At Makelog, we’re building a release communication product that helps technical and non-technical teams communicate more effectively with each other and with customers. After spending several years at various B2B SaaS companies, we experienced firsthand how difficult it was to communicate product updates to enterprise customers who value having insight into the product roadmap – Are companies working on the features customers care most about? Are they fixing bugs that are being reported? What exactly is being shipped and when? However, most companies only communicate big feature or product launches since it’s too tedious to share every little thing that ships with the right people. Thus, there’s often a huge lack of transparency around the longtail of updates. We founded Makelog to help companies better communicate product updates with the right stakeholders in a clear, thoughtful, and beautifully-designed way. This is especially important now as the tech world is increasingly moving toward CI/CD, where product changes are an everyday occurrence.
As a small team, we rely on open and effective communication with one another. Whether it’s sharing learnings, giving feedback, noting concerns or celebrating wins – being a strong communicator ensures we’re all rowing in the same direction. There’s a lot of asynchronous communication via Notion and Slack, but we’re also happy to hop on a Huddle or Zoom call whenever needed (and sometimes because we just enjoy having facetime, too). For our daily standup, we use StatusHero, which helps us understand what everyone’s priorities are for the day. In addition to team meetings every Monday, we also have regular 1:1s with each other to help avoid silos. Every month or so, we do a virtual team bonding session using fun tools like Icebreaker, Dive, and Around. Last but not least, it only makes sense that we share our changelog out in the open – you can check it out here!
We are a fully remote company spread across 10 cities and six countries, and being able to work asynchronously is a must. This requires a high degree of trust in one another and effective communication, especially when faced with difficult questions. A quality we embrace at CoinTracker is being able to candidly say, “I don’t know.” It is far more impressive to admit not knowing than it is to deflect or bullshit. If you can readily admit that you need help, or don’t have all the answers, we know we can trust you.
In our day-to-day operations, we encourage folks to communicate in Slack group threads instead of via direct messages – 75% of Slack messages are in public channels. If you’re a new hire who has recently joined the team, we’ll ask you to post questions about your individual progress or how to personally prioritize your task list openly in our #eng channel as opposed to in direct messages to your manager. Everyone on the team (from interns to our CEO) has access to investor updates, financials, and key metrics. This allows everyone to be on the same page and act in the company’s best interests with full transparency.
A consistent refrain at CoinTracker is how trusting and transparent we are with one another, an example often demonstrated by our leadership team. At a time when we were just coming off of crypto winter (2020) and simultaneously at the height of the global pandemic, our growth wasn’t where we knew it could be. During this period, we relied on openness and honesty. We had a weekly all-hands where our founders (Jon and Chandan) shared in-depth status updates and discussed everything we were doing to extend our runway (such as expense reductions). They made sure to dedicate the time to answer any and all questions with complete candor. While some people decided the risk wasn’t worth it for them, we fully supported them in their transition to their next role. Keeping open lines of communication allowed us to successfully navigate this challenging period and become an even stronger company, with our values and mission closely aligned. We’re now growing 15x YoY. 🙌
13 Open Positions
It’s in our creed: “I will communicate as much as possible.” This starts with using our own team blogs, powered by P2, the WordPress theme for group collaboration. Fast, flexible, and fun, P2s make it easy to keep up with the company and our many teams in more than 75 countries around the world. Contributing to projects starts with P2s, too. We have a saying: “P2 or it never happened.”
Developers track about 70% of our projects on P2s, 25% in private chat rooms, and the rest on Slack. Only about 1% of communication is done through email, and that’s mostly to external sources.
Because of the geographic variance, we’re active 24/7 and are continuously working on our communication styles in all formats, including in person. There are many times when we cross continents and timezones to work together, most notably in our annual Grand Meetups, when the entire company gets together in a different location for seven days. Our Grand Meetups have previously been held in San Francisco; Budapest, Hungary; Park City, Utah; and Whistler, Canada just to name a few. 😉 We also have smaller team meetups (around 5–7 days long) where the focus is on experimenting and shipping products together. Recently, the pandemic has prevented us from enjoying these geographical get-togethers. But as soon as it’s safe to do so, we’ll be back at it!
32 Open Positions
At the most rudimentary level, we practice open communication by having open document standards: anyone can see the work of any other department. This extends all the way to the executive team’s weekly agenda and notes.
More importantly, we set the expectation that concrete, explainable reasons must back our decisions; this goes double for leadership. We have a company-wide all-hands every week and engineering has an all-hands every two weeks where leadership provides updates, and we raise topics for discussion ranging from things that affect our work/life balance (e.g. moving our daily production deploys so that east coast folks don't have to be online too late) to our process (e.g. how we want to use Asana).
