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Traditionally at valve nobody has an actual title

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Unformatted text preview: h, we all take on the role that suits the work in front of us. Everyone is a designer. Everyone can question each other’s work. Anyone can recruit someone onto his or her project. Everyone has to function as a “strategist,” which really means figuring out how to do what’s right for our customers. We all engage in analysis, measurement, predictions, evaluations. One outward expression of these ideals is the list of credits that we put in our games—it’s simply a long list of names, sorted alphabetically. That’s it. This was intentional when we shipped Half-Life, and we’re proud to continue the tradition today. Advancement vs. growth Fig. 4-1 By now it’s obvious that roles at Valve are fluid. Traditionally at Valve, nobody has an actual title. This is by design, to remove organizational constraints. Instead we have things we call ourselves, for convenience. In particular, people – 36 – Because Valve doesn’t have a traditional hierarchical structure, it can be confusing to figure out how Valve fits into your career plans. “Before Valve, I was an assistant technical second animation director in Hollywood. I had planned to be a director in five years. How am I supposed to keep moving forward here?” Working at Valve provides an opportunity for extremely efficient and, in many cases, very accelerated, career – 37 – V ALVE: H ANDBO O K FO R NEW EMP LO YEE S growth. In particular, it provides an opportunity to broaden one’s skill set well outside of the narrow constraints that careers can have at most other companies. So the “growth ladder” is tailored to you. It operates exactly as fast as you can manage to grow. You’re in charge CH O O S E Y O U R O W N ADV E N TU RE Most people who fit well at Valve will be betterpositioned after their time spent here than they could have been if they’d spent their time pretty much anywhere else. Putting more tools in your toolbox The most successful people at Valve are both (1) highly skilled at a broad set of things and (2) world-class experts within a more narrow discipline. (See “T-shaped” people on page 46.) Because of the talent diversity here at Valve, it’s often easier to become stronger at things that aren’t your core skill set. Engineers: code is only the beginning Fig. 4-2 of your track, and you can elicit help with it anytime from those around you. F Y I , we usually don’t do any formalized employee “development” (course work, mentor assignment), because for senior people it’s mostly not effective. We believe that high-performance people are generally self-improving. – 38 – If you were hired as a software engineer, you’re now surrounded by a multidisciplinary group of experts in all kinds of fields—creative, legal, financial, even psychological. Many of these people are probably sitting in the same room as you every day, so the opportunities for learning are huge. Take advantage of this fact whenever possible: the more you can learn about the mechanics,...
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