Angaza has four product development teams: three in San Francisco and one in Nairobi. Each team has a high degree of autonomy, works closely together, and owns most of their internal processes. The typical team has several engineers, a product manager, and an engineering manager. Together they own a broad area of functionality. Our "IoT Solutions" team develops everything from embedded firmware to time-series analytics, for example, while our "Network Partnerships" team builds payment functionality across an ever-growing range of digital currency services. Meanwhile, cross-team projects bring together engineers across the company to solve common challenges and address shared concerns.
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Let’s Do This is a collection of seriously impressive individuals, but we thrive as a unit and are willing to make personal sacrifices on behalf of our team members. Our team-first mentality stems from our shared love of exercise and the product we’re building, and a mutual understanding of fun. Everyone has a voice in big product decisions and when we’re not working, we go to the gym together, go on runs during lunch together, and enter races together, too.
Perhaps one of the best examples of how team orientated we are is our willingness to move across the world with each other. During Y Combinator, eight of us moved from London, UK to Palo Alto to make the most of the 3-month batch. We raised a seed round after YC, and four team members moved to San Francisco together to open the office. In the summer of 2019, we took the whole team (everyone from both London and San Francisco) to Cambridge, UK for an intense “training camp” where we more than doubled all of our top-line metrics in six weeks in the run up to our Series A. None of this would have been possible without a team that believed in each other, put each other first, and was willing to make personal sacrifices, like moving their lives across the world in pursuit of a shared dream.
Even as a distributed company on two continents, we maintain cohesion. We keep open communications and everyone feels like it is easy to reach out to anyone else in the company, regardless of their role or location. Early in 2019, we helped relocate a U.S. engineer, Connor, to London and also moved a UK engineer, Tom, to San Francisco. Our hope is that every engineer spends at least one week each year working out of their non-home office, and so far, many of us have spent up to six weeks doing so. Doing so helps us stay close to one another and feel comfortable making quick FaceTime calls to discuss cross-office issues when we’re not in the same city (a much better alternative than potentially misinterpreting written Slack messages anyway).
If you ask anyone at Let’s Do This why they work here, what they love most about working here, or which value represents LDT the most, the clear winner is always “the team.”
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We’re transforming the way technology enables smart buying and smarter supply chain logistics for the real estate industry. As a new hire, you’ll be joining both team Sibi and a domain team composed of a mix of engineers, one lead engineer, and one lead product manager. At other companies, you might have experienced how one team can take over the culture of the entire office or company simply because they’re a bit louder – but you won’t find that here. We have a high degree of respect and trust among each other and strive to cultivate an open environment where everyone can ask questions, and more importantly, question decisions.
One of our core values is “design together.” We place a huge emphasis on designing and exploring solutions together, and then breaking out into smaller groups to execute. You’ll always find someone willing to pair with you (if that’s something you enjoy), since we believe touching each other’s code helps us learn and improve. Prefer to have heads-down time to execute? That’s fine too. We want to help all at Sibi succeed and believe the best way to do so is to work with folks who not only have different perspectives and expertise, but who are also eager to share knowledge and problem-solve together.
At Repeat, we’re building software that makes it effortless for consumers to reorder the products they love. To do so successfully requires a culture that emphasizes cumulative, shared ownership. A critical part of our interview process is discovering collaboration style – we intentionally hire folks that share their ideas in an empathetic and collaborative manner.
Every member of the team takes pride in empowering others, which allows us to celebrate everything we ship together, as a team. While some of us may have more experience in certain parts of the stack, we’re always willing to jump in, learn new skills, and help out where we can. For instance, while Diego has a ton of backend experience, he has recently discovered a love for React, and is now a full-stack engineer! Similarly, pairing is a big part of our culture (you’ll likely work with every engineer on the team at some point) and it happens organically. Not only do we learn more by touching each other’s code, but it also enables us to strengthen relationships and hand off in-flight work across time zones. Inter-team mentorship is important to us and all engineers will have the chance to lead a project. Ultimately, our cross-functional approach increases the quality and reliability of our work.
Everything we do is a team effort and our culture is centered around collaboration. One great example of this is our Technical Docs process. Before starting a new project, engineers are encouraged to write up their project plan. This includes any required architectural changes, pros/cons of various options, and the rollout strategy. The project plan is then shared across the entire Engineering org to encourage cross-team feedback and knowledge sharing.
We value intellectual humility and acknowledge the limits of our own perspectives, which is why we welcome both positive and constructive feedback with open arms. We host feedback training regularly to provide each employee with the tools to have productive conversations. Because another one of our core values is ‘Challenge Without Ego,’ it's important for us to give feedback to one another in a way that is professional and respectful, keeping team interests top of mind instead of our own.
