How would you describe the local software culture in contrast to what you know about cultures elsewhere in the world?
I've lived in London for a few years and have colleagues in San Fran and Denver. The biggest difference between the New Zealand tech industry and these cities, specifically in Wellington where most tech companies are, is population. New Zealand is only 4.7M people and Wellington is 400k.
Some of NZs biggest tech companies are in Wellington. Xero and Trademe are across the road from each other. It's a close-knit place where everyone knows everyone. It's become so much of joke that one of our biggest telcomm companies is called 'Two Degrees' a play of Six Degress of Kevin Bacon.
In the NZ tech industry and NZ companies in general, the structure is a lot flatter from what I've experienced elsewhere. It's not common to see someone with the title of President, SVP or VP. If you're a Developer you are likely to be just that. A Developer, Senior Developer or Developer + People Lead.
Because the industry is so tight-knit and friendly there are opportunities everywhere to work together. Earlier this year JD from Raygun wanted to have a chat about building a data team. Because everyone is keen to work together, my manager and I went for a coffee and chat to talk about what we know and how we can help. Plus because most tech companies are within a ten-minute walk from each other we met halfway by simply crossing the road.
The Wellington tech industry is close-knit and everyone is happy to help each other. Although there aren't the opportunities to visit Google or Twitter for Meetups and go to the big international Conferences the community makes it a really nice place to be.
I'm glad I'm back.
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