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Show HN: Key Values – Find engineering teams that share your values (keyvalues.io)
222 points by lynnetye on Sept 5, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 126 comments

I would second the option to negate some of these "values." There are about eight that I don't consider to be "values", but just to pick one of them at random, I don't consider "has good beer" to be a value I look for in a company. In fact, I consider a focus on alcohol in the workplace to be a red flag and would like the ability to filter out a place like that. In my experience, workplaces with alcohol in them tend to focus their work-related happy hours around drinking. As someone who does not drink, I often feel left out of those social activities, and am often actively shamed for not participating.

Some of the "values" are kind of ambiguous. How do you quantify "bonded by love of product"? What does that even mean? Doesn't everyone consider themselves "Creative + Innovative" and "Customer Comes First"? Would anyone advertise a company that doesn't have a "High Quality Codebase"?

I do like the overall idea of the site and the filtering mechanisms. I'm glad you're considering adding more "values" to the system, and hope you can add some more nuanced selection of those values (i.e., negation). You're approaching this from a tough but clever angle, and it'll be a lot of work to tweak it and get it right. Keep it up.

Also, site looks beautiful. Love the logo.

> Would anyone advertise a company that doesn't have a "High Quality Codebase"?

I don't know about advertising (and this is a throwaway account) but when we interview candidates, we're clear that our code base has a lot of legacy code and the quality is a mixed bag. We're also clear that while most of our development team wants to improve it, it's a slow process and can only be done in ways that don't slow down feature development.

Developers who are obsessed with code quality have been a mixed bag for us. Several of our best developers are the people who care the most about quality code and push hardest to improve it. On the other hand, we've had people who seem to care a lot about quality, but have no feel for the cost/benefit ratio of any given change, and spend more time complaining about code than actually working on it. The ability to talk about what good code looks like doesn't necessarily translate into the ability to improve flawed code.

You have technical debt. It, by definition, slows down feature development by its very existence. But only of code that touches it in some manner.

I understand the imporantance of balancing business needs with 'clean code' but I think you're setting yourself up for unexpected costs with the mindset that code can only be cleaned up if features can still be delivered at the same speed. Are you doing it by fixing in the natural lulls in development? Hiring more people? Or perhaps by going beyond a 9-5?

I am a firm believer that saying what you are not can be more informative than saying what you are. So yes, the option to "negate" values is on the roadmap :)

Re: ambiguous "value tags", they're up for interpretation. I encourage you (and others) to read how different teams describe the same value and what it means to them. Also, there are several teams who didn't choose Creative + Innovative, Customer Comes First, and/or High Quality Codebase.

No company will "advertise" that they do not produce high quality, but we still learn something when high quality code isn't included in a team's top values. This is the beauty of limiting teams to 8 values :)

Good points!

> In my experience, workplaces with alcohol in them tend to focus their work-related happy hours around drinking. As someone who does not drink, I often feel left out of those social activities, and am often actively shamed for not participating.

I also don't drink, and in my (relatively short) experience in the tech industry, the term "social event" almost exclusively refers to events where the primary focus is alcohol. Is this a tech-industry specific thing, or just a thing with "industry" in general?

It's an issue with mandatory fun time. I can totally see myself enjoying my time at a pub with some colleagues, but throw in the whole team plus managers/leaders and it's just four more hours of unwanted social interaction and work talk for which to survive the only focus become getting drunk as fast as possible to cut the losses.

Definitely an issue in other industries (see e.g. law), but not in all industries.

I think what is often missed with values, is the "anti values". Often when I see a list of company values, it looks as if they can have their cake and eat it too. They are not explicit about the trade offs being made; e.g. "more perks (e.g. beer), lower salary". I think if it's hard to find one of these opposing anti-values, then it's not really an interesting choice to make, i.e. at worst it's probably a nice to have.

Last time we discussed our values at work, we thought about what we were trading off and this helped us decide whether they really were important to us.

That's an excellent perspective that I hadn't thought of before. How would you go about doing that? More beer doesn't necessarily correlate to lower salaries -- you might be trading off inclusiveness or safe work environment instead. Or if you have a flat organization that doesn't necessarily mean you have fewer meetings or more autonomy. How do you correlate a value with its anti-value? Or do you just say "We value these things, but we explicitly don't value these things"?

