Postlight Engineering at Three
What does a mature software engineering team look like in 2019? Here's ours.
Postlight is only 3 years old, but those might as well be dog years. Three years of shipping software at an agency is easily 21 product-company years. We launch new products for our clients monthly. We iterate on and support those products while continuing to ship other products for other clients. All while maintaining work-life balance and growing a vibrant internal culture.
Postlight engineering makes the process of creating and shipping software a mature affair. The sheer number of products we’ve shipped means: nothing is our first rodeo.
You’re picturing our engineering team in your head. A gruff set of veteran software engineers. Throw tickets over the wall and run. Want to ask a question? Better not when they’re wired in. Think you found a bug? Better double-check it, lest you get your head bitten off for a bad report.
Nope. Not here.
Postlight’s engineers ship software and manage to be human beings as well. They work normal hours and are happy to have conversations at any level of complexity. I’m proud of the professional and friendly team we’ve built. We deliver award-winning software, on budget and on time, without ego.
Many engineers who join Postlight come looking for peers. They want a group to share ideas with to spark new ones. A group that will ask questions and answer questions when asked. Being the only person in your group who cares deeply about the craft is an isolating experience. Conversation and feedback are necessary for growth.
Hiring engineers that want peers makes for a chatty group. Communication takes practice, and we get a lot of it. Our engineering team are some of the best communicators in the business. The positivity of our internal communication fosters a team that is warm and easy to engage with for our clients. Our clients are shocked by how easy it is to communicate with our engineers. No knee-jerk reactions. Just a friendly, two-way, conversation with professionals.
Our engineers are hungry to learn and share. We are constantly talking about the latest developments in all fields of software engineering. These conversations aren’t just for fun. They lead to experiments and real tech choices. A big part of retention at Postlight has been letting smart people make smart choices. Feeling empowered to control your destiny makes work into craft.
As the engineering team grew we needed to scale management. A core part of your career path at Postlight is your manager. We move from project to project throughout the year, but your manager sticks with you. They know your successes, desires, and areas you need to grow. We carefully grew leadership to ensure no manager is overwhelmed with the number of direct reports. The results have been incredible. I’m as proud of how we develop our people as well as our software platforms.
Beyond Year 3
The people that comprise Postlight engineering make it the success it has been. My top priority is continuing to listen to the team and make adjustments to keep Postlight a great place to be a software engineer. The team got to year three together, and it will be the reason we are successful for years to come.
Jeremy Mack is a Partner and Director of Engineering at Postlight. Interested in working with Postlight Engineering? Get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Story published on Jan 30, 2019.