Technical planning is done on shared documents open to everyone, so that architectural decisions and discussions about them are transparent. If we introduce tech debt, it should be a conscious choice, and every engineer should know why we made that choice, and how/when we plan to address it.
At weekly meetings for each stack team (backend, mobile, frontend), the agenda includes "emerging issues" - a space for everyone to bring concerns about problems they feel are creeping in under the radar. These are issues that cause (sometimes subconscious) anxiety in us, and making it safe to make that a shared responsibility – and not wait until it's a tangible problem – is something we value greatly.
We also practice frequently bringing up topics around our emotional health, stress levels, or even concerns about the future that can sometimes be hard to put precisely into words (like how we plan on preserving our values as we grow). For example, instead of a "what are you doing?" check-in in Slack, we have an optional prompt based on a mindfulness exercise: "As I start the week, I feel ___. The body sensation I'm most aware of is ___". We set an expectation that leadership is allowed to show vulnerability, to admit when they are feeling stretched, or worried about meeting a goal, or disappointed in their own performance. Every staff meeting begins with a Health Check where we report both on our own and our teams' mental health.
Every six weeks we have company-wide retrospectives. In the past, team members have felt comfortable sharing their feelings when UI designs change too often, when we've lost a team member, when our process has holes AND when it starts getting in the way, when OKRs don't provide any guidance, when deadlines aren't realistic, when expectations aren't being clear, or when we're exhausted with Zoom fatigue and need to set some boundaries.
We strive for our employees to feel empowered to share any idea big or small, regardless of whether they’re an apprentice who’s been here for a month or an engineer like Emma, who’s been with us for over six years. What does this look like, you ask? We host weekly Friday Shares where staff are encouraged to take the mic and talk about what they’ve been working on or learning. For example, our Technology Director, Mike, recently hosted a talk called “Failure is Always an Option,” and one of our Lead Engineers (and comic book creator) is hosting another titled “Not Just Another George Lucas.” From 1:1 relationships, to project teams, to the collective studio, we’re big on sharing openly and often so we can learn from each other.
Every engineer’s career goals are taken into consideration from day one. Bi-weekly 1:1 conversations with their managers and bi-annual reviews are baked into our processes. We also hold monthly engineering meetings where the internal processes and department goals are constantly re-evaluated. Although we have multiple teams working on different client projects, all of our communication is done within public Slack channels, so anyone can jump in and see the process.
Open communication is particularly important as we (and the rest of the world) have pivoted to remote work. While it's tempting to schedule a lot of meetings to make sure everyone is on the same page, we've worked hard to balance the need to feel connected with the burnout associated with a week full of Zoom meetings. We lean heavily on tooling – Figma for collaborating on design and presentations, GitHub for code, Dropbox Paper, and Google Docs for documentation, and Trello and Jira for project management. Being disciplined in using these tools to plan and execute our work asynchronously has helped us reserve calendars for the truly impactful synchronous activities (like our monthly Trivia Nights!).
As a company, open communication and transparency is important. For example, the same decks that are shared with the board are also shared with engineers. Within engineering, we share our JIRA boards with customer support teams, so we can openly discuss bandwidth and prioritize work accordingly. Engineers work on teams with a dedicated product manager and designer, so there’s a high degree of collaboration and open communication around the roadmap and features we’re building.
The engineering org is also designed in a way that ensures managers are not maxed out with direct reports. Many senior engineers choose to mentor more junior engineers. For instance, with the support of a senior engineer, two interns changed the user interface and revamped the script messaging overrides, so companies can easily tweak their interviewing scripts. Elayne, one of our engineering managers, likes to block time on her calendar for anyone to ask questions or seek help exploring a different part of the codebase. There’s also regular (optional) shared working time, where anyone can drop into Zoom to collaborate.
16 Open Positions
Gig economy and new mobility insights – powered by gig workers
As a remote team, we actively avoid silos and understand the need for proactive, thoughtful, and clear communication. Our culture is extremely collaborative and interdisciplinary, so we look for people who can give and receive feedback in an effective, considerate manner.
New ideas and problems are first discussed in our weekly or monthly strategy syncs, which we do via Google Meet. We keep meeting time intentional and place a premium on asynchronous communication (we’re active users of Asana). That said, we don’t hesitate to jump on the phone or message one another as needed for quick turnarounds. Everyone on the team is free (and encouraged!) to bring ideas and opinions to the table.
Every month we have team and individual check-ins. These are both to discuss strategy, but also to ask, “How’s it going?” and garner honest feedback about what we can improve and what’s working well in terms of our product, processes, and team dynamics. We want team members to feel safe to make mistakes along the way and have space to seek support, whether it’s technical or personal. Ultimately, consistent and high-quality communication is the key to moving fast and moving well.
