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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

September 11, 2013 at 11:05 AM

F5 moves into Microsoft territory, opens Bellevue office

Twelve miles can be an awful long way to commute, especially if it involves a Lake Washington crossing and a battle with Seattle’s ever-shrinking arterials.

So Seattle-based F5 is opening a satellite office in Bellevue, to improve its chances of recruiting Eastside tech talent.

Google started the trend with its dual campuses in Kirkland and Fremont. Microsoft followed and now has several Seattle offices. Even HTC is straddling the lake, with its U.S. headquarters in Bellevue and a software development center in Pioneer Square.

F5 today announced that it plans to hire 50 engineers at its new office in Factoria, which has the capacity for up to 85. The move comes a month after F5 rival Cisco announced that it’s cutting 4,000 jobs because of its concerns about slowing growth.

“F5 is joining a thriving group of technology powerhouses in the region’s Eastside corridor,” Karl Triebes, executive vice president of product development and chief technology officer, said in a release. “This location will grow our ranks of talented engineers and further strengthen F5’s position in Washington’s competitive talent market.”

The thriving network equipment and software company has hired more than 600 people since the start of 2012 and now employs 3,100 worldwide, including 992 at its headquarters on Elliott Way.

F5′s offices have a great view but the location is tough for Eastside residents to reach, since they have to navigate the Mercer Mess 2.0 or east-west arterials that are now packed with Mercer refugees. At rush hour Denny Way is often impassable, with a solid mass of cars inching between Elliott and Interstate 5.

Triebes happens to have a house in Bellevue. Perhaps he’ll be among the current F5 employees who shift to the Factoria office.

For engineers living further east or unable to take Bellevue’s traffic, F5 also has a large facility in Spokane.

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