Why You Should Move to Oregon As Presented at PuppetConf 2012
Tuesday, October 9th 2012 by Skip Newberry
Like many technology hubs in the US, tech companies in the Greater Portland area are expanding—some rapidly. These companies are scrambling for talent in Oregon and elsewhere. Last Friday I joined Jared Wiener of the Portland Development Commission (PDC) and Eric Sorenson of Puppet Labs in San Francisco for PuppetConf 2012. The three of us put together a presentation titled "Why you should move to Portland”.
Our presentation targeted the over 750 software and IT professionals who were attending Puppet Labs’ annual user conference. Considering our talk was unabashedly presented as a sales pitch to attendees of a technical user conference, neither I nor my fellow presenters had any idea what kind of turnout to expect. We were pleasantly surprised when the room filled to capacity and then some.
Our message was simple: The Portland area has a vibrant food scene, close proximity to beautiful outdoor destinations, great transportation infrastructure, quality schools, and an otherwise high quality of life. Besides these world class amenities you may already be aware of, it has a technology industry that has been quietly growing, with innovative, high-growth startups, important R&D centers of globally dominant companies such as Intel, and IBM, and a depth and breadth of companies in mobile, open source, and enterprise class software solutions.
Jared and I shared some data on Oregon’s technology industry, highlighted representative companies, discussed the coordinated programs that are supporting our current companies and helpinge develop the ones in their infancy. We interlaced the talk with some fun facts about Portland’s lauded quality of life. The highlight of the presentation, however, was Eric’s story. Eric left a comfortable position at Apple this summer to join Puppet Labs in Portland after 15 years in the Bay Area. He brought with him his wife, son, and two dogs. In the three-plus months he and his family have been living in Portland, they have managed to plug into various community groups, software user groups, and activities. A copy of our PowerPoint presentation is available here: www.techoregon.org/resource/resmgr/Docs/PuppetConf_Presentation_09_2.pdf