New Zealand And Working For Propellerhead
The thought of moving to the land of hobbits and sheep and working for a company you don't know can be daunting, especially if you're based on the other side of the world. But do not fret. New Zealand is an incredible country filled with nice people and exciting places to explore.
We've collated some common information about Propellerhead and New Zealand. Have we missed something? Let us know!
About Propellerhead, And The Way We Work
As you'll know by now, Propellerhead is a software services company building products for a number of New Zealand entities. We pride ourselves on our use of the right technologies, the hiring of smart people, and our carefully thought-out, beautiful offices.
We believe a few things help make this a special place to 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. We made this change to be able to empower smart people and allow them to make their own decisions.
Work is organised around cross-functional, self-managing teams, each including roles needed to contribute to successful delivery of value. The most effective team size for us is roughly 5 people, with each person playing one or more roles. We adopt this structure for its leanness and flexibility: as teams are internally self-organising, this allows them to focus on managing their work rather than people.
Upcoming Badge System
From mid 2018, we’re planning to start assigning skill-based ‘badges’ to our employees. 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.
We have tried hard to create a tranquil and empowering environment for our team. Features of our offices include:
We're in the heart of Auckland in Freemans Bay, right next to popular eatery and bar La Zeppa and our largest inner-city park Victoria Park.
The most cost-effective way to get to our offices is by public transport. Auckland Transport buses stop very close to our offices (and you'll have the pleasure of using the AT Mobile app, which we have built and maintain!). Team members also cycle, motorbike, walk, train, or are dropped off by family members. If you'd like to drive, there are parking buildings between 5 and 15 minute walks away, or you can park for free in Ponsonby (30 minute walk away).
We have arguably New Zealand's best office for a software development company!
New employees are given a brand new, latest model Macbook Pro and an 18" x 34" curved LG monitor to use at work. If you need anything else, we can likely provide that too.
You will of course have an electric standing desk!
Italian Coffee Machine
Our office has an excellent Italian coffee machine and unlimited artisanal beans.
We have plenty of snacks available and we are happy to oblige snack requests :)
Birthday Cakes & Shared Lunches
On your birthday you'll be able to choose two cakes to share with the office. We can also order savoury cakes for those without a sweet tooth! Also, every two weeks we have a full company shared lunch.
Our bathrooms contain mens and womens fragrance bars, filled with luxury fragrances.
It's common for us to celebrate holidays and other special occasions with champagne and treats :)
On Fridays employees can spend half their day learning new things, if they don't have an urgent piece of work to get finished.
Our office contains a library for our staff to use as they please, filled with books on better ways of working and software development.
We regularly fund conferences, training days and event tickets.
In-Office Event Series
We're planning an event series for some time in 2018, hosted in our offices, where we bring developers from many of Auckland's leading companies together to talk about interesting technologies.
*We'd love to improve our knowledge sharing - if you have an idea, please let us know!
Propellerhead actively supports STEM and IT related initiatives, including Shadow Tech Day and Shadow IT (events allowing female high-school students to 'shadow' a female IT professional for a day in the workplace), MIT Code Camp (a boot camp teaching high-school students coding and computer game development), and JHack (an event bringing together over 100 students from over 20 high schools to complete in a series of programming challenges).
We also recently donated 27 computers and 27 monitors to the charity OMGTech!, to help with their mission of teaching young New Zealanders how to utilise technology.
We have provided sponsorship for the Junior Dev Auckland Meetup and Hardware Meetup AKL.
Would you like to know anything else about Propellerhead? Please let us know!
About Auckland and New Zealand
We are lucky that many of our team are European and have made the move from Europe to New Zealand. Countries of origin include Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Poland, France, Russia, Ukraine and Serbia. Here are a bunch of resources some of them used to help with the move.
Disclaimer - by law we cannot advise on immigration, only provide resources our team have used before.
Guidance about Visas is best from an Immigration advisor (it's illegal for us to give immigration advice), but here's a bunch of resources from the immigration website.
We're hoping to soon be an Accredited Employer, so new employees will have the option of relocating to New Zealand on the Talent (Accredited Employer) Work Visa.
The Initial Move
Many new employees move to New Zealand for an initial three-month period without their spouse, who then follows later with children if they have any. This allows the new employee to begin settling in and organising everything when they are already over here, instead of trying to organise everything before they leave.
Here are a couple of resources:
Temporary accommodation resource - Immigration New Zealand
Airbnb - what most of our new employees use
TradeMe - New Zealand's largest auction and listing site
Tourism New Zealand - travel accommodation options
TradeMe - where many people find houses to rent or buy
New Zealand was ranked first on the global Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) of 2017, and has ranked consistently in the top two since 2012. The Corruption Perceptions Index annually ranks countries "by their perceived levels of corruption, as determined by expert assessments and opinion surveys."
English is the de facto official and predominant language of New Zealand. Almost the entire population speak it either as native speakers or proficiently as a second language. The Māori language (te reo Māori) of the indigenous Māori people is also an official language, as is New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). Many other languages are used by New Zealand's minority ethnic communities.
English language for your visa - Immigration New Zealand
Public holidays and anniversary dates - New Zealand Government
New Zealand History & Government
History & government - Immigration New Zealand
We'll be updating this sheet with more information. Have something you'd like to know? Let us know!