The shortage of technology workers in the Silicon Hills region continues. The Austin American-Statesman today reported that the recent trip technology CEOs from Austin took to California didn’t result in any new employees moving to Texas. Perhaps that’s why San Antonio-based Rackspace recently opened an office in San Francisco. The technology companies have to go where the talent resides. Also on Saturday, Rackspace held a recruiting event called Rackerpalooza at its Austin office. Rackspace also recently expanded its San Antonio headquarters.
On Friday, Dirk Elmendorf, one of the founders of Rackspace, gave a talk at San Antonio’s Startup Ignite’s third monthly Hack-a-thon at the Geekdom in downtown San Antonio.
On Wednesday, Austin-based Portalarium, which makes games for social networks and mobile platforms, announced its first social network game, Ultimate Collector: Garage Sale. Gaming Legend Richard Garriott is developing the game, which will be available for a beta release later this year.
Also on Tuesday, the Austin American-Statesman reported that a group of investors including San Antonio Billionaire Red McCombs has invested $1.75 million in an Austin-startup called Bypass Lane, which has created an app that lets people order food and drinks from their seats in a stadium while watching an event.
On Tuesday, the University of Texas honored 40 inventors including Professor John Goodenough and Professor Adam Heller, pioneers of lithium batteries, according to this post from University President Bill Powers.
On Monday, Gowalla’s founder Josh Williams officially announced that Facebook had acquired the Austin-based start-up, but it didn’t acquire the company’s data. It mainly wanted their development team. The Austin American Statesman had a story on the acquisition and didn’t mention anything about the $10 million Gowalla raised in venture capital. But Michael Arrington at Uncrunched reported that the deal might be a liquidation and it was uncertain if investors would get their money back.
By L.A. Lorek
Got tech talent?
Then Austin companies want to recruit you.
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.
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.