1 Open Positions
Payroll, benefits, and HR for modern companies
San Francisco, Denver, New York City, or Remote
Our leadership team believes that businesses run better when everyone knows what’s going on. We have a bi-monthly all-hands meeting with both offices (via video-conferencing). During these sessions, we celebrate new hires, walk through company financials, and reserve time for company Q&A. We use an app to let team members submit and upvote questions so that the most exciting questions get discussed first.
When we recently raised funds (a $200M Series D at an approximate $3.8 billion valuation), our CEO Josh held an additional all-hands meeting. He walked us through the pitch deck, who each investor was, and the rationale behind each decision. It’s easy to claim that your company believes in being open and transparent, but it’s another thing entirely when prioritized by the leadership.
13 Open Positions
We believe it takes the full engagement of every team member to build a truly successful and impactful business, which is why transparency is so crucial. The entire company meets regularly to align on the goals of the business and each department as well as to celebrate our successes. At our bi-weekly all-hands we openly hear from leadership as well as a specific department (which rotates) so everyone is in the loop on how we’re doing and what’s in the pipeline. New hires are also introduced at these meetings so we can get to know you (think sharing a few photos and a fun fact or two).
Similarly, the product and engineering team maintains an open and collaborative approach to product design and development, soliciting input from across the team to ensure alignment and well-informed execution. While we’re happy to hop on a 1:1 call as needed, we also emphasize open transparency via Slack channels so everyone can stay in the loop. Given our fast-paced environment, we recognize that mistakes will happen along the way, but we always look for the learning opportunity. That’s why we practice blameless post-mortems and never single out individuals if things don’t go exactly as planned.
You’ll be called to tackle projects that have a direct and outsized impact on the success of the business and our customers. Our commitment is to equip you with the knowledge and the environment you need to feel closely connected to the goals of the business in your daily work. We want you to feel like you are not just writing code but rather contributing directly to the ongoing success of Qualified as a whole.
Since our earliest days, Angaza has straddled an ocean. The challenges of keeping our San Francisco and Nairobi teams in sync have shaped our culture. We actively and explicitly practice open communication, both across the entire company and within each smaller team.
We put a lot of energy into ensuring the right conversations are happening between the right people. The entire company joins our monthly all-hands call, which emphasizes transparent communication and live Q&A. Leadership schedules regular office hours, where any topic is fair game. We distribute a biweekly newsletter, featuring both company updates and Angazan personal highlights.
Within the engineering team, much of our written communication comes in the form of PR comments. We provide thoughtful, constructive comments for our colleagues, strive to minimize bikeshedding and rubber-stamping, and foster an environment where every engineer feels both empowered to comment and heard when they do.
In cases of fundamental disagreements, whatever the decision, our style is to ensure that the cost of course correction is not prohibitively expensive, document the discussion, and then defer to the individual or team with the most at stake.
A simple messaging workspace with tools for managers and staff on the go
San Francisco, CA or Remote
We understand and are respectful of the fact that people need time and space to focus on their work. At the same time, we also believe better decisions are made when all members of the team are well informed. By being transparent about as much as possible, we make information accessible whenever possible. Everyone knows how much runway we have, how investors meetings went, about strategic partnerships, and is included in all hiring decisions.
Underlying trust allows us to speak frankly with one another and enables us to build an environment where people are encouraged to voice their questions, criticisms, and/or concerns. Because we truly respect each other, open communication feels effortless. Whether you agree or dissent, all opinions are valuable and will be heard.
In terms of day-to-day communication, a handful of us work together in a shared co-working space in San Francisco (PARISOMA), and the rest of the team is distributed working remotely. We recognize that working remotely comes with its own set of challenges, and strive as a team to make this a good experience on all sides. We use a combination of Zoom, various collaboration software (e.g. Notion, Google Docs, Github), and messaging on Coast (our own product) to tackle each new project or goal together as a team.
We also bring the entire team together for regular off-sites in person to ensure we get to know each other on a personal level so our team gels as a whole. At the end of the day communication is everything: healthy teams move fast because they trust each other, and trust is built through good communication.
1 Open Positions
Every few months we have an anonymous culture survey executed by a third party. Part of this survey is giving honest feedback to the leadership team directly, which execs then share with the company. Our leaders openly discuss the personal feedback they received even if it’s hard to share and talk about what they’re working on to address; the good, the bad, and everything in between. Everyone in leadership also participates in 360 surveys (also administered by a third party) so they can get even more detailed feedback about how to improve.
As a remote first company, we heavily favor communication via Slack, so you can really know about and get involved in anything you’d like. However, we’re very mindful of Slack fatigue and don’t expect engineers to always be online. We also try to move longer discussions to documents. Our physical office is there for those who would like, but it’s not mandatory since all of our hardware can be accessed remotely.
