Kite augments your coding environment with all the web’s programming knowledge. Kite brings the web’s programming knowledge — intelligently sorted completions, all the documentation, and thousands of great examples — right into your favorite editor.
Each team is asked to select, explain, and rank their top 8 values in order of importance.
We are engineering-driven, engineering-dominant, and engineering-centric.
Our company has 13 employees, 12 of whom are engineers by training. We are building a product in a niche market and we also belong to that market ourselves. Building Kite is technically challenging, so we have to invest in building a high calibre team. As a member of the Kite team, you'll be working with other world-class engineers. When we solve problems, we don’t cut corners and will dedicate the necessary time to uncover the most complete and rock-solid solutions. As a result, our customers can expect all of our products to be built with world-class engineering.
In a lot of ways, we fulfill whatever you’d imagine when you think of 12 nerdy engineers working together.
Our office is very spacious and quiet, as most people work with headphones in and communicate over Slack.
Aside from a 10-minute stand-up meeting at 10am every Monday through Thursday, we virtually don’t have any regularly scheduled meetings. (Instead, meetings are scheduled ad-hoc.)
Our compensation reflects how much we value skilled engineers with a strong CS background, like ourselves.
Everyone sits in an Aeron chair.
Creative + Innovative
We believe that creativity is one of the most important traits you can have when solving difficult problems.
To us, creativity comes in many different forms, including:
Technical creativity. Many of the engineering and product design questions we face have no clear or easily accessible answers, so it's imperative to be able to combine technical expertise and mental flexibility in order to work in this space.
Play-making ability. To borrow a sports term, we look for individuals who think beyond their day-to-day responsibilities and are able to create their own opportunities to further both the organization and their own careers. We don't micromanage. We expect individuals to control their own outcomes.
Unconventional thinking. Beyond the typical engineering and product projects, we try to think outside of the box for all the problems we encounter as a small startup. For example, in order to get more high-quality feedback from external users, we started a rotation program in which small engineering teams could use our office space and amenities for free in exchange for using our product and sharing their real-world experiences.
Bonded by Love for Product
We’re in a privileged position to be building a product that, as coders, is made just for us.
The fundamental question that we ask ourselves everyday is: How do we make programmers more productive and efficient? As a team of engineers, this question resonates deeply with us and makes the work that we do more personally meaningful. We are building a tool that we all wish existed. We’re venturing into a relatively new frontier: internet-connected and AI-assisted programming. While this allows us to be extremely creative on the product design side, it also makes each product-level question harder to answer. Fast iteration based on customer-driven interactions a key component of how we operate.
Impressive Team Members
Our team consists of highly motivated individuals that have deep experience in their respective fields.
We strive to combine our extensive backgrounds in search, machine learning, design and other fields with an entrepreneurial drive to form a cohesive team that doesn’t put limits on its ideas. We look to hire individuals who can bring a wealth of knowledge to the table that superlinearly benefits the team. Everyone at Kite has trained hard to become a skilled engineer and views challenging work as the best way to advance our skills. We're good at technology, so we chose to work in a space where there are few others who can do what we do. Take a deeper look at who we are and what our backgrounds are on our team page.
Below: Kite team at the San Francisco Ballet.
Taking full ownership of projects is encouraged and even expected from our team members.
We don’t believe in micromanaging. Instead, we believe that the most efficient way to work together is to allow individuals to have independent control over the projects that they are responsible for. This way, our team members are allowed to grow faster professionally and also develop product-area expertise. You’ll never be handed a problem with instructions on how to solve it, and if you do need this type of management, you probably won’t enjoy working at Kite. Instead, we like to be open-ended in the problems we give.
We value transparency at all levels of our organization because it promotes an open and healthy work environment.
We believe that it’s crucial that all team members understand what our collective goals are and what we are doing to achieve them. In addition, everyone should have access to the information necessary for them to be productive. The only way to achieve these objectives is to maintain a culture where communication happens frequently and information flows freely. Starting at the top, Adam (Kite’s founder) will answer any question you have, how much are we trying to raise and from how, what dilution takes place when we raise, how is raising going? We are also, almost to a fault, incredibly diligent about documentation (we use Quip). It’s an opt-in system and no one reads everything, but the point is that you can search through it to find out whatever you want. What decision was made, when it was made, who was involved in making it, etc. There’s a paper trail for everything.
At Kite, everyone is expected to work hard but not at the expense of their personal lives.
We rock a pretty solid 50-hour work week. We expect our team members to want more than a 9-5 schedule, but we also do not expect them to put in extreme and unnecessary hours. This culture starts from the top, as Adam (our founder) makes it a point to not work weekends. Our Slack is configured to not send notifications after 8pm, which is about what time people leave after eating dinner together.
Below: Kite team at a winery during a company retreat in Sonoma.
In a way, Kite is a place to pursue an advanced education in computer science. You naturally take on new roles once you’ve outgrown your previous one.
We have two managers and one product manager, all of whom moved into these roles after some time at the company. There isn’t a sense of hierarchy (remember, we’re really just a bunch of CS nerds) but rather people gravitating towards whatever new challenge interests them most after they’ve conquered their old ones. We also have two engineers who originally started out with Kite part-time as college students. They started out curating coding examples for us while finishing up their undergraduate degrees at Berkeley and then eventually joined full-time, where they took on more fleshed out roles in what they most wanted to pursue: a full-stack web dev and dev ops. We don’t have a formal mentorship program or clearly defined career tracks, but it’s really a rich environment for engineers to cultivate their skills and choose their own adventure.
Creative + Innovative
Bonded by Love for Product
Impressive Team Members
2 Backend Engineers (remote)
1 Business Development + Operations
1 DevOps Engineers
1 Frontend Engineer (remote)
1 Frontend Engineer + Designer
1 Fullstack Web Engineer
1 Language Analysis + Machine Learning Engineers
1 Product Manager
1 Systems + Infrastructure Engineer
We have an unlimited vacation policy. We also take off the last 2 weeks of the year.
Go and JS (React) are the main languages we use. We also use objective C and C# for OS specific code as well as some Python and Java.
You’ll meet Adam (Kite’s founder) face-to-face and then decide if you want to do a technical phone screen. If you pass, you’ll move onto the onsite, which is about half a day.