Software developers tend to change jobs frequently in tech (the average tenure is <2 years). We have lots of reasons to leave one company for another, and most boil down to our feeling unhappy, unstimulated, or undervalued in our current roles. However, there are companies that retain their talent extremely well...
Below are the engineering teams who listed High Employee Retention as one of their key values. There are many factors that go into retention, but these teams seem to share two things in common: they thoughtfully hire value-aligned individuals, and they do a particularly good job giving their employees the room and support to grow both personally and professionally.
Feature flagging and toggle management for continuous delivery
Oakland, CA / London, UK
Alexis Georges, Engineer and Andrea Echstenkamper, Director of Marketing have been here since 2015. We hired over 50 people in 2018 with less than 2% attrition rate. LaunchDarkly is doing bold new things to ensure our employees remain happy but above all it's our high quality of life and work/life balance that makes working at LaunchDarkly so enjoyable.
23 Open Positions
There are many factors keeping us happy at Aula. Not only is our work meaningful, but there is a remarkable sense of camaraderie on the team which is compounded by the fact that we’re distributed. While we are not seeing each other every day, face-to-face, we feel very connected to one another. You’ll be constantly reminded in your day-to-day work that you have an entire team of people behind you.
Fredrik, a senior developer, explained in a post that it’s the culture at Aula that keeps him here. When we asked Guro, a tech lead at Aula, why he’s been at Aula for nearly three years, he said, “When I first joined Aula, there were only 5 people. The company had a really great culture and remote-friendly environment. Since then, we’ve grown a lot, but the same culture, care, and friendliness remains. I’ve never had a week without exciting and interesting challenges which are solved by great remote teamwork and I’m really looking forward to growing more with Aula in the years to come.”
1 Open Positions
Given that bitExpert has been around for 14 years, this looks like a good sign. The challenging work as well as the team spirit seem to be the main drivers why employees stay with us. Usually we recruit students for part time work while they are studying, they will write their diploma theses with us and stay with us afterwards.
Agile Product Development Consultancy
San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chattanooga, and New York
All of the partners have been here for 11 or more years. People tend to stick around for a long time and those that don’t are the ones that come in and leave pretty quickly because they discover that this isn’t the right environment for them. There is big difference between having a product-type versus a consulting-type of involvement at a company. Some people want to have ownership in a product over many years, and potentially move up in title and in a hierarchy. Whereas for us on the consulting side, we are people who constantly like learning, leveling up our skills, and enjoy doing it quickly. You might go from doing data-warehousing work with Java to building a platform with Node to developing in React Native for a mobile application. People who like diving into different domains and code flourish here. If working on new things every 4-6 months with a senior team appeals to you, we’d love to hear from you. (Note: we do hire about one junior dev per year per office.)
Why have they (and others) stayed so long? One of the reasons we believe our retention is so high is that our organization mission and vision have never changed, even since we first started out in 2009. We haven’t pivoted or changed business models; we’ve just tailored and refined the original mission and vision. As one of our engineers said, “It feels like you’re on a ship that’s sailing to a certain port, not just adrift in the middle of the ocean!”
As a company, and within the engineering department, we’re a listening organization – a grassroots organization where ideas are welcome – and where we get teammates involved to solve interesting and challenging problems. Feedback is very welcome and we believe this empowerment translates to retention, especially since we’re in an environment where management is willing to listen to all ideas and problems are never solved in isolation.
We believe engineering is a science but also an art, as you need room to play around with ideas. Being able to listen to ideas with freedom to operate is important to us, so we like to provide our engineers with a wide sandbox.
This keeps the work interesting and exciting and makes our teammates want to stay here. We pride ourselves in being able to suggest and bring newer technologies into the mix. We’re nimble enough of an organization to have room for flexibility to use different tools and aren’t restricted to legacy tools that may not be the right ones for a given task. This is empowering to our teammates and gives them chances to learn and grow.
By the end of your (typically) six-month program, you’ll know the details, from travel tips and internal tools to how we communicate in our distributed setup. More importantly, you’ll have a friend outside of your team and an understanding of what most teams do at Automattic.