When we onboard new engineers, we intentionally connect you with lots of different people across the company so you can forge relationships and gain the context you need to succeed. Engineers are encouraged to jump in from day one and can always grab time on anyone’s calendar. We find that because you have so much power to get involved with any project at any time, it’s hard to become cynical. We’d be lying if we said complaints never happen, but it’s usually not long before we ask, “What can we do about that?” and often the answer is only a meeting or PR away.
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These norms are especially important to us at Aptible since most of our communication happens over Zoom, Slack, or email. Being remote forces us to communicate in a way that working in person may not allow. We often create explanatory collateral rather than simply pulling a co-worker into a meeting room and we’ve developed a culture of permanence and accessibility around documentation that we are confident will be invaluable as we scale. Being remote requires that communication between teammates and teams more broadly is thoughtful and intentional each time.
Whether it's the daily scrum standups (we’re constantly working to streamline and improve the efficacy of these), weekly 1:1’s (where you have free reign to set the agenda with your manager), or our bi-weekly all-hands (where we come together as a team to hold ourselves accountable to our goals and enjoy some face time), here are a few of the general practices we promote to ensure positive and effective communication:
There are many more norms where those came from – including more tips on how we use Slack and Zoom effectively and with empathy.
The Aptible Team at our 2022 Offsite in Philadelphia.
Our engineers often talk about code and product, but we also talk about our performance as a team, hiring, and fundraising. We default to communicating in person and in public Slack channels. We err on the side of more channels, so individuals can mute or set their notification preferences to not be disturbed (but catch up when they want). We only use private Slack channels for sensitive information, like discussing a specific candidate during recruiting.
We want everyone to feel comfortable voicing their opinions. We try to share agendas in advance so everyone will be able to prepare privately. At the beginning of each meeting, we often take the first few minutes for everyone to individually collect and record their thoughts before sharing. For example, during our retrospectives, each person is able to share their individual reflections first. Then, as a team, we decide what to dive into as a group.
As a company, open communication and transparency is extremely important. Leadership sets a good example, with our CEO, Christopher Himes, leading the monthly company-wide all-hands meeting and taking the time to answer any questions. Quarterly department business reviews are openly shared and our SVP of Engineering also gives regular updates at all-hands.
On the engineering team, we hold weekly and monthly town halls, so everyone is in the loop on the features we’re building. Our VP of Engineering also holds weekly office hours, where anyone can pop in to chat about anything from technical questions to thoughts on how to foster a great engineering culture. Similarly, Ethan (lead software engineer) started an ongoing pairing session where engineers are encouraged to ask for or provide help to one another. We encourage everyone to speak up and share their feedback, so we can continue to build the best product possible.
16 Open Positions
We believe that everyone should have the context they need to do their jobs well, and that “how I’m doing” is a crucial piece of that context. We avoid leaving important things unsaid, which means we’re willing to have difficult conversations or give constructive feedback as needed.
Feedback is a part of everyone’s job, and we expect our managers and leaders to model giving and soliciting direct, actionable, and kind feedback. We try to quickly build trust with new team members, and we always assume good intent and competence in others.
As a distributed team, we invest in formalizing our communication and working norms to remove ambiguity. During onboarding, new hires create user guides that describe their working style and communication preferences. Our engineering team also co-creates and maintains a working agreement that includes norms like asking questions in public forums and discouraging information silos. Even if a question could be answered by one person, we default to a public channel, so the information can be seen by more team members, and the resolution of the question can be documented.
As a company, we value transparency and our CEO, Eduardo, sets a good example. He’ll often hold AMAs and answer any questions at our weekly all-hands meetings and share the latest company updates. We also use this time to discuss projects engineers have been working on, hear from the customer support team about what our customers are finding helpful (or any pain points), and get an overview of the business from the sales team’s perspective.
While team members span both coasts, we make sure everyone stays in the loop by communicating regularly via public Slack channels. Meeting calendars are also open, so anyone can attend any meeting if they’d like. Finally, we use a shared Google Drive, so everyone has access to company resources.
Everyone has access to the same information, and no one is left in the dark about important company decisions. The transparency our leaders have with the rest of the company about board meetings (they always share slides and documents presented), timelines, and dissenting opinions creates a culture where Novans feel comfortable speaking up about any topic, which is why one of our core values is 'Challenge Without Ego'. At the end of every all-hands, there’s the opportunity for anyone to ask questions live, via zoom chat, or our #questionsforallhands channel.
Almost all of the work we do requires cross-functional expertise and teamwork, which is why we rely on open communication about details, requirements, deadlines, and processes. We are heavily biased toward giving too much information rather than not enough.
