Propellerhead is a leading software-services company, delivering a portfolio of software solutions to commercial, non-profit and governmental clients across a range of technologies.
Our clients include:
Auckland Transport - New Zealand's largest government transport entity
New Zealand Rugby - the governing body of rugby union
New Zealand Post - our national postal service
BlinkPay - financial services startup
Starship Children’s Hospital
Dimension GRC - financial services startup
SkyBus - Auckland’s foremost airport bus service
Ministry of Education - New Zealand’s education government entity
Auckland Museum - one of New Zealand’s foremost museums
A small portfolio of large, interesting companies who we can’t name due to commercial reasons
We’re growing our team of 65+, and hire predominantly senior-level specialists. We’re interested in finding technology professionals who would like to relocate here with their families.
Take a look at our guide on relocating.
We started Propellerhead in 2002 to change the way software services were delivered in New Zealand. Fast-forward a few years and we now work with some of our countries largest entities, building interesting and challenging technology, and helping to improve the lives of millions of New Zealanders every day.
Recently New Zealand ranked third in the world for best country to live and work in by the HSBC Expat Explorer survey, first in the world on the latest Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), and greatest country on Earth in the latest Telegraph Travel Awards.
At Propellerhead, we value globally relevant skills and mindsets. As our company grows, we would like to give more individuals the opportunity to live and work in our beautiful country.
In 2020 we're travelling to Europe to interview candidates who may want to move to New Zealand and work for us. We’re sporadically in Asia, and interview candidates in-person in New Zealand.
Sound interesting? Take a look at our open positions:
We pride ourselves on our use of the right technologies, our interesting ways of working, the hiring of smart people, and our carefully thought-out, beautiful offices.
Who We Are
We value diversity in our developer community. We like hard problems that require new thinking and technology responses. We are focussed on ‘good outcomes quickly’ for our clients.
However we have some core beliefs and modes of operation:
We are a developer led organisation. We are a lean/agile development house and fully embrace these methodologies for our projects. We thrive on uncertainty and change. We hate waste and unnecessary lines of code. We believe in continuous delivery and the value of high degrees of automation around testing and deployment.
We value doing small amounts lots of times. DevOps is how we support our code post production - if you don’t like supporting your code then you won’t like it here. We love open source software especially commercialised variants. We also think Open Data is very important.
We take great pride in what we do and provide structure and discipline around our modes of delivery. We know our modes are challenging for some clients but we also know most are looking for a different way of getting good value outcomes for their businesses sooner. We are less interested in your last title but we do value new ideas, diversity of skills, aptitude, attitude and a willingness to play nicely.
How We Work
Our typical client engagements are large-scale, but often start small. We concentrate on the right combination of methodology, architecture, technology, and operating model.
We believe software’s ‘natural state’ is live, in front of real users, and used for the purpose it is intended. The earlier we can deliver working software the sooner we are creating value. We are passionate advocates for open-source software, open data, and open ideas.
Propellerhead has moved away from traditional company hierarchy, and practices a flat organisational structure that takes its influence from Holacracy. Instead of being accountable to managers, we’re accountable to our roles and responsibilities. We made this change in order to empower smart people.
Work is organised around cross-functional, self-managing teams, each including roles needed to contribute to successful delivery of value. The most effective development team size for us is 5 people (4 developers and 1 quality analyst). Product teams (1 product owner and 1 service owner), then work with our development teams. Our Optimisation teams (site reliability engineers and technical support analysts) work on maintaining and optimising client systems.
We adopt our structure for its leanness and flexibility: teams are internally self-organising, and this allows them to focus on managing their work rather than people.
Upcoming Badge System
We’ve been working on a skill-based ‘badging’ system for the last few years, and have built our own app to support it. It’s an experiment designed to recognise the ability of our team, help ensure a transparent system, and is something that allows employees to take charge of their professional development.
Business and technology magazine Idealog covered it - you can read about it here. Good things take time, and we’re hoping to begin using it in 2019.
Propellerhead founder Andrew Weston discusses the way we work in more detail:
Some Of Our Work:
Creating and maintaining a strong partnership with our clients is very important to us, and means we're a little different to other services companies. We're selective with who we bring on as clients, preferring to work with entities who understand and compliment our way of working. We only focus on activities that create value, streamlining the engagement and providing a good return on investment.
