10Pines

Our Culture

We are an Argentine software company, founded in 2009, with the intention of creating a workspace where we could be happy doing what we like. Based on respect, trust and achieving quality results, we create a space where collaboration and transparency are intrinsic in everyday life. From these characteristics, we break with the hierarchical structure of organizations. In a horizontal structure and a participatory culture, people are the most important.

Our way of working is based on 3 pillars:

Organizational Structure

With horizontal structure we mean that there is no one over anyone; Everyone has a voice and can give their views on different day-to-day issues.

The structure is divided into 3 circles:

Decision Making

It sounds crazy to think that nobody tells what to do to anyone, but it is the extreme trust that leads us to be responsible and pull from the same side of the rope. However, we don't always think all the same and we tend to debate a lot about every decision we make. The important thing is that every decision is taken by consent, that is, it is sought that there is no one with concerns or against what is being proposed. This is different from consensus, where everyone is in agreement, or voting, where there may be people who just don't agree with the proposal.

Drawing showing 9 people, sitting in a circle, drinking mate and discussing ideas

There are several groups and times when the different topics are addressed:

Growth

The recurring question of skeptics is "Does this system scale?", and it is something that we ask ourselves each time a new pine joins the team. We started with 4 people, and we kept changing and evolving to be able to maintain the same culture all along the way.

Our experience tells us that the keys to sustainable growth are organic expansion, the ability to cope with uncertainty collaboratively and adapting without losing values.

Drawing of a person cultivating their knowledge and experience, represented as a seed, which grows, as if it turned into an adult pine tree. At the same time, a new seed comes off that tree, and is planted by another person.

In relation to our quality pillars, growth is protected by:

Recruitment Process

It consists of 3 interviews where we get to know and evaluate the person.

Drawing of 5 people chatting

In the first interview we are interested in meeting the candidate both professionally and humanly. They are also told about the company and our way of organizing, since we are interested in making sure that the person loves the idea of working together as much as we do.
After this initial talk, the candidate is asked to solve a technical exercise according to their seniority. We like them to do the exercise in their homes and without time limits, so they can show what they really know and how they work.

In the second interview the candidate talks about the developing process of their exercise, explaining the decisions they made.

If everything goes according to plan, the third step is a group interview, where as many pines as possible attend. It is a more relaxed interview, where the idea is to get to know the person we are going to work with and vice versa.

After the 3 interviews, we decide whether we want the candidate to join team, looking for everyone involved to agree with the decision.

Pine path

The idea is that each pine has one or more mentors with greater seniority, both in skills and in the company. Together, they define their short and long term objectives to be able to develop professionally, aiming to meet the needs of the person and the company. In addition, this process is useful for salary reviews, discussed below. Based on the objectives achieved, the pine can choose whether or not to propose for a rate increase, associated with personal performance.

Drawing of a person, reflecting and meditating, drawn as if they were inside a tree

Open-book Management

If we want people to be able to make informed strategic decisions and work autonomously, they need to have access to the numbers behind 10Pines. This is why all Roots have access to:

Company numbers

How much are customers charged? How much do we pay for rent? What margin do the projects have? All roots can answer these questions and more.
This information is accessible at all times, and each month at our roots meeting we closely monitor its evolution so that everyone takes it into account in their day to day.

Salaries

From the beginning we wanted to create a healthy environment, where knowing how much someone else earns is not a taboo subject. If salaries are defined fairly and without surprises, there is no need to hide this information.

There are two types of salary increases: by inflation and by growth. The inflationary adjustment takes place at least twice a year and is the same for everyone.
On the other hand, there are 3 growth increase revisions per year, where a group of stakeholders meets to review the salary scale. The group is formed by roots and they switch from meeting to meeting, always trying to include at least one member of each team to have references from their peers.
With the evaluation that each pine has done with their mentor as a starting point, we analyze if the salary is representative of their responsibilities. If a scale adjustment is necessary, an increase is proposed.
This proposal is sent to the Roots group for approval. Until all objections are resolved, it is not released.

Profit sharing

At the end of each fiscal year, we divide a percentage of the company's profit among all the pines.
Over the years we have been developing and iterating together a formula to define how we divide this profit, taking into account factors such as dedication, seniority and the experience of each one.
We believe that this is one of the best ways to foster responsibility and the sense of belonging, where each pine is committed to the management and growth of the company knowing that this has a corresponding reward.

Pine Profile

We are curious by nature; we seek to learn from everything we do, especially the challenges. As a consequence, we are constantly growing and trying to transmit everything learned to the rest of the pines.
With a questioning and proactive personality, we seek to achieve our objectives in the best possible way.
We are very interested in keeping up to date, so we invest time in researching new technologies, attending conferences and meetings of the kind. We also like to spread what we learn, thus many pines are teachers in universities (and many others were their students!) or in the courses we teach.

Drawing of 4 people, gathered around a young tree, looking at it, studying it and encouraging it to grow

Diversity

En 10Pines consideramos que la diversidad es muy importante dentro de nuestra cultura. Como grupo colectivo de personas creemos que ser diversos nos aporta distintas perspectivas junto con una mirada m谩s amplia de nuestro entorno. Esto permite que tengamos muy presentes situaciones c贸mo el techo de cristal, la brecha salarial entre distintos g茅neros y cuestiones de accesibilidad entre otras cosas.


驴Como lo manejamos en 10Pines?