An example of this is our blameless and cross-functional Post-Mortem process. Incidents are unfortunately inevitable, but they are great opportunities to learn as a team. We use PMs as a tool for documenting incidents, analyzing root causes and outcomes, and identifying action items to prevent the incident from occurring again.
Another way we over-communicate is through our internal groups and brown bag lunches, where employees share in depth about a topic or experience they're passionate about. At Nova, open communication extends to those outside of the company, too. We host fireside chats with industry professionals, bringing in amazing, high-profile individuals into the office for open discussions on various topics. For APA heritage month, we hosted community organizers from API Equality – Northern California to discuss the Asian-American experience and how to support fellow Novans and API members.
As a fully remote team, communication is critical. Not just for getting things done, but also for team building. We lean into this by over-communicating, on Slack and on video calls as well. We use video calls for planning work, pair programming to tackle particularly hard challenges, and helping give context of a certain code area to team members who are missing that context. We also use video calls for fun things, from hanging out to celebrating wins to just sharing stupid videos.
We have two all-hands meetings a week to connect as a team and make sure everyone is on the same page. On Mondays, we spend half an hour reviewing high-level updates from last week as well as what’s to come this week. At the beginning of each kickoff call, Joe, our founder and CEO, always gets us started by talking openly about what’s on his mind. On Fridays, we spend about an hour wrapping up the week, which includes a show and tell section, where different team members share what they’ve been working on. We also have a section dedicated to an open floor Q&A – affectionately known as “Q&Chaos” – where you can ask anything that’s on your mind. In this time, people ask big picture questions about the business or dive into the details of a new feature we’ve shipped. People also take this as an opportunity to be silly and irreverent, like debating the merits of guac versus queso.
Our vision is that anyone here can see at any time how their work is contributing to the goals of our company. We want everybody to be able to quickly and easily understand why they’re doing the work they’re doing and how it's going to make an impact.
We work to create an environment where everyone’s perspective can be heard. However, that isn’t to say that we’re consensus-driven. Instead, we borrow a paradigm from Apple and identify Directly Responsible Individuals (DRIs) who are then in charge of collecting and synthesizing information, and making a call. (We should note that the DRI is often not the most senior person, but the person closest to the work.)
Transparency and inclusion are both core company values and product values of ours. You can see them in the way our founders openly discuss the corporate structure, equity, and the company’s financial situation, all the way to how our product builds trust between team members with daily questions.
As a distributed team, we are async-first. While we’re looking for engineers who live in time zones compatible with the US, we optimize for asynchronous communication via text. We still have face-to-face time, but it's much more intentional.
We have transparent discussions around product and engineering decisions out in the open. These range from technical RFCs to proposals for new features in the product. Since every team member can access these long-form discussions, this means that any team member can go back in time and read why certain decisions were made and what trade-offs were considered at that time. This enables every engineer to contribute.
To us, kindness means creating a culture where everyone has a voice and speaks up. Each team member is encouraged to express what they think would be best for the product, the team, and the company. We speak to each other directly, we disagree amicably, and we remain kind and respectful in all conversations.
Continuous integration and delivery platform
Distributed across the US, Canada, Ireland, UK, Germany, Japan
At CircleCi, transparency is a core company value. Our leadership exemplifies a high degree of transparency with company calls every two weeks, where they share insight into business events, metrics, goals, and strategy. Similarly, we have department calls every two weeks, to dive deeper into how we’re tracking toward our goals. Managers also regularly communicate strategy, direction, and relevant tactical details to their teams – we believe it’s almost impossible to over-communicate these details. “Always repeat what’s important” is a motto we live by.
There’s also a high degree of visibility across teams. We have open team channels in Slack and also rely on open documentation (think shared docs and Confluence) to keep things visible and accessible. We’re also currently building out a knowledge repository, which includes info about each team (what they do, what they own), operating documentation about our services, architectural and system design documents, and how-to documentation for processes, tools, and best practices. We created an engineering competency matrix, which is woven into everything we do. From hiring, to structured feedback, to performance reviews, it helps us hold everyone to the same standards and clarify expectations as we scale.
How you talk about learning – especially the way you discuss mistakes – matters. That’s why we use blameless postmortems to help understand problems and drive solutions. We want everyone to feel safe while continually learning how to improve and better work together.
Connecting fintechs with banks to build great financial products
San Francisco, CA or Remote (US)
Each of us has experienced what it feels like at other companies when decision making is divorced from facts on the ground. It is extremely demoralizing when you are the expert and are not empowered to make important decisions or even sit at the table where they are made. Not only does it stifle individuals at a company, but it is also a sign of poor leadership that will likely make bad decisions, and eventually lead the company in the wrong direction.
