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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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This document was uploaded on 03/03/2014.
- Fall '14