> Would anyone advertise a company that doesn't have a "High Quality Codebase"?

I think they can mitigate this by making the companies pick a limited number of "most important values". That way they're incentivized to make sure they mention all the things they're actually valuing, and leave out things that they don't actively prioritize (so you may think you have a high quality codebase, but if it isn't in the top 3-4 things you'd mention to a candidate, it's not a value of yours necessarily)

The author mentions in a sibling comment that companies are limited to 8 values.

In fact things like - got beer, free food (it should be food is available, you can eat here or eat outside; I would rather want to get paid for that and have a choice), TT table, foosball etc are traps.

I wish I could find a similar list (that can be trusted to some extent) for my country (India) and all I would be looking for is - work-life balance.

I don't want to drink alcohol in office (if at all I am into alcohol). Instead of playing TT in office I would like to go for a swim, or a game of badminton, or a quite evening stroll.

To get me to play TT or foosball, they'd have to be in another location where no work is allowed to happen or even be discussed.

Bharatiya high five! I know exactly what you mean by the highest value being work-life balance. Please message me as well if you do find a place respectful to employees!

just a second voice to add -- i do drink, but still don't appreciate alcohol in the workplace or cultures that are focused around after-work drinking. it's something i do with friends and family, not coworkers, and especially not my boss or subordinates.

I totally agree. I drink, just not with co-workers.

It's a little bit hard to capture in a survey, but the reality is you can't value everything. Values aren't a list of all the things you think are good, it's a list of the things you value "above replacement".

Even just talking about what values your company has is very instructive and revealing. Sure, few people say "we don't value maintainable code", but if you're putting together a list of your four or five core values and you're coming up with things like "speed of execution", "rapid iteration" and you don't put anything about mainainability, the reality is you don't value that.

You might not object to it, but it just isn't important to you - you don't value it.

Good point. I don't value flat organizations, but that doesn't mean my company has a hierarchy. You're definitely right.

This isn't related to the website but I also share the same sentiment towards alcohol in the workplace. It is amazing how a beverage can change an employees outlook on a company. On the company side though, it's an easy/inexpensive way to build culture.

People are strange.

It's also a way to isolate team members who don't drink. You may think it's an "easy" way to build a team and yes perhaps that does hold true for some groups but overall, this attitude that having pseudorandom happy hours (in my opinion) flawed and is opposite of the current PC movement in the industry.

I wonder if it would be some consolation if they provided non-alcoholic tasty mocktails as well.

Love of product makes total sense to me.

Do the employees use the product? For some companies it's incredibly important, and for others it's a non-starter (usually B2C).

The value is called "bonded by love of product" not "Employees use product". I'm not really convinced that's what it means.

Hello! Lynne here, the creator of Key Values.

I’m an indie hacker, and I've spent the last few months putting this together. I interviewed dozens of engineers to come up with a list of values: things we care about most when evaluating new opportunities. I then worked with engineering teams (which you see listed on Key Values) to identify the 8 values that best describe their engineering team and culture.

I’m working to add more teams to the site and would love to hear from you!

Very nice site! I was surprised that selecting multiple values to filter by resulted in an "OR" query rather than an "AND" one. Is that just because there isn't a lot of content yet?

Also, some sort of structured data about company locations would be great, especially as the data set grows in size. Even if you don't display it yet, probably worth while to collect it now if you're not already so it can be added easily enough when necessary. I realize the open positions have location, but I might want to "follow" a local company w/o any open positions at the moment in case my or their situation changes.

Thanks, and you're exactly right about both of those things. It'll make more sense to use AND once I add more profiles! (It's a pretty sad experience using AND at this point haha)

Re: locations, I'm w/ you! I was focusing on Bay Area teams to start but then companies in other cities started reaching out! I couldn't possibly exclude them :)

In addition to location, you'll also want to filter on:

- company size

- years experience desired

- compensation offered (one of the things that makes AngelList jobs and the monthly HN jobs post so effective is that it's the norm to include comp info)

- tech stack (to know if I have relevant experience to get in the door / if I want to use those tools)

- roles (you should put into standard buckets like AngelList does)

This is a really great idea. Please consider adding value ranking. For example, many people might value both meritocracy and diversity but valuing one more highly than another creates a completely different culture. P.S. Please consider adding "meritocracy" as a value.

You can't really have one without the other. It's not really meritocracy if you're excluding a large portion of your candidate pool due to bias.

I really don't understand this meme. I've never seen a company where I felt like straight white males (myself being one of them) were excluded due to diversity initiatives. We're still pretty well-represented at even the most staunchly pro-diversity companies.

Personally, I would prefer to work exclusively with those who value meritocracy more because diversity proponents are very often believers in the ideology of perpetual victimhood. As such they are always in conflict with everyone and generally suck the joy out of life. I find them intolerable and want to keep them as far away from me as possible.

> Personally, I would prefer to work exclusively with those who value meritocracy more because diversity proponents are very often believers in the ideology of perpetual victimhood.

I think you're projecting. The only displays of victimhood I've seen in this context is from white males who (incorrectly) believe that an increased focus on diversity means they are somehow being discriminated against.

If you create value for your employer and can demonstrate a minimum level of competence when it comes to technical and people skills you really have nothing to fear from diversity. It is ridiculous that this even needs to be pointed out.


> Eschew flamebait. Don't introduce flamewar topics unless you have something genuinely new to say. Avoid unrelated controversies and generic tangents.



> Surely you must agree that any kind of unconscious bias (or conscious, for that matter) is undesirable? How can an organization claim to be a meritocracy if members of marginalized groups are treated unfairly compared to members of the majority group?

Everybody has biases. SJWs have biases as well. James Damore pointed out some of them and he got slandered, shamed, death threats, robbed of his livelihood and his future ability to provide for his family. After that experience, I think its reasonable to conclude that SJWs are not acting in good faith when it comes to having an open discussion about biases.

Furthermore, there is ZERO scientific evidence for unconscious bias and microaggressions against "marginalized groups".

I cite the research of Psychology professor Scott Lilienfeld of Emory University: “Microaggressions: Strong Claims, Inadequate Evidence.”

Re: > The ideology is just marxism with the white male as the new villain instead of the bourgeoisie.

While it may be true that SJWs are not fully aware of the historical origins of their ideology, it is a fact that postmodernism was borne when the french intellectuals (marxists) confronted with the horrors of communism chose to reformulate their philosophy to concentrate on identity politics instead of class war. The following book provides a good history of this:

Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault (Expanded Edition) by Stephen R. C. Hicks

> death threats

That should never have happened.

> robbed of his livelihood and his future ability to provide for his family

No, he was legally fired and he can get another job somewhere else. If anything, running straight to alt-right commentators for interviews has done more to damage his future prospects than being fired from Google.

> We're still pretty well-represented...

We who? There's a real lack of "we" among white males. White males don't generally look around, see a bunch of white males and think, "I feel my views are being represented here!"

It's usually more specific at least. Damore clearly didn't feel represented by the white male leadership at Google, for example.

Not a logical statement. It is entirely possible to value merit over diversity.

I would submit that the two are in contention with one another.

How so? Like I said, a more inclusive workplace is about having a larger pool of candidates to draw from. I haven't seen anyone suggest that diversity is to be achieved by lowering hiring standards, that is a strawman.

Opening the pool to as many potential candidates as possible is not the same as taking an active role in making sure the people you bring on are actually diverse.

> many people might value both meritocracy and diversity

So you're saying let's use a site to find like-minded people... in the name of diversity?


Is this just an elaborate joke or is there something I'm missing? (I'll be the first to admit leftist-diversity logic often eludes me)

It's a bit of tangent here, but one of the contentions in the controversial Google memo was that "diversity" meant something specific in Google culture that wasn't what Damore understood to be diversity.

With that in mind, it's a controversial value, at least for the time being, but it probably serves the goal of communicating how a company comes down on these sorts of issues.

This is awesome! I'm glad to see this on the front-page of HN. I believe core value alignment is one of the most important things in a team, both from the company as well as the employee's perspective. Unfortunately very often ignored..

I had just blogged about the importance of culture last month [1] where I heard a talk from a CEO that grew his team rapidly to 60 strong, only to have to let 21 go in one day, due to a lack of cultural alignment.

[1] https://blog.routific.com/the-importance-of-startup-culture-...