Our approach is to practice email transparency and share all information (except when it specifically has to be confidential – e.g., HR information). We embrace the accountability that this brings. By having access to all information, individuals can make informed decisions. Additionally, it encourages people to reach out and get any additional information they need: engineers talk to banks to understand how they work and form a relationship and our customer success team frequently collaborates with engineers on prioritization and debugging.
Our management philosophy can be summed up as: one team with each individual having the responsibility and authority to get their job done. If your problem goes beyond your domain, then it’s up to you to get help from another person and ultimately bring that project across the finish line.
Since we’re a distributed team, we have developed most of our company processes to be remote first. We deprioritize email in favor of Slack and Notion – they’re way more collaborative.
Being able to capture one’s thoughts in writing is a revered and celebrated skill at AngelList. Our weekly team-wide standup is done exclusively through writing (yes, with more than 16 people in the meeting). Updates are written in Notion before the meeting starts and we spend the next 20-25 minutes reading and commenting on those updates, in silence. It’s surreal and almost comical the first time you experience it, but the value of the meeting is that all of the micro-interactions are covered in writing and folks who can’t make it because of the time zone (or life) can read it when they have a chance and gain close to 100% of the context.
We’re open in the way we share information and feedback with each other. We trust our employees – whether it’s our financial numbers (which are made public for everyone to see) or the reasoning behind an important business decision, we prioritize being open and transparent at all times. We encourage each other to share feedback early and often, and have spent time discussing how to give and receive feedback effectively.
Despite our remote-friendly processes, we value being able to spend time together. We typically host one offsite every year to bring the entire team together; previously we’ve gone to places like Thailand, Tulum, Colombia, and Hawaii. We weren’t able to meet in 2020, but once it’s safe to do so again, we’re planning to make up for it with an even more glorious offsite 🙂.
Everyone at Mode has the resources at hand to answer questions or validate assumptions. After all, this is one of the core value propositions of the software we are building. Every team member is an owner of the company, so progress is reported frequently and transparently. This information is typically shared in the form of presentations about company financials and direction at our weekly all-hands meetings, as well as through reports that display core company metrics.
After much thought and consideration, we (excitedly!) decided to begin hiring fully remote engineers in 2019. While we knew it wouldn’t be perfect at first, it positioned us well for the transition to remote work during the pandemic. We've invested in state-of-the-art telecommunications hardware and software, now run meetings as if all attendees were remote, and make decisions in forums where remote members can participate.
If you work out of our office in San Francisco, you’ll sit with your cross-functional team (product, design, engineering, and customer support). We have a quiet room for when you need a break from the open office layout and office pups who lovingly sit nearby.
105 Open Positions
Groceries delivered from local stores
San Francisco,Toronto, Chicago, New York or Remote (US/Canada)
You can be one of the best engineers in the world, but the impact of your work depends on how well you communicate and work with your team. Instacart has many moving parts, making whole ownership, as mentioned previously, so important to success. To facilitate cross-functional collaboration, we host regular “Hackers Lunch” meetings where engineers share their recent work and keep others informed of what projects are important to them. In the past, people have presented on topics like The New PagerDuty, Efficient Services, Technical Writing for Fun and Profit, and Building Availability Models.
At a company-wide level, we meet on a monthly basis for our All-Hands where leaders share updates on projects, launches, and larger announcements. Our CEO also hosts a weekly AMA series, where she answers questions that are top of mind for employees. And our employee-led Employee Resource Groups hold regular internal discussions about topics of interest.
51 Open Positions
A collaborative toolkit enabling anyone to create software
San Francisco, Mountain View, Austin, New York City, or Seattle
This nearly always means capturing it in written form, and Airtable is very much a written culture: project specs, meeting notes, retrospectives, market opportunity analyses, and other documents, including our CEO Howie's reports to our board of directors, are all duly written up and circulated widely, in most cases to all full-time staff. Engineers regularly write documents that receive direct feedback from sales or other customer-facing teams, and vice versa.
Furthermore, we strive to establish a social context in which people have the right expectations about authoring proposals or commenting on them. First, we encourage people to share as much information as possible: not only proposed actions and decisions, but also the context and motivations that prompted them. This allows readers, who do not already have that context, to engage more effectively. Second, we practice empathetic communication and discourage excessive pride of authorship. Ideas can only be shared early and often if people feel secure that their half-baked or highly speculative ideas will be welcomed as a starting point rather than attacked for their imperfections. On the other hand, the process of iterating and refining proposals can't work if people start out too attached to (or personally identified with) particular versions of an idea. Without these critical values, no software tool can create a culture of open communication.
Like many other companies, we use Slack for real-time communication. However, we also recognize the many limits of chat-style communication and strongly bias toward capturing discussions wherever reasonable in documents, tickets, and other durable media (including, of course, Airtable bases). We believe the best decisions are often made with ample time, discussion, and thought, which are best supported by asynchronous collaboration.
