October 2012 Archives

ssu.pngLast night, I hosted "Seattle...Startups...You?"  A gathering to help students at the University of Washington (especially those in the Computer Science & Engineering Department) understand why they might want to join a startup or start one on their own.  As previously noted, while students have great exposure to great big tech companies, we wanted to introduce them to why a startup (in Seattle) might be a fun, exciting, and rewarding alternative.  We did this in conjunction with the department career fair and Industrial Affiliates meeting.

While I had hoped this would be a good, informal gathering, we were well "oversubscribed" -- we were counting on 50 students showing up -- over 100 packed the room, from the CSE department as well as others. I'm sure the great food sponsored by Flipboard and door prizes sponsored by Topix (Thanks to both!) helped, but initial feedback from students show that we've provided great information that students want.

I've received a few requests for the presentations, so here they are:

Introduction (Wayne Yamamoto)
Big Companies vs. Startups (Anthony Wu)
Brave New World: Technology, VC, Seattle (Chris DeVore)
What's up with Silicon Valley (And Why Should I Care?) (Chris Tolles)
5 Habits of Successful Startup Engineers (David Creemer)
Internships at Startups (Robert Chu)
From the trenches (Jason Tan)

Thanks to all presenters and attendees.  It was a great event.  I hope this week is a fruitful career fair and Industrial Affiliates Meeting!

BTW, if you are a company that wants to know more about the UW Computer Science & Engineering department or want to recruit out this department, consider becoming a University of Washington Computer Science & Engineering Industrial Affiliate.  It's a great program and the UW CSE is a great department!


uwcse.pngThe Computer Science & Engineering Department at the University of Washington is one of the best in the world.  Led by Hank Levy, David Notkin, and Ed Lazowska, this department competes with the best of the best -- Stanford, Berkeley, MIT, and CMURecent hires reflect the awesomeness of CSE and project where this department is going.  Of course, I'm biased; I've spent time here as an undergraduate, grad student, Visiting Scholar and now Visiting Faculty.  I'm proud to be able to stand near such talent.

Over the years, I've recruited out of this department.  In addition to great researchers, great engineers have also emerged from the ranks of its students.  Jeff Dean, Greg Badros, and Christophe Biscalia are only a few great people that recently did time here.  So, it's fertile ground for finding talent. 

However, when working at a startup, I've often found it difficult to recruit at the UW.  Why?  Because it's been tough to compete with the Microsofts, Amazons, Googles, and Facebooks.  A small company gets lost in the noise and the sheer mass of big companies. Thankfully, the department is recognizing the value of startups in the tech ecosystem and it now is actively promoting startups to students with a special career day.  (This Tuesday, October 23). 

Getting startups in front of students is a great first step.  However, there's still a gap -- there seems to lack information about why startups are fun, exciting and rewarding.  Students just don't have enough exposure to startups.  Why are they are different than big companies?  Why might they be better? Why is Seattle a great place to do a startup? I want to help fix this knowledge gap. So, in conjunction with the career day, I'm hosting an event on campus at the University of Washington to promote the startups - why it's a great experience, why it might be for you.  It's on Monday, October 21, 2012 at 6:00.  All students are welcome.  (If you are not a student and want to attend, drop me an email or a DM on twitter at @kazabyte and we'll figure something out.)

Everything you wanted to know about startups but were afraid to ask.

Here's the flyer: