Example engineering team values

It’s generally a mistake to adopt values like “respect your customers.” True values involve trade-offs. Here’s my humble attempt to list a few reasonable ones for a potential engineering team.

We should…

Hire and pay for world class people
Hire economically

Be together
Work anywhere

Emphasize quality
Emphasize speed

Emphasize market share growth
Emphasize profitability

Be highly leveraged
Be highly self sufficient

Prioritize technology updates
Prioritize technology stability

Focus on experience
Focus on performance

Build for generalists
Build for developers

Be disciplined and methodical
Have urgency and bias for action

Stretch ourselves
Be predictable

Be compassionate
Be right

Build simplicity
Build robustness

Think long term
Think “winner takes all”

Value correctness
Value shipping early

Be collaborative
Be decisive

Deploy and iterate
Avoid randomizing users with change

Value working software first
Value complete and comprehensive documentation

Deliver on schedule, even if quality suffers
Not negotiate on quality

Be transparent
Exercise discretion

Retire features to unchain us from past mistakes
Let customers know they can depend on us

Value professional growth over team stability
Value stability over learning and growth opportunities

Try to fix problems, even if they’re not ours
Stay in our lane

Be radically candid, even if it hurts
All get along

pcai

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