Peerspace brings people together to meet, create, and celebrate in beautiful and inspiring spaces. We are a community marketplace that makes planning gatherings simple. Whether it’s a loft for a party, a rooftop for a film shoot, or an art gallery for a meeting, Peerspace makes it easy for individuals and businesses to monetize their underused space and share it with an audience of millions.
Each team is asked to select, explain, and rank their top 8 values in order of importance.
As engineers, we partner closely with business stakeholders with the features and projects we work on.
The same engineers who work with Product to refine our product roadmap also work on the technical design (sometimes with guidance), and own implementation through shipping to production and maintaining it afterwards. We also have company-wide panels with both our guest and host populations so that we can understand them better.
When we asked everyone to describe their favorite project, nearly everyone had an answer. Individual engineers have revamped Peerspace’s Admin tools, rewritten and restyled our Manage Listings page, and upgraded our payout platform for our host community. We are still a small team and everyone has outsized impact on not only our product, but also the business.
Through trusting each person on our team to drive and own their work, we’ve been able to accomplish so much. We expanded to 9 major markets in the United States, raised a $16M Series B, established business in many more cities, and have so much in store. We’re proud to have been able to do all of this with a small dev team (>20 engineers), and look forward to bringing on new hires who will continue to push our business forward!
We ship every two weeks.
As a startup, we work with a sense of urgency and are constantly making decisions on the fly.
At our best, we ship a new feature every two weeks and we do this by planning carefully and cutting down on the non-essential. As engineers, we’re able to move quickly and focus all of our energy into coding because there is very little bureaucracy at Peerspace. We are able to focus on getting features and products into the hands of our customers as quickly as possible, which is incredibly rewarding!
As a company, we’re open to shifting our focus on a quarterly basis. If the current plan isn't supporting the business, we pivot. This means that product and design will often collaborate with engineering to finalize feature definition the week before the sprint it’ll be shipped. Not only do we fail fast and then fix, but we’re also re-evaluating and reprioritizing based on new information we get. For example, both features that have been on the back-burner for some time and features that are in the early stages of ideation can become the next top priority.
Our instant book feature is a great example of our fast-paced environment. We had a goal to ship Instant Booking before Thanksgiving 2018. In order to achieve this, we strategically divided the engineering work between scrum teams in a way where we could easily come together once work had been completed. We were able to ship the feature weeks ahead of our goal, which had immediate impact on the company and allowed us to start on the next features earlier than anticipated.
Safe Environment to Fail
It's nice to have the fail-fast-then-fix philosophy, but only if it's safe-to-fail as well.
We talk about our fail-fast-then-fix philosophy a lot at Peerspace. Not all releases go according to plan, so we want everyone to have the latitude to triage, fix, and deploy appropriate fixes as necessary. Within your first week at Peerspace, you’ll notice that everyone is comfortable with failures, and more importantly, we’re comfortable taking ownership for any mistakes or shortcomings.
Our engineering system was built to tolerate failures so that we can free up our mental energy and focus on taking risks, trying new things, and delivering value to the company. We’re proud that everyone feels comfortable experimenting because we’ve already put guardrails and systems in place to protect us from irreversible failures.
We also feel comfortable taking risks as a company. We sometimes face problems that no other companies have tackled before and in these cases it may take many iterations to get it right. More often than not, these are the same scenarios where we learn most about our users and customers. Failure leads to learning, and we’re better for it.
Promotes from Within
All of our leaders were promoted internally.
We haven’t had to hire any managers externally yet, and we’re so proud to have been able to grow our organization organically. We’re always excited about our most junior hires because they often develop into senior engineering leads, scrum masters, and managers. Promoting from within helps us to fortify our existing culture. Katy is a great example – after joining as a junior engineer, she’s quickly took on leading a scrum team, and has managed complex feature releases that require coordination. Toni is also a great example. He joined in an infrastructure role early in the company’s history and took on the challenge of heading up the engineering department.
Engineering leadership at Peerspace not only encourage their team members to think about future career goals, but they also assist them to map out paths to achieve those goals. We have a solid career ladder and always look for opportunities to craft goals that align with both business needs and individual career growth.
High Employee Retention
We have over 90% retention rate.
While it’s not unusual for people to change jobs every couple of years, people tend to stick around for a lot longer in Engineering at Peerspace. It’s impossible to pinpoint one unifying reason why we all love working here, but we collectively recognize the latitude we all have, the confidence and trust we have in our leadership, and how much we enjoy working with one another. Especially on our engineering team, there is a genuine camaraderie that makes coming to work, solving hard problems, and spending so many of our waking hours together a real joy.
Ideal for Parents
Nearly half of our team members are parents.
Peerspace as a whole is very family oriented. Not only do we have an awesome maternity/paternity leave policy (2 weeks of paid bonding leave in addition to compliance with whatever is required by law in the office you work from), but everyone at the company understands when a colleague needs to leave early or take time off due to family emergencies. We encourage parents to take paid family leave in full and bond with their new babies.
When you return, you’ll have the flexibility to incorporate working from home as well as time for wellness appointments as you ramp up again. And if something comes up around childcare or if one of your kids gets sick at school, you’ll only find support from us. After all, many of us are parents and have been there before! We encourage new parents to bond with their children and we provide flexibility beyond bonding leave so that parents can continue spending time with their families.
The support we give one another is implicit at Peerspace, even for those who aren’t parents. We have a mutual understanding and respect for the priorities we each have outside of work. We care genuinely care about one another, but more than that, we care about each other’s families, hobbies, and lives outside of work.
No one does their best work when their life is out of balance.
Some of us have learned this the hard way, but we all know that the quality of your work suffers when you work too much. In fact, if you don’t strike the right balance between friends, families, health, and work, everything suffers. Some of us have worked at companies in the past where work/life balance was poor, so we’re especially committed to building an environment that respects everyone’s time and well being. We will never pressure you to spend nights and weekends working, and we will always encourage you to take care of yourself.
We all need to recharge to be able to do our best work and show up with the right energy for our team. Our company has an "unlimited PTO" policy (within reason of course). Our CFO is even pro-vacation and has recommended everyone should take about a week off every quarter.
Flexible Work Arrangements
Whatever you need to do to be most productive, do it.
Everyone at Peerspace has the ability to set their own schedule. Being able to work from home allows folks to save time commuting into the office (for some people, that’s two hours each day!) and means that everyone can prioritize their hobbies, families, and getting a full 8 hours of sleep every night. For anyone with kids, this flexibility makes it easy to work around childcare. At the end of the day, our team members are human beings, not resources. In order to create a work environment that everyone is truly excited to be a part of, we can’t enforce a repressive work schedule on everyone.
It’s important to us to offer a consistent interview process for all candidates for an open role. For most roles, this includes a 3-step process:
1. Resume is screened for match to job description
2. Phone interview with hiring manager
3. Panel interview
Panel interviews are usually 4 sessions that are a mix of in-person and video conference sessions. Topics may include process, domain-specific technical assessment, problem solving, previous work experience, cultural assessment, and systems design.