Monday, April 23, 2012

The Valve Employee Handbook

I heard about a leaked employee handbook today and was intrigued, to say the least. As a professional open source developer who used to write games, I was interested to say the least. And what I have to say is:

Wow, that sounds very cool.

No management structure. Self-directed projects. A true meritocracy with anonymous peer reviews. All sorts of freedoms that sound very good on the surface.

And one thing that really rings true is the part about how working long hours is a bad thing. it's been an issue for me for years now, how some people treat working a 60+ hour week as the norm. I won't go into it here and will instead post on that subject later. Just suffice it to say that I love to hear a company say that, when long hours happen, it's a sign of a problem in the company and should not be viewed as how things ought to be.

Go give it a read. It's a nice glimpse (assuming it's for real) into the world of the gaming company that has brought us such things as the Portal and Left4Dead franchises, Half-Life and Team Fortress 2. And if you're interested in working for them, then check out their jobs page on their website.


  1. I didn't know you used to write games? Was this professionally or as a hobby?

    1. Professionally. I worked for a small gaming company named "Anthem Games" and did Java ports of a few of their mobile phone games, like Bushido: Way of The Samurai, Pink Panther Freeze Tag and Rocky Boxing. This was back in 2004.