As Cozy grows, both as a product and company, we strive to hire new folks who not only align with the way we work, but challenge us to be better. Because our engineering team is in the process of bringing another software engineer on board, we decided it was a good time to outline what we collectively value.

We agreed to codify why we’re the kind of team that produces such excellent technical work, has camaraderie, and practices good communication. We started with the principles that drive our product development process, and found that what we listed was foundational to both our work and how we interact with each other. So we fleshed out that list, and tada, here’s a manifesto about how we work.

As a member of the engineering team, I’ve turned to this central artifact for comfort and motivation when the grind starts to get to me. I value being part of a team I feel aligned with, a group of people that makes me feel comfortable bringing up concerns, raising questions, and having celebrations. I hope this manifesto can serve as a helpful reference for other engineering teams who are interested in aligning their team. And if these principles resonate with how you work, come join us!

Solve problems

  • The work we choose to do solves problems with the purpose of bringing peace of mind.
  • Problems are identified by evaluating the needs of Cozyans and our customers.
  • Before you can determine the best solution, you need to fully understand the problem—do research, ask questions, and get feedback.
  • If you start exploring the solution to a problem, and encounter roadblocks or setbacks, reevaluate. Nothing is set in stone, and deeper perspective often shifts priorities over time.

Iterate often

  • Seek the simplest possible solution, and look forward to making future changes if needed.
  • Everything can always be improved—seek out ways to make our work better, and make it happen.
  • Foster a sense of non-attachment to a final destination or final product. There will always be work to do, and we share the determination to continually do better.

Put people first

  • The empowerment of everyone on the team, and effective collaboration, are paramount.
  • Treat effective communication as an invaluable skill, and proactively build relationships with your team.
  • There are no stupid questions, just learning opportunities. Always encourage people to ask questions, and respond to any asks with respect.
  • If a process or policy exists that doesn’t serve everyone, it should be reconsidered and revised.
  • Our customers are real people who should be at the forefront of our minds in our work. Our goal is to serve them as best as we can.

Share ownership

  • Everyone at Cozy shares responsibility for the success of our product.
  • Seek to understand the intricacies of how Cozy’s application works. Participate in conversations, provide feedback, and do code reviews across all areas of the app.
  • Ask “Why?” and “How?” as often as needed to deepen understanding.
  • Have conversations with folks in other departments, and leverage the collective knowledge of everyone at the company.
  • Take responsibility for both your successes and mistakes.
  • Acknowledge and celebrate the success of others.