Impressive Team Members
Our founders are well-versed in startups and have been doing them for over a decade with successful exits.
This is the first company our founders have built that they don’t want to sell. Many of our tribe members (we call ourselves “tribals”) are also very experienced in startups, some having worked at over 20 of them during their career. Having strong tribals who are familiar with the pace of a startup has allowed us to build out an incredible platform with a very small number of people. We are all very focused, customer- and data-driven, and optimize for velocity whenever possible. We are able to achieve a lot in a short amount of time because we invest in tools that enable us to do more in less time. If you’d like to learn more check out this blog post by our CEO: Play A Computer Like an Instrument.
We are building a tribal culture, which means we prioritize not only our employees, but also their significant others and families who enable us to succeed every day.
As we say, the tribe is not built from 9 am to 5 pm. Trust and transparency set the foundation of our company. Everything is open: salaries, cap table, income statements, bank statements, etc.
Once we make a decision, we all “get on the bus” about it even if we don’t all agree with it. We ensure those dissenting feel heard and understood before we commit to a decision. Any new data that can affect any decision is grounds for re-examining the decision is welcomed.
We highly value retrospectives to improve our future decision making. We retrospect with each other and with our customers on a regular cadence and always at the end of our two week sprint. Retrospectives are a safe place to share, prioritize concerns, and then iterate on solutions. Anyone in the tribe can schedule an ad-hoc retrospective on any topic.
Everyone at Armory is empowered to make decisions and help guide the culture of the company.
We would rather you ask for forgiveness than permission. Part of having a culture that is built on trust means that you know your co-workers well and can trust their decisions. This enables people to own projects, and helps us to move quickly as a company.
We use data to inform everything that we do.
Our biggest challenge is connecting the dots between disparate data sources within our customers’ sites to inform them where bottlenecks exist and how they can remove them.
We use Jeff Bezos’ Type 1 vs. Type 2 decision-making framework for effective decision making. Type 2 Decisions are like walking through a door — if you don't like the decision, you can always go back. Generally, we optimize for velocity in our actions, and we default to “Type 2” mode: We make the best decisions we can with the information we have (vs. waiting for better information).
Type 1 Decisions are not reversible, and we are very careful making them, so this doesn’t happen to us. Part of recognizing a Type 1 Decision is ensuring everyone feels like they can raise a flag and say “This is a Type 1 Decision.”
There are some times when we optimize for trust (i.e., “trusted brand”) vs. just velocity: When we code, we have someone else review pull requests; we don’t merge our own work except on an exception-basis. When we produce public content, we have someone else review the post before publishing it (just like coding).
Creative + Innovative
Time is our most valuable commodity, so we have to be creative.
We value velocity and invest in tools that help you accomplish more in less time. We encourage folks at Armory to solve things in creative ways and to hack systems in order to get to the end result as quickly as possible. When validating an idea we do so with the least amount of engineering resources possible. We are not afraid to throw away code and always ensure that we are building the right things fast instead of the wrong things right.
All of our engineers are encouraged to work on projects and features that interest them, and everyone here has the freedom to take on additional work if they want to. For example, one of our engineers took on a project to create a flipdot display for our office. He coded the software needed for it and built the panels. Working at a start-up exposes you to many different projects and aspects of the business, there’s always something to learn!
Team is Diverse
We look for product-focused engineers that like to work closely with customers.
Everyone at Armory has a curious mind and likes to dig into challenges and solve them in creative ways. The tribe is made up of folks with a strong technical background who are passionate about software. Beyond that, we have a range of personalities, ages, startup experiences, and interests. We enjoy sharing our experiences and learning from each other.
Diversity and collaboration are important aspects of our culture. We know that historically Women and Minorities have been underpaid. The best way we know to equal the playing field regarding pay is to make salaries transparent and to set salary bands. Everyone at Armory knows what each other’s compensations are, and each time we bring in someone new, it’s at the same base pay as the previous offer for that position. That way no one gets a higher salary because they happen to be a better negotiator.
We currently are not as diverse as we would like to be. It’s always top of mind for us and an important goal for us as we grow. We are still searching for our first female engineer to add to the tribe, join us!
Customer Comes First
Our mission is to drive engineering velocity for our customers.
Our motto is to “build the right thing fast, instead of the wrong thing, right.”
We are a small engineering team that is insanely driven by solving customer problems. We're passionate about software development, cloud architecture, microservices, containers, and tooling that enables engineering teams to be more efficient.
Our engineering team is part of the weekly product experiments meetings and are involved from ideation to feature delivery. Because we are building a tool for other engineers, the feedback we get from our engineers is extremely valuable. We use Slack to communicate with each other. More importantly, all of our customers are invited to our Slack workspace for real-time feedback on newly developed features.
We move quickly and try to deliver at least 1 new experiment every week. In order to accomplish this goal, we highly value and depend on automation. After each peer code review, a merge to master delivers the code directly to production, all fully automated. Our deployment pipeline is composed of automated tests, canarying and blue/green deployments.
We are a customer-driven company. One of our mottos is, “One hour with a customer is worth 8 hours in the office.” We are building Armory as a series of Russian stacking dolls with the customer at the center, which is why we open a Slack channel for everyone one of our customers. We currently have more inbound demand that we can service and have a solid group of customers like Lookout, Scopely, and Makerbot. Many companies recognize the need for a solution like our platform and they are finding us.
In order to build a massively successful company, you need people that share your dream and want to build it with you.
Having a culture where people work long hours or weekends leads to burnout and ultimately less productivity. We are looking to build a long-term company and view the road ahead as a marathon, not a sprint. We want our people to look forward to coming to work and be excited about it. We offer unlimited paid time off for our tribe to handle the things that come up in life. Have a parent/teacher conference, DMV appt or jury duty coming up? Take the as much or as little PTO as you need to handle those tasks, they never go against your vacation time.
In addition to unlimited PTO, we work flexible schedules. We are focused on your output, not how many hours you spend in the office. Some engineers prefer to come in early and leave before traffic, others sleep in and stay late. We trust you to set your schedule in the best way possible to accomplish what you need while not blocking the rest of the tribe. Because we work in highly collaborative ways, we prefer to have everyone in the office together, but working from home is always an option when you need it. Find out more about the perks and benefits of working at Armory here.