Our Core Beliefs

We are an opinionated company. This is what we believe.

On Hiring

We believe that everyone in the company should have programming skills. Our customers are primarily engineers, and in order to relate to them and support our products at the highest possible level, we should all be engineers too.

We believe that the best Engineers tend to be polyglots with a wide variety of programming language experience. We don’t hire for specific programming language skills, but rather look for engineers who are fluent in several programming languages. We want our staff to be adaptable and ready to evolve to what’s next.

We believe that the best way we can acquire top talent is by being an amazing place to work. Work from home, travel with the team, and surround yourself with top tier people at Action Verb. Read about everything we’ve done to make working at Action Verb great.

We believe that recruiting and hiring top talent is very hard. Our success depends on finding the best engineers out there, so we’ve invested heavily into our recruiting and interviewing processes. Making our next hire even better than the last is always one of our highest priorities.

We believe that brainteaser interviews aren’t very predictive. Our interview process is designed to test candidates’ actual subject matter knowledge of computer science without putting them through awkward brainteasers. We also believe in using role plays heavily during interviews.

We believe that every team member is welcome to participate in the hiring process. We require a YES from every interviewer that speaks to a candidate and anyone on the team can become an interviewer. We expect this process to result in an ever-increasing caliber of new hires.

On Management

We believe that Holacracy is the best way to organize the management of a company. Holacracy replaces the traditional management hierarchy with a new peer-to-peer “operating system” that increases transparency, accountability, and organizational agility. We push real decision making authority down to each and every employee, empowering everyone to drive the business as if it were their own.

We believe in Open Book Management, which means that our staff knows exactly how our finances work. Since we distribute real decision making authority to every person in our organization, we’d better make sure that every single employee has the data they need to make the best decisions possible.

On Working From Home

We believe that allowing and supporting 100% remote work gives us access to great people we wouldn’t otherwise be able to hire. We tend to hire folks who are later in their careers, which means they usually have their family established somewhere. By offering remote work, we can hire the best people, no matter where they’re located.

We believe that remote work is actually harder than in-office work. The biggest challenge that we experience with a remote team is keeping everyone in sync. We lean heavily on tools like Slack and Holaspirit (a Holacracy-specific productivity tool), and we are in the process of building our own project and action management system that conforms exactly to our processes.

We believe that in-person interaction is key for a remote team. Our team spends at least 12 days together face-to-face per year in four quarterly meetings that are hosted all over the country.

On Security

We believe that the need for cybersecurity is greater now than it ever has been. Cyberattacks have become more frequent and we expect their frequency to continue to increase in the coming years.

We believe that if a service is advertised as secure, it better be secure against all known attacks. We set very high standards for the products that we label as secure. We don’t just want to meet the standards set forth by PCI and ISO, we want to do everything possible to secure our customers’ data.

We believe that security is everyone’s responsibility, even our customers. We resolve to keep our customers secure against evolving threats, even if it means they might have to do some work on their end to keep up with a changing security landscape.

We believe that security policies, procedures, and controls are important. We get disgusted by companies that don’t take seriously their documentation of controls. We commit to completing a third party audit of our security controls by the end of this year.

On Engineering

We believe that building great infrastructure and platform products requires a great internal infrastructure. We have Continuous Integration, a full staging environment, and considerable test coverage. We built our own application deployment system. We self-manage our server environment on Amazon Web Services and custom hardware.

We believe in using the right tool for the job. Our core applications are built in Ruby, JavaScript, Java, C++, and PHP. We use Rails, React, Chef, Qt, Jenkins, Github, Honeybadger, CircleCI, Maven, AWS, MySQL, Redis, Memcached, Haml, Sass, and many other exciting open source systems. We don’t want to get stuck in the trap of using a language or a tool just because "that’s how it’s done around here."

We believe that engineers should support what they build. We expect our teammates to take responsibilty for the engineering decisions they make. If there are performance problems in production, nobody should have to chase anyone down. All engineers participate in a 24/7 on-call rotation and all engineers speak to customers.

On Product

We believe in building products that we actually use ourselves. We are our own toughest critics and we put all of our products through their paces every day.

We believe that our products will never be finished. The pace of change in the world will never slow down. It’s our responsibility to continue to evaluate how our products compete in the marketplace and to evolve them to stay up to date.

We believe that talking about features often takes longer than building them in the first place. We eschew long priotiziation meetings, and just go build things as fast as we can.

We believe that in many ways, the UX is the product. A feature is no good if nobody can find it or use it. We commit to having great UX and design that is both beautiful and functional.

On Open Source

We believe in using open-source tools and components wherever possible. We aren’t afraid to go under the hood and make changes to the open source packages that we use. And indeed, we maintain an internal patch set to just about every major open source codebase we leverage.

We believe that open-source only works if companies give back. We encourage our engineers to contribute improvements to the open source projects we use. And if one of our staff agrees to speak at a conference, we pick up the tab. We encourage our staff to get out there and talk about what they’re up to.

We believe that customers who build on top of our products shouldn’t experience vendor lock-in. That’s why we publish the full source code to Vae Platform’s rendering engine. And we encourage our customers to submit pull requests to us as well.

Tell Us What You Believe

Are you an Engineer with an opinion? Do our core beliefs resonate with you?

If so, we’d like you to apply for a job with Action Verb.

And that goes doubly so if you agree with most of the above, but think there might be something we’re missing. These beliefs aren’t gospel handed down by the founder, they’re a living breathing document and we look for people who will help Action Verb grow and evolve.