We are Critical Software

our culture and history

Quality is at the heart of everything we do at Critical Software.

We are dedicated to the reliability and excellence that have become our hallmarks, and to maintaining our ambition of tackling the world's most demanding technological challenges. Established in 1998, we provide systems and software services for safety, mission and business-critical applications. We help to ensure our clients meet the most demanding quality standards for software safety, performance and reliability. Our data management solutions and services also provide clients with the information they need to manage their important assets and processes, helping them to achieve better business performance. 

Dreams Made Real

Critical Software Image

We have worked on many successful projects that have made a real impact on people's lives and businesses. Our ambition is to focus on internationalisation and continue on our path to a promising, global future. Every day we come to work to push boundaries and to change how the world uses technology. We take pride in the work we do. Any company can reinvent or create products, but few can say that they offer their employees the chance to make history.

Critical in numbers

years in business


University of coimbra

The beginning

Let’s go back, way back, back to the 90s… The Spice Girls were huge and accessing internet meant not being able to use the phone. The first PlayStation had just been released and Tamagotchis were vital. It was during this progressive decade, that three bright engineers met while at Coimbra University completing their PhDs in Computer Engineering. Together, Diamantino Costa, Gonçalo Quadros and João Carreira wrote several technical articles that attracted the attention of an engineer working at the Jet Propulsion Lab (aka NASA)... And thus, Critical Software was born.

The company quickly grew and began expanding abroad. We launched the first commercial deployment of csXception™ software.

The European Space Agency (ESA) used us as a case study for European SMEs working in the space sector. What a thrill! 


The recognition

After being in business for a few years, we became the first Iberian company to receive the ISO 9001:2000 TickIT quality certification. This was big news! It meant the quality of our work had been recognised with an internationally respected standard.  

Quality in practice

Following this accomplishment, we achieved the NATO/AQAP 2110 and AQAP 150 certification and were awarded CMMI-SE/SW Level 3. Go big, or go home, right? 

Our home

We opened three new offices – one in the UK and two in Lisbon and Porto, Portugal. We also moved our headquarters to a new and bigger building in Coimbra that we still call home today.


The expansion

As well as becoming the main independent software tester for the ESA’s EarthCARE space mission projects, we contributed our expertise towards the enlargement of the Schengen Area in the EU.  

New places

Since our initial expansion overseas had grown substantially, we opened more offices in Brazil, Mozambique and Angola.  

The Critical Group

The Critical Group became a thing. We launched our first spin-off company, Critical Links, soon followed by Critical Materials, Critical Health and Critical Manufacturing.  


The growth

Because we were now one of the few companies in the world to achieve CMMI-SE/SW Level 5 certification, we could work on some of the most important projects happening in the world. Our client list therefore continued to grow...  

High-profile clients

We got to work with a variety of high-profile companies, such as AgustaWestland (Leonardo), EADS, Thales Alenia Space, Vodafone, Infineon, EDP, Enersis, CGD, BCI, BFA, Unimed, AES, BPI, SIBS, mCel, UNITEL and the Bank of New York.  

New directions

We opened a new office in Germany, launched a joint venture (‘Verticalla’ with Sauter Controls) and were listed by Business Week as one of the Top 500 fastest growing companies in Europe. 


The future

And so, our company grew. Over the years, we’ve welcomed more people to our Critical family, opened more offices in more countries, worked on more (and bigger) projects, continued to launch new companies, become a Benefit Corporation, achieved Investors in People Gold, and much more...

Today, we couldn’t be more pleased to still be doing what we love with the people that make us who we are. Critical Software is more than just a software company. We’re a team of talented people who produce ground-breaking technology, making a real impact in the world. 

What makes us


For over 25 years, our company has been growing and we’re proud of our history and excited about our future.

Our culture

We’ve come a long way since 1998.

We’ve evolved and we’ll continuing to do so. Change is good, but there are some things that we’ll never let go of. Things like our identity, what we stand for and the kind of company we’ll grow up to be. Maintaining our Culture & Values ensures we stay true to who we are and always treat each other, our clients and our communities with respect. 

Working at Critical Software

Our values


We engineer ingenuity, and we love a challenge. 

Challenges create change, allowing us to invent new things, energise our ideas and achieve greatness. Challenges help us to serve our customers, in our relentless pursuit to “make the best better.” Whatever we’ve accomplished, we’re always hungry and ambitious for more, always asking new questions, always innovating.

We believe we are stronger together.

We work hard and smart for each other and the world around us. We believe that everyone we work with and everything we do matters. We pride ourselves on our energy and resolve in delivering on our promises. We care deeply about our work and are passionate about attracting and nurturing the very best talent.

We listen, we think and we act: boldly.

When things matter most, we take the initiative. As a team and as individuals, we trust in our expertise, which empowers us to be decisive, brave and committed in our work. We’re resolute and resilient: not everything in life is easy, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.

We care about the way we get to the top.

Trust is tied to everything we do. We are guided by our dedication, honesty and integrity at all times – to each other, all of our customers and suppliers, and the communities we are an important part of. These principles lie right at the heart of our organisation. We know there are no short cuts to success, and we’re willing to go the distance to make sure we do things the right way.

We engineer ingenuity, and we love a challenge