Algolia is the most reliable platform for building search. Our hosted search API supplies the building blocks for creating great search to connect your users with what matters most to them. Our hosted search API powers billions of queries for thousands of websites & mobile applications every month, delivering relevant results in an as-you-type search experience.
Each team is asked to select, explain, and rank their top 8 values in order of importance.
We emphasize candor, transparency, and a constant exchange of feedback.
You’ll observe how highly we prioritize feedback after spending just a few hours with us. Individual engineers commonly share their project plans in an open document with the entire company, inviting marketing, sales, and HR to contribute. Everyone can speak at length about what candor means to us and how important of a role it plays into how we operate. Even with ~40 engineers, our VP of Engineering (Sylvain) makes sure to meet with each person 1-on-1 to get feedback about how the company can better support your individual career goals. Despite being a distributed company, we promote a culture across all of our offices that values candor and feedback. If anything, having offices in both the U.S. and France makes us more mindful as we must recognize cultural nuances and cultural differences.
Frontend engineer Lucas explains, “Learning how to accept negative feedback is not always easy. It’s totally natural to take it personally when something you’ve worked hard on is criticized. I get attached to my code! But that’s why it’s important that candor is a company-wide value — I know I’m not being singled out. Ultimately, code is a communal project.”
Team is Diverse
While our engineering team is based in Paris, we are not all Parisians!
We have a team that is diverse in background, age, gender, and nationality. Collectively, we know and speak a multitude of different languages (from Mandarin to Dutch to Cameroonian local dialects), though we are an English-only speaking company. Everyone speaks English in open spaces which means that you can certainly join our team without knowing French. We pride ourselves in being a diverse and international company and celebrate our differences. If you want to get to know us, you can read fun facts about us on our website or just say hi to some of us: Vincent (software engineer), Marie-Laure (software engineer), Lucas (frontend developer), and Gianluca (software engineer).
We might have offices in different cities but we are always collaborating.
At Algolia, tech and non-tech profiles are on the same boat and show respect for and interest in one other. The engineers care about the business and the customers. They are all working on the support alternately. Marketing and Sales are trained to have a deep understanding of the product and contribute to engineering feature specs giving constructive feedback. We take full advantage of Slack, shared documents, and video calls to work collaboratively. We also encourage everyone at the company to travel at least once a year to visit and work from a different office. For example, as an engineer in Paris, you might work face-to-face with your peers in the San Francisco office for a few weeks. Traveling and working from a different space with different people offers inspiration and a tremendous amount of perspective. Plus, it’s always really fun to get to know your colleagues in different cities!
We take every failure as an opportunity to learn and be better. We know we may not fix the problem right away, but it’s about testing and trialing, and learning from it to make sure the next time we tackle it, it’ll be better than the last. We released the first beta of our API in a few weeks when it wasn’t really rock solid yet. Our first big user actually broke it, as high-availability was not even there. However, it allowed us to get feedback and to focus on the highest impact items. Since then, we have done tons of iterations to arrive at the product we have today and we continue to iterate on it every week. Our biggest failures are often times are best learning opportunities, which is why we spend time to thoroughly document post mortems (DNS DDos incident, 8-min indexing downtime). We share these with the public too, in hopes that everyone can benefit from the lessons we’ve learned the hard way.
You have room for growth whether you’re moving up or moving sideways.
For a long time, Algolia strived to maintain a flat organization to promote ownership and give people the room to drive major features. As we grew, we started needing middle management to operate efficiently and have promoted many engineers to be leads. Our team is ~40 engineers and we’re organized into 11 squads: Infrastructure, Developer Experience, Intelligence, Web, Visibility, Instant Search, Analytics, Discovery, Index, Instant Search for Mobile, and Search API. We promote our engineering leads from within and also fully support people to make lateral moves. Everyone has the ability to transfer to a different squad. We’ve also had people at the company change roles. For instance, Nicolas was previously a solutions engineer and later transitioned into his current role as a product manager.
We want owners, we want people who act as if it was their company, people who realize that, actually, it is their company.
As mentioned before, our engineering team is organized into smaller squads of 3-4 people. This gives everyone the ability to sit at the table and own their product. As one person on a small team, your opinion and ideas drive the direction of your product and you give you responsibility over a significant portion while also having the support of a few others who are equally invested in the success of your work. “We want owners, we want people who act as if it was their company, people who realize that, actually, it is their company.”
Eats Lunch Together
Get on the lunch train!
Our Paris team eats lunch together every single day. Instead of getting catered food like you might be accustomed to in the U.S., our engineers and team have their meals sponsored by Algolia. This means that every day in Slack, you’ll get a message like the one below saying where everyone’s headed for lunch. Use your food vouchers and get on the lunch train!
Flexible Work Arrangements
You can work from wherever, whenever as long as you let everyone know.
You can work from the office, home, or a cafe if you want to. If you need to come in after 11am, that works too. Everyone is flexible in where and when they work, as long as it’s communicated on Slack. This lets people know where to find you if they have a question or want your input on something. At a corporate company, you have to send in a formal request but we want nothing to do with that. Even Nicolas, our CEO, tries to work from home once a week because he has a family.