AMAZON.COM LAUNCHES SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT CENTRE IN SOUTH AFRICA

Computing

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) has announced that it is launching a software development centre in Cape Town, South Africa. The centre will focus on developing new and innovative web services to help software developers build innovative applications using Amazon technology.

The new centre is looking for exceptional computer scientists and software engineers with entrepreneurial spirit to join the start-up team. Specific roles that are available include software development engineers as well as specialists in the areas of open source operating systems, networks and security.

"We want to build a team of the most talented individuals that South Africa has to offer," said Chris Pinkham, managing director of the new centre. "Candidates should have experience designing and building complex yet maintainable systems, and should be able to do so in about one third the time most competent people think possible."

There will be an emphasis on recruiting outstanding professionals with a track record of over-achievement throughout their work experience. Expertise in multiple programming languages, including C++ and Java, distributed systems architecture, systems software, network engineering and information security will be of benefit.

While management is concentrating on establishing a strong core of senior engineering talent, it is also setting up an internship programme and will be looking to engage recent and soon-to-be South African graduates with strong computer science skills.

Successful candidates will receive meaningful equity compensation. "All employees in South Africa will be employee-owners of Amazon.com. Amazon.com prefers the ownership model of employment rather than the rental model - owners tend to look after their stuff better than renters," said Pinkham.

The South African team will work independently and have complete control of the development process for the products they build.

"Amazon.com strongly believes in the idea of creating independent teams to work on separable services with minimal requirement for coordination," said Pinkham. "The South African team will deal with idea generation, and technical design through to development and deployment across a variety of architectures and technologies."

Amazon.com is not disclosing what products the South African software development centre will be working on, except that the centre will be expanding Amazon.com's global web services offering.

"We will continue the effort Amazon.com started in 2002 to expose different components of our platform so that software developers around the world can develop and launch their own services built around our infrastructure and product data," he commented.

The launch of the centre, according to Pinkham, is testament to the calibre of the highly-skilled talent pool in South Africa. He expects the centre's cutting-edge research and design-based work to contribute towards the retention of high quality graduates in South Africa by providing them with rewarding career opportunities.

"Amazon.com's technology teams have already built a world-class e-commerce platform for the Amazon.com family of global web sites," said Pinkham. "This new centre will offer software developers in South Africa the opportunity to advance the evolution of e-commerce by building new innovative technology that will be used by millions of people around the world."