We’re building an incredible team at Valon who truly cares about redefining the homeownership experience. An important part of what makes this team great is how we interact with each other on a daily basis. Since transparency is one of our core values, we wanted to make those interactions even clearer to everyone.
Valonians are encouraged to write a “working with X” document to share how best to communicate and collaborate with them. This document is intended for both new hires and tenured employees alike as a baseline of what to expect when working with their peers.
To give you an initial sense of what working at Valon is like, I’ll be sharing a bit about myself and how I work - things I value, how I interact with others, and my quirks. Everyone here has their own unique flavor, but we complement each other and strive toward the same overall values. All of which is incredibly important to keep us laser-focused on our mission - championing homeowners on their financial journey.
If you think you’d like working with people like me, we’d love for you to join us. Hit us up on our careers page!
Since my working style will evolve over time, a live running version of this doc is located here.
Hi! If you’re reading this, we will hopefully be working together. This is meant to be a living document that explains how I operate and holds me accountable - if my behavior doesn’t match what this document says, let me know! That being said, these are guidelines; I will occasionally deviate when necessary (like if we’re dealing with a massive fire). Lastly, this document is just a starting point - let’s get to know each other better!
At the highest level, my focus is to do everything in my power to achieve our company’s mission - championing homeowners on their financial journey. Most of the time, this means making the engineering team run to its fullest potential. More specifically:
My Guiding Principles
My ideal teammate
As my ideal teammate, you do the following:
Things That Bother Me
I provide feedback because I care about your growth and want to provide you with the checkpoints to improve. I expect you to reciprocate so that I can grow as well. That being said, you do not have to follow all of my feedback. Sometimes you have better context than I do and I expect you to think critically about whether something is worth acting on.
In an ideal world, you and I are comfortable enough to provide continuous, informal feedback to each other by any means necessary. While I’m a big believer in radical candor and the 4A format, I’m not picky and will both accept and give feedback that doesn’t meet those exact guidelines, especially in the moment.
If there’s anything that makes it difficult for you to provide feedback, please let me know.
I’m a big fan of 1:1s. Don’t just give me a status update - that’s what standup, weekly syncs, or staff meetings are for. I like to keep a shared running 1:1 doc to keep us accountable and ensure we’re on the same page (literally!).
In general, I expect to get to know you more, talk about your satisfaction, hear your feedback for the company/leadership/myself, and listen to issues that you flag. If you’re a direct report, we’ll have weekly or bi-weekly 1:1s where we’ll additionally talk about feedback for you, team dynamics, career development, and brainstorm together. If you’re a skip level report, we’ll occasionally have 1:1s where we’ll discuss feedback for your manager or team.
Lastly, this time is yours. I am happy to talk about anything you think is important - work related or not.
I will always make time for you. If my calendar is full, just send me a Slack message and I’ll see what I can do.
I’m pretty informal with off-the-cuff communication and default to Slack. I don’t expect you to respond late at night or on weekends, unless I specifically mention it’s urgent. For more important information, I prefer a well thought out longform document.
For meetings, I prefer having an agenda, moderator, enough time for discussion, and most of all written meetings notes for posterity.
Lastly, I prefer overcommunication, even at the cost of efficiency.
These are some resources that have heavily influenced how I operate:
In case you’re curious, here are some of my interests outside of work. I’m always happy to chat about these topics.
We’re all figuring this out together. Our final destination is a long ways away, so let’s make sure we have fun and enjoy the journey. I’m a first time CTO and I assume many parts of your job are new to you as well, so let me know if I could be doing better.
I’m so thrilled to see what we can accomplish together!
Chief Technology Officer