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Michael Schutzler, CEO of the Washington Technology Industry Association
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Michael Schutzler, CEO of the Washington Technology Industry Association
Credit: KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Amazon may be looking elsewhere, but Seattle is still near top for tech

Michael Schutzler, CEO of the Washington Technology Industry Association said the Washington, D.C., beltway is Seattle's equal, when it comes to the size of the tech industry. He was happy to throw New York some shade.

Regardless of where Amazon puts its headquarters, Seattle will remain in the top three metro areas when it comes to the sheer number of software developers, Schutzler said. 

Schutzler says Silicon Valley/Bay Area/Palo Alto cluster has the most programmers of any metro region.

Second place, he said, is tied between Seattle-Bellevue metro area and the DC beltway, he said.

That’s why he said D.C. was a reasonable choice for Amazon.

“The beltway has had tech companies serving the military industrial complex and the federal government for 60 years," he said. "There have been tens... hundreds of thousands of engineers moving to that area. And of those, many many are software developers.”

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New York, the other city being considered for HQ2, is growing fast – but still has fewer software developers than Seattle. “New York’s always great at doing a better job of advertising themselves than we are," said Schutzler. "I love fact that they’ll tell the whole world that they’re the number two tech center in the world after the valley, which is complete nonsense both statically as well as holistically. The bigger issue I think for New York is the ability to get to work.”

The roads and transit are far too crowded, he said.