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HANDBOOK FOR NEW EMPLOYEES ============================================================ Originally uploaded to http://cdn.flamehaus.com/Valve_Handbook_LowRes.pdf Handbook courtesy of Valve
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HANDBOOK FOR NEW EMPLOYEES A fearless adventure in knowing what to do when no one’s there telling you what to do FIRST EDITION 2012 ========================================================
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Dedicated to the families of all Valve employees. Thank you for helping us make such an incredible place. Table of Contents Preface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vii How to Use This Book . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . viii Part 1: Welcome to Valve . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Your First Day Valve Facts That Matter Welcome to Flatland Part 2: Settling In . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Your First Month What to Work On Why do I need to pick my own projects?, But how do I decide which things to work on?, How do I find out what projects are under way?, Short-term vs. long- term goals, What about all the things that I’m not getting done?, How does Valve decide what to work on? Can I be included the next time Valve is deciding X? Teams, Hours, and the Office Cabals, Team leads, Structure happens, Hours, The office Risks What if I screw up?, But what if we ALL screw up? Part 3: How Am I Doing? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Your Peers and Your Performance Peer reviews, Stack ranking (and compensation) Part 4: Choose Your Own Adventure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Your First Six Months Roles, Advancement vs. growth, Putting more tools in your toolbox Part 5: Valve Is Growing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Your Most Important Role Hiring, Why is hiring well so important at Valve?, How do we choose the right people to hire?, We value “T-shaped” people, We’re looking for people stronger than ourselves, Hiring is fundamentally the same across all disciplines Part 6: Epilogue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 What Is Valve Not Good At? What Happens When All This Stuff Doesn’t Work? Where Will You Take Us? Glossary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
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– vii – © 2012 Valve Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Printed in the United States of America. This handbook does not constitute an employment contract or binding policy and is subject to change at any time. Either Valve or an employee can terminate the employment relationship at any time, with or without cause, with or without notice. Employment with Valve is at-will, and nothing in this handbook will alter that status. First edition: March 2012 Valve Corporation Bellevue, Washington USA www.valvesoftware.com Designed by Valve Typeface: ITC New Baskerville 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Preface In 1996, we set out to make great games, but we knew back then that we had to first create a place that was designed to foster that greatness. A place where incredibly talented individuals are empowered to put their best work into the hands of millions of people, with very little in their way. This book is an abbreviated encapsulation of our guiding principles. As Valve continues to grow, we hope that these principles will serve each new person joining our ranks. If you are new to Valve, welcome. Although the goals in this book are important, it’s really your ideas, talent, and energy that will keep Valve shining in the years ahead.
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