Nerds abound in Kansas City.
Or at least the Nerdery’s local expansion seems to indicate as much. The software design and development firm has added 14 staffers in the last 18 months and is now launching another hiring spree.
The Minneapolis-based firm — which opened a Kansas City office in late 2014 — plans to add another dozen tech jobs in Kansas City to accommodate its growth, local branch director Monica McAtee said.
“We’ve had really good growth both client-wise and with hiring employees,” McAtee said. “It’s been faster than what we expected, which has been really exciting.”
The Nerdery opened a downtown office in late 2014, but McAtee said that the firm has had a Kansas City presence since 2011 when it began working with Hallmark. From startups to Fortune 500 firms, the company’s clients include the State of Vermont, Tastefully Simple, Purina One and more. The Nerdery’s services include mobile and web apps, website development, system integration and digital consultation.
The Nerdery now has 47 Kansas City employees but hopes to finish 2016 with nearly 60 staffers. In total, 500 “nerds” work for the company, which is led by CEO Tom O’Neill.
The Nerdery’s local job openings are for .NET, PHP and Java developers, as well as UX designers, project managers and data scientists. The firm’s user experience and data science divisions have been particularly successful, McAtee said.
“We’re really excited about expanding and growing those disciplines,” McAtee said. “They’re definitely hot across the U.S., and as an organization, we’re investing to grow those disciplines so we can respond to clients’ demands. Big data — especially in Kansas City with the Smart City project and Internet of Things — is a really relevant space right now and we want to be there as thought leaders.”
Asked how the Nerdery has been successful in attracting talent in a city where techies are in high demand, McAtee said it boils down to its values. The firm’s “deep nerd culture” has emerged as a key differentiating factor when it comes to talent attraction and retention, she added.
“Our definition of being a nerd is just being passionate about something,” she said. “We don’t believe that a nerd is a negative term or someone who just codes. You can be a nerd about photography or travel or cooking. All our guys and gals have passions outside of what they do every day at the office, and they bring that to the workplace. … Everyone’s a nerd.”