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  1. #1
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    Valve's handbook for new employees

    http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/1...phenomenon.php

    Funny, but also interesting...

    Interesting that they have a flat hierarchy, and they involve everyone in decisions, and let people pick projects for themselves. Sounds like a great place to work at, but then again, they have a really tough hiring policy.

    Also, I wonder how much popularity plays in peer evaluation...
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  2. #2
    An interesting read for anyone wondering what causes the phenomenon affectionately known as Valve Time.

    Also, it's well designed, and I love that Valve cares about that.
    Last edited by Zalis; 24-04-2012 at 15:38.

  3. #3
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    Admittedly, with nobody pushing deadlines on your neck, things can end up taking longer. But they do make good games and are loved by their customers, so it's excusable.

    And with so many bad decisions blamed on leadership, sometimes I wonder if we need leaders at all.
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  4. #4
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    It doesn't look so much like a flat hierarchy as a monarchy lol It looks like everyone rolls up under Gabe.

    This creates a few worries for me, as an employee:
    1- No room for growth
    2- Suspect room for entry level / less experienced employees
    3- New or junior employees would be at the same level as someone with 3+ years tenure

    Frankly, #3 would drive me bonkers if I worked there. At one of my companies, they kept hiring people with way less experience than me who were at the same level or higher than me. One of the reasons I left because they were total boneheads.

  5. #5
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    Sounds like your company was hiring at the wrong level.

    What Valve is doing, rather, I see as recognizing value... I think that your salary for example is in part determined by how useful you are to the company.

    But yeah, democracy has a way of not always promoting the right people.
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  6. #6
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    Yeah, that company sucked.

    I definitely see the value in Valve's approach. I guess it really depends on execution, though. If Gabe rules with an iron fist, that would be pretty awful to work under. But simply from a standpoint of progressing in your career, I don't like it. It basically ensures you have to quit at some point if you ever want to manage people. Though, I don't, so it does sound a bit like a dream lol

  7. #7
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    You can still manage people in a loose structure, but people aren't assigned to you, they choose to be managed by you. And plenty of people like having some manager telling them what to do, so I suspect that some employees would end up in managing roles at Valve.
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  8. #8
    I think they're avoiding a lot of the possible issues by being so stringent about their hiring process. You likely filter the wheat from the chaff by doing that, and then end up with (mostly) people who thrive in that environment.

  9. #9
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    Yeah, but that really makes me want to know what their hiring process is like.

    Also, how do they deal with conflict when it arises?
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  10. #10
    Fight to the death!

    I was at a tech company a while back with a somewhat similar structure, though there was a bit more defined structure (they did have a small group of directors). Seemed like a nice place to work (and I'm sure Valve is), they made a solar-powered water filtering machine that nobody in Africa wanted to buy because, as a warlord put it "If I can give my people clean water, they will still die from hunger". They kept trying to sell it, even though it was losing them money.

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