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Opening our Guidelines to the World

A photo of Brujo Benavides wrote this on October 13, 2016 under guidelines, inaka, work .

In a Nutshell

In an effort to provide visibility on our internal processes both for our clients and for the people who want to work in our company, we're publishing our work guidelines on Github. We've done this in the past for particular languages, such as Erlang and Swift. The main difference this time is that what we're sharing is not tied to a particular language or technology, it applies to our company as a whole.

We're open now!

A Little Bit of History

A couple of years ago, approximately when the company moved past its 25-employee-size landmark, we realized that our culture was not going to build organically just by itself anymore. It was something we (as company employees) should actively care about. So, Martina (our CEO) and I built a team of Standarizers (we could've probably found a better name). Their mission was not to set standards, but to discover them.

We believe that what we now call guidelines is something that you can't impose on the people, but when it naturally flows, you can see it, and document it.

Such a discovery process is a collaborative effort. We carry most of our collaborative efforts on github, so it felt natural to keep our guidelines there as well.

With the help of the standarizers team, we wrote the first version of our guidelines. Then, with the help of everybody in the company (through issues and pull requests) we made them grow.

Eventually, we ended up talking about them and sharing bits and pieces of them with people outside our company. That was when, inspired by some people we admire (like Yegor and Oren), we decided to just make them public!

What You'll Find There

So, what are these guidelines all about?

Our guidelines are written as if they were intended to be read by a newcomer (i.e. someone just joining our organization); but even if that's not your case, and you are not (yet :P) interested in working with us, you can still find many things that can work as sources of inspiration for you to define how to work in your own company. And, of course, our guidelines are in constant evolution; so if you have recommendations for us or you want to let people know how you work on your own company, please don't hesitate in writing about it on the comments.

Part of the subjects covered there are:

  • The roles and responsibilities of the different employees within the company;
  • The tools we use and how we use them;
  • The methodologies we practice;
  • The standards to which we subject our work and the products we build;
  • The benefits we provide to all of our employees;
  • Our commitment with the communities behind the languages we use.

But the most important part that we included in the guidelines are our core values and the lessons we've learned over time. That's what we really want to emphasize and what we believe is key for new employees to understand and share.

Quick Note about our Parent Company

The guidelines you'll find in our repo apply specifically to Inaka, but since we are part of Erlang Solutions, they are of course influenced by and in sync with the ways in which the whole company (Erlang Solutions) works.