When your engineering team grows beyond 20 employees, you'll want to get a vibe-check with them. This should be done at least twice a year.
Why is this important? Because frustration tends to creep in silently on the engineering front.
- Say build times increase by 5 seconds every month. Before you know it, they are no longer tolerable. Engineers are wasting time waiting for their change to reflect in the product.
- The engineers that join your team this year don't have the tribal knowledge of those that have been with your firm for 2-3 years.
It's challenging to surface these issues without asking the right questions.
Here are some broad areas you should focus on while deciding what to ask your engineering team.
- Ask your team to rate the culture
- Do they have the opportunity to work on what they like?
- Programmers hate meetings. Get feedback on how to optimize them.
- Are they heard, and do they have ownership?
- Does the developer experience enable them to deliver high-quality work?
- Do they feel at ease, and can they express themselves?
- Ask open-ended questions that can unearth other areas of feedback.
- Keep the survey anonymous.
- Keep the options simple and use Likert where possible
- Don't ask a question that can surface someone's identity
- Be open to criticism, even if it is from one data point
- Publish the analysis of your survey within a week. Be honest
- Look for patterns in the answer that change over time
If you'd like an example of such a survey, here's one - An engineering culture survey.
Want to work at a company that regularly gets feedback on culture from engineers - Take a look at our careers page.
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