Yesterday I sat with Tomer Dvir and Ishay Green, together the “senior management” of Soluto, and we discussed a certain subject of high urgency. In the middle of the heated discussion the door opened, and Ofer, one of our developers, stepped in. All doors at Soluto are made of transparent glass, so Ofer knew we were in the middle of a discussion. We all stopped talking. Ofer asked a question, Tomer answered, and Ofer walked out and closed the door behind himself.
We continued our discussion. 3 minutes later I stopped and said to Tomer and Ishay – “you know, what happened 3 minutes ago is very unique for Soluto”. They agreed. Let me explain.
Soluto is a developer-centric company. Tomer, Ishay and myself, despite the fact we all hold “senior” and “business-related” positions, are all developers before anything else. Our entire “marketing strategy” is based on building strong features that solve real pains for real people, releasing them, and telling about them to people who really care about what we’re trying to do.
Because of that, the critical path of Soluto’s “business” is always software development, and because of that, when a developer needs something – he or she come first. I find it interesting that I can’t imagine a “management discussion” that has a higher priority than enabling a single developer to keep on working when he or she’s stuck on a product question that said “management team” has an answer to. Even in cases where we have visitors (VCs, partners, etc), a developer can interfere.
So, our culture grew to allow developers to interfere management, but not the other way around. Granted, it may not be the best attitude for every company, but for Soluto it comes naturally. I love working in such an environment :)
PS the image is taken from a superb post by Jeff Atwood, one of the most influential programmers in the world, a personal idol of mine, and co-founder of StackOverflow.