Monday, April 23, 2012

Interesting Snippet from the Value New Employee Handbook

Engineers: code is only the beginning 

If you were hired as a software engineer, you’re now surrounded by a multidisciplinary group of experts in all kinds of fields—creative, legal, financial, even psychological. Many of these people are probably sitting in the same room as you every day, so the opportunities for learning are huge.Take advantage of this fact whenever possible: the more you can learn about the mechanics, vocabulary, and analysis within other disciplines, the more valuable you become.

Non-Engineers: program or be programmed

Valve’s core competency is making software. Obviously different disciplines are part of making our products, but  we’re still an engineering-centric company. That’s because the core of the software-building process is engineering. As in, writing code. If your expertise is not in writing code, then every bit of energy you put into understanding the code-writing part of making software is to your (and Valve’s) benefit. You don’t need to become an engineer, and there’s nothing that says an engineer is more valuable than you. But broadening your awareness in a highly technical direction is never a bad thing. It’ll either increase the quality or quantity of bits you can put “into boxes,” which means affecting customers more, which means you’re valuable

On Hiring

Hiring well is the most important thing in the universe.Nothing else comes close. It’s more important than breath-ing. So when you’re working on hiring—participating inan interview loop or innovating in the general area of recruiting—everything else you could be doing is stupid and should be ignored!

•Would I want this person to be my boss?
•Would I learn a significant amount from him or her?
•What if this person went to work for our competition? (there are definitely a few times where I'd see it as a boon to see someone go to the competition!)

Valuable employees

We value “T-shaped” people.  That is, people who are both generalists (highly skilled at a broad set of valuable things—the top of the T) and alsoexperts (among the best in their field within a narrow disci-pline—the vertical leg of the T).

I think it's definitely beneficial to ask yourself - what is your expertise?

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