Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Software Development Companies in Southern California

I've helped organize the Los Angeles CTO Forum for almost 10 years. As part of doing that, I've had the opportunity to interact with a wide variety of different chief technical officers from different kinds of companies over those years. This is a private group of CTOs who are responsible for software development within their companies. They are generally the senior most person responsible for custom software development, database design, database administration, web development, etc.

In a recent conversation with a fellow CTO, we lamented about the fact that while there's very active software development and web development going on in Southern California and West Los Angeles, yet there didn't seem to be as much of a community around it. Yes, there are some events around particular technologies. But where do the software development companies in Southern California congregate?

Part of the reason is that when I look at the CTOs, we see that the industries (games, entertainment, aerospace, retail, etc.), size of company (startup to very large), stage (early stage to established firms) vary widely. Most networking events tend to either focus on specific technologies (PHP, .Net, C#, Microsoft, LAMP, MySQL, Open Source, Hadoop, Java, etc.) or focused on industry or type of company. They are most often not focused on a particular functional area. Actually, there are some CFO events. But not really CTO events. Part of this is that CTOs have a tendency not to go to networking events. :)

Actually this is something that the Software Council of Southern California realized a few years ago as we changed to focus on broader set of companies – and rebranded to become the Technology Council of Southern California. It was an interesting discussion among the board during that transition.

Even still, this barely touches all the different companies in Southern California where software development is happening. For example, an online retailer probably doesn't see themselves as a technology company.

What that means is that while Southern California is a vibrant software development location, when you look around for Software Development Companies in Southern California, often you come up fairly empty. As an example, I did that as a search on SoCal Tech Central and Software Development Companies really didn't come up with much.

Bottom line – if you are looking for Software Development Companies in Southern California – you are probably going to need to drill a bit deeper. This is also discussed in Los Angeles Web Developer.


Benjamin Kuo said...

This is a tough one, as well, because there are lots of small shops doing software development you might not know are actually based here, because they specialize in specific vertical markets, etc. And, I agree that CTOs (well, most techies) don't go to many networking events.

Tony Karrer said...

Ben - thanks for the comment.