At Catalyst, we are dedicated to nurturing young minds and fostering a passion for open source technologies. Our Open Source Academy helps to equip senior secondary school students with basic skills and knowledge to help them consider a career in tech ahead of making further education decisions.


Director Don Christie talks with students at the 2019 Open Source Academy

Our Open Source Academy vision

Our goal is not just to educate, but to inspire. By the end of our academies, students will have the skills and confidence to actively contribute to open source projects in their own time or to join our industry when they are ready.

The Open Source Academy has been running since 2011. Since then, three of our students have been given full time permanent jobs at Catalyst, with a number more in paid part time or holiday work as they finish school or university.

Open Source Academy reviews

Aleisha, Open Source Academy 2014, Catalyst Open Source Scholarship, Rōpū kohinga Technical Lead

"Catalyst's Academies exposed me to a side of programming and gave me the kind of insight that got me excited about coding and development, and helped cement my dreams to be a woman in ICT."

Wellington IT teacher

"[My student] was so excited about her work at the Catalyst Open Source Academy over the holidays ... you've opened her eyes to new possibilities."

Chris, Kaihuawaere Matihiko, Senior Leadership Team

"It is always amazing to see how productive the students can be. In the history of the Academy students have committed over 200 patches to the Koha code base, making a real difference in the working lives of librarians all around the globe."

How our Open Source Academy works

Learn by doing, from day one

In the first week at Catalyst Academy, students dive into essential tools and practices used daily by our clients. Through building a small application, they explore topics such as licensing, accessibility, and understanding application requirements.

As students progress through the program, they gain proficiency in key technologies including HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Apache, MySQL, PHP, and Python.

Students also get hands-on experience by setting up an Ubuntu laptop and configuring a server in our Catalyst Cloud.

Hands-on experience with real projects

In the second week, students dive deep into a real open-source project. They will collaborate with seasoned developers who are experts in the project, guiding you towards successfully getting your patch into the source code.

A legacy of contributions to renowned projects

Over the years, our students have made significant contributions to esteemed open-source projects such as Drupal, Koha, Mahara and Silverstripe.

Students learning to code at the Open Source Academy

Apply for Catalyst Open Source Academy

Our Open Source Academy is currently closed for applications. Be sure to check back at a later date for more information.