You build it. You own it. We champion it.
With over 1800 employees, Meraki has countless examples of how individuals are encouraged and supported in owning projects every step of the way - from ideation to implementation.
Our software engineers often start with a use case and use it as an opportunity to build a solution. An example of this is seen in the development of the Motion Search software for our Meraki MV Smart Cameras. The use case, in this instance, was a customer needing to pinpoint the exact moment of an incident within hours and hours of video footage, with minimal information.
After reviewing the few known details - a bike gone missing, between the hours of 8pm and 9am - a group on the Meraki engineering team got together to brainstorm a variety of possible solutions. Eventually, one of the engineers built a solution - a customer simply has to draw a box in the camera view around a region of interest, and in a fraction of a second they get back a list of timestamps when motion was detected within that part of the frame.
In order to produce this advanced and impressive solution, the engineer had to understand the entire video pipeline that needed to be built, in parallel and real time, with an index of where motion occurs in each frame. The engineer was then able to build the backend components to retrieve, store, and query that index, along with a simple, intuitive interface. This solution, built by a single engineer, not only impressed customers but has since evolved to an even more intelligent version of itself.
Ultimately, we want to enable and empower all employees to run with their ideas, by giving them the tools, resources, support, and buy-in to bring their vision to life. Engineers are trusted and given the freedom to produce and own impactful work across mobile, back end, front end, testing, deployment, and monitoring.
Cross team collaboration in action. Engineers playing team trivia at a department offsite of Ojai, California.
Wears Many Hats
At Meraki, engineers don’t hesitate to cross technology barriers to ship a compelling product.
You’ll never be told you can’t make changes to another part of the codebase just because you haven’t done so before. In fact, many of our greatest wins came from engineers who didn’t hesitate to cross technical boundaries. The camera team shipped their first product with just four full-time software engineers who tackled everything: board bring-up, integration of vendor SDKs for video recording, the deployment of backend systems for proxying video streams, and the design and implementation of the user interface in our web app. This is just one of many examples showcasing the breadth that engineers have at Meraki.
We want you to challenge yourself by exploring different technologies, piloting new projects, and understanding the full range of Meraki technology. At the end of the day, working cross-functionally and committing to whatever it takes to ship the best product possible is our collective goal. As an engineer, you can expect to work with our product, backend, frontend, and UI/UX teams, as well as interact with customers to see how features are received.
Moreover, to support your career growth, we offer a rotation program within software engineering that allows participants to spend time on up to 3 different teams. While entry-level engineers can rotate between teams in our San Francisco office for four-month projects, those who are more tenured have the opportunity to travel internationally and work on projects with our remote teams for up to six weeks.
Notes Day exploratory session in San Francisco.
Safe Environment to Fail
Be Brave is one of our company-wide values.
In order to push boundaries and truly experiment, we place a heavy focus on testing. These enable us to take chances without worrying about irrevocable failures. For example, we have multiple test labs featuring equipment in which we’ve invested millions of dollars for our firmware/product side. We run these testbeds almost 24 hours a day for basic feature testing, end-to-end RF testing, competitive performance tests, scale testing of our VPN features, and more. Software engineers use these testbeds as a key part of feature development and it enables them to innovate with greater freedom.
However, while we’re always looking for opportunities to be better, challenge the norm, and improve our products, we believe it’s important to collectively learn from failures and understand what went wrong, so the same mistake isn’t made twice. To that end, we foster an environment where open discussion and collaboration are the norm, and blame and finger pointing aren’t part of the conversation. If there is a customer-facing outage or a serious bug, we have a blameless postmortem. Instead of sharing it publicly, we’ll have a follow-up meeting so that helpful lessons are learned across the organization to guide us in the future. This cultural consistency can be attributed to a reporting structure where all teams ladder up to a tight-knit engineering leadership team comprised of our CTO Bret Hull and two senior directors, Dan Aguayo, who looks after the Firmware Engineering teams, and Jack Horner, who looks after the Cloud Engineering teams.
We currently have ~200 engineers in our software engineering department. We’re organized into 17 teams which range between 1 and 30 people in size. We spend our energy on creative problem solving, making sure we improve the next time, and having support along the way. Meraki is the type of place where people are always up for lending a helping hand, whether you’re new to the company, or a seasoned Merakian.
When we asked one of our software engineers, Phil Dayboch, about Meraki’s culture of safety, he said “I worked on the Meraki phone from launch day until the product’s cancellation. At every turn of the journey, senior management made it clear that no one was to blame for challenges and that they were always willing to provide additional resources needed to get the job done. After the product’s cancellation, I was provided with the opportunity to join any team I was passionate about. It was a positive experience when all of the other teams actively pursued me and my teammates to join them.”
Summer interns soaking up the sun on our roof deck overlooking the San Francisco Bay Bridge.
Creative + Innovative
We believe that good product ideas can come from anywhere at Meraki.
Have an idea for a new product or feature? Build a prototype! Many of Meraki’s products and features started out as prototypes built by just a few engineers. For example, colorblind accessibility mode started out as one engineer's side project. Jonathan Scoles was part of a lunchtime conversation about how common color blindness is and how some software can be very hard to use for those affected (maybe as high as 8% of men IIRC). He took it upon himself to look at our application through a color blindness simulator and then built a prototype for a user toggle that makes some of our icons more accessible for people with color blindness. It was eventually deployed to every customer.
