Hipcamp makes it easy to list, discover, and book campgrounds and accommodations on private and public land. Whether you’re looking for a scenic spot to pitch your tent or planning a nature-filled getaway, Hipcamp is your go-to guide to getting outside. We believe that spending time in nature is essential to a happy and healthy life, and we’re deeply proud that we’re making nature more accessible, providing income to support the protection of private land, and creating community across the urban-rural divide.
Each team is asked to select, explain, and rank their top 8 values in order of importance.
Bonded by Love for Product
Hipcamp Founder and CEO Alyssa Ravasio started Hipcamp because she loved the outdoors and was frustrated by how difficult it was to book a campsite despite spending several hours researching. At the time, 30% of the California State Park system was being threatened with closure due to lack of revenue. This had to change.
Alyssa started Hipcamp to get more people outside. Hipcamp makes it easy for people to explore, adventure, and find the best campsite. Hipcamp is passionate about creating equal access to the outdoors and providing a revenue stream to landowners so they can remain autonomous and protect their private land. We are passionate about sustainability and getting more people outside to connect with nature.
Like Alyssa, many of our employees have a passion for camping and want to help build a product they love using. Most people who want to work with us are concerned about increasing access to the outdoors while also protecting it for future generations. It’s no surprise that all of us use our own product to go camping on the weekend. We participate in a ‘Summer Camp Challenge’ and each employee receives a large amount of Hipcash (Hipcamp credit) that refreshes annually to allow them to get out, experience nature and use the Hipcamp product!
To learn more about Hipcamp’s origin story, take a peek at this documentary created by REI.
EQ > IQ
We don't call the people who use our product "users" because they are people.
We are building a person-first product and personalize everyone’s experience using Hipcamp. It is imperative that we practice empathy when building tools for both sides of our marketplace. Hosts and campers have different needs, and high EQ is critical in developing the best experience for each. An example is setting the expectations for a first-time camper so they have an amazing experience and supporting the needs of a landowner who has never camped before and is starting their camping business for the first time on Hipcamp. While the needs of a camper and a landowner may seem siloed, it’s when we think of how one affects the other and creating balance between the two that we come to the best solutions.
Exceptional EQ shapes the way we make product and business decisions, and also plays an incredibly important role in how we operate as a team. We have a strong desire to work and surround ourselves with people who understand that the universal human experience is a journey. We leave egos and backdoor politics behind, which might sound idealistic, but is something we truly live on a daily basis.
When it comes to interviews, we’ve crafted a process that allows candidates to show all sides of their personality. We want to know what is important to you rather than just test your technical skills. We don’t ask behavioral questions in interviews, but we are absolutely testing for it in the way an applicant asks questions, talks about what they do and do not know, and how to speak to their passions.
High Quality Code Base
At Hipcamp, code readability and comprehensiveness is key.
We define syntax and pattern standards as a group, use code linters accordingly and respect our rules throughout the codebase. We pay more attention to quality than speed because we are constantly thinking about what the next engineer would think. Maintainability and developer happiness is always more valuable than short-term efficiency and self-rewarding productivity. We constantly improve our codebase quality by cleaning up old code and coming up with better ways. Every day, we apply our favorite mantra and company value: Leave it better.
Empathy is nice, encouragement is key.
We’ve structured our company to enable continuous feedback. We are staffed in pods that rotate, and all pods have equal access to company resources. Our office has an open layout and we have team-wide meetings every other week that end in an open discussion for people to give praise or raise questions. Engineers play a core role in determining the product roadmap, and we define all company OKRs for the quarter together, with each individual team choosing their own key results.
We have a practice of collecting open feedback and sharing feedback openly. It has created a culture of accountability and mindfulness. To facilitate team bonding and conversation, we rarely cater lunch (with exceptions). Instead, we utilize our large open, fully-stocked kitchen and cook meals together.
One of our company’s core values is "hold each other up." Redwoods are the world’s largest tree, and they intertwine their roots to support each other's growth. We take inspiration from redwoods as we build a powerful community that can support each person’s growth by providing thoughtful feedback, celebrating wins, and investing in the personal development of each individual.
We focus on results, not hours.
We believe that clearly defined goals combined with awesome people, true empowerment, and nearly total autonomy create the best results. We support flexible hours, occasional remote work, and encourage folks to work from home in a way that best works for them. We embrace that everyone has their own, unique working style which is why we have a "how to work with me guide" folder. New hires read through the folder when they join, and also outline their personal working style. To respect each team member’s time, we avoid unnecessary meetings and ensure that any meeting we do hold is run by a meeting owner with a clear agenda.
We have a rotating "ranger on duty" who is responsible for responding to pieces of feedback left in the feedback channel during normal hours, and deliberately do not use a pager system so people don’t receive alerts outside of work or on weekends. Many of our engineers have children and families, and everyone at Hipcamp appreciates spending time outdoors. (We also have a number of musicians on the team as well!)
There's a reason we call our developers “product engineers.” Engineering is core to all decisions from product prioritization to feature design. We believe that when you work on what excites you, you also bring your best work. Engineers at Hipcamp are involved at the very beginning of the process helping define what we build and how we build it. We create goals collaboratively, and engineers work with the rest of the company to take projects from ideation to production.
As a startup, there is so much that we're building that's fresh territory. This means designs are not restricted to solving challenges and points of friction but are instead creative and free to offer new opportunities for campers and hosts.
High Employee Retention
Pierre and Leo were two of the first engineers to join Hipcamp. When we asked them why they’ve stayed at Hipcamp for as long as they have, and this is what they said:
Pierre, Senior Software Engineer (joined 4 years ago): "Working at Hipcamp was a dream before I started and the level of excitement has never declined over the years. Our mission is very special. It affects people in various ways, and ultimately raises awareness around protecting nature. I define Hipcamp as more of an outdoors company than a tech startup, although it's the combination of the two that is meaningful to me. I don't see myself having the same impact on the causes I care for, in such an open-minded and forward-thinking environment, anywhere else today."
Leo, Senior Software Engineer (joined 3 years ago): “It’s great to be working with technologies I’m interested in, for a product I believe in, with a group of people I share common interests with. The supportive environment here is real; it’s nice to know people have your back. It’s also great to work somewhere where your ideas can so directly influence the product; most often in a better form than when conceived.”
Thoughtful Office Layout
We are so proud of our office space because it’s one that you actually want to work from.
It was incredibly important to us that we find and create an office space that genuinely makes you feel good. Coming to work doesn’t feel like work when you love the office space. Our office is outfitted with sunshine, plants abound, a fully-stocked communal kitchen to allow for healthy eating, a room reserved for communal lunches, bamboo sit-stand desks, and we get juice delivered from ugly produce.
We’re dog-friendly, take naps in a real loft bed, and even have a full camping gear library at your disposal. You’ll find open desks for co-working, and Alyssa (Hipcamp’s founder and CEO) works alongside the Hipcamp team. Meeting rooms, quiet workspaces, communal workspaces, and video conferencing that works are prioritized so we can GSD.
Our vision was to create an inspiring magical nature oasis in the heart of San Francisco and it was designed by our team with love. Our office is a place where our team feels at home and allows them to be their most productive selves. Words really can’t describe it… you’ll just have to come to see it and we hope you’ll love it too!
We have an unlimited vacation policy. We believe that vacation is an important part of a balanced, happy life. Everyone can and should take off a reasonable amount of time with pay. We support flexible hours and occasional remote work. We focus on results, not hours. We believe that clearly defined goals combined with genuine people, true empowerment, and nearly total autonomy create the best results.
We will start with an introductory call to get to know you. You’ll get to talk about your experience, what you’re looking for next, and what you’re passionate about and we will tell you all about Hipcamp, what it’s like working here, and the role. Next, you’ll complete a short take-home assignment, then you’ll talk with an engineer on the phone about what it’s like to be an engineer at Hipcamp, complete questions related to web frameworks, and do a short coding session together. The final stage is an onsite interview at the Hipcamp HQ, where you’ll meet several folks from the engineering team, some folks from product, and our CEO & Founder.