SSW Newcastle now open! We are coding by the Sea

We’re officially open!

The SSW Newcastle office had its opening party last week. We had a great time on Friday night with many special guests celebrating with us. I would like to thank everyone who came.

There were local software developers, SSW employees (both past and present), and even our first ever client came along with his family! It was awesome that so many people celebrated with us.

SSW Newcastle is our 4th Aussie office

We’ve have been working on getting this office together for a year now, mostly due to COVID and me changing my mind.

Thankfully the stars aligned and we had 55 days of 0 cases in NSW, which meant it was party time! Planning a party during COVID times is a lot more work than during normal times. We had a COVID safe plan in place, QR codes, a compulsory hand sanitizer entrance and fist bumps only.

It was a fun night, and I did 2 presentations which I’ll tell you about shortly. It great to see everyone enjoying themselves and eating all the food. We enjoyed an amazing spread, organized by my wife and Greek goddess Anastasia, as well as a few cold drinks. The champagne went down a treat, as did the beer. Considering most were non-drinkers – 120 bottles disappeared somewhere! 😲

A party shot
Figure: Party time! Newcastle council have recently replaced the trainline with a beautiful park in the centre of the city and you can see it from our office. 🥂

Why Newcastle?

I really enjoyed meeting people from Newcastle, but many guests were from Sydney and of course the question came up, why did we choose Newcastle when there are so many other great cities in Australia?

I gave a short introduction to the town I knew well, why we chose it, and our plans for the future. My father-in-law made a well timed and very loud entrance in the middle of my presentation, which gave everyone (including myself) a giggle. He’s always an entertainer! #eyeroll

Here are some of the things I talked about on the night where I highlighted the best bits of Newcastle that was used in our decision making. I grew up in the area and it has changed a lot recently, so if you don’t know Newcastle spend a few weekends there. You will be impressed.

⬆ 7th largest city in Australia and 2 hours from Sydney
👩‍🎓 University of Newcastle is ranked top 200-400 in the world, which puts it close to the top 1% in the world
🌟 Awesome high schools that rank very high in the state based on HSC results. 2 schools were in the top 50 schools in NSW, Merewether Selective and Newcastle Grammar. (Impressive given no other schools outside of the Sydney basin made it that high)
🏛 Historic Buildings and Architecture which is not surprising considering it is Australia’s second oldest city
🏙 City convenience without the busyness
💰 Lower cost of living & property prices
🏄‍♀️ Beach living and a big surfing scene
🍷 Easy access to world renowned wineries in the Hunter Valley
🎨 A vibrant art scene – more artists per capita than any other city in Australia
🍴 Lots of good cafes, restaurants etc. vegan friendly!
👩‍💻 A Tech future – In 2017, Newcastle made a commitment to be a smart and sustainable city by 2030 

After that, there was some business amongst all of the fun… I presented a lightning talk, “7 simple steps to building your profile”, which I think was well received. I might add a more polished version to SSW TV in the future to help blossoming developers.

Monkeying around

We ended the night by trying out the new monkey bars that we installed to help the developers to become stronger and fitter (and have some fun). They appeared to be a hit!

Video: The competition to do a full completion of the monkey bar rings was intense, but so was the support! 😂💪

Here’s a few more pictures from the night:

Party action shot
Figure: The fabulous spread organised by Anastasia and the team. 🍣
SSW Newcastle during presentation
Figure: Newcastle Chapel – The presentation part of the evening. I’m so proud of how great the rooms look!
The sound reducing booth
Figure: Our answer to the ‘cone of silence’ – it’s a booth that dampens sound so you can make calls more effectively.

We are hiring!

Sold on Newcastle!? We are hiring, check out:

Or contact Penny on with your resume!