Union Pacific Opens Austin Software Development Center - InformationWeek
IT Leadership // Team Building & Staffing
02:20 PM
Connect Directly
Ransomware: Latest Developments & How to Defend Against Them
Nov 01, 2017
Ransomware is one of the fastest growing types of malware, and new breeds that escalate quickly ar ...Read More>>

Union Pacific Opens Austin Software Development Center

CIO Lynden Tennison goes where the talent is to build his development team.

 Big Data Talent War: 7 Ways To Win
Big Data Talent War: 7 Ways To Win
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
In search of IT talent, Union Pacific, the U.S.'s largest railroad, is opening a software development center in Austin, Texas, that could employ up to 40 people. Union Pacific increasingly depends on tech talent for everything from developing analytics software to running one of the largest privately owned telecom operations.

But the railroad also faces the challenge of how to recruit tech hot shots into an industry and location that aren't top of mind for technologists. Union Pacific has centered its IT operations at its headquarters in Omaha, Neb. While Union Pacific has extensive internship and other outreach programs, Omaha is one of those "great place to raise a family" cities that can be tough to initially attract new talent. CIO Lynden Tennison says Union Pacific has been recruiting from Texas universities, but many candidates would prefer to live in Austin.

More companies in heavy industry and manufacturing will face a tech talent crunch as they increasingly become dependent on software and data analytics to run their companies or to embed software as part of their products.

[ The next great technology problems are out there in rail yards, power plants and farm fields. To drive tech innovation, Silicon Valley Needs To Get Out More. ]

General Motors recently opened an Austin office that could employ up to 500 people in software development and other IT specialties. CIO Randy Mott is opening four such development centers around the U.S., in locations chosen specifically for the IT talent there. Ford and GE opened Silicon Valley offices in the past year.

Union Pacific has a lot to offer a technologist. The railroad does considerable custom development of software used in areas such as predictive analytics to anticipate equipment failures and to optimize logistics on its 32,000 miles of track. The company also develops a lot of the software-plus-hardware systems that are needed onboard to operate a train.

Union Pacific also is working on a lot of the same automation problems applied to trains that Google is researching for the self-driving car. For railroads, it's part of a Congressional mandate (called Positive Train Control) to use technology to prevent accidents such as train collisions.

Stay ahead of the eCommerce technology curve. Watch our webcast, Next Generation e-Commerce Strategies for B2B Sales and Marketing, to learn the strategies and tactics you can use to more efficiently give your clients what they want, keep them happy and increase sales. Register now.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of IT Report
In today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll