Bonded by Love for Product
We're making documentation and APIs better for everybody.
Everyone has felt the pains of poor developer documentation. It causes headaches for makers and users, and this frustration is what ultimately led us to build ReadMe. In fact, the company started when our founder, Gregory Koberger, was retreating in Costa Rica. He was supposed to be building another company with his friends, but kept finding himself reimplementing ReadMe’s functionality whenever he had to write documentation. This was in 2014… and we’ve been building ever since.
We love what we do because it’s so much more than just docs. We’re providing tools for teams to create and manage beautiful documentation with ease. We give customers the ability to login their users via JWT, we support custom variables to create personalized guides, and we have an interactive API Explorer, which allows users to try out APIs in the browser (check out our demo site!).
Documentation edits normally take days to push through, but companies can push out updates in seconds using ReadMe. Technical writers don’t need to learn how to use XML data models or make GitHub pull requests to author content anymore – they can simply make edits in our dash and save. For larger companies with stricter review processes, we have the suggested edits workflow to iterate on updates and deploy when they’re ready.
We serve customers of all sizes and love being able to help teams grow their developer communities by answering their questions and notifying them of changes. We’re currently working on a new product that gives both API creators and API users insights into how their APIs are used.
Creative + Innovative
We pride ourselves on being able to develop elegant solutions that solve our customer's problems.
We take customer feedback so seriously that we share our product roadmap w/ our users and the greater public – we've done so for years. Not only is our roadmap public, but it also allows users to upvote features! User feedback guides how we plan and develop our product, and ensures that we always have a direct line of communication w/ our end users. While this is how all good businesses should operate, we are especially proud of how well we can tackle multiple issues at the same time. Creativity, in addition to truly listening to our customers, is where the magic is.
As a small engineering team, we have a lot of agency and each member heavily contributes to the direction of our product. For example, Sean and Marc love that in some apps and websites you can use `cmd+k` to load up a search bar which allows you to quickly navigate around an app - the main example in mind being Slack’s “Jump to...” UI. We sat down and had a discussion about it as a team, Sean got to work, and within 2 weeks we had a fully functioning Quick Switcher deployed inside our Dash.
As an engineer at ReadMe, if you have a particular pain point with using the product, you can write a proposal and present it to the team. If we see the value, you can build it. Similarly, if you want to use a new technology, do some research and pitch it to the rest of the team. Examples: React, Next.js, Asana, Prettier, etc.
Flexible Work Arrangements
Working 9-5? Only if you're Dolly Parton.
We support flexible working hours. Everyone has the freedom to create their own schedule (though most people tend to hover around a “10am - 6pm” workday) and we don’t have any strict in-office hours – doing good work is independent of which hours you choose to do it in. We currently have a somewhat distributed team (with members in San Francisco, Seattle, Minneapolis, and Ohio), but we’re focusing on growing our team in San Francisco where our HQ is. We’ve recently expanded into a new office and we want to fill it!
People take advantage of flexible working in many different ways: being at home to wait for a package; going to a doctors appointment or haircut; or if you just wake up early and want to finish early, that’s okay too! We always make sure to celebrate together, no matter where people are.
You can meet our whole team here!
Wears Many Hats
Backend, frontend, public npm modules, heroku – you’ll do it all!
At this point, given our company’s size, everyone has their hands on everything. It’s not required that new hires come to ReadMe with a wide breadth of experience, but a willingness to jump in and learn different parts of our stack is important.
We also host an API conference called API Mixtape. Everyone in the company travels to San Francisco to attend and is encouraged to engage with our community. Engineers also have opportunities to speak! In the past, Marc has presented ReadMe’s new features and Dom gave a talk on best practices in API documentation. We have fun with the event and built a light display for the stage that changes color based on the current speaker’s company. The light display has been repurposed for our office wall and is editable via an API. (Ask for the web address if you want to change the lights in our office!)
When you’re given a task or a feature to complete, it’s yours until you deploy to production.
We’re a small team which means that everyone doesn’t just get to be an owner, everyone has to be one. One task may consist of touching both the backend and frontend, implementing designs, writing database migrations, and updating server configs. Once your work is deployed though, the entire team is then responsible for maintaining it.
Engineers on our team have been able to drive and own large projects on their own. In the recent past, Sean built out our entire enterprise product (meeting with our sales team, gathering requirements, designing the UI, and coding everything) and Marc worked with our designers to completely redesign ReadMe’s homepage.
We protect our weekends and everyone works from home on Wednesdays!
We want you to enjoy all aspects of your life at ReadMe, not just your work. Our friends, families, health, and hobbies are important to us! You don’t need an excuse to work from home or go climbing during daylight hours (like Kanad does), and we genuinely encourage everyone to take advantage of their $150/month gym membership stipend. We offer full medical, dental, and vision coverage as well as paid parental leave.
No one works late at ReadMe, and our Slack channels go silent on weekends.. Luckily, our customers use ReadMe during typical work hours, which means traffic is highest during the weekdays and lower on the weekends. As a result, issues rarely take place during weekends or holidays, engineers don’t need to dread being on-call, and we can all truly take days off.
During the week, we like to spend time not working, too! We host movie nights and plan activities (like owl painting!) because we enjoy spending time together (and we love our mascot, Owlbert). Last but not least, we also go on quarterly offsites to make sure we mix play and work together as a team. In the past, we’ve gone to Hawaii, Austin, Chicago, Boston, Disneyland, and Lake Tahoe. We have a tradition of getting custom prints for each location we go to and having everyone who was there sign them.
High Quality Code Base
All new code has to have tests.
Increasing code quality is a high priority for us. We are given the capacity to do things right, even if it takes longer. Everything is a trade-off: if we can spend a week fixing technical debt now to save us time in the future, then we’ll do it. We’re striving to increase test coverage across our whole codebase.
By using feature flags inside of the product, we can ensure that new customers use the latest and greatest features, while leaving older customers on stable grounds without changing things. Our Customer Success team actively works to migrate customers to the latest version of features so they can be deprecated and removed from the code. Examples: client website migrations, new API explorer, and new markdown parser.
We shield engineers from unnecessary meetings wherever possible.
On Mondays, we have a quick standup meeting to go over anything big that's happening in the coming weeks! We meet again as a team on Fridays and each person shares something notable they focused on that week and gives any shoutouts to those who helped them most..We also have people answer a random “Mary Question™” chosen by Mary, our operations manager. Some recent questions include “What movie would be better if it were made into a musical?”, “What was the best toy of the 90s?”, and “What is your favorite vacation memory?”.
Engineers will also have a 1:1 with Dom on Mondays to quickly catch up on current assigned tasks. The engineering team as a whole meets once every two weeks. Aside from this, engineers are shielded from calls with customers and support, and we default to asynchronous communication via Slack – no one minds if you set yourself to Away for the afternoon, you can reply tomorrow! We recognize the cost of context switching and do what we can to reduce it. As big fans of Jason Fried's Rework, we keep meetings to their expected range and actually give everyone a copy of the book when they start.
At ReadMe, we’re committed to cultivating a diverse and inclusive workplace. We welcome people of all different backgrounds, experiences, abilities, and perspectives. We are an equal opportunity employer and a pleasant and supportive place to work. And if you don’t believe us, come over and find out for yourself!