How open source got its groove back

| Print |  Email
Articles - October 2011
Thursday, September 22, 2011

By Mark Everett Hall

 

1011_OpenSource_01
Risk taker Luke Kanies, CEO of Puppet Labs, likens Portland to "an underdeveloped stock" for entrepreneurs. 
Photo by Michael Cogliantry
Two years ago when Luke Kanies was mulling over where to move his Nashville startup he considered Silicon Valley, an obvious choice for an open-source software business. But with year-old twins in tow, he and his wife decided Portland was a better fit for them financially.

“I adored Portland,” he says of making the choice to base Puppet Labs in the city. “And we could afford it.”

Another key factor for Kanies’ relocation to Oregon from Tennessee was the proximity of experienced, open-source software developers. Without talented people to help, he knew that by himself he couldn’t build the software as he envisioned it. He needed skilled programmers and Portland had them, as he knew, from previous visits to the city for OSCON, the biggest conference for open source techies.

Finding top-notch technical talent is always an issue for companies large and small. That’s why it’s becoming more commonplace these days, especially in the software industry, to have remote workers,who work from the comfort of their own homes. Currently, though, only two Puppet Labs developers work remotely because CEO Kanies has been able to locate the bulk of his staff locally. His other 38 employees work in the company’s Park Blocks offices. He says those few times he’s had to fish for folks outside the area, there’s been no trouble recruiting people to come to Portland.

“If people were willing to relocate at all,” he says, “they’re willing to move to Portland.”

Portland’s lure lost some luster when the Great Recession hit. Developer jobs evaporated. Investment stalled in the open-source market. But the economic speed bump was a small one. Drawn to the area by its culture, community and cost of living, open-source developers continued to flock to the area, which, in turn, attracted the companies who needed them.



 

More Articles

Umbrella Revolution

March 2015
Monday, February 23, 2015

Yeah, we know: Oregonians are way too cool for umbrellas. But today’s stylish, high-tech models will soften the resistance of the most rain hardened.


Read more...

Raising the Stakes

February 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

The 2014 Bend Venture Conference set a record for the most cash, investments and prizes awarded at an angel conference in the Pacific Northwest. Investments in the six winning companies exceeded $1 million. The 11th annual conference was hosted by Economic Development of Central Oregon.


Read more...

How Oregon will survive the loss of Hanjin

March 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT | OB CONTRIBUTOR

"Shipping containers to Portland is like waiting for a bus that travels once a day."


Read more...

A legislative preview — and celebration

Linda Baker
Friday, January 23, 2015
012315-speaker-thumbBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

The Northwest Environmental Business Council previews the 2015 legislative agenda as Hatch Oregon celebrates Oregon's new community crowdfunding rules.


Read more...

Which Way to Chinatown?

February 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

The Jade International District, already Portland's center of Asian life, is poised for rejuvenation. Where does that leave the westside's historic Chinatown?


Read more...

ZoomCare rolls out new on-demand health clinics

News
Monday, March 02, 2015
zoomcarethumbBY KIM MOORE |  OB RESEARCH EDITOR

Portland-based healthcare provider ZoomCare said it plans to “remake American healthcare” by expanding its on-demand urgent care model to emergency, surgery, dental and primary care, among others.


Read more...

4 winners and losers in the Kitzhaber scandal

The Latest
Thursday, February 12, 2015
021315-govorno-thumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Examining the governor's rapid fall from grace in a "bizarre" and "unprecedented" saga.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS