Team is Diverse
We are one of the most diverse teams in the Bay Area.
Our product is a human being that visits people’s homes and forms an intimate connection with those families. In order to build the right technology to support such a relationship, we have to build a team that is truly able to understand, translate, and innovate on care. Unlike most typical Silicon Valley companies, we have an incredibly diverse team with backgrounds spanning healthcare, non-profits, government relations, social work, and technology. Our Care Professionals come from countries all over the world, many are immigrants, and most of them are women. Our varied backgrounds are critical to building a product that caters to an equally diverse audience. Women make up 30% of our engineering team and more than half our company. Half of the executives on the leadership team are women of color.
Bonded by Love for Product
We only want you to be a part of the team if you care about the mission.
Home care, on the surface, may seem like something that’s not particularly exciting. However, if you take a few steps back and look at the global trends, the number of people reaching the age of 65 is exploding. Most nations around the world do not have good solutions for how to take care of our aging parents, at a large scale. We want to take care of our parents as they age, and what we build affects people’s lives on a very personal level. If helping people in this way is meaningful and fulfilling for you, then you’ll fit right in. Care Professionals have been able to get their families out of shelters because of the steady wages they received working for Honor. It’s incredibly rewarding to see our clients getting better and Care Professionals feeling like they are finally being respected. Our mission and the passion we have is the strongest binding agent for all of us at the company.
Happy, healthy, home, Honor. from Honor on Vimeo.
Many of us are not consumers of our service, which means we have to work extremely close with our care delivery and management teams to understand the end-user and build the best product.
Generally speaking when you work on a social media app, the developers belong to the audience they’re building for. As engineers at Honor, we’re not seniors getting care nor are we caregivers giving care. This means we have to work from a place of extreme humbleness and open-mindedness so that we don’t build the wrong product. When we have questions, we don’t assume we know the answer; we have to ask a lot of questions and work really closely with people who do know the answers. Likewise, if a Care Professional encounters a tech problem, it’s likely that an engineer will jump directly on the phone and walk them through debugging the problem. Without that kind of collaboration, there is no way we’d be able to build a high quality service.
Heavily Team Oriented
Even though we’re a tech company, we don’t consider ourselves to be one. We’re a services company.
The product we “build” is really the human being that goes to your house to provide homecare. That’s what we offer. All of the clever technology we build in the backend is in support of that, and if that experience is bad, then it doesn’t matter that we used the latest and greatest coding algorithms. All of this is to say that we are an incredibly team-oriented company where every department plays a critical part to the greater whole. Most of the time, what engineers find is intuitive is not so to our Care Professionals and what is intuitive for Care Professionals is not so for us. It’s the collaborative intersection between us that makes Honor what it is.
Part of being a team is understanding one another. That is why we shadow our Care Professionals, we’ve volunteered with the local San Francisco Village, and we hold internal internships with different teams. These are incredibly enlightening.
You need context in order for you to do your job really well.
The way we communicate really stems from the founders. We have all-hands with the whole company regularly, and the product team meets often to make sure everyone is in sync. Everyone is encouraged to ask questions whenever they have them. We make sure that it’s not a directive culture (“here’s our new directive, everyone must do it”) and is instead more of a conversation about the newest strategies, the context for why we want to do it, the problems and solutions we identified, and what feedback folks have about it. We all know that we’re experimenting together and that we’re in this together.
Eats Lunch Together
We have a long family table and we all sit together.
Having read about how collaborative we are and how integrated each department is, it’s hard to imagine us not eating lunch together. We provide lunch 3 days a week and and commonly take trips out together when we don’t. (We’re also guilty of being San Franciscan coffee snobs, so we make lots of trips to get coffee together too.)
High Quality Code Base
Our code quality is high because people’s lives are on the line.
When Honor first started, we had 10 engineers before we were even funded. Our engineering team was made up of the best people we knew from our previous companies, which also meant we brought on a lot of the best practices we learned from our previous experiences. We have to ship high quality code because people’s lives are on the line. It’s certainly a balance in being nimble as well, but we understand that everything we do has profound effects on operations (and the bigger we get, the more profound that gets). That is why we implement good practices, code reviews, team discussions, and have deep conversations about architecture and tradeoffs. There’s a lot of communication around good code.
We also highly prioritize ownership. Ownership is everything. If something breaks, it’s a team effort to fix it so it’s important that you do your part in raising the flag. In a way, this also keeps things at a high quality because no one is thinking that they’ll be punished for shipping a bug.
We’re a pretty young company but we’re already one of the biggest owned and operated home care businesses in the country.
We couldn’t have grown this quickly without having been fast-paced. We’re in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Dallas, and Albuquerque and are continuing to scale. It’s an interesting environment though because this isn’t your typical tech company. We’re a services company and our customers who are people who need a lot of help; they’re usually in a highly emotional state, they’re panicked, they’re frustrated, and they need a lot of reassurance. That puts a really high quality bar on the services and product we deliver. The more we scale, the more careful we have to be, but we constantly fight to keep the same software development tenets that we started with: iterative, fast-paced, and data-driven.