Svbtle

 

Svbtle

Hello, Heroku.

It’s been a bit of a crazy last few months. Thus the lack of frequent writing here. Hopefully I’ll be able to change that soon, as I’ve got a lot of good things to talk to y'all about. :)

About a month ago I left my position at Desk.com. It was a great gig and I’ll miss ‘em. But I’ve moved on and I’ve just finished up my first week at a new job.

I’m now a product designer on the web applications team at Heroku. If you’re not familiar, here’s a little blurb about what we do:

Heroku (pronounced her-OH-koo) is a cloud application platform – a new way of building and deploying web apps. Our service lets app developers spend 100% of their time on their application code, not managing servers, deployment, ongoing operations, or scaling.

Developer productivity is our battle cry, at the core of everything we do. Why require 3 steps when 1 will do? Why require any action at all when zero steps will do?

A deployment platform’s workflow and experience should be designed. Every decision – from what HTTP cache to use, to the order of command-line flags, to the color of the buttons – has been made with a maniacal focus on developer productivity.

Why Heroku?

Aside from the news itself, I wanted to talk a bit about why I made the decision to go work for Heroku and why I’m so excited to be doing so. Don’t worry, I’ll keep it short and sweet.

Essentially it boils down to two things:

  • Heroku’s culture and values align very well with my own. They’re makers and do-er’s. They value getting things done over process. They work hard, but realize working too hard can be a problem. They want to change the world for the better and they’re looking for people to help them do it.
  • The position itself is a very good fit. They can benefit from the skills I bring to the table and they have a whole lot they can teach me. Adding real value and leveling up is pretty much the sweet-spot as far as I’m concerned.

In my initial talks with them I was impressed by the vision and mission of the company and even more impressed with how they’ve interwoven that vision into the culture of the company. Here is a company that walks the walk!

To give you an idea of their values, here are a few tidbits from the culture-related docs I read this week. The on-boarding, something usually tedious, was inspiring and I can’t expressed how impressed I’ve been with their commitment to this stuff:

  • Balance intuition-driven with data-driven. Yes! Something I believe firmly and talk about quite often.
    • Divide and conquer. Big, hard problems become easy if you cut them into small pieces.
    • Throw things away. Don’t be afraid to start over if that’s the right thing to do.
    • Results, not politics.
    • Decision-making via ownership.
    • Running applications should be easy; making coffee should be hard.
    • Heroku is all about enabling people to ship awesome software.
    • Attention to detail.
    • Respect for users.
    • Do fewer things, but do them as well as possible.

They also actively embrace things like The 5 Whys and 12 Factor App, if that give you an idea. To sum it up, they’re very opinionated, very smart and their values are more than just pithy statements.

While I’m used to working in more engineering-diven cultures, I truly believe Heroku values design and recognize that the diverse ideas someone like me can bring can make them better. In a sense, Heroku is really poised to undertake a true melding of design and engineering and I hope to be right in the center of it. It’s about making and doing more than it is how you make and do. I’m a maker after all, though my tools and techniques might be different, we’ve got a lot of common ground as far as attitude goes.

I’ve already learned a ton, had a bunch of fun and I can’t really express how excited I am to be a newly minted Herokai.

Expect exciting things! And if you’re interested in talking about Heroku–product, design, or whatever–track me down (if you add my user name to my employers domain, you’ll probably be able to get me) and let’s do that. I’d really love to talk to people who use Heroku. :)

 
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