What's it like to work @ HF

October, 2013

Wednesday is no meeting day. Our team is geographically scattered from all around bay area. We understand if someone doesn't want to come into the office every day thanks to the frustrating 30-minute commute, or someone simply prefers to work from home. Wednesday is officially free from meetings so that we can work from home without missing things happening in the office. WFH is loosely not controlled at HF. We can wfh any time with or without a reason as long as others are notified. Even so, most of us still come to the office almost every day.

Thursday is always an exciting day for us. We schedule marketing and sale updates, engineering demos, and CEO Q&As in the afternoon. This is a great time for everyone to know what's going on with our customers, our sales, our product and anything about HF (ask CEO!). And bi-weekly, we have team outings right afterwards. We go to bars, have party at CEO's house, play poker, go bowling, play tennis - just relax and enjoy the time with each other. I really enjoy Thursday since I get to know product progress, learn valuable strategies from sales and marketing guys, get answers from experienced entrepreneurs, and of course, have a great time with my lovely colleagues.

Tuesday is reporting day. Before lunch, we do standup within engineer team and do bug-triage. It's a good time to let each other know in an official way what changes others should know about, what is blocked or is blocking others, and what help and actions are needed. By the end, we randomly ask 2-3 people to share something awesome in the last week, a good way to keep us feel awesome and continue to be awesome.

Monday and Friday have nothing officially special. But I do like the pace of our weekdays. Tuesdays and Thursdays are small target days, and the rest are relaxing while demanding. And I have bi-weekly one-on-one with JR on Thursdays which is not as stressing as it would be on Mondays or Tuesdays.

Oh and we have war room hour everyday at 1:30pm. War room is where we shout and fight discuss about undecided pieces of out product which were once noted. While the two co-founders and the design team are always on site, anyone can put stuff on the agenda (we keep it in a Google doc), and join the discussion. War room decisions usually end up in spec. This is super helpful to me because it helps unblock me when I am not sure about something. And keeping an agenda is helpful too because we can always go back and see what choices we looked into and what decisions we made. I have experienced before when the team did standup meetings everyday but product decisions were made behind the engineer team's back, and when questions piled too much that the team spent a whole day going over only to find out some development work was not in the right direction at all. Both situations became frustrating and hurt the team bit by bit. So yeah war room is great.

First day of a new hire is fun. We have a tradition that the last hired employee takes care of the next one's first day "treatments". The basic task is to highfive strangers in prepared costumes along the way to and from lunch (on the house). We have dance challenge, puzzle challenge, act it out, truth or lie, costume photography, ... It's always a fun day to welcome a new HFer :).

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