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Why You Should Work at a Portland Tech Company

Puppet Labs collaborated with 10 other local start-ups to create a recruiting video casting Portland as "TechTown." Puppet Labs is actively hiring for a number of positions, and we're not the only company in town that's growing and hiring like mad. Watch the video below for an overview of some of the tech start-up offices around Portland, including Puppet Labs. Elemental Technologies' CEO Sam Blackman originally had the idea of working with other local start-ups to help bring attention to the emerging tech scene in Portland. He asked 11 other startups if they were interested in participating and was pleasantly surprised that all but one immediately agreed to jump on board and create a video. Here's the full list of participaing companies:
  • Viewpoint - Construction Management and Collaboration Solutions
  • Jama Software - Helping Companies Build Great Products
  • Simple - Reinventing Personal Banking
  • Thetus - Enterprise Model-Enabled Analysis Software
  • Urban Airship - Mobilizing Relationships with the Constantly Connected
  • Acquia - Where Great Digital Experiences Begin
  • Elemental Technologies - Perfecting the Media Experience
  • Act-On - Marketing Automation for the Fortune 5,000,000
  • Puppet Labs - IT Automation Software for System Administrators
  • The Clymb - The Planet's Fastest Growing Active Lifestyle E-Commerce Company
  • Jive - World's #1 Social Business Platform
A number of other public and private sector also groups got involved in the production, including Business Oregon, the Portland Development Commission, and the Technology Association of Oregon. Uncage the Soul is the production company that produced the TechTown Portland video. They're best known for doing amazing time-lapse videos that capture the culture of Portland and Oregon's beautiful natural environment. If you haven't had a chance to watch "Finding Oregon" or "Finding Portland," then I'd highly recommend checking them out. Potential candidates thinking about working at one of these tech start-ups want to know about what other companies and resources are in town. One great networking resource is the Calagator Tech Calendar, which aggregates the dozen or so tech meetings that are happening on any given night. Rick Turoczy's Silicon Florist is a great blog that covers the local tech and start-up scene in Portland. Its Job Board will give you a good sense of all of the different tech opportunities around town. Turoczy is also connected to a number of different incubators and seed funds, and he mentions a number of these, including: Portland Incubator Experiment, Upstart Labs, TiE Oregon Incubators, Oregon Technology Business Center, StarveUps, Portland Seed Fund, and the Nike+ Accelerator, which is powered by TechStars and hosts 10 companies for a three-month, immersive, mentor-driven startup accelerator. The Oregonian reports that there is no lack of software job opportunities in Portland:
Software employment in the state is up 10.5 percent in the past year, according to a recent analysis by the Oregon Employment Department, and Oregon venture capital had its best start to the year since the dot-com era. That surge is so strong that many small employers especially are scrambling to fill open positions, a task that's grown harder as Salesforce.com and other big tech companies add outposts in the Portland area.
A number of CEOs who participated in the video premiere event mentioned how the process of hiring people from out of state can often include selling the rest of their family on Portland. Elemental's Blackman told the Portland Business Journal, "In general, Elemental can effectively sell perspective job candidates on the benefits of joining our team. The challenge arises when we need to convince someone to pick up and move their family to Portland. We have a plethora of exciting, up-and-coming companies here, but this isn’t recognized outside the state." The culture also drives a lot of people to decide to come to Portland. This aspect of Portland has been getting a lot of attention from the popular TV series of Portlandia. Co-star and co-creator Fred Armisen just wrote up a really nice travel article for the Guardian titled, "Portland: it's weird and it's wonderful" highlighting why he's fallen in love with Portland. The affordable cost of living is also a huge contributing factor when individuals are deciding to move to Portland. Blackman told Seattle's Geekwire, "Not only are there a ton of great companies to work for doing excellent technology work in rapidly growing markets, but the house will cost you half than what it does in Seattle, the schools are great, the food is incredible, the cultural resources are phenomenal and the public transit is incredible. You have all these livability benefits on top of the great companies that are starting to grow — that’s the kind of place I think you want to live your life." You can get more information at the TechTown Portland LinkedIn Group, and be sure to check out the open job opportunities at Puppet Labs.