(A strongly written and asynchronous communication culture has other benefits, too. It's better for work done outside our main offices, or on time-shifted schedules. Also, it enables a greater proportion of focused “maker time” compared to a culture where everyone feels obligated to actively monitor chats for fear of missing out on important conversations. Of course, there are plenty of times when real-time chats or meetings really are the best way to communicate, and we embrace those situations. But we try to deploy these communication modes thoughtfully.)
29 Open Positions
We’re dedicated to being transparent with one another, and it starts at the leadership level. Our founders have done deep dives on topics including our competitive edge, potential weaknesses, our long-term vision, lessons from past mistakes, and more. We also have bi-weekly all-hands meetings to ensure we’re all on the same page. Similarly, we hold quarterly company-wide financial reviews, where the state of the business is openly shared.
When setting quarterly OKRs we involve all team members. To avoid group-think and ensure we make the best decisions possible, dissent, devil’s advocacy, and purposeful debate are encouraged. While we don’t always agree, we always respect each other’s point of view. It’s also important that our internal team provides documentation that makes sense for our professional services team members.
Finally, we also have core working hours to foster open communication and ensure we have the necessary coverage. We ask engineers to be available for virtual meetings between 8-12pm PST and then be on-call until 7pm PST. That said, when you want to do your work is up to you.
We have regular weekly meetings to address any concerns or issues internally, and a monthly all-hands meeting the first Wednesday of every month. Shannon, our CEO, values transparency and keeping the team informed. During this meeting, she shares business results for the last month, how conversations are going with investors, and provides an overall status update. Then each department (operations, trainer development, and technology) is given air time to discuss any new features or developments. We also open the floor and anyone can speak up about another team member’s accomplishments. At the end of the meeting, we finish with “teammate delight”, which is part of our internal recognition program and rewarded with a day off.
We are super excited to grow our existing team. We are looking forward to finding people who can help set and align the engineering team’s culture with our current culture. Our team prides itself on a collaborative and open communication style, and we firmly believe that our product and users are more important than the code that is written. When we find the right fit, we want new hires to feel comfortable with being open about their strengths and weaknesses. From there, we can build a team around individual needs and capabilities.
1 Open Positions
Unlike at many other startups, we place a large emphasis on transparency. Avoiding silos is key and we’re very active in Slack. Having a written culture allows people to easily jump in where needed or catch up (we don’t expect you to be green on Slack 24/7). Whether it’s at our all-hands meeting on Monday, company-wide check-in on Wednesday, or daily standups, information flows freely. In fact, our CEO, Kim, leads the first two meetings and openly shares important information. Similarly, Benton, our VP of engineering, encourages engineers to feel comfortable sharing their thoughts (the good, the bad, and everything in between) during 1:1s or as an issue arises. We also emphasize candid feedback during our weekly retrospectives and make sure everyone has the opportunity to share their thoughts.
Last but not least, we believe in checking egos at the door and working from a place of high compassion. In other words, a developer is not their code – we strive to give the type of feedback we’d hope to receive. Being thoughtful communicators allows us to lean on each other and empower one another to speak up and be heard. This is something we actively screen for during interviews – we want to see how you articulate your ideas (which is always more important to us than whether you arrived at the right answer).
In order to bring something to life on a quick, start-up timeline, members of our team openly communicate with one another. But this isn’t limited to concerns or pivots – it’s also about giving props to our hard workers and recognizing all players’ contributions in our success, evolution, and forward progression. We’re active in Slack and rely on Notion and Google Docs for asynchronous communication to ensure we’re all on the same page.
Leadership sets a good example and regularly communicates updates about the state of the business and where we’re going. For instance, Patrick (CEO and founder) shares thoughts about what he’s working on and what he’s excited about in founder notes he sends out biweekly.
We make each other better by being honest, transparent, and speaking up. The best ideas can come from anywhere and we’re not afraid to learn from our mistakes or change our minds. In order to iterate quickly, we have direct conversations to get to the point and make timely decisions.
In our day-to-day, everyone has access to all of the information they need to make informed decisions. Slack channels, Notion, and Google Docs are open and we do our best to keep meetings light. In general, meeting culture is based around our plan meetings, with anything else being ad hoc or specific to an outcome that needs to be achieved.
Working in a globally distributed team means open communication is a must. Sharing context, goals, objectives, and in-progress work helps us stay on the same page and achieve our common goal: building the best products and experiences for our users. We rely on several work tools to collaborate and are very active in Slack, where we default to open channels. If you have a question, it’s likely someone else has the same one. Having everything out in the open gives others the opportunity to chime in, collaborate, and yields an answer even faster. It also helps cement an environment where everyone feels safe to make mistakes or ask silly questions.
