Amazon.com is already growing like gangbusters in Seattle, grabbing as many talented software developers and engineers as it can. But the online retailing powerhouse might not be able to get its fill in the Pacific Northwest, and it appears headed to an unlikely place to find more talent: Detroit.

That’s right, the blighted town best known for pumping out Fords, Pontiacs and Buicks, may be getting a new Amazon.com software development center.

The Detroit Free press today reports on job posts from the Amazon.com which suggest that the company is looking to hire software developers in Detroit. One job description says:

The Amazon Seller Experience team is seeking an experienced engineer who will help drive the global expansion of our applications and services, with a significant opportunity to define a Seller and Buyer facing Amazon platform. You’ll participate in developing a scalable framework for the improvement of the Seller Experience and collaborate with Amazon development teams to integrate their services with our applications and platform.

Amazon.com, which quietly opened a new software engineering center in Cambridge, Massachusetts this year, is reportedly scheduling a job fair for next month in Detroit.

Now, if you’re like me, you may be asking yourself: Why Detroit?

The gritty rust belt city has been undergoing a bit of a rebirth in recent years (See story in Inc. magazine titled “How the Motor City Got its Groove Back”). Other tech companies are arriving, namely Twitter which recently announced plans to establish an office in downtown Detroit.

But it certainly has a long way to go to compete with tech hubs like Boston, San Fran or Seattle. However, there just so happens to be a very big university located about 30 minutes west of the city in Ann Arbor. And, who knows, given Amazon’s world domination strategy, it may just decide to start selling cars too.

Writes Detroit Free Press business reporter Katherine Yung:

“Having a high-tech Amazon presence in Detroit would be a huge boost for efforts to transform the long-battered city into a tech hub. It would also provide new ammunition for brick-and-mortar retailers in the state who have been pushing for sales taxes to be collected on online purchases made at Amazon and other Internet shopping sites.”

Some readers on the Detroit Free Press story are skeptical, with one asking where the company is going to find out-of-work software developers.

Comments

  • http://twitter.com/ggier Georgia Gier

    What kind of tech presences does Detroit have apart from Twitter? Curious to know where to they plan on finding tech talent other than the University…

    • http://twitter.com/nancychowmein Nancy Xiao

      Texts from Last Night, Mobiata, Menlo Innovations, ePrize, Quicken Loans, Detroit Venture Partners family are all a selection of the growing community here. We’ll see where this all takes us! Michigan had the most cities hosting Startup Weekends across the states last year, too I think.

      • Guest

        Compuware is also already HQ’d there…

  • Dan

    Michigan State University is also very close to Detroit. Michigan State engineers are generally preferred over University of Michigan engineers because they have social skills and street smarts.

    • johnhcook

      As a Buckeye fan myself, I’ve got to applaud this comment. :) I’ll root for the Spartans any day.

Job Listings on GeekWork