Digital currency will bring about more innovation, efficiency, and equality of opportunity in the world by creating an open financial system. We can use this new technology to help good ideas spread faster, reduce the inefficiencies that legacy payment networks impose on the world, and provide access to financial services to several billion people in the developing world.
Each team is asked to select, explain, and rank their top 8 values in order of importance.
One of our cultural values is Continuous Learning, which means giving, receiving, and acting on feedback.
Our culture is founded on feedback. We conduct regular trainings to help people overcome one of the hardest parts of feedback: giving constructive feedback in a way that strengthens and furthers a relationship. We focus on positive, specific feedback and constructive specific feedback separately. As much as we like to say, “You’re awesome!” we spend more time defining what awesome was in a certain context: “The way you delivered that talk taught me these two things. Thank you for being so clear and energetic!”. For constructive feedback, it’s never “You’re bad!” — instead, we say “Hey, when you did X, it had Y impact, and made me feel Z. I’d love to understand what you were feeling and figure out we can work better in the future.”
Managers are encouraged to give each of their direct reports feedback at least once every seven days and are held accountable for their ability to grow and develop their people’s careers. We push each other to challenge directly with kindness and in service of other’s learning. For example, if you go to your manager to complain about another person, your manager will listen, empathize, and help you digest the events that led to the complaint. Then they will ask, “Have you given this feedback to this person?”
A true desire to learn goes hand in hand with being open to feedback, and no one sets a better standard for this than our CEO, Brian Armstrong. Last year, Brian shared his 360 review to the entire company — Brian’s vulnerability and willingness to share his gaps as a CEO inspire the rest of us to give and receive feedback as a gift.
Committed to Personal Growth
Come to Coinbase and get your Master’s in Crypto.
When you work at Coinbase, you get paid to work with the very best in crypto and learn the bleeding edge of technology and blockchain. So many of our alumni have gone on to start key crypto companies (Polychain, DyDx, Scalar Capital, 1Confirmation, to name a few) and these alum continue to engage Coinbase through Coinbase Ventures, Custody, and other initiatives. We encourage everyone to take advantage of the incredible network at Coinbase, as well as the $1.5k educational stipend for continued development and learning.
We think of career development as a venn diagram of “What does my career need?” and “What does Coinbase need?” The union of those two things is enormous. We support and celebrate internal transfers: we’ve helped support agents learn to code and become software engineers as well as data analysts and people ops move into corp dev. We also strongly believe in keeping the best minds in tech technical, if they so desire. There are parallel technical and management tracks for engineers. These tracks are of equal prestige, and allows engineers who want to keep coding to advance their careers without having to manage direct reports.
We also encourage growth beyond fixed career tracks. You’ll see people from all departments come together to start amazing initiatives like Crypto Working Group, which assigns required reading each week on a topic ranging from stablecoins to lightning networks, and then opens a forum up to debate what Coinbase’s stance should be. Anyone is welcome to attend and leadership listens intently to what the company says, especially since we are home to some of the foremost experts in crypto.
As a info-hungry organization, grassroots initiatives are abundant at Coinbase. From the Women’s Employee Resource Group to Codeschool, volunteering events to weekly Lightning Talks, hackathons to Coinbase Matters, a weekly event where people share their life stories, there are numerous resources for everyone to learn. We even have Crypto 101 for those who are just breaking into the industry.
Similar to the distributed ledgers and blockchain that we innovate on, we strive for transparency.
We have an open floor plan and strategically seat teams together to maximize collaboration. Slack channels are always default open and we actively challenge people to ask, “Can this direct message be posted in a public channel?” Board meeting notes are always shared and leadership is candid about executive decisions.
Every Friday, leadership does an AMA where everyone has 30 minutes to ask the hardest questions they can about the business, blockchain, our competitors, setbacks, regulatory hurdles, and of course, jokes. We send out a quarterly engagement survey and have a company goal around how happy and engaged employees report they are. When employees are dissatisfied, that feedback is heard and acted upon, usually within a month.
As a fast-growing company, we also understand that too much information is overwhelming. We hired a full-time internal comms person to continue iterating on how to keep the entire company informed without adding too much noise. While we have many growing pains, strong communication continues to be a hallmark and focus of Coinbase, which drives our execution and success.
We have a big mission and operate in a competitive market.
The urgency is palpable at Coinbase. We deploy code hundreds of times per week and spin up new business units when we think there’s an opportunity for us to push the crypto industry forward. In 2017, Coinbase had only two businesses: Coinbase Consumer and GDAX. Today, we have nine business units, which shows you the big bets we are taking in the overall blockchain ecosystem.
To support the different tech stacks and engineering needs of nine business units, we have multiple service engineering teams. The Payments team helps our products and apps talk to the blockchain, the Identity team ensures our customers are who they say they are, and the Security team keeps Coinbase as the most trusted brand in crypto. Sharing these expert services across our business units allows product engineers to move faster and share knowledge across teams
One of our core values is Efficient Execution, which helps us focus on getting 80% of the value for 20% of the cost. We’re building the future and it’s coming fast.
We’re product-focused and customer-oriented.
