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, 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 log in their users via JWT, we support custom variables to create personalized guides, and we have an interactive API Reference section, 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 and staging workflows 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.
Here are some of our open source projects we’re proud of!
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.
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 Product Experience team actively works to migrate customers to the latest version of features so they can be deprecated and removed from the code. We’ve done this in the past implementing our new Markdown parser, Cloudflare SSL, and one of the biggest projects, our new React-based documentation design.
We protect our weekends and practice no-meeting 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, 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 12 weeks of 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 happy hours and plan activities (like owl painting!) because we enjoy spending time together (and we love our mascot, Owlbert). 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 lithographs made for each location we go to and having everyone who was there sign them!
Safe Environment to Fail
We deploy daily and aren’t afraid to make mistakes.
In order to innovate quickly, we believe in taking measured risks. Not everything will go flawlessly, and that’s okay. Since deployments happen on a daily basis, the longest that anybody is really dealing with the aftermath of a potentially dangerous line of code is 24 hours. Team members are always willing to jump in and help if something doesn’t go as planned and we never place blame on any one person.
When failures do happen, we’re able to speak honestly about what went wrong, and what we can do better next time in our bi-weekly engineering retrospectives. That said, we also have certain guardrails in place, including a solid review and QA process to ensure we’re shipping high-quality code.
High Employee Retention
At ReadMe, you’re a full person. Not just an engineer.
On the engineering team, nobody has left in the past four years. What’s more, everyone who was hired since the start of 2020 is still at ReadMe. Our Head of Product, Marc, was our first engineer and has been here for more than six years. Over the pandemic we’ve made efforts to support the mental health and overall well-being of employees, and stay connected and collaborative in a hybrid way.
Our Head of Engineering, Rafe, has been here for almost three years. As he puts it, “ReadMe rewards creativity, and provides space to work on complex problems with incredible people.” Kanad, our Developer Advocate, has been here for almost four years. He says, “The biggest thing [that’s kept me at ReadMe] is the variety of experiences I’ve had, and the ability to explore my web development interests as they’ve evolved over time.”
Emily, an Enterprise Engineer, has been here for two years. As she explains, “What I love about ReadMe is the people – both on the engineering team and company-wide. There’s a strong culture of caring about people, work/life balance, and good perks. Within the engineering team there’s a lot of flexibility and adaptability – the way we scope out work and deadlines is fluid, allowing for a manageable workload. From what I've seen, everyone on the team is respected and given autonomy over their work. People are also allowed to make mistakes without blame or shame. It’s a welcoming, friendly, collaborative environment.”
EQ > IQ
“Always do what’s human” is one of our favorite values.
While technical skills are important, we care about hiring people who are empathetic and curious (you can meet the team here!). This starts with our interview process, which we’ve redesigned to make a more enjoyable and comfortable experience for candidates. We’re incredibly intentional about our job listings and share concrete examples of what you can expect in your first one, three, and six months in the role.
Beyond our interview process, we prioritize being human throughout our employee experience. Whether you need to take time off for your health, or you’re going to dinner with friends right after work, your life as a human always comes before your work as a ReadMe employee! Our team is full of empathetic people who will support you whenever you come across a bump in the road, be it in work, or life.
In addition to valuing EQ on a personal level, our commitment to you as a human is also codified in our benefits! Not only do we have unlimited PTO, but we actually have a minimum of 3 weeks, which means managers will send you a friendly reminder if you’re not taking enough time away from your computer. We recognize that the pandemic has been challenging for everyone, and leadership sets a good example by being vocal in all-hands meetings to encourage folks to take time off to recharge, and by taking time off themselves!
Ideal for Parents
Several team members are parents and we understand that family comes first.
Over 10 members on the ReadMe team are parents and we make it a priority to ensure we’re as supportive as possible. Whether you need to take the day off to care for a sick child or need to adjust your work hours so you can pick the kids up from school, we’re flexible and have an incredibly understanding culture. Most engineers only have a few meetings per week, so parents are able to organize their workdays in a way that works best for their families. All of our team events and off-sites are family-friendly and we offer childcare stipends so parents can attend. We also offer 12 weeks of paid parental leave (regardless of gender or sexual identity), which can be taken within a year after the birth or adoption of a child.