Job title:

Software engineer


Allied Telesis


Master of Science

Moved to Christchurch:

February 2009

Tobi Wulff
Why did you choose to move to Christchurch?

I initially moved here to study at University of Canterbury.

What does your company do?

Allied Telesis delivers Internet protocol (IP)/Ethernet network solutions to the global marketplace.

What does your job involve?

I am responsible for writing and maintaining the software that runs on our switches and fix issues that we find through in-house testing or at customer sites.
I also work closely with our testing department and assist them with the investigation of problems.

What do you enjoy about your job?

Writing software for such a big system involves many different tasks that often require very different skills. This usually means that one particular type of work is only done for two to four weeks before we do something different.
For instance, I might be working on a user interface, followed by getting new hardware to run our software, followed by automated testing. This keeps work very interesting and provides many opportunities to learn new skills.
Employee wellbeing is important to Allied Telesis. The company offers many opportunities to maintain good health including a gym, swimming pool and social club.
There are also several technology-related user groups and meet-ups around Christchurch such as the Python programming language user group.

How do you see your career progressing?

There are many opportunities to contribute to the company and go beyond the expectations of the job description. Examples are: mentoring for new employees, presenting on a technical topic or conference visits, and writing software tools that we use in-house.
I would like to go to one of our overseas development centres in the future, which would provide the opportunity to travel and live in a new place while still contributing to Allied Telesis.

Tell us about your lifestyle in Christchurch:

Fun at work:
We have a social club that organises many events, such as regular Friday afternoon BBQs and the Christmas party, which featured a great comedy program last year.
I have also been biking and climbing with several workmates. I was really surprised how easy it was to quickly connect with people and do things outside of work.

Fun outside of work:
Because so many people in New Zealand enjoy sports and the outdoors, it is really easy to find people to go tramping, climbing or cycling with – people from work as well as keen people from other clubs and societies around the city.
We don’t get quite as much annual leave as workers in some other countries, but I find it really easy to turn a normal weekend into a (short) holiday since New Zealand offers so many activities and a variety of landscapes – most of which are fairly easy to reach from Christchurch.

Life in Christchurch:

I love the outdoors and Christchurch is a great place for that. There are many tramping and climbing clubs, mountain bike tracks and indoor activities for those cold and rainy days.
It is possible to go biking up the hills or down to the beach after work and drive to Mt Cook or the West Coast for a weekend.
Christchurch at the moment is a very exciting city to live in with new restaurants, cafes and pubs opening all the time. I live relatively close to the city centre so most of it is only a short walk away.
I can easily and safely cycle to work, as most of my route leads through Hagley Park. The topology and street layout is great to get around quickly on a bike.
Compared with dense European cities, the quality of life here in my opinion is very high. It is relatively easy to find and rent a house with a big garden, which is nicer and quieter than big apartment buildings.
Kiwis are quite spontaneous people and I think this influences many immigrants, so a quick weekend trip or an after-work BBQ isn’t hard to organise at all.

Allied Telesis

Allied Telesis work environment
Allied Telesis staff gym
Allied Telesis laboratory