As engineers, how we work is important. At Pluralsight, our engineering culture and engineering practices have been carefully created and nurtured by our founders, leaders and an engineering team who care deeply about the craft of software engineering. We are particularly passionate about delivering value to our customers, and we are shaping our engineering practices to deliver amazing customer experiences. We aspire to create a workplace that engineers want to be part of. A place we’d be proud to invite our friends to join.
Historically, we’ve described our way of working as “software craftsmanship.” In fact, until recently, we referred to ourselves as Software Craftsmen. We realized, however, that this description was too narrow. It failed to include all of the practices and values we hold dear. The title alone left some feeling excluded, which was unacceptable and didn’t align with our values. So we changed our titles from Software Craftsmen to Software Engineers and created a document to provide clarity around the way we work.
Autonomy is one of the most important values within Pluralsight’s engineering culture. We believe giving engineers and their teams autonomy to make decisions allows us to create the best possible outcomes. We have learned that autonomy is most powerful when people understand the boundaries of their authority. It is critical for people to know what things they have control over and what things they do not. There is nothing more disempowering than believing you have the power to make a decision, only to have it overruled because you didn’t truly have the authority to make the decision. That’s why we created our Engineering at Pluralsight document—to provide as much clarity as possible for our engineering team.
We originally referred to Engineering at Pluralsight as the Pluralsight Engineering Manifesto. Our office is located less than 30 miles from the Snowbird ski resort, where the Agile Manifesto was created, so it seemed appropriate to take the team up to Snowbird and see if that same mountain air would provide us with similar inspiration. To ensure that Engineering at Pluralsight truly reflects the way we work—and the ways we’d like to work, the engineering organization nominated six representatives to help author the document. We spent two days at a cabin near Snowbird creating the first draft of the document. After a couple follow-up sessions, we shared it with the organization for comment. This allowed everyone the opportunity to make sure the document made sense and aligned with their perspective of our way of working. We sorted through the feedback, made minor edits and shipped the final product.
We know there are many ways to build great software. Still, we are very proud of how we work and the experiences we create within our platform to democratize technology skills. As the Pluralsight engineering organization, we care deeply about learning and the practices of software engineering. We are sharing this document—how we work—in hopes that it will inspire other organizations to create amazing engineering cultures that deliver products their customers love. Of course, if these principles inspire you to want to work at Pluralsight, we’d love to talk (https://www.pluralsight.com/careers/engineering).