Favorite technology company
"We make the products that make the Internet run faster," says one employee of Seattle's F5. "How cool is that?" This is the company that launched BIG-IP, one of the IT industry's first load balancers, as a dot-com startup in 1997. It survived the dot-com bust to become one of the strongest tech companies in the country, continually appearing on lists like Forbes' 25 Hottest Tech Stocks and Forbes' Most Trustworthy Companies. Now, even with more than 750 on its Seattle payroll and more than 2,000 worldwide, employees say it's still a place with "the casual feel of the high-tech industry," where self-described geeks get to build the stuff they love, while enjoying some of the best benefits, support and perks in the city. One of their favorite activities? Teaching high-school students how to build robots as part of the FIRST Robotics program, to ensure a steady stream of future geeks for the successes to come.