Miso Engineering Culture, Part I: we believe in sharing

Within Miso as a company, communication is key

Before talking about how the engineering team works, it might be useful to mention Miso is a small team and that we try to communicate efficiently between each other and to be aware of the work others are doing.  Still, we don’t want to waste time by attending meetings which aren’t productive for us.

That’s why we use several channels of communication at work:

  • Yammer,  we use it to post about the status of our work or to share a link for everyone
  • Emails, like everyone else for targeted questions, long updates or event invites
  • Campfire, it’s by far my favorite. We have several topic rooms (Engineering, Support, Design, Product, Marketing). There is always a discussion with those topics, and everyone doesn’t have to be involved in every discussion but we want to be aware of it, campfire is a great tool for that purpose.
  • Meetings, informal discussions, sometimes we chat in-person after all we work in the same open space
  • Gtalk, when we’re too lazy to get up and talk to the person face to face.

Being active in Ruby community: attend meetups, blogging, create open source projects

Ruby community is active, especially in San Francisco, every week we can find a lot of meetups around Ruby/Rails. We try attend meetups weekly or just simply provide a venue for ruby workshops, more generally we try to be involved in the community.

There are 2 goals behind this, promoting what we’re doing and also promoting Ruby. Most of all it’s about sharing and improving our culture. You could learn for example what’s the best practices in hot new startups just by making a connection. This gives you some insight on what you’re doing. It’s a win-win situation to be involved outside of the narrow focus of your company.

Same thing in open source community, we’ve open sourced several projects: like rabl or yaml_record, or recently Gitdocs. By doing so we’ve got a lot of outside contribution Rabl, for instance, has 818 watchers on github and has 13 contributors, that keep improving our gem. Beyond it’s also a way to promote ourself with great codes that will attract new talent.

Blogging is really a good practice to take time to stand back and write down about a technical challenge we’ve been faced with or how we built our last cool feature, and also share with everyone our thoughts. As I keep repeating myself, blogging is also about being communal and have feedbacks from our readers and create a connection with them. The great example I want to share, it’s we found out earlier this week that one of our blog post has been an inspiration for VendorKit.

Sharing is definitely one of our core values that we believe in, because by sharing you receive important feedback, and with feedback you’re going to learn something and build something better. At the end of the day, you’ll become a better software engineer.

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