I strongly think you should add company (or at least engineering org) size to this. A company that's less than 100 people is very different from a company over 1000, all other values being equal.

It's a little annoying when you go to a company page and wants to return and no options are selected anymore

You offer more jobs the more values I select.

It seems that you select the jobs by 'or-ing' the values so that the jobs are shown where at least one value matches.

I would prefer if you would 'and' the values so that I only see the positions that fulfill all the values that I have selected.

I like the idea, but there are some important values missing from the list:

   1. Principle over loyalty.
   2. Empower individuals over institutions.
   3. Self-restraint over greed.
   4. Decisions based on reason, not ego.
   5. Give back to Open Source.

These don't fit well into what OP's doing. What company in their right mind would say "We base our decisions on ego over reason"? Even though that might be true....

Many companies run decisions based on seniority. If you're on top, you choose. You have no responsibility to explain your choices, or have detailed reasoning. You earned the privilege of deciding through your success, and your continued status lives or dies by your continued success.

That's very different from a company where the value is to be transparent, solicit input from everyone, and let decisions be questioned by underlings with rational concerns.

The data doesn't come from the company, it comes from individual employees who were interviewed.

Nice work.

Data collection is definitely the hardest part of this, so the more work you do to streamline and incentivize the UI and UX the better. For a first step, maybe use google spreadsheets convert to form feature?

What's your plan to continue eliciting and updating the data on your site? And what kind of sampling methodology do you use for choosing engineers to interview?

Since posting here earlier today, I've gotten a lot of feedback and had many conversations with people about Key Values. I wanted to share a couple of thoughts and observations :)

1. Most people feel strongly that some subset of the "values" listed on Key Values don't belong there.

I interpret this as a success!

I've read hundreds of careers pages and countless job descriptions working on Key Values. You know what they all say? "Make an impact, learn a lot, and have fun doing it." I've also talked to and interviewed 100+ engineers to learn what they look for when changing jobs. You know what they always said? "I want to have real impact on the product, learn a lot in the process, and have fun at work."

When everyone checks all of the boxes, we don't get anywhere. I wanted to choose values that were general enough to appeal to multiple teams/people but divisive enough to only be selected by a few. Different values resonate with different people, and that's the whole point. (For the record: I will certainly add values that I've missed over time, but I doubt I will remove many.)

2. Many of us have strong opinions about what certain values signal about a team/company/organization.

These opinions say a lot about our previous experiences. Let me use myself as an example. When I first dropped out of grad school and joined a startup, I genuinely believed that "work/life balance" was a pseudonym for a lack of passion. "If you truly love what you're doing, you don't even call it work." A few years later, I was burned out and swung the other way. I wanted to establish a clear separation between work and personal, so I never worked weekends, never worked late, and never attended company happy hours. Now, I kind of crave that fast-paced, work with urgency kind of environment again. Right now, in this particular chapter in my life, I'd be a little sad if everyone went home at 5pm and I was working by myself until 8pm.

To piggy back on the work/life separation: I am a female in tech who no longer drinks alcohol but I still appreciate teams that do so professionally. My personal experiences with drinking at the workplace happen to all be goods ones. Sometimes introverted, socially-awkward people need a beer to loosen up and I really like connecting with my colleagues on a personal level. I don't feel left out or uncomfortable at events where everyone is drinking except for me, and I know that while this is true for me, it isn't for everyone else.

Sorry to compare looking for a job to dating again, but it works here too. We specifically look for things we didn't get enough of in our previous job/relationship when looking for new ones, and we specifically avoid things that we've made negative associations with in our past (we call them "red flags"). Everyone has their own set of personal experiences to draw from and use to navigate the world.

Thanks everyone for your thoughtful feedback and insightful discussions!

I was surprised to see nothing about transparency, since I know myself and other who tend to value that very highly.

I'm curious why your web site so prominently lists that employees eat dinner at work before going home. Do you not realize this is a major red flag and automatically turns off anyone with a family, even if it's "optional"?

then pick a different set of key values

it has the opposite affect on anyone without a family that wants the camaraderie, experiences and free meal

Eat dinner at work 4 hours before going home.

