“Besides talent that knows how to build infrastructure, Seattle has a number of leading cloud software companies. Tableau Software, a leader in the computer visualization of large sets of data, is across the street from Google in Fremont. Concur, used for online expense forms, is in Bellevue, near Microsoft Azure. Other companies include Chef, which produces open source cloud automation software; Apptio, a cloud monitoring company, and Socrata, which stores and publishes over 100,000 data sets for 150 government organizations …
“Another factor is the growing presence of the University of Washington’s computer science department, now considered a leader in distributed computing. ‘There’s an argument that Seattle owns the cloud now,’ said Ed Lazowska, who holds the Bill & Melinda Gates chair in Computer Science & Engineering at the university. ‘Universities are always part of the axis’ in building out a regional tech center, he said.
“The university, which awards about 250 computer science degrees a year, is now working on courses in machine learning, which is how computers, particularly in the cloud, study and adapt based on big streams of data.
“‘The cloud and big data are closely connected,’Mr. Lazowska said. ‘We’re incredibly lucky to be in Seattle.'”
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