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================================================== –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
• 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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- Fall '14