Silicon Valley of the Central Europe
Why in 1995 did we choose to put our engineering labs in the Czech Republic?
At the end of 1994 and the beginning of 1995 we investigated several countries in Central and Eastern Europe to put our software development lab. We visited several cities – the Czech Republic, Ukraine and Russia. We had some key criteria we needed to meet. First, we had to have an area where there were major universities focused on developing software engineers at numbers that could meet the needs to grow a software firm. Second, we needed to make sure that the engineers could speak fluent English, so that they could communicate efficiently with our US based teams. Third, at the time our focus was on the East coast and we wanted no more than a 6 hour time difference to ensure plenty of overlap with our existing engineering teams. Fourth, we wanted to ensure our intellectual property was protected.
Why did we choose Brno, Czech Republic?
We believed it was important to choose a country that was part of the European Union to ensure our intellectual property was protected. At the time, this rule dout Ukraine and Russia. Brno is the 2nd largest city in the Czech Republic and looked primed to be a technical hub. Brno has two excellent universities for engineering students. They are Masaryk University and Brno Technical University. Both are highly regarded universities for developing good software engineers. Most software engineering students tend to get a Masters Degree and in doing so have to complete a thesis that is presented both orally and written in English. This meant the students were very good at speaking English. Initially SDE focused on clients on the East Coast and Brno offered a 6 hour time difference, which meant our US based teams could interact with the Brno teams each and every day.
Opening of our Brno office, September 1995
Brno just felt like the right place o start SDE and after almost 23 years we know we made the right choice.