If anyone needed further proof that Portland is quickly becoming a major hub of the West Coast tech scene, this bit of news should settle any argument on that front: Tilde is coming to town.
The soon-to-be-former San Francisco company is one of the top consulting and training firms in the nation for web-based applications. The small, six-person staff either works directly with companies, holding their hands through the creation of a new online product, or holds training sessions to introduce web developers to their custom built frameworks including Ember and Ruby on Rails.
The news of Tilde's move to Portland comes on the heels of a recent blog post by one of the company's founders, Tom Dale. In it, the 27-year-old revealed part of the motivation for his firm's relocation, calling out what he sees as the "dark side" of the Bay Area's tech world. He wrote:
The brobdingnagian salaries we’re getting paid haven’t just skewed the market, they’ve taken it in two hands, turned it upside down, and shaken it like a British nanny...Portland offers all of the great restaurants, coffee shops and bars that I love about SF, without having to overhear conversations about Series A rounds or monetization strategies.
As you can imagine, Dale's peers didn't take too kindly to that kind of talk. Or as one Twitter comment read: "If a locust could write a blog post rationalizing its urge to go strip another field bare, this would be it."
Dale is quick to point out though, that the naysayers are few when compared to people excited about Tilde's imminent arrival.
"I have to say, the vast majority of people I've spoken to have been so welcoming and so kind," Dale told WW. "People I don't really even know have offered to drive me around and show me all the neighborhoods."
Tilde may seem like an outlier, but in reality, it is part of a larger trend of tech folk moving northward. In the last three years alone, Puppet Labs, makers of software that helps automate changes to website code, and developers like Ryan Carson, the founder of web training site Treehouse, have found their way to Portland.
Uprooting themselves from the heart of the Silicon Valley is a bold move, but a necessary one, says Dale.