Practically all the advice here is rubbish in my opinion. As a user, allow me to request the following:

* Please do not attempt to make it an objective rating of values

* Please do not make it so I must rank values

* Please do not auto-disallow values based on your interpretation of them (like this 8 PM going-home being incompatible with work/life)

* Please do not list which frameworks they use and whatnot

I like this site because it's simple. When I select a set of values, I get a few matches. I'm not left wondering if I missed out on companies because somewhere in the list of 1024 values there was one I didn't select. And I like that you let teams choose what they think is most important and had a maximum number of values they could select.

Great work.

Duly noted ;) Thanks arjie!

What are you trying to accomplish here?

It looks like a nicely structured rigorous filtering tool based on values. But when you view the details for any company, it's not really rigorous. It's a narrative from the company with a clearly positive bias.

Now, getting more narrative content about companies is great (most companies don't do much of this) but the value you're creating here is a better "what's it like to work here" page that a company might want to share with prospective employees. It's not going to really help people find meaningful values-based matches, because the "pick your top N" ranking methodology is lousy and too subjective. As other have pointed out, there should be some max-hours rule if you want to claim to value work-life balance. The degree to which a culture is Eng/product/design/data-driven is really important to gauge fit, but this rank methodology will not give you credible answers to that. It would be better to look at the backlog of work and count who wrote the tickets - that would be eye-opening, and also help you identify negative attributes ("driven by highly-paid persons' opinions"). Other important things you've identified, like "high employee retention", would be far better off as quantitative data points instead of self-ranking.

On the other hand, maybe this is a feature, not a bug. You're trying to get engineers to voice preferences on values, and if that gets them to pay attention to your site as a source of jobs, and you continue to feature awesome companies that are great places to work, you will place some of those engineers in those companies. In this case, your product should probably do a better job of helping an engineer understand her own values. Again this would be better served with tradeoffs (Would you work 60-hour weeks in order to work with world-famous engineers? If most of the company participates in a push-up competition, would you find that exciting or off-putting?) than pick-8.

Still, it's great to see someone starting from the premise that personal value should align with organizational ones. Best wishes!

You make a lot of great points!

Finding a job is a lot like dating. People typically don't share their worst qualities upfront, and I decided early on that I didn't want to force them to. Instead, I've become more of a coach/cheerleader for both companies and job-seekers.

When I work with teams to write their profiles, it's my job to say, "prove it" when we discuss each value, and suggest that they choose another when they can't. I encourage teams to use strong language, talk about disqualifiers, include concrete examples, incorporate quantitative data, and/or provide links to contact current team members wherever possible. But, for now, I won't make anyone to do or say anything that they aren't comfortable with.

I hope job-seekers are critical when comparing different teams. Some profiles deserve an A+ while others are perhaps a B- (though I won't say which). If you interview 20 different teams, it'd probably be similar. Those that speak your language would resonate with you and those that fail to answer authentically to you would lose you. That's okay.

Ultimately, I'm providing structure for teams to talk about what is inherently subjective and messy. There is no black or white when it comes to culture or compatibility (maybe you've tried setting up two great individuals who just didn't hit it off?) but at least we now have some information to guide our decision making.

Seems like this list of "values" takes one side exclusively, without offering a counter-option. I would like to see an IQ > EQ option, for example.

This is relevant because otherwise companies can just claim they have all of the above.

As noted elsewhere in this thread, the filters are ORs not ANDs. There are 26 total companies on the site right now.

Each employer gets to pick precisely 8 so without looking at your picture I can say that you're wrong.

EQ isn't a real thing so I'm not sure if it matters

Not sure how much you can consider Work/Life balance a key value when you expect people to work 50 hour weeks (https://www.keyvalues.io/kite). Not to say that 50 hours is awful, there's certainly a lot worse out there, but I'd say it's enough to disqualify that as a 'key value'.

I agree that any company that asks for more than 40 hours should not be allowed to have the work/life balance key value. The profile says that the company eats dinner together and people go home at 8pm. That sounds pretty work centric and not much time for life left after that.

Also they accompany it with a picture of a fun work outing. Those can be great, but should go with some other key value. When I think of work/life balance I think of having time to myself, to relax, see friends/family and work on other things/hobbies. Company events are nice and I think a good idea in terms of teambuilding but they are still on the side of work, not life.

Also might say that they value their employees being young, single and childless.

If everyone comes in at noon, that seems fine to me. It's not for everyone, but it's not overworking.