Product decisions at Meraki are made as a team and involve input from engineering, product management, hardware, and design. Engineering management seeks to empower engineers to be creative, take risks, and experiment. We trust our engineers to think about how to solve our customers' problems as well as to iterate quickly and mitigate tech debt by staying ahead of the technology curve. Only by fostering creativity from all corners at Meraki have we been able to reach tremendous milestones like doubling the number of active Meraki networks around the world to two million in two years.
Meraki's minions! The department has an ongoing Halloween tradition of doing a group costume.
Communication should be a two-way street.
Open communication is what drives us as a company, as teams, and as individuals. One of Meraki’s core values is ‘Everybody In’, meaning we are a team that works as one toward our goals. We listen to each other, share ideas, and invite difference of opinion, and you’ll always be able to voice your opinions and be heard. Whether it’s via Slack, in meetups, or during office hours, it doesn’t matter what your role or team is, we value open discussion with any and all Merakians.
As for feedback, we want yours! Because communication should be a two-way street, we make it a point to encourage constructive, positive feedback between you and your manager, and your peers. You learn this early on at Meraki during New Employee Onboarding with an introductory course on demonstrating care with direct feedback.
Ultimately, we strive for transparency and to clearly communicate high-level decisions that affect your everyday work. That’s why we’ve created a variety of channels and forums for you to communicate your thoughts, opinions, and ideas for the company. We have quarterly company-wide townhalls and often host Ask Me Anything (AMA) sessions with engineering leadership during our monthly Engineering All Hands. Each year, Engineering participates in Notes Day, a time for employees to get into small groups to define, ideate, prototype, and test new and improved solutions for culture, code base, workspace, and more. We know positive change and great ideas come from the bottom up.
Engineers participate in Notes Day brainstorming sessions at a department offsite in Oahu, Hawaii.
Once your code is reviewed, it can be in production in under 30 minutes.
Simplifying everything is at the core of Meraki. Networking is complicated and we’re making it easier, faster, and smarter so businesses run more smoothly, and more people have reliable access to the information they need.
Engineers simplify complex problems to make it easy for people to work with us and to work with each other. Our team cares deeply about providing the best possible experience for our customers. We work tirelessly to keep customer networks online, fast, and secure. That’s why we’ve built a platform that allows us to be nimble and work quickly to get new features and fixes to customers as soon as they are ready. Engineers own projects start to finish, from vague idea to sleek, production-ready feature. Iteration cycles are short; once your code is reviewed, it can be in production in under 30 minutes. We ship to production dozens of times per day, and let as little as possible stand in the way of rapid, iterative improvement.
Meraki engineers lead an Intro to React workshop in partnership with our ERO Connected Asian Affinity Network (CAAN) at our office in San Francisco.
Engages with Community
We’re connecting the unconnected.
Merakians take pride in giving back to our local communities and those in need all over the world. Meraki partners with Cisco’s Tactical Operations and Disaster Incident Response Teams to support public safety, continuity of government, and critical infrastructure during emergencies and disasters. A few recent disaster deployments included aid during the Northern California fires, Hurricanes Maria, Irma, and Harvey, as well as adding Wi-Fi networks and charging stations along migration routes for Syrian refugees. Our work with the international organization, NetHope, lends technical networking and problem-solving skills to communities in disaster relief and war-torn areas.
Making a difference in the world is an integral part of our culture. Meraki provides 40 VTO (volunteer time off) hours a year for you to contribute time to a cause you’re most passionate about. Meraki also encourages volunteering and fostering a sense of community through our many Employee Resource Organizations (EROs). We believe that we as a company, and as individuals, can bring forth positive change with our skills and make a real impact in our communities.
Left: employees make sandwiches for local homeless shelters. Right: Women of Meraki supplied some delicious treats for an event that they hosted!
We value outside passions and obligations and provide benefits to support our employees both at work and in life.
At Meraki, one of our core values is Caring Deeply, which extends to each and every employee. We strive to provide a positive, inclusive, and flexible work environment that allows you to be your best self both in and out of the office. Our engineers come from diverse backgrounds and are at different stages of life, so we do our best to fully support them throughout all of life’s twists and turns. We encourage one another to take time off when needed, work remotely, and make time for after-work activities.
By having Cisco as our parent company, we are better resourced to offer the best benefits to our employees including health, family planning, and educational benefits. We also offer fitness perks and commuter benefits. In addition, we offer ample Paid Time Off (PTO) - 20 days per year, plus 10 paid holidays, 1 floating holiday, and a day off for your birthday. We have a flexible Emergency Time Off (ETO) policy, too, for when life provides the unexpected. When you join Meraki, you’re joining a supportive community which understands that challenges come up in life and will partner with you to ensure the best outcome for your situation. Meraki HQ also offers free, delicious catered meals daily and a variety of healthy (and fun) snacks.
Finally, we also support a number of Employee Resource Organizations (EROs) such as Queers And Friends at Meraki (QFAM), Women of Meraki, Parents of Meraki, Connected Asian Affinity Network, Meraki Gives, and Mosaic. Everyone at Meraki has the opportunity to be part of a community that spans beyond their immediate team. We like having fun at the office, too! We regularly host a variety of activities and opportunities to meet and bond with your teammates and other Merakians. Happiness events (like sailing, woodworking, glassblowing, wine tours), team dinners, and offsites are built-in to our fabric, allowing everyone to truly feel part of a supported system of colleagues.
Employees across Meraki attend a networking event with one of Meraki's EROs, Mosaic.