En 10Pines tenemos grupos autogestionados para varias 谩reas, y la diversidad no es la excepci贸n. Sin embargo, desde el momento cero supimos reconocer nuestra falta de experiencia para tratar temas de diversidad y g茅nero, y es por eso que contamos con la ayuda de grupos expertos especializados que nos acompa帽aron en el nacimiento del equipo y su desarrollo. Algunos ejemplos de iniciativas del comit茅 de diversidad son los siguientes


Protocolo de cultura inclusiva y perspectiva de g茅nero

El comit茅 se encarg贸 de armar un protocolo para generar un ambiente comunicativo y donde el respeto sea la roca fundacional. Se propuso entonces una serie de conductas que toda persona perteneciente a 10Pines deber铆a respetar. Algo que se plante贸 tambi茅n fue un protocolo de actuaci贸n ante situaciones ligadas a conductas inadecuadas. Esto permite a las v铆ctimas de estas situaciones tener una v铆a de comunicaci贸n segura para actuar.


Impulsar b煤squedas de grupos minoritarios

Mantener la diversidad es parte de los objetivos de 10Pines. Por esto es que se realizaron y realizan b煤squedas apuntado con la idea de aumentar la inclusi贸n y diversidad dentro de la empresa. Un ejemplo de esto fue la b煤squeda de programadoras mujeres.


Mejorar de accesibilidad como proyecto VNC

Si bien esto no es algo que ocurre dentro de 10Pines existieron proyectos/iniciativas en los cuales trabajamos, por ejemplo, con una persona ciega para mejorar la accesibilidad en determinados sitios. Creemos que de esta forma estamos aportando a no solo generar inclusi贸n dentro de 10Pines si no tambi茅n en otros lugares.


Inclusi贸n como arista de nuestro radar

Anualmente realizamos el "radar" que nos permite tener una mirada hacia la direcci贸n actual de la empresa y enfocarnos en c贸mo queremos mejorarla. Una de las iniciativas para favorecer la inclusi贸n fue justamente incluir como arista (es decir, c贸mo tema a evaluar) la inclusi贸n dentro de la empresa. Esto lo que nos permite es dos cosas: Visibilizar la opini贸n de los pines sobre qu茅 tan inclusivos somos: es decir cada uno de nosotros vota y punt煤a qu茅 tan inclusiva siente que es la empresa actualmente. Fomentar debates y discusiones de c贸mo mejorar el resultado: el siguiente paso es debatir sobre ese puntaje, escuchar opiniones al respecto y detectar posibles mejoras.


Talleres internos

Con la ayuda de equipo externo de Doxa, se realizaron talleres para concientizar a aquellas personas que forman parte de la empresa en materia de equidad, sesgos y micromachismos.

How we work

Our culture is strongly linked with agile methodologies. We work iteratively and incrementally in order to provide, as quickly as possible, valuable and quality software. This methodology allows continuous feedback and changes in the product while it is being built.

Drawing depicting the difference between iterative-incremental and traditional processes

In the picture, we see the difference between the iterative and incremental process and the traditional one. In both cases, the intention is to build a car, but the traditional process begins with the wheels, then the car body, and lastly the final details. It is shown that the client is not satisfied until the last step, since it is only at that moment that they receive a working product. In the iterative and incremental process, on the other hand, development starts with a skateboard, then a scooter, a motorcycle and finally the car. The client's happiness goes up as the product is iterated, because in each step, the skateboard, the scooter and the motorcycle are working products that can be improved along the way.

Image illustrated originally by Henrik Kniberg

We work together with the client and take care of the development completely, coordinating with the business experts to capture the vision of the product and thus achieve the best possible result.
We form teams of pines that combine the skills and experience required; if the client has its own development team, we merge to maintain the same vision. In addition to adding value to their projects, we always aim to improve the quality of their processes.

Communication between teams

Every Friday we make a meeting between all teams, such as the daily standup with each client. The idea is to tell what we were doing during the week, the challenges, good and fun things. Many times, the standup allows new conversations about the new technologies learned, or even some knowledge can be valuable for other teams that are working on something similar.
In addition, internal issues are communicated, such as income from new pines, new training courses and administrative announcements.

No clients Friday

It is a space dedicated to research, talks or any activity that does not involve working for a client. For example, if a person or group of people wants to investigate a new technology, they can agree and put together a project.

In the same way, if someone has a talk they can propose it in this space with the intention that all interested pines attend.

We take half a day every Friday, or a full Friday every two weeks. This fosters the relationship between coworkers, since the groups formed include pines that don't usually work daily on the same project.

Drawing of people building a giant paper tree

Flexible schedule

As many of us are students, teachers or parents, the possibility of home office is available any day of the week. Each organizes their schedules inside and outside the office to their liking, agreeing with their teammates.
We like to always work in a relaxed and motivating environment. That is why the sense of responsibility is extremely important.

Each pine has an assigned dedication, which is the daily average number of hours they commit to work. Anyway, if one day someone cannot meet the agreed amount of hours, they can compensate at another time if they wish, since we have an hourly rate that makes our salary variable.
The hours and tasks performed daily are written down by each person, without any control, in an application that we use for management. At the end of the month, each person's salary is equivalent to the hours they charged.

Retreat

Once a year, we take a day to work on the management and objectives of the company. We check improvement areas, through retrospectives and other activities, working in different groups where ideas and proposals arise to achieve in the short and long term.
This activity not only serves to plan and improve on the management of the company, but it is also an excuse to work together with a common purpose, unlike the daily work that occurs between people of particular teams.

"Many small people
in small places, doing small things,
they can change the world."

Photo of 10Pines team, all gathered during a retreat