Silicon Valley tech giants have been flocking to Seattle in recent for months, with companies such as Facebook, Salesforce.com and Zynga choosing the region for new engineering centers. Now, the trend is getting some national attention with Nick Wingfield of The Wall Street Journal writing that “top tech workers in the Seattle area are seeing Bay Area Web companies come to them.”
We’ve certainly been watching the trend develop with great interest, including the arrival of social gaming powerhouse Zynga in April.
In the past several years, as recruiting top-flight engineers in Silicon Valley has become even more cutthroat because of the boom in Web start-ups, tech companies have begun looking for engineers anywhere they can find them. Seattle is one such engineering hotbed because of companies like Microsoft and Amazon, along with the city’s University of Washington.
The Journal piece is certainly high-profile validation of Seattle’s tech community. And the region certainly could use a little good news, since Seattle hasn’t seen as many high-profile successes as Silicon Valley in recent years. Sure, Amazon.com has performed well, and continues to hire. But the region’s top tech employer, Microsoft, has been stuck in neutral.
The startup community also got a slap across the face last week when Polaris Venture Partners closed its Seattle office , a move which sparked some outrage since one of partners reportedly said that the market “never developed.”
But the arrival of Google — which set up operations in the Seattle area in 2004 and now employs more than 800 people here — and others certainly is creating a new dynamic to the tech industry in Seattle.
And, despite their heft, prestige and big balance sheets, the companies are not always welcomed here. I’ve heard from a few startup CEOs who said the likes of Facebook, Google, Zynga and others makes tech recruiting in Seattle that much harder.