Apparently the teams self-select their values, so it looks like these poor souls actually think that working 50 hours a week and eating dinner at the office is good work/life balance.

I agree, though I will give Kite credit for being upfront about the hours and the environment ("we hardly ever speak person-person outside of lunch", [paraphrasing:] "dinner comes at 6:30pm and we sort of expect you'll eat at the office". "Slack doesn't notify after 8pm because that's when most people leave").

Much better to know that from the start than get surprised during interviews or after you start.

Any company that expects more than 40 hours a week should be automatically disqualified from picking 'work life balance' imo.

Every time work/life balance comes up I get so damn annoyed with this uniquely tech-centric viewpoint.

You've got people bringing home $150-350k/yr plus every imaginable perk fretting over the idea of putting in more than 40 hours a week. Even high-skilled high-pay workers (medicine, legal, and finance come to mind) put in lots of hours without whimpering about finding a balance, much less the vast percentage of the population who hold blue-collar jobs and clamor for overtime pay.

If someone doesn't feel they should work more than 40 hours, then by all means don't take that job, but please drop the damn sense of entitlement. This bubble will not last forever and one's ability to crank out an Uber-for-X clone in NodeJS won't always pay the bills.

> If someone doesn't feel they should work more than 40 hours, then by all means don't take that job, but please drop the damn sense of entitlement. This bubble will not last forever and one's ability to crank out an Uber-for-X clone in NodeJS won't always pay the bills.

It is possible to make a lot of money while working reasonable hours and solving problems that are a lot more interesting than "Uber for X" type shit. The fact that our industry values the latter while burning out inexperienced engineers who don't know better is definitely a problem though.

>You've got people bringing home $150-350k/yr plus every imaginable perk

So now you've made this assumption.

I get what you're saying, but you also have to understand that there are people willing to give up salary for more free time, and these people are therefore allowed to ask for fewer hours. There's no entitlement here.

My assumption is based on the demographics and salaries of the average HN user from the numerous polls that always pop up. It tends to be 20-35 year old white males residing on the west coast of the US where salaries begin at $100k+ for bootcamp grads with zero experience [1], and staff engineers at Facebook/Apple/Amazon/Netflix/Google can easily bring home $500k+ in total compensation.

Developers overwhelmingly choose [2] "Vacation Time" and "Expected Work hours" as their primary attraction when choosing employers. HN users constantly [3] talk about achieving a "work/life balance" and sharply criticize any job which they requires work beyond ~40 hours/week.

So you have one of the most well-compensated career paths combined with the lowest barrier to entry and the primary things people are concerned with is minimizing their time spent working. You're damn right I'm going to call that entitled.

[1] https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1JR4KrVH1dygniLiLFAMT...

[2] https://insights.stackoverflow.com/survey/2017#work-what-dev...

[3] https://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Anews.ycombinator.com+...

If one company will pay you 500k for working 60h/week and another will pay 500k for working 40h/week, then choosing the latter isn't entitlement. It's market forces at work.

If you think developers are overpaid, then just say that.

Like I said, I don't think working more than 40 hours is the end of the world, I just don't think a company that expects that can list work/life balance as a core value. It's ok to sacrifice that for high salaries or other perks, but that's what a site like this is for, to help match your priorities with a companies'. If you put down work/life balance as one of the things you value most then you probably don't want to work for a place that expects you to work until 8pm.

Uh. I'm sorry about the tone, but about a half of that looks like they were taken straight out of some buzzword bingo. Things like "thoughtful office layout", "ideal for parents" or "has good beer" are almost meaningless, as they're really a matter of personal tastes and ideals. Take large enough number of people, and while there probably will be some general direction, I'm sure they'll inevitably come with very different ideas what it could mean.

Even stuff like "uses agile methodologies" is not really meaningful. Too many different approaches and implementations out there. Some can't imagine work without every single tiniest thing being filed as a separate ticket (because otherwise they feel like losing track of things), some believe that's insane micromanagement, borderline OCD. Both could say they're doing it "agile, just in the sane way". ;)

Also, I think many values really lack their opposites. I think it would be useful to be able to search for e.g. places that value age-proven tech over latest fads. Or places that specifically don't market themselves as "creative and innovative" but just doing what they believe is good, needed and profitable. Or places where engineers aren't expected to do stuff outside of their scope (as opposed to wearing many hats). That all may sound as bad things to some, but I'm certain there are persons who have different mindsets and treat that as positive values.

