Denver is "Plug & Play Ready," according to the Downtown Denver Partnership, an economic group promoting the city as a high-tech mountain Mecca. But it may be singing to the choir. After all, Denver and its surrounding towns are well on their way to being a tech-rich region, according to Cindy Christensen, director of economic development for the partnership.
"We have the infrastructure high-tech companies need," she said. Christensen's charges include 4,000 businesses, more than 370 of them technically oriented. Together, they account for more than 17,000 of the urban zone's 113,000 employees. And if that figure is lower than, say, in Boston, Christensen said it is nevertheless extremely respectable.
Though Denver hosts a broad spectrum of technology companies, it's particularly flush with telecom outfits. Among the better known are AT&T, WorldCom (which also has a significant presence in Colorado Springs), and Qwest, which just completed its long-pending merger with U S West. Other heavyweights in the region include Sun Microsystems Inc., J.D. Edwards and Storage Technology Corp..
Denver also has a booming startup economy. The city's venture-capital flow is one of the nation's best, Christensen said, thanks to its kernel companies. So while mile-high Denver might cause a nosebleed, it's by no means the cheap seats for job seekers. Between quality of life and competitive salaries, "companies tell us that it's a good place to try to recruit," Christensen said.
Karen Meaker, who does branch development for Greenbrier & Russel, said the national IT consulting firm wants to add about a third more programmers to its stable, which now sits at about 30.
Greenbrier & Russel, whose clients range from Fortune 1,000 companies to state and local government agencies, is especially interested in developers skilled in Java and Microsoft, and who have two or more years of experience.
Sun Microsystems, which has multiple locations in the area, is looking for hardware and software professionals.
Qwest has slots for a staff engineer to work on voice- and fax-over-IP products and a senior engineer in emerging technologies "responsible for accepting tasks and assignments related to the tactical implementation plan (TIP) for IP, Frame Relay and ATM."
Colorado Springs, south of Denver, might not have the Mile High City's volume of tech opportunities, but it's no slouch. WorldCom and Oracle are hiring (though Oracle's positions are almost all in customer support), as are a wealth of smaller companies.
Opuswave Networks, a subsidiary of Siemens Information and Communication Networks, needs a senior systems engineer with a BSEE or BSCS and four to six years' experience in at least two of these wireless architectures: GSM/GPRS, IS-54/IS-136, CDMA or CDPD.
Opuswave also needs a custom product development engineer. Applicants should have a BSEE or equivalent and three years or more in a "telecom/datacom development environment." Candidates must also have embedded development experience, strong C/C++ skills, and a firm grasp of embedded software debugging.