As an early stage tech startup–especially one building products for developers–SignalFuse [Mar 12, 2015: now SignalFx] is mostly (80%) engineering. Our engineers helped build the infrastructures that run Facebook, Google, Yahoo!, and Quora. They participate in the open source community with projects like Docker and MaestroNG. They’re the life-blood of our company
Culture is key to building a great product and company. We’d like to share some of the specific things we do to promote the values we talked about in our first post, in practice.
- Respect for each other as individuals is paramount, keeping focus on the content of discussions and debates.
- Practice transparent and open communication, where everyone knows what others are working on and can have informed discussions about the tradeoffs of every decision.
- No one person dictates how the system is built. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to contributes ideas, lead discussions, break things, fix things, and solve problems.
- When engineers start, they get a review of our systems and architecture from the people that built them. They’re encouraged to critique the system from a fresh perspective.
- Then they choose a starting project to learn from the bottoms-up.
- They decide for themselves which team to join and what problems they’d like to work on.
- Everyone wears a product hat. We are building something by developers for developers. Our engineers define, build, and own a product they would like to use everyday to make their own lives better.
- We support balanced lives, because we’re not going to be successful if we burn out. We have lunch catered, go out together to eat once a week, have comfy and varied work areas in the office, flexible hours, great health insurance, support learning activities, and there’s a healthy foosball ladder.
We strive for everyone having an impact on the business and understanding how their work contributes to SignalFuse [Mar 12, 2015: now SignalFx].
Problems That We’re Working On
The real test of a culture is whether what you’re trying to build gets built, problems get solved while people are happy doing it and customers are happy using it. It’s a continual process of learning and growth. We think we’re off to a good start with what Ben Horowitz (our investor) calls a “Can-Do Culture”.
On our way to coming out of stealth, we’re steadily tackling greater challenges. We can’t tell you everything, but here are the kinds of things our engineers are working on:
- Scaling streaming data and analytics
- Visualizing runtime environments
- Building a continuous integration pipeline with things like Docker, Jenkins, and Salt
- Working with distributed systems open source projects like Zookeeper and Docker
- And we’ll be contributing a lot of our work back to the open source community after we launch
We are actively hiring, so if this resonates with you, we’d love to talk.