The Tech Talent Landscape in Austin, TX (2017 Edition)

Corey Butler
6 min readJan 6, 2021
Austin Skyline: 2010 vs 2017

See the 2021 edition of this article for the most recent insights.

Austin continues to land in the “Best Of” news for it’s continued growth. The population growth rate currently stands at roughly 120 people per day (157 gross, ~35 people leave each day too). The lower historical cost of living in Austin led to a reputation of affordability. Combining this with a relaxed lifestyle, attractive climate, and plenty of activities produced a people magnet. Austin evolved into a destination city, and the momentum isn’t slowing down.

This progression has a significant impact on the talent pool. Austin continues to approach talent without consideration of the local impact or the manifestation of national talent concerns. Startups and smaller companies tend to feel it most intensely.

The same banter often flows in HR circles, but three common assumptions of the Austin talent pool stand out:

  1. Tech talent is widely available.
  2. Tech talent is world-class.
  3. Tech talent costs less in Austin.

Examining each of these assumptions yields interesting insights that can be applied to employment activities at local and national levels.

Tech Talent Availability

If you’re among those who believe the abundance of technology and entrepreneurship makes Austin a great place to find tech talent, you’d be absolutely right. You’ll find tons of people — who are already employed or building their own company.

Translation: The abundance of talent does not mean it is available.

In fact, the global labor market for tech talent grows more fierce each day. 89% of US developers (including students) are already employed. Of the 89%, only 13% are actively seeking new work. 59% of US developers would consider taking a new job if it was offered. This shows people are ready for new jobs, but very few advertise their availability. This is known as a passive talent pool.

All statistics retrieved from StackOverflow Talent.

World Class Talent

Austin is lucky to be called home by a significant number of world-class tech minds…

Corey Butler

I build communities, companies, and code. Cofounder of Created Fenix Web Server & NVM for Windows.