Coinbase is building a new open financial system, and we need to experiment with different approaches. We are not married to any particular approach (i.e. centralized vs. decentralized), and stay close to our customers in order to figure out what they need. We’re currently building a number of different products (i.e. Consumer, Pro, Prime, Markets, Earn, Paradex, Wallet, Commerce, Asset Management), and lean towards shipping quickly.
Rapidly Growing Team
In the last 18 months, we’ve grown from 100 to 600 employees!
The tremendous growth at Coinbase is a strong signal of both a growing market and our success as a business. To stay on the bleeding edge, we have expanded our team, products, and the space to support it. (We went from renting one floor to leasing an entire building of 19 floors in San Francisco’s Financial District!) Looking to the future, we plan to 2-2.5x every year going forward. If you’re interested in joining us, take a look at our open roles and let us know.
If you’re curious about what our rapid expansion looked like from the inside, read about Nathalie’s experience helping take Coinbase from a 10-person company to a 500+ company in less than 4 years.
Safe Environment to Fail
As a company deeply committed to continuous learning, we fully embrace failing.
As an individual, you should view failure as a natural part of growing. Our commitment to feedback and the training we provide all of our employees to give and receive feedback play a huge part in normalizing mistakes and missteps.
As an engineering team, we practice blameless retrospectives to learn from the mistakes that were made and identify any structural failings. We also publicly share our retros so that others can learn from our mistakes and learnings like how we scaled our platform for spikes in customer demand, or how we spun up then shut down the Tip button.
As a company, we use the RAPID framework to make complicated decisions quickly. At our pace and with our goals, we can’t afford to make ill-informed or slow decisions. Emilie Choi, our Head of Corp Dev, introduced RAPID as a framework for making complicated decisions when she joined. She presented it at company all-hands, shared a few RAPIDs she was involved in, and soon, the rest of the company started using the RAPID framework too. Engineering, ops, recruiting – we’ve all seen clear results by trusting the system and due diligence performed during a RAPID.
Actively Practices Inclusion
Belonging, Inclusion and Diversity is core to our mission.
It’s not lost on us that the intersections of finance, technology, and crypto has historically left communities behind. We’re ready to change that.
At a high level, we have commitment across our entire company. We’ve hired Tariq Meyers as our first Head of Belonging, Inclusion, & Diversity; our CEO and VP of People participated in Project Include’s “Tech Inclusion” Cohort; we have an employee-led Diversity and Inclusion Committee that meets regularly; and we’ve positioned D&I as a key metric reported out monthly to the company. For us, diversity, inclusion, and belonging is simple and stands on three separate pillars:
Who and how we hire.
Sourcing. We know that talent is evenly distributed, but opportunity isn't. To reverse this paradigm, we start at the beginning of the candidate life cycle, and dedicate sourcing resources to identify underrepresented talent that may get lost in more amplified channels like referrals. We’re also committed to building better relationships with emerging talent and are proud to attend Grace Hopper and expand our university relationships to include HBCUs, starting with Howard University.
Interviewing. Finding the best talent is only the first step. It’s equally important to offer a fair and inclusive selection process. To start this journey, we’ve implemented a bar raiser program and values-based interviewing system that positions us to be consistent, focused, and fair for all of our candidates, no matter who they are or where they come from. We make sure that our bar raisers go through an iteration of interview training to ensure each candidate receives the greatest opportunity and experience possible. Coinbase also offers unconscious bias and allyship training for employees interested in understanding how bias impacts decision making. We’re in the process of developing our own curriculum for more efficient, global delivery as our company continues to scale.
How we feel once we’re hired.
Metrics for progress and success. You can’t fix what you can’t measure. Each quarter, Coinbase launches an annual engagement survey. In the last three months, Coinbase added Belongingness factors to the survey to better measure and architect programs around employees’ sense of safety and inclusion in the workplace. In tandem with company-wide belonging, we also dive into individuals’ experience at the team level.
Employee Resource Groups. To create safe spaces and offer a greater sense of community for underrepresented groups, we’ve launched our first three communities: People of Color, PRIDE, and Women at Coinbase. Each group’s goals align with our overall company goals and their strategies impact the entire employee lifecycle.
Expanding access in the marketplace for consumers.
Democratizing access to our product. This is both our greatest challenge and greatest opportunity. There is tremendous amount of work to do to make Coinbase more approachable and accessible to communities that don’t trust our present financial system.
Educating the world about crypto. We have a number of initiatives to promote more understanding about our industry spanning from the Crypto Curious videos our CEO Brian launched to the fireside chat one of our engineering managers Amy curated for over 100 women in tech to discuss the important of women in crypto.
Committed to Personal Growth
Rapidly Growing Team
Safe Environment to Fail
Actively Practices Inclusion
20 Product Managers
Unlimited vacation policy. Strongly encouraged to take at least 3-4 weeks of vacation a year.
Ruby, Rails, Go (Backend)
React, Flow, styled-components, Mobx (Frontend)
One take home technical screen (30 min), one video call technical screen (1 hour), an onsite (all day). After the onsite, if you’re a fit, we’ll make an offer for you to join the team!