Instead of all-encompassing software projects with a “do it once, do it right” mindset, our approach sees us deliver in small increments, regularly checking to measure progress against product objectives. Each new iteration provides an opportunity for adaptation based on user behaviour and ever-deepening insights.
We treat unvalidated ideas as hypotheses, using small experiments to prove (or disprove) an idea and its underlying assumptions. Idea validation is often stepwise: determine whether there is a problem to solve, validate whether there is a market (will anybody value the solution?), and finally, invest in building a solution of substance.
In the last 12 months, roughly 90 million journeys were taken by Auckland's residents using buses, trains and ferries. On average, 99.8% of Auckland's 1.4 million population will take public transport at least once in their lives.
Auckland Transport, or AT, is the Government entity responsible for ensuring these journeys happen, and we’re among the providers building technology solutions for local commuters. We’ve built multiple applications for AT to help manage public transport journeys among other things, and after 10 years of working with them, they're now our largest client.
Four of our teams are based at their offices, and recent work includes: AT Mobile: bus tracking consumer mobile app, Rapid Replacement: replacing AT's realtime network management system, AT Hop: UI for the electronic fare payment system on public transport, AT.Govt.NZ: main AT website, Tertiary Concessions: AT Mobile feature allowing tertiary students to view fare concessions/discount eligibility status, Train Line Health: AT Mobile feature allowing users to see whether trains are running to schedule or not, Back-End Systems: data tracking, collation and distribution for a wide variety of AT initiatives.
New Zealand Rugby
NZR leads, supports, grows and promotes New Zealand's national game. They manage our national teams, administration of national competitions, participation in international competitions and matches, and assist community rugby throughout the country.
Over the past few months, we've been working on a number of products and services for NZR, including a live-streaming platform allblackstv.com, MyRugby, the official mobile app for the New Zealand Rugby community, and the Japanese version of allblacks.com.
Technologies used so far: SilverStripe, PHP, ReactJS, React Native, AWS (Lambda, SQS, Elasticache, Kinesis), Auth0, Bitbucket CI/CD.
Starship Children’s Hospital
Starship children's hospital is one of the first purpose-built children's hospitals in New Zealand, and the largest such facility in the country. It provides family centred care to children and young people throughout New Zealand and the South Pacific.
Our team have been working on a new website for Starship, optimizing the user experience around donating and adding many other functionalities.
Technologies used so far: Gatsby, React, Netlify, Contentful
The New Zealand Government has made a number of changes to the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Act to better tackle money laundering and terrorism financing. This amended act extends the existing act to include a greater range of businesses involved in financial transactions.
The team at Dimension GRC spotted an opportunity - there was a gap in the market for low-cost, simple "compliance as a service" for small and medium businesses. We came on board to turn their idea into a working SaaS product, which was launched in November 2018.
Technologies used: Jira, Bitbucket, Bitbucket Pipelines, Java, Maven, Sprint Boot, JUnit, Mockito, React JS, Redux, Webpack, Babel, Mocha, Express Server, Postgres, MongoDB, Selenium, Cucumber, Loggly, New Relic, Nginx, Docker, EnvKey, Jfrog Artifactory, Auth0, Formstack, Verifyidentity (CloudCheck), and AWS services (S3, Elastic Beanstalk, Cloud Front, ACM, Rout 53, RDS). Their brochure site was designed by us also.
BlinkPay has been established as an NZ-wide digital invoicing platform. It is intended to allow businesses to deliver bills directly to customers by integrating with internet banking platforms of major NZ banks.
We're in the initial stages of building BlinkPays entire platform.
Technologies used so far: These details are to come...
Skinny Mobile is an award-winning prepay mobile provider owned by telco provider Spark, but operated as a separate entity while still utilising Spark’s network. Our work for them includes:
Consumer Website: skinnydirect.co.nz
Customer Service Portal
Mobile App: Skinny Direct
Two years ago, the Auckland War Memorial Museum embarked on a journey with us to share its rich collections with the world, hoping to reach more people, in more ways than through its website alone. Our work for them includes:
Linked Open Data Platform: a platform which links to thousands of other such datasets using Linked Open Data, adding to a global “knowledge commons.”
For its subsequent contribution to open data, the Museum has recently been named alongside the BBC, the World Bank, and other global greats as an example of best practice for web standards. Read the Case Study >>