Austin companies seek tech talent in Silicon Valley

By L.A. Lorek
Got tech talent?

Then Austin companies want to recruit you.

A group of Austin CEOs plan to travel to San Francisco and Sunnyvale on Sept. 13th and 14th to hire engineers, software developers and others with technology skills.

Many Silicon Valley area companies already have a presence in Austin, but this will be the first organized effort by area CEOs to hire high tech workers from California, said Joel Trammell, chairman of the Austin Technology Council.

“We certainly have good talent in Austin,” said Trammel, who also serves as CEO of CacheIQ. But the city’s growing high-tech industry needs more, he said. His company seeks three or four more software developers, he said. And it’s not alone.

In May, the Austin Technology Council hosted a high tech CEO summit and many company executives reported a shortage of  engineers, coders, programmers and software developers.

The 30 companies travelling to Silicon Valley to recruit include Homeaway, BazaarVoice, Gowalla, CacheIQ, Ravel and Creditcards.com.

Why would software developers pull up stakes and move to Austin? The city repeatedly lands on best place to live in the country lists.  Austin ranked second behind Silicon Valley on the nation’s most innovative places list compiled by Forbes Magazine. And Kiplinger’s list of best cities for nurturing a business. Austin offers a much lower cost of living, shorter traffic commutes, high quality schools and a strong high tech community, Trammell said. Also, Texas does not have a state income tax, he said.

“The lifestyle is amazing,” said Bart Bohn, chief operating officer of Ravel, which needs four new employees focused on product sales and services. Ravel does analytics on big data.

“Austin is shockingly easy to recruit for,” Bohn said. “It has great brand recognition. Everyone thinks of it as fantastic lifestyle with good technology jobs. A lot of people get exposure to it in other ways like Austin City Limits Music Festival and South by Southwest.

Already, several big Silicon Valley companies have offices here.

“Most people don’t know that Apple has a 3,000 person office in Austin,” Bohn said.

Google and Facebook also have offices here and Evernote is going to open one soon, he said.

“Austin is known to have a great talent base,” Bohn said.

Austin has recently seen an explosion of good, credible start-ups combined with the opening of established tech companies’ offices and that has increased the demand for technology talent, Bohn said.

“Maybe that sucked up a lot of talent that would be available for other companies,” he said.

CreditCards.com wants to add up to five new employees to its staff of 55 in Austin, said CEO Chris Speltz.

“We need to grow the talent pool here,” he said.

For more information, you can follow the Austin Technology Council on Twitter @ATCouncil or  follow the conversation on Twitter with #ATXGrow.

 

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