Sep 01, 2015 • 3 min read
TeamSnap has a strong company culture. It’s a vital part of our business. We pride ourselves on our excellent customer service. We have happy hour video calls so we don’t lose face-to-face contact in our remote working environment. We have two all-company retreats a year so we’re all on the same page. What really stands out to me as a software engineer, though, is the culture of sharing.
At TeamSnap, developers “pair program” with each other daily. At some companies, this comes with stringent guidelines on what pair programming should look like, but at TeamSnap, it means discussing what you’re working on with another developer and using his or her knowledge to get a new perspective.
One of my favorite memories so far at TeamSnap was when I was pairing with a senior developer on a bug. I had no knowledge of the codebase he was working on and I felt useless, but I kept asking questions to get up to speed. At one point we were stuck, and I said, “Sorry I’m of no help, I have no idea how to fix this.” His response? “You’re helping a ton just by asking questions.” That’s when I realized that pair programming benefits everyone, not solely the junior developer.
Another great thing about the TeamSnap developer culture is that everyone is willing to help. I’ve paired with people on each of the different sub-teams in our development group and no one ever acted like I was a burden on them. There are no silos of knowledge here, either. Everyone will jump at the chance to share the details of their feature or project with whoever will listen.
Our culture of sharing doesn’t stop with the developers. Everyone is encouraged to share new tools or articles that might help others learn (we have a bunch of Slack channels for this). We have an internal blog where each team shares what they’re doing each week, or what they’ve learned. We’re so keen on sharing we even have “passion talks” at our company retreats, where employees share on a subject close to their hearts, whether it’s work related or not (my favorite was a talk on aquariums).
I love how sharing knowledge and teaching is of high importance at our company. I’ve worked at places where you did things “because that’s how we’ve always done them.” If I ask why we do something at TeamSnap, I’ll either get a pretty good reason or a discussion on how we could do it better. No egos. No one cares about your degrees or credentials: we all just really care that you’re helping the company move forward.
Sounds good, right? We’re hiring.
Michelle is a software developer for the TeamSnap web application. After graduating from Cal at 18, she was a startup paralegal for four years before deciding to pursue her dream of becoming a programmer. In her spare time, Michelle plays ice hockey, watches ice hockey, plays with her two dogs and makes outlandish life plans.