Shared values can make the difference for your engineering team
- Publish Date
- Cathy Colliver
Sometimes folks ask us, “What’s the Test Double way of doing software development?”
We get it. Many consultants have a set way of doing things. They strictly adhere to that approach, whether your team wants to follow it or not.
That’s not us. We meet teams where they are—tech, tools, or comms. We’re fans of “little a” agile, but we’re also not dogmatic.
To understand what shapes a company, inspect what drives them as an organization, a culture, and a team. It’s often a combination of mission and values applied in day-to-day behaviors. When all of this comes together, we call it building great teams.
There are some key things that shape how we approach each client engagement. Our clients often tell us this approach helped improve things for their team bit by bit.
That bit by bit slow drip is important, because change is often hard. It emerges in the details, like ripples on a pond. The little things that evolve over time and shape your team’s culture, processes, and approach.
Test Double doesn’t push a specific way of doing things. Instead, we apply shared values in our day-to-day work.
Our values are a big part of our culture, and they inform:
- How we show up as humans
- How we show up at a 100% remote workplace
- How we show up on client engagements
- How we solve the hardest problems
We also think these values help us make a difference in our mission to improve how the world builds software. That sounds high falutin’ but it’s the through line: great teams align on mission, values and culture.
Our experienced engineers become extensions of client teams and help everyone do their best work around shared values, so they can solve the hardest problems together. We want more engineering teams to embrace values applied as the way to build both great software and great teams.
Test Double values in action
The last time I hired TD, their devs had a production commit by end of day one and were completing stories just like staff by end of week one.
— Trek Glowacki, Popular Pays
We serve others
Working with consultants can be frustrating. It often amounts to one of two scenarios:
- Okay, here’s the problem, good luck fixing it!
- Okay, here’s the code we built wholly apart from your team, good luck maintaining it!
We flip that around. Engineering team leaders get additional high-quality, reliable senior developers, without having to manage them day to day. We embed with their teams, contribute early, and jump into hard problems without a second thought. And knowledge transfer is always top of mind, so teams can confidently maintain things well after we’re gone.
Hot take: just have Test Double build all your stuff.
— Eileen Uchitelle, GitHub
We are owners
We are all literal employee owners at Test Double. But this value is also about owning and solving the problems we’re closest to. Whatever it is you need, we’ll get in there to figure out what’s what, including root causes. We observe, seek understanding, and then share things to try.
Give Test Double your hardest problems to solve.
— Edward Kim, Gusto (Read the case study)
We are principled
When we talk to potential clients, if something’s not in our wheelhouse, we’re honest about that and recommend someone else. Our senior software consultants examine the whole problem to solve tough challenges. We share considerations on short-term gain vs. long-term cost, so leaders can make better decisions.
Since engaging Test Double, attrition has gone down and morale has gone up. It was a really easy discussion with my finance team to explain why we wanted to keep working with you all.
— Katelyn Stein, Betterment
We are inclusive
We’re committed to an environment of allyship, equitable treatment, diversity, and support. We’re on our own journey to improve these things at Test Double. And we try to model examples for the broader industry. We apply this mindset and our code of conduct in everything we do. If we’re not living up to something, we correct that.
Test Double delivered a performance that in one case doubled our throughput … Steve continues to see around corners—identifying gaps in our architecture, proposing and implementing new approaches. I couldn’t imagine this project succeeding without his technical leadership.
— Dan Carroll, Clever (Read the case study)
We are always improving
Learning and continuous improvement are where we most often align with clients. But making that happen in practice can be hard. Day-to-day development work brings with it a lot of potential distractions. We focus on amplifying the efforts of the teams we embed with. Small ripples like pairing to help folks level up can lead to big change over time.
Values lived make an impact
Our mission to improve how the world builds software is audacious. But when we apply our values to help clients build great software and great teams, it feels like we’re making an impact. One ripple at a time.
So, if you’re asking … that’s the Test Double way.
If that’s aligned with your company, and you could use some help to accelerate delivery, renew your legacy system, upgrade critical frameworks, launch greenfield developments, or scale the right way, give us a holler.
We’ll continue to share examples of how we apply values in our day-to-day work, and how they make software and teams better.