Engineering Team at Intercom

Intercom builds a suite of messaging-first products that all modern internet businesses can use to accelerate growth across the customer lifecycle, from acquisition, to engagement, and support.

Job Openings at Intercom

Top Engineering Values

Each team is asked to select, explain, and rank their top 8 values in order of importance.
  • Start-to-Finish Ownership

    Say “I’ll take care of that” instead of “that’s not my problem.”

    We’re outcome oriented and value Engineers who will own outcomes, not technologies, processes, or software. People who own outcomes will fight to find the value in the software they produce and are liable to cross-functionally collaborate outside of their typical remit to get things done. If it’s related to an outcome an Engineer is owning, you’ll almost never hear an Intercom Engineer say "that’s not my problem."

  • Continuous Delivery

    “Software only becomes valuable when you ship it to customers.” - Darragh Curran, VP of Engineering

    We ship simple, early and often, and iterate rapidly. It’s not uncommon for us to release our core software 150 times per working day. An Engineer can get their latest PR into the hands of all of our customers in 30 minutes. We recognise that this release process is the pulse of a growing organisation, and realise that software only has value when it’s in the hands of our customers. To support this we have multiple stages of integration tests and also a bunch of tools that allow us to flip features on and off in production in various ways. We’ve also got a bunch of ways of getting in-production feedback and a really tight process for managing and learning from the in-production mistakes we will inevitably make while moving this fast.


  • Fast-Paced Environment

    At Intercom we think slightly different and operate by a more robust core value: move fast and optimize for the long term.

    Intercom moves quickly, and engineering is at the heart of that fast tempo. We acknowledge in our cultural values that we need to temper this pace to ensure that we maintain the high bar of quality we desire and to avoid being frantic or rushed.


    To do this we spend a lot of time getting to the essence of the value of whatever it is we’re working on, trying to cut the fat rather than cut the corner. We’ll aggressively scope features and always fight complexity. We look for simple, well-focused solutions that are free from the complexity that will slow us down over time.

  • Bonded by Love for Product

    Product is central to everything we do at Intercom, and you’ll see this reflected in our engineering culture in many ways.

    Engineers at Intercom strongly identify as ‘product engineers’ who orient themselves around building and maintaining the Intercom product suite – or around enabling others to do this well.


    Problems that engineers work on are almost always framed (directly or indirectly) as solving interesting problems for our customers, or improving our product in some meaningful way. As a result, our engineering culture is pragmatic and quite averse to “technology bikeshedding”, technology ego and snobbery or using technologies for the sake of it.


    This is not to say we refuse to embrace technical innovation or trends where it makes sense. For example, one of our latest products could not be built without significant investment in our ML capability. However, you’ll find that at Intercom engineering we’ll cut right through the bullshit and the hype to get to the real value of the technology.


  • EQ > IQ

    At Intercom, we’ve learned that having the entire product team participate in research is a key method for building deep empathy with our customers.

    It is incredibly important that we never lose touch with who we’re building your products for. It is the responsibility of everyone who is contributing ideas about how a product will work to have a good understanding of our customers and their problems. Otherwise, the opinions and ideas that we share are based on assumptions, and assumptions are the kryptonite of product teams…


    No matter your role, your perspective and input will always be weakened by lack of evidence, and the decisions you make are immediately higher in risk if they are not informed by facts about your customers. We constantly create opportunities for our product teams to take part in user research. A great example is how our Messenger team did user research together when we were redesigning Intercom Messenger, only to discover a major pain point for our customers (they felt like our messages were pop-up advertisements!), and solve for it.

  • Work/Life Balance

    In-office hours are mostly 9-5, with maybe a shift for those who overlap with our offices in various time zones.

    Some folks might be on-call on the weekends for production emergencies, but we keep that responsibility to a minimum and on a voluntary basis.


    We shut the office down entirely at the end of year over the holidays for 1 week. We also have generous leave policies including extended paid paternity leave. We don’t just pay lip service to this, either – you’ll find that our leaders right across the organization set an example by practicing what they preach. People occasionally work from home, but we are predominantly office-based. We do have a few remote folks who work well in that mode, but it would be the norm for engineering to be on-site in one of our offices.


    We have a wide variety of what we call Intercommunities, in which like-minded teammates can gather and practice their shared interests. For instance, some folks play gigs in the Interband, while Inter-Hike organizes regular walks in the countryside, and Inter-Dip sees colleagues go for early morning sea swims. A lot of us will bring our kids along to all of these things. Teammates take part in sports together, too. We have weekly soccer games and a large number of marathon runners on the team, who you’ll often see out and about on the streets of Dublin, London, and San Francisco.


    In the office, some folks organize board game evenings, while the pool table in the office bar in Dublin always has a game going.

  • Cross-Department Collaboration

    Instead of centralized teams, we have cross-functional teams at Intercom.

    We absolutely have guidelines where it makes sense to do so, for example in picking out and investing in critical technologies, or in ensuring Intercom is available and secure for our customers. We have developed pattern libraries for engineers to reuse as they see fit, but as an engineering organisation that prides itself on autonomy and empowerment of our engineers, we’re more interested in trusting and cultivating good judgment. You’ll more frequently find our engineers collaborating with more tenured teammates, and colleagues from other disciplines like design and product management, than you’ll see them follow a strict, centralised process or be beholden to the limitations of some technical framework.

  • Impressive Team Members

    First and foremost, we invest a lot of time in hiring the right people.

    We look for people who share our cultural values as well as our aptitude for building product.


    We clearly acknowledge that trajectory is more important than state, taking bets on those who want to learn and grow over those who reckon they have it all figured out. When you take this approach, valuing growth mindset and self direction, you assemble teams that are not only impressive in their current state, but also impressive in their trajectory. Over the long term, teams that are introspective, eager to learn, and want to continually improve can grow their abilities in almost limitless ways.

Values

  • Start-to-Finish Ownership
  • Continuous Delivery
  • Fast-Paced Environment
  • Bonded by Love for Product
  • EQ > IQ
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Cross-Department Collaboration
  • Impressive Team Members

Company Properties

  • B2B
  • Technical Founder(s)

Vacation Policy

Flexible

Tech Stack

Learn more about how we Run Less Software.

Interview Process

Read more about our engineering interviews here.