Building a strong startup development culture requires constant adaptation

Most tech startups they were born from a few early engineers who built the company’s initial product. As these early builders work together, they begin to establish a development culture—sometimes intentionally, sometimes not.

On Web summit in Lisbon in November, the two founders discussed the importance of building a developer culture that is distinct from the overall company culture.

According to Shensi Ding, the company’s co-founder and CEO Unite, unified API launch, the early developer ethos is especially important within tech startups, where engineers ultimately control how the product is built and what gets prioritized. She says that her co-founder, CTO Gil Feig, worked from the start to set a positive tone that empowered the team.

«He really instilled in us early on that engineers can decide right from the start that we can do anything. It just depends on how much time you want to dedicate (to a certain task). And we really wanted to instill that in the developer culture early on,” she said.

Ludmila Pontremolez, technical director and co-founder of Zippi, a Brazilian fintech startup, spent some time as an engineer at Square before starting Zippi. She wanted to build a team atmosphere: no matter who wrote the code, everyone is responsible for it. «Any mistake that anyone makes is everyone’s responsibility,» she said. «When something breaks in production, at 1am on a Sunday, it’s probably not going to be fixed by the person who wrote the code, but by whoever is in charge of taking care of the servers at the time.»

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