Software Executive: Engineering Outposts Will Be A Necessity To Compete For Talent

Bellevue-based Apptio this week announced plans to open the company’s first-ever software engineering center outside Washington state.

The new outpost in Denver, Colorado, will help the software company recruit software engineering talent to develop IT products. Ted Kummert, the company’s vice president of engineering, said engineering outposts will become a necessity for software companies to compete for talent.

“Every software engineering organization in the growth category is going to get to a place where they need to get great at multi-site development so they can tap into another great talent pool,” he said.

Recruiting talent locally is cheaper and workers typically stick around longer if they don’t have to relocate. Instead of bringing in workers from outside the state, many technology companies set up offices in regions with an established talent pool.

The Puget Sound area – which has more software engineers than any other region, according to the Washington Technology Industry Association – has become a destination for engineering centers. More than 60 out-of-state companies have offices in the region, a 1,400 percent increase from 2007.

Outposts mean more competition for Puget Sound-area tech companies. Facebook, for instance, most recently scooped up several Microsoft software engineersto bulk up its virtual reality teamin Seattle. But the invasions also keep skilled software professionals in the region who might have otherwise moved to Silicon Valley.

Engineers will develop Apptio’s IT planning software in Denver. The company already has 10 offices, including North Carolina, New York and Chicago, plus six offices outside the United States, and plans to expand within the Puget Sound region.

“Fundamentally, this is about growth,” he said. “We’re at a stage now where we’re pioneering this new category (in technology) and we’ve built a lot of capability with customers, but we have a lot more we need to do.”

Source: Puget Sound Business Journal, Ashley Stewart
Photo: Apptio will open a software engineering center in Denver. (Anthony Bolante)