Recommend
11 
 Thumb up
 Hide
13 Posts

Valve Corporation» Forums » General

Subject: Valve Software: Handbook for New Employees rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Shaky Ulnas
Canada
Steinbach
Manitoba
flag msg tools
Yet feet that wandering have gone
badge
Turn at last to home afar
Avatar
mbmb
Valve's employee handbook leaked on-line on April 27, 2012. Valve has since confirmed that this is the real thing and posted it on their website. Very interesting read:

http://www.valvesoftware.com/company/Valve_Handbook_LowRes.p...
7 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andres F. Pabon L.
Colombia
Bogotá
DC
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Wow. I wish I worked at Valve!
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Pater Absurdus
United States
Carrollton
Texas
flag msg tools
There's really no wrong way to use a margarita pool
badge
"What is best in Life? To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women."
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
bacusgod wrote:
Wow. I wish I worked at Valve!


That is the exact thought I had upon reading this:
Valve wrote:
That’s why Valve is flat. It’s our shorthand way of saying
that we don’t have any management, and nobody “reports
to” anybody else. We do have a founder/president, but
even he isn’t your manager. This company is yours to
steer—toward opportunities and away from risks. You have
the power to green-light projects. You have the power to
ship products.


and the awesome doesn't stop...

Valve wrote:
Why does your desk have wheels? Think of those wheels as a symbolic
reminder that you should always be considering where you could move
yourself to be more valuable. But also think of those wheels as literal
wheels, because that’s what they are, and you’ll be able to actually move
your desk with them.
You’ll notice people moving frequently; often whole teams will move
their desks to be closer to each other. There is no organizational
structure keeping you from being in close proximity to the people
who you’d help or be helped by most.
The fact that everyone is always moving around within the company
makes people hard to find. That’s why we have http://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.


They have a business model that is similar to the one's dicsussed in the most excellent book Drive by Dan Pinkman. Awesome stuff.

It's moments like these when I envy computer programers...

11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls

Georgia
msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
It is a model of business that would only work for a creative company. There is only one issue with it: since it strives for perfection, even in risky situations, it means everything takes alot longer to come out. Case in point, Half Life 2 Episode 3 has been in development for the last five years - the timespan between the game and ep1 was two years, between ep1 and ep2 was one year (and for giggles, the timespan between HL1 and HL2 was six years).

Regardless of what I just said, I would love to work for them - but since I am not an engineer or programmer, and live in the Southeast and will not be moving to the Northwest, well that wont happen, ever.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Luke Stirling
Norway
Trondheim
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
fastbilly1 wrote:
It is a model of business that would only work for a creative company.

Not only is it limited to only working because they are a creative company, it's a structure that only works because they have virtually no cashflow problems. The success of Steam means that they can take all the time they like on the creative side of things, because the flow of money from third party games on Steam makes long spans of time between game releases much easier to deal with.

That said, most companies could benefit from having at least somewhat flatter organisational structures. In my experience, most businesses tend to treat the bulk of their employees like children, all the way up to mid-level management more often than not. Also, the default notion that a reward for good work is to do less of what you do well and instead spend your time overseeing other people always struck me as a stupid idea. Yes, I'd love to work at a company like Valve, but I'd be even more excited if I lived in a culture that valued the role of management far less, and the contributions of those actually getting the work done (whatever that may be) far more.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls

Georgia
msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
paralipsis wrote:
but I'd be even more excited if I lived in a culture that valued the role of management far less, and the contributions of those actually getting the work done (whatever that may be) far more.


I agree completely. Too bad you live like 9000 miles away, or else Id say lets get together for some HLDM on LAN and WHQ.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Phil
Germany
Bremen
Bremen
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Wouldn't want to work in larger rooms with a lot of co-workers. I prefer my office which I share with two people. And if there is some larger project going on we still can gather in a larger room to work there. No need to move any tables.
Valve also sounds like a bad company if you want a secure future and salary. It also sounds like a huge amount of overtime. Nothing I would ever do. And still I can come and leave work whenever I want as long as I work my hours and get the work done.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Luke Stirling
Norway
Trondheim
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Harlekin wrote:
Valve also sounds like a bad company if you want a secure future and salary. It also sounds like a huge amount of overtime. Nothing I would ever do. And still I can come and leave work whenever I want as long as I work my hours and get the work done.

I do think it takes a very particular kind of person to work well in an environment like that at Valve. Though I doubt job security and income are things very many folks there have to worry about.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nick Reed
United Kingdom
Southampton
Hampshire
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Harlekin wrote:
It also sounds like a huge amount of overtime.

Whilst I would agree videogame companies in general have this problem, if you believe their handbook Page 17/19 does note that significant overtime should not be an expected occurrence.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Phil
Germany
Bremen
Bremen
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ncik wrote:
Harlekin wrote:
It also sounds like a huge amount of overtime.

Whilst I would agree videogame companies in general have this problem, if you believe their handbook Page 17/19 does note that significant overtime should not be an expected occurrence.
In the meantime they create a huge amount of pressure on the other pages. "Do whatever you want. And it isn't bad if you are not successful. Oh and by the way your salary will be mesured by your success".
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nick Reed
United Kingdom
Southampton
Hampshire
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Harlekin wrote:
Ncik wrote:
Harlekin wrote:
It also sounds like a huge amount of overtime.

Whilst I would agree videogame companies in general have this problem, if you believe their handbook Page 17/19 does note that significant overtime should not be an expected occurrence.
In the meantime they create a huge amount of pressure on the other pages. "Do whatever you want. And it isn't bad if you are not successful. Oh and by the way your salary will be mesured by your success".

To me that seems sensible, not putting pressure on anyone. It's more like "we're not hiring you just to mess around - be of benefit and justify being employed here."
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Luke Stirling
Norway
Trondheim
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I don't think the internal pressures to do overtime and meet deadlines is a big part of the culture there. Otherwise there would likely be no such thing as "Valve time".
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Pater Absurdus
United States
Carrollton
Texas
flag msg tools
There's really no wrong way to use a margarita pool
badge
"What is best in Life? To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women."
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
From what I understand there have been several companies that have taken this approach with general success. Of course it can't work with every type of business and can only work in limited way with other businesses but it is a movement I appreciate.

This environment sounds like a dream come true to me.
5 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.