11:11 AM

Intel The Software Company - Aggressive Campaign To Poach Seattle's Software Engineers

It does't take many people to make chips these days because of highly automated fabs but Intel needs a lot of software engineers.

By Intel Free Press

As Intel steps up its efforts on Android-based tablets and affordable laptops, the company is pulling out all the stops to hire software engineers in Microsoft's backyard.

The company recently established a new campus in Redmond, Wash. and is working at a feverish pace to staff it with software expertise, even resorting to advertising on the sides of local buses, an ad takeover of the Seattle Times' home page and throwing cash incentives at current Intel employees who refer friends.

Intel has a Puget Sound area campus in DuPont about 50 miles to the south where several hundred workers are engaged in hardware-related research and development. But Tiffany Peery, an Intel program manager who is helping create some of the marketing programs to attract software engineers to Redmond, said the company has had some difficulty filling positions there.

"We have to be where the [software] talent is," said Peery, being careful to point out that the company partners closely with Microsoft and has multiple engagements across different business groups. Indeed, the company is bullish on Windows 8.1 despite pursuing a multiple operating system approach with tablets.

Despite ranking among the world's 10 largest software companies (since its acquisition of McAfee in 2011) it's not surprising that Intel has had to deploy creative marketing efforts to attract top talent -- competition for software engineers in the Seattle area is fierce. The city is bustling with tech activity and the demand for software knowledge and expertise appears to be at an all-time high.

According to Wanted Analytics, which bills itself as the "leading source of real-time business intelligence for the talent marketplace," demand for software engineers reached a new high in April. Seattle, San Francisco and San Jose, Calif. were the top three metropolitan areas with the most demand. Seattle had the most open positions, according to the firm, with more than 13,000 ads, a 28 percent year-over-year increase.

"With growing hiring demand for software developers, it is likely to be difficult to source potential candidates," the report said. "As demand continues, conditions and the level of difficulty may increase."

Amazon is in the process of building a 3.3-million-square-foot headquarters downtown. Google, with a presence in Seattle dating back to 2004, has offices in Seattle and nearby Kirkland, and has been hiring for a wide range of projects related to Chrome developer tools, Chrome OS, HTML 5 and more.

Google doesn't say how many it employs in the Seattle area and calls to both offices were not returned, but it does say the offices represent "one of their largest engineering sites."

Microsoft, for its part, has more than 1,500 openings in the Seattle area. Those jobs are far more diverse than those Intel is seeking to fill; the Microsoft jobs fall into broader categories supporting not only Windows but Bing, Xbox, Skype, Windows Phone and more.

Amid the booming demand for software engineers, Intel's Tablet Software Integration and Engineering Group, or TSIE, is looking for expertise in cameras/imaging, graphics, media, security, software validation and more. A recruiting site for the group says candidates need a minimum of six years working in the area of consumer devices (tablets, smart phones, set-top boxes, etcetera) or embedded software.

Intel's Peery said the company already has roughly 100 regular employees and contract workers in Redmond. She would not say how many new jobs were being created, but judging by the ads and the aggressive recruiting efforts, it's more than just a few. The group is also hiring software engineers at Intel campuses in Oregon, California and Arizona.