How does Valve, a game developer, work?
Valve Corporation is a company that has created legendary games such as Half-Life, Counter Strike, Dota 2, Portal and others.
The company was created by Gabe Newell, whose biography also means working at Microsoft for the whole 13 years. To say that Valve Corporation is an innovative company is to say nothing. It is, perhaps, “more innovative” than many who consider themselves as such. And this concerns not only the development and the activity itself, but also what the company is from the inside. After reading a few principles of the internal structure of Valve Corporation, you might think “what the hell is going on there,” or you might want to work there yourself.
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Everyone does what he wants
New employees at Valve Corporation often do not understand what is going on for the first few weeks. They came to work for the company, but why didn’t anyone give them specific tasks? And they will not be given. The company does not hire people to carry out any specific work. She is gaining just promising and talented. And they themselves must understand and decide what good they can give Valve Corporation. Well-known programmer Michael Abrash recalls his first weeks of work at the company: “I figured that I would be immediately assigned some task. But I only heard a couple of assumptions from the employees regarding what I should probably do … These were just their thoughts, not direct directions to action. Days passed, and no one gave me any concrete work. And then I realized that everything was arranged in a special way. I need to find my “place” in Valve Corporation myself. ”
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The search for new employees is a priority for the entire company. You will never hear “Valve Corporation doesn’t need any specialists right now.” They are always required, and the process of finding new people never stops. Moreover, absolutely all personnel are involved in this. And the sooner an employee begins to attract new specialists to the company, the more he will like the management. The company has this rule: “If you are now busy looking for a new employee, conducting an interview or something else related to the recruitment process, you need to postpone all your other tasks and not even think about them.”
No bosses or subordinates
Gabe Newell, founder of Valve Corporation, believes that innovative companies should not have a traditional employee-employee relationship. This only applies to the military sphere, where soldiers must clearly obey the orders of the commander. Or the production sector, where it is necessary to constantly produce the same product. The modern computer industry does not fall under either one or the other option. Valve Corporation has no organizational hierarchy familiar to many, no bosses, subordinates, or even positions. Sometimes Valve Corporation employees themselves come up with the name of their position so that it can be written on a business card, as many people will not be able to take seriously a specialist without a position.
Gabe Newell himself has no position. Once, in an interview, Grek Kumer, one of the very first employees of the company, said he did not know what position Newell took: “Following the logic, he is probably the CEO. But I can’t say it with certainty. ” Each new employee in the company is given a small guidebook for Valve Corporation, which says that “no one in the company is your boss, and Gabe Newell is not the most.”
Since at Valve everyone can do what he wants, his workplace can be located anywhere. That is why every table in the office should have wheels – so that it can be easily moved to a convenient place. So employees can quickly team up and work on one common task. Or just move your table to where, in their opinion, they will work better and more comfortable. In the same manual for new employees there is an item on moving desks around the office: “Remove the computer cable from the outlet, move your desk, insert the cable into another outlet. Now you can get back to work. ”
The more interesting and unusual the employee’s past is, the better. That is why the company employs a former actress of a children’s puppet theater, creators of a satirical site about video games, a developer of special effects for the film “The Lord of the Rings”, an artist painting cool graffiti. And there are a lot of such people in the company.