Your Ultimate Guide to Kickstart Your Tech Career in Wellington

Why Wellington is the perfect hub for tech professionals

Wellington, the vibrant capital of New Zealand (it proudly boasts the ‘coolest little capital’ moniker), is known not only for its colourful arts and culture scene, but also as a major hub for tech professionals in Aotearoa. With its thriving tech ecosystem and exciting job opportunities, Wellington has become a magnet for those looking to advance their careers in technology.

So, whether you’re a recent graduate or looking to make a career switch, this guide is here to help you kickstart your journey into the world of tech in the windy city.

Understand the tech job market in Wellington and its opportunities

Wellington’s tech job market offers exciting opportunities for IT professionals. The city is home to a thriving tech scene, with a host of innovative and cutting-edge companies operating in various sectors. Here are a few examples:

Xero: Xero is a leading cloud-based accounting software company that was founded in Wellington. It has grown to become one of New Zealand’s most successful tech companies, providing accounting and bookkeeping solutions to small and medium-sized businesses worldwide.

Wētā FX: Wētā FX is a world-renowned visual effects company based in Wellington. It has worked on blockbuster films such as the “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, “Avatar,” and “Avengers: Endgame,” pushing the boundaries of digital filmmaking and animation.

Trade Me: Trade Me is New Zealand’s largest online marketplace, offering a wide range of goods and services, including auctions, classifieds, and job listings. It was founded in Wellington and has become a cornerstone of the country’s e-commerce industry.

Wipster: Wipster is a cloud-based video review and approval platform that streamlines the post-production process for filmmakers, video producers, and creative teams. It was founded in Wellington and has gained international recognition for its innovative approach to video collaboration.

Springload: Springload is a digital design and development agency based in Wellington, known for its innovative approach to web and mobile apps development. They have worked with clients across various industries, delivering user-centric digital solutions.

PikPokPikPok is New Zealand’s biggest game development and publishing studio, working across mobile, tablet and desktop games and based in Wellington.  Their games have won industry awards, been given the Editor’s Choice distinction by the App Store and Google Play, and been downloaded half a billion times in more than 200 territories worldwide.

Catalyst IT: Catalyst IT is one of New Zealand’s largest open-source software companies, providing custom software development, web hosting, and IT consulting services. With its roots in Wellington, Catalyst IT has contributed significantly to the global open-source community.

Tech companies in Wellington are constantly on the lookout for skilled individuals who can bring fresh ideas and expertise to the table. In recent years, there has been a noticeable rise in demand for IT skills in Wellington – from software developers to data analysts, the range of opportunities available reflects the city’s growing reputation as a hub for technology and innovation.

Networking 101: Build connections to help land your dream tech job

Networking is a crucial aspect of landing your dream tech job and breaking into any industry, and Wellington is no different.

Attending tech networking events (such as Techweek) and registering for tech meetups in Wellington can provide valuable opportunities to connect with like-minded professionals and potential employers.

Building a professional network in the tech industry is essential for career growth. By actively engaging with others at these events, you can establish meaningful connections that may lead to exciting job opportunities or collaborations.

Check out platforms such as TechStep that offer opportunities and resources to start out your tech career and regular events that can help you connect with the industry. NZTech also has a wide range of resources and events for tech professionals to help you grow your network and skills.

LinkedIn is another powerful tool for networking in the tech world. By optimising your profile, connecting with industry professionals, and participating in relevant groups and discussions, you can enhance your visibility and credibility within the tech community.

Remember, networking is not just about making connections but also about nurturing relationships over time. So, make sure to follow up with your new contacts and maintain a genuine interest in their work to build strong professional connections that can benefit your career in the long run.

Upskilling and Education: Training Institutes for Techs in Wellington

The tech industry is constantly evolving, so it’s essential to stay updated with the latest trends and technologies. In Wellington, there are various options available for aspiring tech professionals who want to enhance their skills and knowledge.

From IT certifications to coding bootcamps, the opportunities for upskilling in Wellington are pretty diverse. Here are some of the foremost training institutes in Wellington that can help IT professionals upskill and stay relevant in the market:

Victoria University of Wellington: Victoria University offers various postgraduate programs and short courses in IT-related fields, including cybersecurity, data science, and software engineering. Their courses are taught by academic experts and industry practitioners, providing a well-rounded education.

Dev Academy Aotearoa: Dev Academy Aotearoa offers intensive coding bootcamps designed to equip participants with the skills needed for a career in software development. Their courses cover full-stack web development and are taught by experienced industry professionals from their campus on Cuba Street.

Yoobee College Wellington: Yoobee Colleges offer a range of IT-related courses, including web and graphic design, animation, and game development. They provide hands-on training and industry-relevant skills to help IT professionals enhance their capabilities. Best of all – they’re campus is right at the Wellington Station, so public transport is a dream!

CodeCamp Wellington: CodeCamp Wellington is an annual free event for learning and networking. During this full day of free events, there are several workshops, technical speakers and opportunities for individuals to enhance their programming skills, learn what’s hottest new tech trends and meet up with other industry contacts.

Whitireia and Wellington Institute of Technology (WelTec): Whitireia and WelTec offer a range of IT-related courses, including networking, cybersecurity, and software development. Their Petone campus has a range of facilities to help students achieve their study goals, and they provide hands-on training and industry connections to help IT professionals advance their careers.

Take advantage of online learning platforms like Tech Futures Lab (based in Auckland and accredited with NZQA), Coursera, Udemy, Skillsoft or LinkedIn Learning (former to enhance your skills in areas such as programming languages, cloud computing, data analytics, or user experience design.

Quick tip to get LinkedIn Learning for free: many public libraries in New Zealand offer free access to LinkedIn Learning, and Wellington City Library is one of them. It’s available for free when you use the LinkedIn Learning app and log in with your Wellington City Libraries card. #winning

Additionally, consider pursuing industry certifications to bolster your credibility and marketability to potential employers.

Showcase your skills: create an impressive tech portfolio to stand out to employers

When it comes to standing out in the tech industry, a stellar portfolio can help to set you apart and catch the eye of potential employers. Showcasing your skills through a well-crafted tech portfolio is key to highlighting your expertise and experience.

Consider setting up a personal website or blog where you can showcase your projects, insights, and thought leadership in your chosen field. Including examples of your technical projects and collaborations on platforms like GitHub or Stack Overflow which can provide concrete evidence of your capabilities and give employers a glimpse into how you can add value and contribute to their team.

By curating a collection of diverse projects that demonstrate your range and proficiency, you can make a lasting impression on hiring managers.

In addition to showcasing technical projects, incorporating these portfolio pieces into your CV can further enhance your credibility as a tech professional. Check out our top five tips to tailor your CV  for the tech industry and help you effectively show off your skills and achievements. You can also download our helpful Tech CV Template to get you started.

Crafting an impressive tech portfolio takes time and effort, but the rewards are well worth it. With the right approach and attention to detail, you can set yourself apart from the competition and position yourself as a top candidate in the eyes of potential employers.

Take the first step towards your thriving career as a tech professional in vibrant Wellington!

Whether you are an experienced IT professional or a budding talent looking to make your mark, Wellington has something to offer everyone. From edgy start-ups to well-established household names and of course, the busy public sector, the range of tech career opportunities are diverse.

Don’t miss out on the chance to be part of Wellington’s tech community and contribute to its ever-evolving landscape. Start your career journey today and unlock endless possibilities in one of New Zealand’s most exciting tech hubs!