That said, maybe at least some values are better as some sort of gauges rather than statements? In particular, "risk-taking vs stability" and "cutting-edge technologies" looks like good candidates for the e.g. "1: we're writing software for a nuclear plant" <-> "10: we develop live on the production servers" scale.

Cool idea! I would love to see some more opinionated product-oriented values, eg large js frameworks vs minimal client side code, tracking vs privacy, etc.

I second this. Additionally, would be interesting to also see these vectors on public policy issues. While DACA might have little variation, differentiation may come from issues affecting work forces and tech policy (subsidies, public programs, etc.)

see this recent article Aligns with this recent article. https://www.fastcompany.com/40420834/the-non-paradox-of-high...

These are interesting but fairly generic and easy for a company to claim many to look good.

When defining culture I think it's best to avoid generalisations and have specifics:

- If something breaks, what is more important: Preserving state for debuggability or getting online fast

- Developers can always say they are not ready to push and continue testing

- There are defined SLI's and error budgets

- Design docs are required for new functionality

- Senior developers are expected to {mentor junior developers, be proactive in creating tooling, understand the full technology stack, refactor}

- Sliding scale of time spent on feature development vs keeping on top of technical debt

- How much time is spent on automation

- Are there well defined leadership tracks for technical and management (a yes/no isn't really enough here)

- Onboarding/mentoring, paired with a senior developer or a hire that joined ~6 months ago

There are a lot more engineering culture questions based on ownership, communication, personal development and specific engineering tradeoffs.

I must say, I like the logo and name.

I was originally going to point out what I would like to see changed/added to the site - but after considering it and reading the other comments here, I don't think I'd add much constructive.

Instead I offer my congratulations - you've shipped a product, on your own, that is both useful and interesting to a wide audience. That's something that I've tried to do in the past and repeatedly failed to achieve.

Keep up the good work :)

I see "uses agile methodologies" but I was expecting "doesn't use agile methodologies"...

what also might be useful is to have reviews from former employees, and see how well they line up with what the team said.

I've worked on a few teams that claimed these "values" (or practices) but when the rubber hit the road, what they said and what they did didn't match up.

Maybe I missed it, but I consider companies that DON'T embrace an open workspace as my top value. I also don't consider pair programming a value. I don't mind doing it on occasion, but I don't want it foisted upon me as a part of my daily work-life.

I'm quite sad that I can't seem to find "Puts ethical considerations first" as one of the values. Possibly "Puts customers first", but that seems more like "drives value" or some other money oriented buzzword.

That's an interesting value and I will definitely consider adding it! In some ways, this describes companies that are B-Corps/PBC but I agree, it's not perfect.

It's going to be difficult because there's no real ethical "Standard" in the space that I know of.

I think that's okay actually. I see profiles to be like an interview with say, an engineering manager or current team members. We ask questions, they answer, and we decide how strong or convincing that answer is.

"Puts customers first" and "Puts ethical considerations first" seem to be at odds in my mind... in my experience "Puts customers first" translates to "employees are overworked and underpayed" which is a huge ethical concern.

One thing I'd love to filter on is "Gives developers private/shared offices" as opposed to open-floor.

Also would be nice to filter on workflow/tools like git vs. perforce, or outlook vs. Google calendar, or TFS vs JIRA.

How about "an actual workplace where people act as professionals, not another social club where everyone's desperately trying to look like a cute teddy bear"?

I don't know if I got it from Hacker News, but I've adopted the position that workplace "values" don't mean anything unless they're:

a) verifiable


b) someone could reasonably disagree with it/would actively select its negation or opposite.

Take the work/life balance, which a number of people are, justifiably in my opinion, taking issue with.

Under the verifiable condition, we need to be able to see that someone actually lives up to that value, otherwise its just a marketing term to try to fool candidates (and becomes more of a trap, rather than helpful). So do team members work 40 hours or less per week? Do you provide sick/personal leave? Do you provide 4+ weeks of paid vacation (and people actually take it)? Can you take community/charity days? Ok, then you get to list yourself under work/life balance. If those things seem antithetical to you, or they don't happen in practice, I'm sorry, but you should be excluded, no matter what you say you value.

