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3 Key takeaways from season 1 of From Code to Company

And that’s a wrap! Season 1 of From Code to Company has concluded, and it’s time to take a look back at some of our favorite moments and takeaways from the season. This season, we were joined by five amazing guests, each of which shared their journey. We explored a wide range of topics, from building startups from the ground up and hiring the best teams to the intricacies of open source. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite tidbits from the season, but don’t forget to listen to the full episodes on our websiteSpotifyApple Podcasts, or Google Podcasts.

Without further ado, here are the top 3 things we learned from Season 1.

Takeaway #1: When hiring, trust is a two-way street

Our guests ranged from founders of brand-new startups to established industry veterans at large-scale tech organizations. So, when it came to hiring, there was unsurprising quite a bit of variance. That said, across-the-board trust was a common value that all of our guests shared when reflecting on hiring and onboarding.

Sven Efftinge, Co-Founder of GitPod, emphasized the importance of public documentation when hiring. They choose to share their internal handbook with prospective hires. “We get applications from people who align with our values,” Sven explains, “It’s like, ‘I want to work for exactly that company.’” In the old corporate world, this would be almost unheard of. For so long, organizations have been guarding their secrets with an iron fist, only to reveal their inner workings after a contract is signed. GitPod is breaking this mold and, by doing so, has been able to hire the right people and retain them for much longer.

In our episode with Abby Kearns, she dove into the topic of trust by “Hiring people and getting out of the way.” Abby explained that managers often feel like they have to micromanage, but in reality, hiring should be an opportunity to place trust in others’ abilities, and through showing trust you earn trust. It’s this level of trust that enables her team members to have the confidence and freedom to achieve great things.

Takeaway #2: Open source is all about learning

In season 1, we were fortunate enough to get many leaders in open source from across the industry. Across the board, our guests emphasized that open source is a great way to learn and grow in such a competitive industry.

Tracy Miranda, Head of Open Source at Chainguard, got her start in software through open source. After her hardware project was canceled, her team was switched to working on Eclipse and Java.

“What helped was that the code was all open source, so I could browse it. And then I discovered the forums where folks would happily answer my questions.”

Tracy stressed that it was this sense of community and comradery that jumpstarted her career in open source and made the transition to open source a breeze.

Meanwhile, Steve Millidge, Founder of Payara, spoke to us about how developers can use open source contributions to raise their profile in the industry to get the jobs they want. Steve explained that open source contributions are a great way to prove your skills and build a portfolio of work that you can share with prospective employers. So much so that Steve said that anyone that was to make contributions to Payara’s open source projects would be more than welcome to join the company as a paid employee.

So, whether it’s getting a start in the industry or seeking your dream job, open source might be the first step to finding success.

Takeaway #3: Technical success comes through slowing down and patience

In our episode with Abby Kearns, she stressed the importance of patience in an industry that we so often perceive to be fast-paced. “Having just completed a fantastic job at Puppet at CTO, a lot of the work that we did there was all about shifting the way that we think about our product portfolio, but also shifting the way we work,” Abby explained. In such a rapidly changing industry, Abby is constantly on a search for how to find patience:

“I’ve really had to work as a leader to be patient. Patient with myself, but also patient with the team. In the end of the day, things take time. Yes, there are things we can do immediately, but when we think about product and technology, there’s an inherent evolution that has to happen, you have to have maturity of technology.”

This idea of patience is sometimes hard to learn, but while we’re waiting for technologies to mature, patience is sometimes the only option and best for the team. Abby pointed out that Kubernetes is only seven years old and is finally at that maturity stage.

Francesco Virga, Co-Founder and CTO of Bounce, also reflected on slowing down, but more in the context of specific projects. The way that they do this at Bounce is by being thoroughly committed to retrospectives. For Francesco, it’s about getting input on what works best for the team. After a project, the Bounce team optimizes what works best.

“If anything feels inefficient or isn’t working, we’ll swap it out. There are no rules that even though we’re using scrum, we have to use all of the components. It’s more about what works best for the team,”

For Bounce, this reflection is critical to their ability to improve sprint to sprint.

Listen to From Code to Company

Those are just a few of the many takeaways that we learned from season 1 of From Code to Company. You can learn more about the episodes and give them a listen on the From Code to Company website, as well as on SpotifyApple Podcasts, or Google Podcasts. Give them a listen and let us know your own highlights!

We also wanted to thank all of our amazing guests who shared their expertise with us. Stay tuned for updates on season 2!

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