Our methodology consists of principles that guide how Airbyte functions as a team. Airbyte’s team has been able to achieve huge impact in the industry within just a couple of years. This has been made possible through these strongly opinionated principles.
We’re strong believers that:
- The output of Airbyte is the output of its team. And our output is not just a sum of individual outputs; the better we collaborate, the better outcomes we get to collectively. When high performers exchange ideas freely and support each other in projects, that’s when the magic happens.
- High performers are driven when surrounded by other high performers. They are attracted to high-performing teams. This is a virtuous recruiting cycle.
- Talent drives strong processes that lead to impactful decisions.
We strive to only hire bar raisers.
We are strong believers that each individual should be fully empowered to deliver maximum impact. This requires us to create a highly aligned, loosely coupled organization. Transparency is also key to creating strong relationships with our customers and our users.
To achieve that:
- We document our strategy and we give full context. Each person should be able to take this context as guidance to execute their projects without needing explicit approval for every task. In turn, everyone is expected to keep the team informed of their work, and to be a source for learnings and new ideas.
- Leadership is very transparent about what is top of mind and what is shared to investors. Co-founders also offer a weekly “Ask Founders Anything” session for the team to ask them any questions, no bounds.
- We are being honest with our customers and our users on what we can, cannot and will not do.
We often say that Airbyte is community-powered. Community members are building their data stack on top of Airbyte, and, in doing so, are contributing to Airbyte’s platform. Without their contributions and involvement, Airbyte wouldn’t be able to achieve our vision to solve data movement.
So we hold ourselves accountable towards our community on several points:
- Providing the best open-source user support experience, at scale.
- Showing full transparency on our product roadmap and on the reasons for our decisions.
- Providing the best contributing experience, whatever their contributions may be, from code contribution, to hosting community meetups, or speaking at conferences.
In order to empower our teams to be as impactful as they can be, we don’t want to restrain them through heavy processes. Our team should have the freedom to do what is best for Airbyte. With freedom comes responsibility; you should be able to make sense of all your decisions, as you would at home for your household.
Here are a few examples to illustrate what it means:
- Our “travel with purpose” policy means you should feel free to travel if you have a justifiable work-related purpose in mind. We will refund any travel expenses.
- Our “unlimited PTO” policy means we don’t have any rules for time off. In all honesty, we mix work and personal time quite a bit. And time off is important to us, resting gets you fresh ideas. So we make sure that our leaders set good examples by taking vacations, and encouraging the rest of the team to do the same. As responsible teammates, we all make sure to let all stakeholders know about our plans to never let down the team.
- At Airbyte, you can work where you want. We will set up hubs for cities with more than a certain number of team members as a way to get some face-to-face time, and to use that office as often as they would like.
Keeping our processes as simple as possible is a way to keep our focus on what matters most for our growth ambitions. We want to be a company of self-disciplined, accountable people who discover and fix issues without being told to do so.
There are a few exceptions to freedom & responsibility:
- We have no tolerance for harassment.
- We are strict on ethical and safety issues.
- We have strict control over our team’s compensation information.
- We will organize a company retreat every year, in addition to encouraging 1-2 team off-sites every year. You can feel free to travel more with purpose, but we expect that you try your best to attend at least 1 event per year to build more in-real-life relationships with the rest of the team.
Success at Airbyte is measured by the impact you have on your team, our organization, our community, and our product. Rewards for success can come in the form of promotion, but also in the form of public recognition, increased scope, and greater responsibility. Because we celebrate successes and failures, everything is shared widely and when someone gets a promotion, it is never a surprise for the rest of the team.
We give very little importance to titles. We maintain a flat organization with very few levels because we believe this mindset allows every individual to be empowered, work autonomously, and take extreme ownership of their projects.
It is expected that all people will continually add value to the company and challenge themselves and the people around them to grow. These are the people that we seek to hire and retain at Airbyte.
Most of our team works remotely, so all processes are designed to be asynchronous. We may have hubs, i.e. offices, when there are more than 5 team members in the same city, but no in-person context should get in the way of great remote collaboration.
Great asynchronous collaboration comes with a few rules though:
- Write clear, concise, self-explanatory documents
- Take less than 24 hours to reply to an email or a comment on a shared document. Taking more time will stall the conversation and we are never a blocker.
- Be on top of your Slack notifications and emails. You need to have a great process in place to avoid having messages slip through the cracks.
- Be mindful of your team, their time zones, and their schedules. Don’t wait until the last minute to deliver a task they depend upon for their own priorities.
- Sometimes meetings will have both in-person and remote attendees. Be cognizant of those joining remotely to make a great experience for everyone.
- We use agendas, take notes and/or record meetings so that people who missed a meeting can stay up to date async.
Our ambitions have no limits, which means we need to think about scalability for any repetitive tasks. Building levers is part of our DNA. Everything at Airbyte is about building automation, repeatability, and getting the most out of our time. A task which took a week last year should take 5 or fewer minutes this year. We always have an eye on how to do things at scale, and we automate to optimize our time and to eliminate room for human error.
Time is the main currency we have as a company, and by spending time striving for perfection, we are not maximizing our potential. Perfection is a hindrance to shipping, gathering feedback, and being challenged by outside insights that make us better. As a startup, we have an inherent advantage of being nimble and moving quickly to deliver value to our users, and time is our most valuable resource.
Balanced with our purpose to create a quality experience for our users, we are biased towards delivery, exposing our work as soon as possible with clear expectations about the maturity and the state of the project. This is the start of a virtuous cycle of progress, feedback, iteration, progress that allows us to continually deliver value to our users.