Oracle’s HackerX Event at New Seattle Cloud Center

On Tuesday, all hands were on deck for Oracle’s first use of its new cloud computing technology center in Seattle. It was host to a HackerX open house and recruitment event. Those present for the ceremony were Oracle recruiting executives and HackerX attendees.


HackerX is an event that makes use of the speed-dating model to introduce companies to an area’s best developers and hackers. It usually consists of 15 companies joining the meeting and introductions. Each company only gets 5 minutes to talk with each developer before moving on to the next one. So, you can imagine it was a busy and exciting day at the Oracle center. The event was held Tuesday evening, between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. PST.


The center was built for about 100 Oracle cloud computing engineers. However, Prashant Ketkar, the head of products for Oracle’s public cloud business states,”We expect this to be a big deal. We intend to hire more and more.” Not to mention, this facility was built with an entrepreneurial, start-up culture in mind and offers multiple amenities for its hires. The focus is to build new cloud computing services to augment Oracle’s current portfolio of cloud applications.

Mr. Ketkar also goes on to say, “By opening this state-of-art facility, we are equipped to aggressively build out new cloud services. Seattle has a deep pool of talented engineers with its rich history of innovation and is the perfect location for us to harness that talent in order to accelerate our cloud investments.”

In addition, Don Johnson, senior director of Oracle’s product development conveyed, “We are building a team of rock star engineers who want to shape the next-generation, cutting-edge public cloud. Equally important, this is a unique opportunity to build the culture from the ground up—like a startup, but with the resources of a company and customer base that can influence the market.” Oracle’s cloud veterans Craig Kelly and Don Johnson will head the engineering center.

Why Seattle?

It appears that Seattle is having a second tech boom, and is quickly becoming the center of cloud computing. So, it makes sense for Oracle to center their cloud computing efforts here. In fact, Bill Hilf, the vice president of cloud product management at HP is quoted as comparing Seattle’s cloud boom to Detroit in its hey day,“It’s like Detroit used to be for car companies. The galactic players are here, and they are creating lots of little companies. The only thing driving anyone away from here is the weather.”

Seattle is home to a bevy of cloud companies from Microsoft’s Azure to Amazon Web Services, Tableau Software, Chef and Socrata. Ed Lazowska, who holds the Bill & Melinda Gates chair in Computer Science and Engineering at the university shares, “There’s an argument that Seattle owns the cloud now. Universities are always part of the axis.”

Oracle’s Employee Statistics

Right now, Oracle employs about 120,000 individuals worldwide. Hiring another 100 might seem like just a drop in the bucket. Although, Mr. Ketkar shares that things are evolving, “The company will be very different in 10 years. Sales is changing. The back end operations are changing. The size of deals, and who we work with in an organization. Everything is changing, not just on the technology side.”

Moreover, according to Forbes, Oracle is one of the best cloud companies and CEO’s to work for in 2014. The data was compiled by using Computer Reseller News’ The 100 Coolest Cloud Vendors of 2014 and merging it with data from Glassdoor employee reviews.

To date, Oracle offers cloud services for databases, supply chain management, social activity and analytics, enterprise planning, sales and more. Also, it is public knowledge that Oracle wants to beat Amazon in the cloud computing arena. Oracle’s CEO publicly challenged Amazon, stating that Oracle will be price competitive. So, this move to Seattle may very well be the first of many steps taking them down that desired path.