a lot of focus on innovation and education, which is a real selling point for people who work or want to work in technology-related fields.

What’s the best thing about working/ living in Ann Arbor?

The culture, for sure. The University of Michigan is very integrated with Ann Arbor and that brings of lot of people from all over the world to the city. The diversity that results from that is fantastic. This integration also produces a booming technology and education scene that continues to grow exponentially. And as an added bonus, there is a ton of great food around here!

Job title and brief description

I am a Front-End Developer @ BitBrew, so I’m helping to create the visual interface that people will use to interact with our platform. I primarily use HTML/CSS/JavaScript with modern technologies and tools like React (and the ecosystem that comes with it). I also do a lot of research on cutting-edge technologies and methodologies to make sure our team keeps up with the ever-changing and evolving development landscape.




Source: SPARK