Heavily Team Oriented
You’ll always work closely with six to seven engineers in a small pod.
In Pocket Gems' early days, we worked in small teams of of six to seven people. Working intimately with a small group was great for team cohesion as it gave individuals the ability to make large contributions while maintaining support from their peers. As we’ve grown to over 250 people and scaled, we’ve decided to maintain the same pod structure.
Everyone at the company works in pods- we have engineering pods, design and product management pods, and even our recruiting team is organized into small pods. You get to know your teammates well and, every six months, we check in with one another and allow people to change pods.
At Pocket Gems, we’re big on teamwork and covet the face-to-face time we get at the office . While we rarely work from home or work remotely, we do have incredibly flexible work hours. Everyone can set their own schedule as it works for their role and their team. We provide breakfast options, catered lunches every day, and have dinners at the office if you choose to eat them here!
Wears Many Hats
You’ll always do more than what your job title describes.
While you’ll never be forced to do something outside of your area of expertise, everyone has their hands on multiple areas of the product. For example, all of our engineering leaders work as engineers in addition to people and product management. One director of engineering is heavily involved in recruiting, sourcing 25-50 candidates a week. We tend to attract people who want to be involved in multiple parts of the company and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Has Good Beer
We’re a gaming company that is all about work and play.
We wouldn't be a games company if we didn't love to play. Aside from our weekly happy hours, we have recurring game nights and company-wide magic tournaments. We also have the magical beer wagon, where new hires go around the office towing a wagon full of beers, iced teas, and other beverages. It’s a wonderful tradition to get to know everyone at the office. Don’t you want to get to know us too?
Creative + Innovative
We are a tech company largely made up of creatives.
The majority of our staff is made up of designers, visual artists, writers, and storytellers. We have people who have backgrounds in movie production, were previously writing for TV shows, and worked at ABC and CBS. We are creating new categories and new genres at Pocket Gems and it’s likely you’ll feel the creative energy as you walk through our halls. You don’t need to have a creative background as an engineer, but you will certainly work among many artists during your time at Pocket Gems.
The person closest to the feature is the decision maker.
Everyone sits on the floor and works alongside one another. Everyone is your peer, regardless of what your title is. While we are hiring engineering managers and filling leadership roles, one of our requirements is that everyone is willing to write code every day. Your manager will work closely with you in supporting your personal career goals but they will also be pushing code every day.
We started a formal career development program in early 2017 where individuals submit their short and long term goals into our system and then work directly with their manager to identify what resources are needed in order to reach them. We also have talks during lunch that are open to all employees that focus on certain aspects of professional growth. In general, we believe that hierarchy makes it harder to collaborate cross-functionally and makes it less fun of an environment to work in.
We compete with ourselves to build the best product.
We believe that defensibility comes from mobile-first technology as well as understanding our players and listening to them.
We never develop our products in a vacuum and are always getting feedback from our users. We launch games in smaller markets first as a part of the development process, incorporating a lot of the feedback from our users. We also invite users into our office to test our products. This is especially true for Episode, where we regularly have users come in to tell us how they feel about it.
We're a creative company, with technical founders.
We distribute over 1.7 petabytes of content to our users each month and have a cross-platform technology allowing native iOS apps to be compiled for Android with only minor code changes and no loss in performance.
We were an early adopter of Google App Engine and we continue to work closely with Google’s cloud team to guide their roadmap as part of their Cloud Advisory Board. Many of our early team members have roots in open source software and machine learning. You might not have worked in game development before or developed for mobile and that’s okay. You can learn.
Uses Agile Methodologies
Everyone is encouraged to be a game-maker.
While we don’t have pure scrum masters, we do borrow from a lot of agile methodologies. New features are worked on by an entire pod, so all roles can have ownership over their work. Instead of finishing your work and handing it off to never see it again, you’ll iterate on it with the rest of your team, constantly adopting feedback and improving. In our daily team playthroughs, we’ll test the new features we’ve been working on and figure out what’s working and what still needs more. Feedback will come in from other teammates, users, and other parts of the company - but ultimately the pod working on that feature will decide when it meets the bar.