Lets then look at criteria b). Would someone reasonably agree with its negation? Well, the easiest way to test that would be to ensure you actually list the negation of all your values and see whether anyone selects them or whether you're willing to put anyone in those categories.

So for work/life balance, what about the teams that say "we do NOT value work/life balance: we want long hours, give yourself to the team". We know they're out there in practice, and some tech types might even self-select into such, but if you or no one else is publicly willing to be listed under such a category, then unfortunately the category and its negation becomes "fluff-worthy". Meaningless. Analytical noise.

So for instance, take the following oppositions:

-team is diverse vs team uniformity

-work/life balance vs work priority

-bonded by love of product vs feelings for product not important

-eq > iq vs iq > eq

-thoughtful office layout vs horrible/don't care about office layout

and so forth.

If you could verify the value, and have their negation as categories, and people actually listed under their negation, then many categories become EXTREMELY useful.

But if the values aren't verified, and if people wouldn't reasonably list or accept a categories negation, while I appreciate the concept/thought, well...it basically becomes corporate fluff :/

Edit: There are a couple of categories where I admit having the category without its negation is useful. Things like "uses agile methodologies" could be a candidate for example. But...even there, i would love for the alternative category "Hates scrum/agile consultants" :P

>thoughtful office layout vs horrible/don't care about office layout

"Workers / sq. ft" would be a good measurement.

To coin a cynical phrase, every job in the world advertises it requires excellent communication skills, and yet somehow they all get hired...

What is the process for adding a company? How are these so-called values verified as being true for a given company?

I would like to see values experience over ability to solve trick question on whiteboard.

On firefox/linux, the icons are off the grid. http://imgur.com/a/qakod They align back when hovered over

Can you add negation, like I do not want a company with "X"?

26 companies have "all" values apparently https://i.imgur.com/QQqVyQX.png

Interesting.. How do you get these key-values from companies?

Teams self-select their values! I've worked closely with each team and they write their own profiles.

Wouldn't every company say they just do everything? I mean, heck, I would...

Nah, people will just quit soon after. Then the company is faced with all the costs involved in hiring replacements. This idea works both ways, and ideally gets the right people into the right places for the benefit of the employees and employers.

Yes, this is why companies are limited to 8 values and are then asked to qualify their selections in their profiles. At the end of the day, teams are implicitly saying what they are not when they don't put it in their top 8.

It's a nice idea but I find how a company likes to describe itself can be vastly different to how it actually is.

Sure that's true, but then the only way to really know what it's like to work at a company is to spend 4-12 weeks working there yourself. Some would argue that that is still not enough time to form a real opinion.

My hope with Key Values is to:

1. Look beyond what companies say about themselves and focus on the culture and values of specific engineering teams.

2. Let job-seekers access information about engineering teams sooner (ie. before the hassles of applying, completing coding challenges, white-boarding, etc).

To your point, how interviewers describe their teams can be vastly different from how it actually is. Whether you "trust" that information or not, at least you have it sooner!

Neat idea. Once you have enough content, I think it would be beneficial to have location as one of the key values.

> Good for junior devs

> 0 matches

Guess I'll just go to the sideline and wait until something actually populates that spot, if ever.

They're coming! I promise :)

On mobile, when I click the number of matches on bottom right, I expect the screen to slide to the result section.

Good work

I dont really get it. It seems like every company aspires to all of those values.

What if my key value is money? Is there any hope for me after all?

Its a little ironic that monetary compensation isnt on the list

Aren't there enough job sites out there focusing on exactly that? This looks to be someone trying to differentiate.

The reason why it is called a job and not a hobby is because those who do it expect money. The elephant in a room is money, not a company outing or 50 hour weeks.

A lot of people are willing to trade some of that financial expectation for a job they enjoy more whether it's because they can escape at 5pm or stay for regular team dinners, or for any of the other reasons on the site.

When I select multiple values, I expected the result to be companies which share all of those values, not all companies which share at least one of the values (which is what it does now).

Plagued with millennial self-obsessed fluff. Ugh.


I found this website to be excellent source material for the "PR Buzzword Bingo" (drinking) game.

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