Finally, we make it a priority to acknowledge and thank people for their contributions and for going above and beyond. Our #thanks Slack channel is very active with shoutouts and we end our weekly all-hands meeting with a few folks giving a “Nova Credit” to someone for demonstrating one of our company values.
In the early days of Curai, we were a team who ate lunch together every day. Now that we’re remote-first, our team-oriented camaraderie is expressed through company activities and celebrations (recent events include a Star Wars trivia competition, at-home cheesemaking, and a talent show), jokes during stand up, and kindness toward one another. As engineers, we are quick to hop on a call to pair program and unblock each other, and start each bi-weekly team meeting with a different icebreaker activity to get to know our teammates. Many of us remain good friends outside of work even as we have spread out geographically, and stay connected by hopping on video chats or playing games together.
In terms of decision making, we used to follow a consensus-based model, but have since evolved to go through a formal design review process. This helps us strike a good balance between purely top-down and bottom-up decision making and gives all members of the team a chance to offer their insights and inputs. It also helps to distribute responsibility and ownership throughout the team so that no single person is overloaded, but also so that everyone knows with whom the proverbial buck stops.
Our goal is to make it easier for everyone on the team to do their job, which is why we always put the team first. If we see something that needs to be addressed, we jump on it regardless of who touched it last. Similarly, there’s a shared mentality when it comes to owning our codebase, tooling, and processes. If something doesn’t go as planned, we never place the blame on a teammate. During retros, mistakes are viewed as learning opportunities, and we always focus on how we can improve our systems and processes.
Engineers work in small teams across three main product areas (leave, claims, and payroll), or as part of our platform, internal operations, or integrations teams. That said, it doesn’t matter your area of expertise or the specific team you work on – everyone is encouraged to work on everything they deem important. All code is reviewed by at least one peer and we regularly seek input from each other whether it’s to brainstorm or share specific domain knowledge. From open Slack channels to pairing or hopping on huddles to chat through a problem, you’ll always find folks willing to help.
Designers, PMs, and engineers work together closely for the entire duration of a project, from strategy presentations through to final browser bug fixing. Our teams (usually around 4-6 people) kick off each day with a 15-minute standup and check in frequently via Slack, Trello, and GitHub. We also keep up lightweight communication via Slack with clients – engineers are client-facing, so you won’t be playing telephone with account managers.
Each project team functions autonomously. This means that technology decisions don’t come from the top down, but rather they’re made at the project level by the engineers who will actually be accountable for delivering the work. Our process is malleable and can change depending on what works best for the team. Projects typically last 3-6 months, and primary design/engineering team members are fully allocated for the duration of the project. Directors and managers meet every week to discuss scheduling, and do their best to ensure that team assignments are compatible with personal interests and growth goals.
Many of our engineers are also fans of pair and mob programming, making it easy for people new to a technology stack to get on-boarded. That said, we definitely support individual contributors, too. Our skills and performance matrices allow for growth on both maker and manager paths. For IC roles (Engineer, Lead Engineer), people are more or less 100% focused on one project at a time, which leaves a lot of room for solo work on any given day. It’s also worth noting, we’re a fairly introverted group (especially engineers). “It surprised me when I first joined because it was the quietest open office I had ever encountered!,” says Mike.
At the end of the day, we don’t hide people from clients, and while everyone doesn't have to lead every client conversation, a certain amount of comfort with this sort of service relationship is important.
We embody teamwork in so many different ways that it’s difficult to make a comprehensive list! We do company-wide offsites twice a year where we take multiple days/nights away from work – really, we don’t do anything work-related – and spend time bonding as a team. We do a full or half-day offsite as a company once a quarter, too, and sub-teams will do quarterly offsites in smaller groups as well. But to us, being a team is even more than these offsites.
At our office, we have a Creative Corner where people can take what we like to call “brain breaks.” We bring the supplies and you get to take 5-20-minute breathers in the middle of your day to unwind. Remotely, feel free to take a walk around the block. Throughout the year, we’ll have small events in the middle of the workday to make wreaths, Valentine’s Day cards, or do meditative yoga (we have even continued these types of events virtually.) More regularly, we have a coffee bot that randomly selects a colleague for you to get coffee with (or remotely, connect over a 30-minute video call).
While these are all things that we do, they’re more of an expression of who we are. We’re all here at Seesaw to better engage kids at school, build trust between parents and teachers, and improve learning outcomes, and we apply the same principles within our team. We know we have different learning and working styles, so we have multiple avenues for people to create, converse, clear their heads, or just play.
Digital therapeutics for common mental health conditions
San Francisco, London, or Remote (Global)
We believe that throughput comes from fostering team autonomy. An essential component of this is to provide the teams with the knowledge and skill sets they need to deliver value to our users. That is why our cross functional teams (aka pods) have members from all functions (Clinical, Engineering, Product, Design, Creative, Regulatory) and their ability to work together is what allows us to win. If this sounds good to you, we encourage you to apply!
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