What’s New This Quarter
Nine months after taking Dell private, CEO Michael Dell is feeling buoyant that he no longer has to kowtow to Wall Street on a quarterly basis. His company is still the largest private employer in Central Texas, with about 14,000 workers in the Austin area, and it’s hoping to gain ground in the emerging connected-world category of the “Internet of Things.”
When it comes to having higher-than-average numbers of women in the tech workforce, Austin ranks 17th out of 50 major U.S. cities, according to business intelligence company RJMetrics. The report shows women make up 30 percent of Austin’s tech industry. That’s slightly better than the national average of 29 percent, but it’s behind Dallas (40 percent) and Houston (34 percent).
In other Austin updates:
- Dropbox, the popular cloud-based storage provider, will employ 200 people in Austin by the end of 2015. One reason: The California-based company is beginning to focus on Latin American expansion. It already employs 40 workers in Austin, but should be growing fast throughout the next 18 months.
- Automation software maker Motive Inc. plans to hire more than 100 Austin-based software developers this year, adding to its 800-person global staff. Motive now has 350 workers in Austin and is the leading software developer in the city, according to Austin Business Journal’s Book of Lists.
- Epicor Software Corp., a global business software solution provider, launched a “Hiring Heroes” program in April to add military veterans to its ranks. The company will hire as many as 100 vets over the next year as it fills IT, sales and marketing positions.
- TrackingPoint, a developer of smart, networked precision rifles, has raised $29 million in a funding round. Its rifles include smartphone-connected tracking scopes which help a shooter track and tag a target, then calculate ballistics. They can even connect to a user’s smartphone via an app to stream real-time video.
- Crowdsourced product delivery startup Postmates said it has launched its “Uber for stuff” in Austin, its seventh city. The service lets customers order groceries, takeout and retail items for local delivery, 24/7. It also allows people to become a “postmate” to do the actual delivery.
- SoftServe Inc., a 3,200-person Florida-based technology company, has established a user interface and user experience center of excellence at One Congress Plaza. The site is home to 16 workers, but plans to grow to 40 within a year.
- Metacloud, an OpenStack-based Web hosting solution for large companies, has hired two executives from Rackspace and opened a new local office. The firm will hire up to 30 employees in engineering, operations, marketing and sales over the next two years.
- BP3, which provides business process management consulting and services, has expanded its Austin footprint. It now has 12,000 square feet of the fourth floor of the Plaza 7000 building.
And a final note of optimism: The Texas Workforce Commission reported that Austin’s unemployment rate dropped in April, down to 3.8 percent from 4.4 percent the month before and down from 5 percent in April 2013.
Skills in Demand
Josh Olson, Austin-based sales director for recruiting firm Randstad, says that in the area’s IT market, great candidates are receiving multiple offers and usually don’t last more than one to two weeks. “.NET, Java, project managers and tech support experts are in demand right now, and Web development is on fire,” he says. “Additionally, more and more companies are expanding into Big Data, mobile development and the rewriting of legacy systems into Web-based deployments.”
It’s also worth noting that according to Forbes, Austin is ranked the number three city when it comes to poaching jobs from Wall Street. In 2013, Austin had 49,100 jobs in the financial services sector, up 4.1 percent over 2012 and up 9.9 percent since 2008. Tech experts with experience in this sector should have a leg up.
According to the 2014-2013 Dice Salary Survey, the average salary for an Austin -based IT professional is $91,994, up 2.6 percent from the previous year and 4.7 percent above the national average of $87,811. Meantime, TechAmerica’s Cyberstates 2013 report found that Texas’s tech workers earned an annual average wage of $92,200 (ranked 12th among all states), 85 percent more than the state’s average private sector wage.
- Technology Manufacturing
- Financial Services
- Software Development
Local Employment and Research Resources
- Austin American-Statesman/Technology
- Austin Business Journal
- Austin Technology Council
- Silicon Hills
- Texas TechPulse
- Incentives Lure More Tech Jobs to Austin
- athenahealth to Add 600 Jobs in Austin
- Dallas Sees Jump in Developer Talent Pool
Image: Randall Stevens/Shutterstock.com