> The Bay Area is unusual. I was considered almost freakish in the City of London for wanting to keep my (software development) skills up to date. Just use what everyone else is using! Follow the herd and learn the hot stuff only when everyone else learns it!
I've done lots of work in London for The Economist and Cap Gemini. While they're both conservative in their technology choices, I'd have trouble generalizing it to the London area as a whole, mostly based on me having such a small sample size of organizations.
I've already mentioned Austin in my post, too, but devops culture aggressively focused on improving sysadmin work also extends to Portland (Puppet Labs), Seattle (Opscode), Austin/Chicago (bcfg2 and devops events), Berlin (systemd), New York, Boston, and a host of other cities with major projects or conferences devoted to improving the the way we do things.