In a recent article the New Yorker has declared Utah the next Silicon Valley.

To back up this assertion, the article cites some of the following impressive statistics:

  • 3 of the top 15 cities on the Brookings Institute list of Super Sectors are in Utah
  • ‘The state’s super-sector employment comes largely from software businesses, but also from medical-device manufacturers and makers of aerospace products’
  • Utah is the 6th most popular state for Venture Capital

To those living outside of Utah, this will come as a surprise. But to those living inside Utah, this is common knowledge. However, the negative impact of the recent explosion in new tech companies is felt in the Utah market in three critical ways:

  1. Utah companies are having a hard time finding and hiring software talent
  2. Software developers in Utah are now frequently jumping from company to company
  3. Utah companies are having to pay more to hire and keep their senior software developers

Where does this leave the average Utah tech company? Well, because the average Utah tech company is not flush with $100M dollars to spend but is competing against those that are (Adobe, Qualtrics, Domo, Novell, etc.), they are forced to consider some of the following tactics:

  1. Hire less experienced developers
  2. Budget more than expected to hire and retain senior developers
  3. Plan for a 3-6 month vacancy in software development positions while you search for the needle in the haystack that fits talent needs and price range
  4. Hire overseas developers in markets where the competition for amazing developers is not as fierce

Each of these tactics has their advantages and disadvantages and in a future blog we can go through the merits of each option individually. However, even though it is painful to find and retain good development talent in the current market, being in a vibrant, growing market is a great problem to deal with for everyone involved.