ServiceNow isn’t your typical Silicon Valley success story. The
company wasn’t founded in a garage and its early days weren’t
discussed in a dorm room. Rather, ServiceNow got its start in San
Diego, with a group of founders and early employees who liked to meet
for lunch at the local Red Robin.
Today, the vibe of its less-traditional beginnings still influences
how the company operates.
1. Roots in the region
That’s one of the reasons ServiceNow made Chicago its first
U.S.-based technology development center outside the West Coast.
Beyond its San Diego start and even its Santa Clara headquarters,
ServiceNow has close ties to the Midwest and believes deeply in the
quality of talent there.
Founder Fred Luddy attended Indiana University, where “Luddy Hall”
at the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering now stands.
President and CEO John Donahoe grew up in suburban Chicago.
Chief Product Officer CJ Desai graduated from the Univ. of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
And four of the first five ServiceNow employees in Chicago relocated
from the West Coast to be closer to family.
“Chicago is a top market for technologists – I'm always inspired by
the new faces around the ServiceNow office and excited about the
skills they bring," said Desai. “With ServiceNow’s huge growth,
it’s important for us to be able to tap into the talent there.”
The proximity of universities that specialize in computer science
and other technology degrees was especially compelling as Desai
considered Chicago as a development center. The ServiceNow Chicago
team started in early
2018 in a nearby co-work space but quickly outgrew its temporary
digs. In early August, more than 60 employees moved into 176 N. Racine
St. The new office was designed to foster creativity and collaboration
and is located in the heart of one of Chicago’s most booming neighborhoods.
2: Some of the best and brightest
Brad Henderson, the CEO of P33, Chicago-based organization
that partners with business, academia, other groups to turbocharge
Chicago’s tech ecosystem and promote inclusive economic growth, agrees
that Chicago boasts some of the country’s top tech talent.
“Chicago is home to some of the most accomplished computer
scientists and engineers and is one of only a few cities in the U.S.
with three, tier-one research universities. It’s no surprise that more
and more companies are investing in the city. ServiceNow’s move to
Chicago is a testament to the city’s strengths, and we’re thrilled
that they are officially a part of Chicago’s tech ecosystem,” he said.
Chicago’s focus on technology is a great fit for ServiceNow’s
expanding team there. ServiceNow works closely with several of the
area’s universities to recruit talent, attending career fairs and
hosting other events that help students learn more about
opportunities. Members of area universities also joined ServiceNow to
celebrate the new office opening on Sept. 20.
On a personal level, in 2018, Desai and his wife, Hina, lent their
support to CJ’s alma mater to help increase representation of women in
technology. The Desai’s endowed the “Desai
Computer Science Fellowship” at the university to help the
school recruit and retain top female graduate students, showing more
than just a company commitment to technology talent there.
3: Technology in service of people
Perhaps the most notable thing that sets ServiceNow apart is the
quality and type of work the teams there do. Engineers at ServiceNow
work to solve different technology challenges than at other companies
because ServiceNow’s Platform is not just another app; it continually
evolves, grows and develops, with features like artificial
intelligence, machine learning, mobile and more built in.
Engineers who work on the ServiceNow Platform appreciate the ability
to directly impact ServiceNow’s customers with the features they
create, the code they develop, the design they produce, and the
quality they provide.
The word is out: Chicago is a terrific market for tech companies.
Employees are seeking out great lifestyles, and they’re finding it in Chicago.
ServiceNow’s Vice President of Platform Engineering, Joe Davis,
emphasizes why top talent there chooses ServiceNow. “At ServiceNow,
our aspiration is to build a great, enduring company – one helps our
customers create great experiences and unlock productivity – and
employees who join us have the opportunity to make an impact every day.”