What Drives Us

We love the way continuous advances in the technology of software allow us to bring newer and better ways to solving problems for our clients, their users, and our community.

These advances in technology require us to constantly question the status quo – ask if there is a better way to get things done. We see the need for constant evolution in the relentless pursuit of excellence.

And that’s why we founded Propellerhead.

What We Believe

Our Belief

We believe developers can be far more productive when given the freedom to lead in the process of crafting solutions. It is less about what they do and more about what they choose not to do when creating a great software solution.
Everything we do is oriented towards stimulating creativity and unleashing the extra-ordinary developer within.  Our approach is crafted to produce maximum value by providing the right conditions for innovative ideas to surface – stepping out of the way to allow developers to create outstanding results.

Value Based

We take pride in designing, developing, and deploying great software. But our mission inspires us to be something more than just another software services company. We are at our best when we understand why – understanding the true value of what we are creating.

Open Ideas

We believe in the power of “crowd-sourcing” – be it open source software, open data, or ideas. We are drawn towards ways of working and engaging that are generative, supporting emergent behaviour and ideas.

Small & Often

We believe software’s “natural state” is live, in front of real users, used for the purpose it is intended. The earlier we can deliver working software the sooner we are creating value. Not only do we believe in delivering as soon as possible, we believe in delivering more frequently. We believe in building value incrementally, as we adapt and change based on user feedback.

Build the Right Thing

While “building the thing right” is important, we believe attention should be given to “building the right thing“. Building the wrong thing – not getting user feedback early and often – is the true failure. This means being quick to market – delivering in small increments in order to trial ideas early with real users. It also means seeking and acting on their feedback.

How We Work

Our expertise is based on the way we develop software to bring ideas to market. We focus on practices that unlock a pipeline of ideas, in a way that allows those ideas to be delivered incrementally and to be validated by real users.
We couple rapid development practises with a mindset of doing just enough to bring an idea to market.

By avoiding over-investment it is easier to adopt a learn-fast model for delivering software.
Of the many things we have learned along the way, we know there is no magic bullet. Delivering the right software early and often requires a focus on people, processes, and technologies used.

Our high performing teams are typically small in size, stocked with skilled individuals, and have developed a rapport through working together over an extended period.

We prefer smaller, self-organising teams for their effectiveness. Simply put, we believe our developers know best how to solve the problems they encounter on a daily basis. In a small team communication is straightforward and everyone has a voice – decisions get made quickly and things get done.

There was a time when we ran software projects using methodologies better suited to engineering than software development. We focussed on hierarchies, division of work, specialisation, and detailed plans. For us, this approach was simply not effective – it didn’t cater for the frequent changes we encountered.
These days our work involves creating software for new ideas and complex systems. As such, we find it is better suited to management techniques that cater to adaptation and emergent behaviour. Increasingly, we are drawn to using trials, experiments, discussion, and self-organising teams.

When working on new ideas we like to test them frequently – getting feedback from users, quickly. Successful ideas can then be further invested in, while duds can be discarded with minimal fuss.

We use Agile/Lean methodologies that promote a short build-measure-learn cycle. This allows us to quickly verify hypotheses, correct, and evolve our work. This “learn-fast” model of software development helps us consistently deliver useful software.
We opt for tools and techniques that support deploying working software earlier and more frequently than has been possible in the past. The notion of continuous delivery – deploying software as a progression of small enhancements – has changed everything about the way we work except the art of writing code itself.
Continuous delivery is largely underpinned by automation of the build and deployment pipeline in order to streamline the validation of changes before they are released to users.

It requires not only changes to the way we architect, test, and deploy software, but also the way work is initiated and funded. In the world of continuous delivery software systems emerge from the delivery of small feature-based components (or microservices). These components are woven together to create a flexible, seamless fabric that represents the current state of an enterprise’s interface with its many stakeholders.

A continuous delivery process supports the both the release of features frequently and the ability to run experiments – deploying variations of the same feature to garner user feedback by measuring user interaction.

We architect for flexibility, allowing for the inevitable changes our software will undergo as we deliver new features.

A microservices architecture provides us a way to evolve an application, one feature at a time. It allows us to deliver and support features independently of each other, and, by extension, avoid the problems caused by a monolithic architecture.

Microservices are the ideal complement to continuous delivery – applications can be delivered incrementally, service by service.

Our Work

We have delivered a broad range of solutions from identity management, to sophisticated web platforms, to high volume IoT integration solutions.

We are chosen primarily on the basis of our abilities as creative problem solvers.

Civic Initiatives

For us, hackathons are one of the ultimate tools a software developer has in the quest for innovation. Exciting new ideas are showcased in a rapid, low-cost manner – our favourite way to create software.

In 2014, Propellerhead partnered with Auckland Transport to organise HackAKL, a transport-themed hackathon. The event was a resounding success, with around 300 participants and many great ideas presented.


We are Propellerhead

Our story

How we work

Adaptability / People over process

Working For Propellerhead

Working With Propellerhead