NextDocs: "We want to establish how a larger company can thrive in the Philadelphia area" - Technical.ly Philly

May 18, 2012 12:00 pm

NextDocs: “We want to establish how a larger company can thrive in the Philadelphia area”

It’s been a while since we’ve checked in with NextDocs, the growing King of Prussia-based company that provides compliance solutions to life science companies. In the past few months the company has ballooned to 126 current employees and is moving to a new office in Conshohoken that may or may not have a slide. “We intend to […]

It’s been a while since we’ve checked in with NextDocs, the growing King of Prussia-based company that provides compliance solutions to life science companies.

In the past few months the company has ballooned to 126 current employees and is moving to a new office in Conshohoken that may or may not have a slide.

“We intend to make it the best place to work in software in Philadelphia,” says Satwik Seshasai VP of Product development. Seshasai recently joined the company after spending nine years in Boston working for IBM.

We ask Seshasai how Philly compares to Boston, NextDoc’s ambitions to double in size and how Philly uniquely allows engineers like him to have a greater impact.

As always, edited for length and clarity.

What’s the coolest thing you guys are working on since we last spoke?

The most exciting thing were seeing is the trend of “consumer-ation of the enterprise.” Were starting to build in the ability to get more social, use cloud deployments and see more mobile use cases. We’re taking the most exciting things happening in the consumer technology world and applying them to the enterprise with NextDocs and life sciences.

Being in Philly we hear all of the things happening in the Bay Area and in New York City, and if you read Technically Philly, the things happening in Philly. A lot of that is happening in the consumer space, but it’s just as exciting in the enterprise.

You spent a lot of time in Boston working for IBM but you recently moved to Philly. How do they compare other than their struggling baseball teams?

The baseball teams track pretty well together in the past 10 years. Philadelphia is a really close-knit community that believes that a rising tide floats all boats. I’ve reached out to local engineering VP’s and every one has been willing to talk to me about recruiting, tech, events … and there’s no competition. In fact, I got this job [at NextDocs] due to a referral from someone at another company.

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The juxtaposition with the growing tech community and the local established life sciences community allows engineers to have unique impact on the world, which is really about getting medicine and medical devices to patients. I agree with Phil Moyer’s blog post about commercialization. Philadelphia is the place to come to if you’d like to make an impact on the world.

Whats next for the company?

We’re moving to Conshohoken from King of Prussia and we intend to make it the best place to work in software in Philadelphia. We’re looking to double the size of the company [from 126 employees].

We’re building a space that will use the latest technology to allow engineers to be productive and fun. It’s got floor to ceiling windows looking over the river.

In Philadelphia, we have a lot of one-, two-, 10-person companies but we want to establish how a larger company can thrive in the Philadelphia area. People will be attracted to move to Philadelphia because of this. We’ve already recruited from Texas, New York, Connecticut, St. Louis and North Carolina.

Will you have anything quirky at the office like a slide?

Yeah, but you’ll have to apply to work here to see what we have in store.

If you’re going to go through the trouble of moving, why not move to the city?

The big reason we moved to Conshohocken is because people can take the train from the parking lot of our office. We wanted it to be accessable to people who are in the suburbs and in the city. I’m a believer in that you want to hire people for their entire career, we wanted to pick a location that people could evolve with [if they start a family and eventually move to the suburbs]. It’s the perfect location. It gives you the best of both words.

That’s not to say we won’t consider doing things in the city. We’ve had discussions on co-ops or hackathons inside the city. We’re open to talking about that.

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