(Not sure what this post is about? Check out Living Bungie’s Values as Engineers.)
Are you still here! Hello! At this point, you know why you’re here, so let’s dive in…
When we first reviewed the Geometric Values handbook as a team, we ended up in a multi-day multi-hand chat thread to research that specific value. It turns out that we are all in complete agreement with “loose coherence”, but we have many different interpretations of “strong ideas”! Was it about strong advocacy, ensuring ideas would receive a fair hearing? Courageous proposals that challenge conventional wisdom? Thoughtful proposals that avoid being too interesting? This section of the handbook has given us an opportunity to delve into this kind of nuance.
We believe that good ideas can come from anyone regardless of their title, seniority or specialty.
- We strive for a sense of equality in all interactions.
- We seek to provide psychological safety for each other. We recognize the near-universal universality of impostor syndrome and try to build each other up, freely showing respect and admiration while taking great care of the tone and context of criticism.
- We try to clearly show everyone respect by default, even especially when we haven’t worked with them yet. This is particularly critical to providing psychological security to new employees who have not yet established institutional credibility.
- During discussion and decision making, we try to separate the ideas from who suggested them.
|“About a year ago, I moved from gameplay engineering to graphics, and soon after started working on my first significant feature planning work. When I talked through the problem space with my mentor, Mark Davis, a lead graphics engineer with over twenty years of experience, I was amazed how much my engineers were. Only two drawings solve problems together.It was quite clear that I was on equal footing in the discussion as we went back and forth about potential solutions and complications, and never felt intimidated to challenge or bring up ideas.I have consistently felt like a full member of any discussion and that my input is of great value. Valuable and meaningful, whether it’s with Mark, the graphics team, other engineers or Bungie as a whole.As an early-career engineer in a new discipline, I’ve evolved into my new role and learned a lot of empowerment like this, and it’s designed for a very interesting and fun experience .”
Abby Welch, 2020-
We are brave enough to see a mistake.
- Appearing wrong can be intimidating, but it’s critical to our success. If we let our fear discourage us, we sacrifice opportunities for creativity and growth.
- The experience of being seen wrong should never be a painful experience. You should feel welcomed and supported by the team. Our work to maintain psychological safety is paramount here (see section above) – we create a place where you don’t have to “stress” to feel safe when you’re wrong.
- We are brave enough to make proposals to help move the plan forward even when our chances of being wrong are high—We don’t stop waiting to be 100% sure we’ll look smart with our proposal.
- We are brave enough to see our ideas challenged without feeling personally attacked– We try to remember that we respect regardless.
- We are brave enough to raise concerns or ideas even when we are not experts Or we raise them to someone of a higher rank.
- We are brave enough to share our thoughts early, Seek promotions from others and avoid polishing our thoughts alone for the big reveal that surprises others.
|“While developing the new engine model, the Activity Programming team was revamping how and where Activity scripts are executed within the server ecosystem. Their distribution among various factors within the ecosystem allowed for more expression, but also created concurrency for writing scripts that might be deadlocked or have unexpected behavior due to race conditions. To mitigate this possibility, I suggested a code review process for designer-designed scripts similar to engineering code reviews. This was not a practice the designers were experienced in and most people who heard my show thought we wouldn’t have With broad endorsement. So instead, we focused the technical design on a hub to mitigate risk with minimal loss of text expression and didn’t adopt designer text reviews at the time. Talking about this as a team helped us quickly identify that solving this challenge with diligence Persistent human being wasn’t the right solution, although it would have enabled us to find an exciting technical solution.”
Ed Kaiser, 2010-
We believe success helps the group reach the best answer And the He leaves with stronger relationships.
- If you come up with the best answer but people are not excited to work with you again, This failed.
- If you make a meeting or project 25% more effective but people aren’t excited about working with you again, This failed.
- If everyone is excited to work with you again but you haven’t talked about a big drawback or opportunity, This failed
|“The engineering organization has for some time had regular leadership meetings where managers and others in leadership positions got together to talk about the things that matter™. When I finally got up to enough of my calling, I felt like I had a great time. It was a great validation feeling but also intimidating. I was sure if I had anything worth contributing to this room with the best and brightest Bungie. When I finally gathered the nerve to harmonize, I was pleasantly surprised that everyone took my comments as seriously as anyone else. I realized that this applies to everyone who joined the group. There was no single dominant opinion that overshadowed the others. All voices mattered all the time.”
James Haywood, 2007-
See you next time for Value #4 – Closing Daily Practice!