Valve_Handbook_LowRes

6 settling

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Unformatted text preview: tp://user—check it out. We know where you are based on where your machine is plugged in, so use this site to see a map of where everyone is right now. ================================================== –6– Settling In V ALVE: H ANDBO O K FO R NEW EMP LO YEE S Your First Month So you’ve decided where you put your desk. You know where the coffee machine is. You’re even pretty sure you know what that one guy’s name is. You’re not freaking out anymore. In fact, you’re ready to show up to work this morning, sharpen those pencils, turn on your computer, and then what? This next section walks you through figuring out what to work on. You’ll learn about how projects work, how cabals work, and how products get out the door at Valve. What to Work On Why do I need to pick my own projects? We’ve heard that other companies have people allocate a percentage of their time to self-directed projects. At Valve, that percentage is 100. Since Valve is flat, people don’t join projects because they’re told to. Instead, you’ll decide what to work on after asking yourself the right questions (more on that later). Employees vote on projects with their feet (or desk wheels). Strong projects are ones in which people can see demonstrated value; they staff up easily. This means there are any number of internal recruiting efforts constantly under way. –8– S E TTL I N G I N If you’re working here, that means you’re good at your job. People are going to want you to work with them on their projects, and they’ll try hard to get you to do so. But the decision is going to be up to you. (In fact, at times you’re going to wish for the luxury of having just one person telling you what they think you should do, rather than hundreds.) But how do I decide which things to work on? Deciding what to work on can be the hardest part of your job at Valve. This is because, as you’ve found out by now, you were not hired to fill a specific job description. You were hired to constantly be looking around for the most valuable work you could be doing. At the end of a project, you may end up well outside what you thought was your core area of expertise. There’s no rule book for choosing a project or task at Valve. But it’s useful to answer questions like these: • Of all the projects currently under way, what’s the most valuable thing I can be working on? • Which project will have the highest direct impact on our customers? How much will the work I ship benefit them? • Is Valve not doing something that it should be doing? • What’s interesting? What’s rewarding? What leverages my individual strengths the most? –9– V ALVE: H ANDBO O K FO R NEW EMP LO YEE S How do I find out what projects are under way? There are lists of stuff, like current projects, but by far the best way to find out is to ask people. Anyone, really. When you do, you’ll find out what’s going on around the company and your peers will also find out about you. Lots of people at Valve want and need to know what you care about, what you’re good at, what you’re worried about, what you’ve got exp...
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