Each of us have different roles at Aero, but we are all chasing the same goal. We’re still a small team and are looking for people who not only want to own their own work, but are proactive and self-disciplined. When we do sprints, we want people to self-police. Our VP of Engineering, Gabe, likes to have ground rules but provide a lot of flexibility within that loose structure. Even if you’re going to be the only person working on a given part of the codebase, everyone should be able to find bugs wherever and fix them, regardless.
When asked about his management style, Gabe said, “Even though I’m a manager, I don’t like managing people. In the past, people have said that the best part about working with me is that I gave them so much freedom. In this way, I act more like an advisor than a manager, and I because I can hire people who are smarter than me, this is always the best way forward.”
The engineering culture at Samsara is heavily centered around learning. We are constantly thinking about ways to improve, taking feedback to heart and taking code reviews seriously. Engineers work in smaller teams focusing on areas like infrastructure, firmware, reliability, security, and full-stack, with designers and product managers working across teams. The office is designed for cross-functional collaboration and accessibility with an open floor plan and founders that sit with everyone. If you’re an engineer who wants exposure to different ways to grow, you’ll find it here.
Webflow has a frontend team that works on the core designer product, and a backend team that works on everything else, e.g., hosting infra, our dashboard, and APIs. Those frontend and backend engineers then join PMs, Product Designers, and QA Analysts to form cross-functional domain teams that collaborate on specific areas of our codebase. For instance, we have a team dedicated to improving our CMS, and a team dedicated to creating nifty new design tools, and teams for infrastructure, and much more! We find that most folks want to remain on their team for as long as possible, but they are free to switch teams, too.
Even if you’ve only had a couple of years of work experience, you’ll find opportunities to lead and mentor. Many of our current team leads joined Webflow with only ~2 years of work experience. Our three founders Bryant, Vlad, and Sergie head marketing, engineering, and design, respectively, and they work with nearly everyone in the company directly. We want to support our engineers' growth by being flexible with which teams they join. If you want to build customer-facing products, you can. If you’re infra-focused, we have plenty of opportunities for you as well.
We hope to maintain our flat structure even as we grow the company, allowing multiple people to get experience leading projects and their team members. One of our core principles is to lead by serving others, which means that each person should care personally about the people they work with, and put the success and needs of their team members ahead of their own.
There isn’t much hierarchy or red tape in how we work together. We encourage people to express their opinions and contribute in all capacities, regardless of their role. We also don’t have mandatory assignments to certain projects or business units. Anyone can work on any project whether it’s because you have domain expertise or simply want to try something new.
Our execs are also very approachable, and there aren’t layers of management that keep you from interacting with the leadership team on a tactical or strategic level. In fact, our CTO, Jon, continues to code side by side with the engineers on the team, and it’s not uncommon for him to be this week’s “bug snagger” (aka the person in charge of wrangling bugs and creating an action plan if something crashes).
1 Open Positions
At YC, partners are our version of executives and our engineering team works directly with them. One of the partners runs the software team at a high level and the team of 4 reports to him. Different partners focus on different parts of the organization, so depending on what kind of software you’re building (e.g. admissions or financial software), you’ll work with different people (e.g. the admissions team or our CFO and the finance team, etc.). The software team members do weekly 1-1s to talk about how things are going and to identify areas for improvement, but ultimately, our team is very flat, which allows each person to run with their ideas and projects. People at YC tend to be independent and self motivated. Once you’re assigned a project, you have the opportunity to get creative and work with your customers to spec, prototype, build, release and promote it. When you have an idea about how to improve YC, you’re encouraged to pursue it.
1 Open Positions
We have one manager, the owner of mindmatters, but he does not interfere with engineering decisions. He simply sets the expectations and goals for engineering teams and handles the client contract. These are agile contracts, not fixed-price contracts, so he never sets expectation the team cannot fulfill. The team is then fully responsible for building out the project and working with the customer(s) on a daily basis. Customers are integrated into the development process, so engineers can focus on delivering their customers the highest value product.
There is no “ladder climbing” at mindmatters. As one software developer on our team (Milena) describes it, “Everyone contributes to both their team’s success as well as the overall success of the company. We don’t view ourselves as being above or below our teammates, or needing to climb any ladder because we’re already allowed to participate in every aspect of our company. I personally find having so much respect and trust to be rewarding in itself.”
1 Open Positions
Helping companies launch successful card programs quickly and confidently
San Francisco, CA and Barcelona, Spain
We believe everyone should have access to all team members, including our CEO. In fact, we expect our new hires to reach out to our CEO (and anyone else) to ask whatever questions they have. We pride ourselves on being open and friendly, and given how distributed we are, this openness is baked into how we work.
Our meetings are always open and no topics are off limits. We encourage all opinions, concerns, and ideas to be shared – from our most recent hires to our more tenured employees. We don’t view our leads and points of contact among offices as managers, but rather facilitators of open communication.
We plan to stay flat for as long as it works for our company. We’re currently 30 employees in total, with 18 being software engineers (7 of whom are based in Barcelona).
As a small team, we don’t have a need for managers. That said, some of us do own particular functions: Gabriel owns all social media and marketing, we have one designer who owns all of GoodNotes’ designs, and each engineer owns one component of our product (i.e. import/export or tools).
We adopted Basecamp’s structure and work in 6-week cycles which are comprised of three 2-week sprints. Anyone on the team, regardless of role or tenure, can lead an initiative.
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