Washington, D.C., area tech startups can’t find the people they need to create new products and services. Many of the reasons will sound familiar to employers in other areas of the country: too few U.S. students receiving STEM degrees, a lack of necessary non-technical skills, and difficulty securing visas for foreign workers to do the work in the meantime.
Haroon Mohktarzada, the chief executive of Webs.com in suburban Silver Spring, Md., told the Washington Post: “We have taken some people in and they learn as they’re doing it … The universities are teaching theory and stuff, but they’re not teaching practical stuff like coding skills.”
Interestingly, his company’s website showcases its offices “west coast feel.”
Compounding the problem is a relatively small pool of talent. Washington’s more a government tech center than a pure tech center, if you know what I mean. That means that deep-pocketed federal contractors are also going after what talent there is.
In particular need are people with skills in open source and the ability to quickly turnaround new products.