Google Blog, 1/3/07, "Kirkland Calling"
When we set up an R&D shop in downtown Kirkland, Washington two years ago, we hoped to attract the best talent in the Pacific Northwest -- folks who are serious about their coffee and don't especially want to move to Silicon Valley. Since then we've attracted many engineers who were tickled silly about working on large clusters of several thousands of machines, not to mention shipping web and client-based consumer apps used by millions of people.Seattle Times, 12/22/06, "Google exec heaps praise on local office"
It's such a great office we have here. Google's unusual in a couple of ways. We open engineering offices where the talent is, rather than bringing talent to a location. ... [In Kirkland] we have north of 250 employees, and we're approaching 200 engineers. It's just an incredible growth rate in two years.Seattle Times, 12/15/06, "Google retreats from deal in Bellevue, may shop for office space in Seattle"
One of the things we're increasingly trying to do is to export Mountain View work to the really incredibly successful non-Mountain View offices. It's clear the Kirkland office is hugely successful. We've got great engineers, great growth rate and incredible delivery. It's clear this is amongst our most successful offices worldwide.
Oscar Oliveira, a broker at Colliers International in Bellevue, said he believes Google has turned its attention to parts of Seattle, such as Belltown and South Lake Union, which tend to be popular with young technology workers.New York Times, 12/9/06, "Looking for a Gambit to Win at Google's Game"
Google has been advertising for workers to fill a range of engineering-related jobs in the Seattle area. About two years ago, Google opened an engineering center in Kirkland, where it has about 250 employees, up 100 from June. Also, Google in May moved its Seattle sales staff of about 30 from South Lake Union to Fremont, saying the staff could expand to 75.
Google is expanding in Kirkland, where it occupies two floors at Central Way Plaza, and recently took an additional floor at a nearby building, said engineering director Peter Wilson.
“[Microsoft] had a lot of new initiatives, and people ran fast out of the gate,” said Niall Kennedy, an expert on Internet publishing who joined Microsoft last spring but quickly became disillusioned and quit in August. After the stock fell, he said, “I wasn’t able to hire anybody for my group.”
Mr. Kennedy says this culture is inhospitable for talented engineers.
“Microsoft is no longer the primary place for technical talent,” he said. “If there is a superstar, Google will be on their minds.” (Indeed, Google has set up shop in Kirkland, Wash., six miles from Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, specifically to welcome Microsoft refugees.)