Business Jobs

Motor City Is Building Apps … But Will Developers Come?

Detroit skyline picture via Shutterstock

Detroit skyline picture via Shutterstock

Calling all app developers: Looking for the next great career opportunity? The chance to get creative on a completely different platform? You’ll want to relocate to (drumroll, please) Detroit.

“Detroit is suddenly hungry for…software developers and information technology specialists who can create applications for the next generation of connected vehicles,” writes Jaclyn Trop in the New York Times, noting the Michigan’s Department of Labor projection that app developer jobs will grow 36.9 percent from 2010 levels.

“The new technology coming to cars promises to radically change the driver’s experience. For example, new apps will allow drivers to interact with their vehicles both from inside and remotely. Drivers can also use apps to monitor fuel efficiency or track mileage for business expenses…Beyond apps, cars are increasingly relying on computers and sensors, from the moment a key fob sends signals to the ignition,” Trop writes.

Ford Motor Company and General Motors are both planning to hire hundreds of developers in the next year, and startups like Detroit Labs and Apigee Labs are staffing up dramatically to meet the new demand.

So far, so good. But the hiring has largely been local or Michigan-area natives returning to their home turf. Will the left and right coasters come soon, too, lured by the exciting work prospects and cheaper real estate? Or will the prospect of moving to long-suffering Detroit stop them in their tracks?

Stay tuned, as we will be exploring the latest developments in job growth and innovation at our second annual Techonomy Detroit conference on September 17.

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