Respect for People: Optimize for Developer Happiness at Etsy
Posted on April 3, 2012 Comments (6)
The webcast above discusses the culture of software engineering at Etsy (a very popular site providing a marketplace and community for small businesses – artisan focus). Some of the key points of the talk. Etsy trusts employees. Etsy’s strategy is to optimize for developer happiness. Etsy has lunches twice a week where employees build community.
Etsy sees code as craft. The echos Etsy’s value on authorship: “the people behind what we buy make commerce meaningful.” It re-inforces the belief that work has meaning and is valued and should have intrinsic value to those doing the work, people should have the opportunity to take pride in their work.
Chad Dickerson discussed the importance Peter Drucker placed on connecting people to the value provided to customer. Etsy takes steps to connect employees to the value provided to customers, including emphasizing the community of the company and the customers of Etsy.
If I understand that it seems exactly right. Have good process measures in place that let you quickly see if performance is flagging. Very similar to having control charts in the workplace to identify an issue as soon as it crops up. In process measures let you identify problems at the process level (systems thinking paradigm, not computer software process) rather than wait for them to crop up in bad outcomes to the customer.
Very nice. I like this model. This is one of many ways to work a joy.