Catalyst loves to innovate

by MaryRose Painter

Cup of coffee

One of the things that surprises people most when they start working at Catalyst is the strong DIY culture that exists here.

As a Kiwi company, DIY is in our blood. Our approach to solving business problems is to innovate first, send work out second. We say, “Can we do that?” more often than we say, “We don’t do that”.

Examples of this are everywhere.

We’re coffee addicts, so we have two excellent espresso machines for staff use. These are not push-button machines and we don’t employ a barista – staff skilled in the art of coffee share their expertise with those less familiar, so almost all Catalystas can confidently pour a cafe-quality flat white.

We wanted to offer our customers a NZ-based cloud solution, but we couldn’t find one we liked, so we built our own. The Catalyst Cloud has several datacentres around the country, which feature Open Compute hardware. We're the first company in New Zealand to make use of this technology.

There’s no mandatory standard install and only minimal desktop support for our workstations. Staff can choose a managed OS or maintain it themselves. We like Linux, and new users will usually have Ubuntu installed by default, but some of us prefer to run FreeBSD, Arch, Gentoo, etc. Users choose and set up their own email and IRC clients, just the way they like them. Want to download and run non-standard software? Sure! Use your professional judgement. There’s usually no approval required.

Instead of an intranet, we have a wiki which is built and maintained by staff. If a Catalysta spots something that’s inaccurate or out of date, it’s their responsibility to update it. All staff have editing access and there’s no hoops to jump through to add a page. This means internal information is owned by everyone. It’s powerfully inclusive and non-hierarchical.

Our culture makes us inquisitive and capable. It pushes us on journeys of discovery that allow us to bring new and exciting opportunities to our clients and the broader communities in which we operate.

If you like the sound of a technology company that’s not afraid to innovate, get in touch. We’d love to help you out.