There are two types of teams at DuckDuckGo: Functional Teams and Objective Teams. Unlike other companies, these teams do not follow a typical reporting structure. Instead, they function as part of a non-hierarchical system that enables empowered project management and sustains distributed collaboration. Functional Teams contain people with related functional skills (e.g., Mobile Engineering or Finance) and provide a consistent space to share best practices and navigate specific workflows. Functional teams also host virtual or in-person meetups annually to enrich team culture, reinvigorate comradery, and support professional development. When you join, you'll automatically become a member of a Functional Team with people who specialize in the same kind of work you do. Since primary functional skill delineates these teams, Functional Teams rarely change.
Objective Teams contain people from various Functional Teams who support one of many company-wide initiatives that we call Objectives. Each Objective represents a common company goal and ultimately supports our mission to show the world that protecting privacy is simple. While your Functional Team is your home base, you'll more likely find yourself collaborating with members of your Objective Team day-to-day. Unlike Functional Teams, people may move between Objective Teams as company priorities shift, and we try to match up personal interests as much as is possible and practical.
We’re always working to ensure diverse perspectives are shared and that the playing field is level. When referring to each other internally we don’t use external job titles and we expect any two people at the same professional level (regardless of team or role) to contribute similar value to company objectives. Feel free to collaborate directly across teams and levels, and yes, you can ping our CEO directly anytime.
We hire based on potential and expertise, so we know we have a strong team and we’re not overly concerned with titles or hierarchy. Our goal is to keep our organization relatively flat – with minimal layers – in order to ensure greater ownership for each team member and a decreased amount of administrative work. We want our engineers to focus on being engineers.
We also pride ourselves on having an extremely accessible team – our CEO, Nate Baker, is always willing to answer questions or talk strategy, and our CTO, Lucas, has weekly open office hours. Everyone at Qualia is encouraged to bring their own unique voice and perspective to the table, and we expect people to be open and understanding in return.
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