Your work isn’t fully reflected in your assigned responsibilities or documented in whichever task tracker your team might use. We give you autonomy so you can make an impact beyond your role. And we believe in bringing something above and beyond your role to your team and our company.
When it’s time for a change, Automatticians are encouraged to consider switching teams. For example, our Happiness Engineers (technical support) do 3-month rotations working on new products and have transitioned to Code Wranglers, QA Engineers, and Technical Account Managers. Meanwhile, developers regularly switch teams to work on other products within Automattic. This type of change gives you a fresh perspective as you dive into different projects the company is working on and live up to our Creed: “I will never stop learning.”
We have a highly skilled team of developers that are all friendly, and many of us play computer games together over lunch and outside of work. The majority of our team has worked here for over 3 years. We have an intensive hiring process to make sure we don't hire any anyone that would make our working environment suffer as a result. The interview process is 3 phases starting with a 20 minute C# theory test, followed by a 1-hour practical test where the candidate can show off their skills, finishing with a sit down interview where we find out more about the candidate and the candidate finds out more about Atlas. We are a young company that has only been around for 10 years, but we have recently congratulated one of our first employees on his 10th year anniversary of working at Atlas.
Our regular 1-on-1 meetings are important in keeping managers understand what people’s motivations are and what opportunities there may be. There is a lot of autonomy and free to reign to work on whatever you want. If you have an idea, prove it, and then present it to the founders or make a case for why the company should invest further (via hires or more resources). In fact, we are currently working on developing an Entrepreneur in Residence role too. Perhaps someone on the team has an interest and expertise in something, but there isn’t really room for a promotion it. We’d assign them a high visibility project with the idea that if it goes well and they want to turn this into their own company in a couple of years, we can give them the connections, support, and network they need to seek investment and get it off the ground.
1 Open Positions
We haven’t taken another dime of venture capital since raising a modest seed round in 2013. We’ve been profitable since then, and have been able to grow to 1M+ users due to positive word-of-mouth. We deliberately chose to take a slow-and-steady approach to growth and as a result, we’ve been able to prioritize the things that matter most: building a fantastic product for our customers to use and an incredible place for our employees to work.
Given our product, mission, and culture, there are plenty of reasons that make Webflow a great place to work as an engineer. Olena (based in London), shared the 10 reasons why she’s loved working here, and Amina (based in Atlanta) has also been known to do random tweets of appreciation. If you’re ever curious about what it’s really like to work somewhere, ask current team members.
In the last 3 years, we’ve only had one engineer leave the company. There are many reasons why people stay at Plastiq. In addition to the team and product, we also offer tremendous learning and growth opportunities. Team members are encouraged to attend conferences and network at local meetups and events. We have a 20% rule (where 20% of our team’s monthly capacity is devoted to internal engineering work) to give us the opportunity to work on new technologies and reduce technical debt.
Engineers also set out their own learning goals and tell their managers what role they want. Managers then support their transitions. For example, our current Chief Architect started at Plastiq as a Software Engineer in Test. Many of our full-stack engineers joined us as specialized UX engineers. As a company, we are willing to sacrifice optimal resource allocation in order to support each person’s interests and career goals. We’re willing to “lose” someone (i.e. our Software Engineer in Test) as they transition into a new role, and will gladly backfill for them to support their personal trajectory.
10 Open Positions
The most junior person has been with us for a year, but was also an intern for us for a year while she was in college. Everyone with the exception of our recent sales director hire has been with us for 3+ years. The reason our employees stay a long time is because we as a company is small and agile enough to take on work that is in alignment with our core values, and that makes everyday exciting and meaningful. As such, being part of a growing team that offers opportunity to work on the projects you want to work on feels like a new challenge every year!
1 Open Positions
This fact stands by itself and speaks volumes. It is likely a result of how much we enjoy working with one another, and our incredibly difficult hiring process. We hire very carefully and deliberately, have very high standards, and feel like a closely guarded family. But once you're in, you're in. If you’re interested to learn more about our product, our team, or how you might become a part of our team, reach out.
We pride ourselves on working closely within the engineering and product teams to make sure everyone is working on products which are fulfilling and challenging for them. You can learn more about the members of our team here. If you are interested in opportunities within engineering or product please feel free to email our Recruiting Manager to start the process and learn more: [email protected]
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