In addition to our rich documentation culture, feedback is ingrained in everything we do. For example, we all have personal ReadMe docs that share how we like to receive feedback (e.g., openly in Slack, privately, in-the-moment, or later after they’ve had time to digest).
When it comes to meetings, we follow a scrum ritual (daily standups, sprint review, retros, and backlog grooming). Daily standups at 8am PST tend to be a great way to pass the baton; our West Coast team members are starting their day, while folks in Europe are wrapping up. However, these meetings (and most at Zapier) are always optional. Of course, we try to attend every meeting we can, but we understand that people have different responsibilities. If someone can’t attend, we make sure to share all of the relevant information so they can provide their input.
14 Open Positions
As a company, we value open communication and transparency. During all-hands, our CEO is happy to answer every question submitted from any employee. We also have regular social hours so engineers can get to know other members from different parts of the business. Not only does this foster better relationships, but it also supports a more holistic approach to help us realize our goals.
Our engineering team equally values sharing information. A majority of the team joined remotely during the pandemic and given that we’re spread across several time zones, being able to work asynchronously is a must. This requires a high degree of trust in one another and effective communication. We encourage regular feedback in meetings and always approach communication from a place of empathy rather than judgment. We run regular retrospectives about our engineering processes and projects. Finally, we have a bi-annual full company survey to ask employees about what is working well and what can be improved.
Automated financial management to save, plan, and invest all in one place
Palo Alto, CA or Remote (US)
Open communication and transparency are incredibly important at Wealthfront, both in terms of developer happiness (feeling trusted and included) and productivity (not being blocked by uncertainty). It also enables insight into other business functions and promotes learning and development – another win all around.
At our all-hands meeting, engineers are able (and encouraged) to ask our CEO anything, or pose questions to other members of the team. It’s our belief that keeping engineers well-informed will allow them to make the best decisions possible and be the most productive. That’s why most information is also publicly shared with the company.
In addition, several of our core operating principles relate to how much we value open communication. We “show respect” by being approachable and courteous, following up with people directly instead of going behind their back, and providing constructive feedback. We “disagree and commit,” which encourages employees to voice their concerns or objections early in the process, but once we’ve reached a decision, everybody commits to it. We also openly communicate decisions and feedback by following the "ask, don't assume" principle. Finally, we "demonstrate urgency," which explicitly emphasizes keeping all relevant parties informed about projects and decisions.
Collaborative mapping platform for transportation planning
San Francisco, New York City, or Remote (US)
Clear, open communication is fundamental to how we work. We actively work to create opportunities to share context, regardless of seniority, role or location. If you have ideas about how to make something better, we want to hear it! Since we span several time zones, we make sure to update people in Slack, share Paper docs, and record important meetings so that everyone has the same context. For example, when there was uncertainty with the pandemic, leadership kept everyone informed with a weekly company update on Slack.
We also foster open communication with bi-weekly tech talks, where team members have the opportunity to share short demos or discuss what they’ve been working on. Engineers who are subject matter experts in a certain area or part of the stack also rotate every week and make themselves available to answer any questions during office hours.
Teams are organized based on the product area you work on, so we don’t have a dedicated front-end or back-end team. In order to encourage open dialogue across product teams, we have several different guilds composed of people with similar technical interests. Guild meetings generally happen every two weeks, and it’s a great time to discuss best practices, how we can improve on our architecture, or certain aspects of our system.
Collaboration is key, and you should feel comfortable going to anyone at any time if you’re feeling stuck or want to understand something better. Want to pair? There’s always someone willing to do so. We’re lucky to have a strong, talented team that is excited to help you learn new things and wants to learn from you, too.
Brex has a transparent written culture (or memo culture), which makes it easy to learn about various parts of the business at any time. We document everything – company-wide strategy, OKRs, key metrics – in Google docs and share them internally. We’re even transparent about our compensation structure and encourage interested applicants to understand our approach before deciding to apply.
Once you join Brex, you’ll see that communication styles vary across teams. We give individual teams a lot of flexibility to determine what communication style works best for them and the individuals who compose the team. While we had always planned on becoming a remote-first and international company, COVID-19 helped push that agenda. We will continue to be remote-first post-COVID and improve our communication culture to accommodate our growing company.
Today, two of our favorite communication practices include our regular Q&A’s with the leadership team (where you can ask about anything you may want to learn more about) and weekly emails from our founders. Each week, our founders send an email to the entire company about major updates, decisions, and the why behind them. Here are two great examples from Pedro (founder and co-CEO) around why a growth mindset is so important to him and how to increase the quality of our decisions. Let us know what you think!
39 Open Positions
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