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Engineering Culture at Fictiv

I’m Tim Chang, Fictiv’s Director of Engineering. Here at Fictiv, we believe the success of our business is grounded in the collective strength of three pillars that we refer to as our 3 P’s: People, Partners, and Platform. There’s a reason we count people first among them. Fictiv has grown and thrived because of the talented and diverse group of people who founded, built, and continue to help our company grow. 

We’re proud of what we’ve created, and it wouldn’t be possible if we didn’t have a culture to match our incredible team! It’s our people who cultivate the collaborative spirit that drives our success and makes Fictiv such a great place to work. 

Creating a Collaborative Culture

Employee attitudes reflect leadership, and that’s why company culture starts with the founders. When I joined Fictiv, there were only seven employees and a mission to democratize access to manufacturing technology and talent. Even back then, Dave (CEO) and Nate (CXO) understood the importance of creating the right sort of culture in order to reach our goal. They crafted our initial core values for the company: Respect, Empathy, Integrity, Transparency, and Curiosity.

Those values evolved into behavior ideals: Service Mentality, Creator Spirit, Compassion for Others, Constantly Seeking to Learn, and Grit. Both the values and behaviors have been woven into our hiring process as we have grown the Fictiv team. With every candidate and new hire, we ask ourselves: Will this person treat others with respect? Even the ones without impressive titles? Are they attuned to the needs of others? Are they willing to be vulnerable?

This simple exercise — applied consistently from the beginning — has been incredibly powerful in shaping Fictiv’s culture. Today, there are over 250 Fictors in countries around the world, and Fictiv remains one of the most collaborative companies I’ve ever seen. New hires talk about the psychological safety of being able to ask a question in chat, knowing their coworkers are happy to pause what they’re doing to help. In side conversations, I hear people rave about the absence of ego and politics here, and how easy it is to work with other teams and departments.

I chose to become a software engineer to build technology that matters. But modern software development doesn’t happen alone; our best work is produced in collaborative environments. Writing code in Typescript may be an individual activity, but the craft of software engineering is about a team solving problems together. And the journey is so much more enjoyable and rewarding with a healthy, synergistic team.

Transparency Helps Us Learn and Thrive

My first and only unsuccessful professional project was a mobile app I helped build in 2008. The App Store for the iPhone had launched months earlier, and we had just been acquired for our voice-recognition business. We built the first voice-powered local search for the iPhone (long before Siri), but on the eve of our App Store launch our project was canceled. Rumor had it that our new CEO, the one who had acquired our business, decided we would not build any apps for the iPhone.

It was a frustrating experience. And the worst of it was being blindsided by the decision. There was no visibility. There was no transparency. The project took months of development, and prior to cancellation, there was no indication that we were on a dead-end path. 

Transparency is a cornerstone value in any good organization because it paves the path to trust. At Fictiv, our company objectives, financial goals, and plans are available to everyone at the company. The status of our projects — whether they’re on track or not — is viewable by all involved so that we can debate and discuss adjustments to our plans and find the best way forward. When new hires join the team, the most common feedback I hear from them is how amazed they are by our openness and the absence of siloed information. 

Our commitment to transparency aligns the entire company around where we are and where we’re going, and encourages us all to participate in finding creative ways to get there. It’s another way our collaborative, safe environment continues to grow from the seed that Dave and Nate planted and cultivated in the beginning. 

Opportunities to Make an Impact

It’s an exciting time to be at Fictiv. We’re closer to our goals than ever before, but there’s still much work to be done. Our team is growing, and I’m confident that the company will meet the challenge — not only because of our technology, but also because of our talented, hardworking, and collaborative team. 

Right now, there are a lot of opportunities for people to come in and play key roles as the company expands. We need folks who can work at the organizational level to put in the right structure. We need folks who can innovate and push us forward technologically. We need folks who will lead at every level, regardless of their title. So it’s a great time to join our team because our core, collaborative culture is well established and there are so many opportunities to make a mark as Fictiv grows.

So, if you like the idea of doing the best work of your career, transforming a trillion-dollar industry, and revolutionizing the way products are made around the world, check out the career opportunities here at Fictiv!