(Photo courtesy of Barkleycard)
When Baltimore native Shelton Shugar decided it was time to move on after 15 years working for large-scale tech firms like Yahoo and HP on the West Coast, he wasn’t expecting to go into the financial sector. But as banks and financial companies become more and more technological, they’re all looking for someone with Shugar’s extensive experience.
“When I started looking, I found most of the companies I interviewed with were in financial services,” he said.
Now, as CIO of Barclaycard, he’s looking at Wilmington and seeing its potential as a major tech hub, with some advantages not even offered by Silicon Valley. Its accessibility is always a selling point, as is its cost of living. But it’s the tech culture in Wilmington that appealed to Shugar the most.
“There’s a lot of talent in the Wilmington area,” he said. “They’re embracing the technologies from the West Coast, using open source. Good talent looks for projects they’re interested in, that are complex, and have impact. We have that here. And you get to work with other good developers.”
Shugar sees the city’s potential for growth. “Once the word gets out,” he said, “it won’t be difficult to draw talent to the area.”
OpenBracket, which brings top coders from all over the country to compete for a piece of the $100,ooo in prize money, is a natural fit with Barclaycard, who is a sponsor of the event for the second year. Talent comes to town for the competition, but Shugar hopes to spread the word that Delaware is growing as a tech center — and that it’s worth more than an annual visit.
“It’s part of our general outreach,” he said. “We want people to know what we’ve got here.”
Part of the reason Barclaycard is interested in Wilmington’s growth a place where tech folks want to move to (or stay) is that the company is growing, and most of its growth is in Delaware, home of the company’s U.S. headquarters.
“We’re hiring now,” he said, “and we plan to be hiring pretty continuously.” You can see Barclaycard’s current job openings here.
The OpenBracket coding competition will take place Oct. 20–22 at The Queen, where the 100 top coders, as selected in online trials in August, will compete. (If you missed the trials, have a HackerRank account and want to compete, you can fill out a Walk-on Challengers Request Form here.)