I’d just like to take a moment to point out that this email was the most urgent email that I, as an engineer, received this week. I think it’s important for me to reflect on this because I have been in organizations where panic and urgency are a commodity, and I’ve felt severely frustrated when my ability to solve problems was valued lower than my willingness to stay until 1AM and pull my hair out in an all-hands “war room” (all of which were unproductive).
Instead, Tumblr gives me the challenges I need to create urgency and drive for myself, by constantly presenting complex, high-scale, real-world problems to sink my teeth into. I might still pull my hair out or stay up late working on something, but it’s because I really believe in it, and I want it to succeed. What I do for this quirky little corner of the internet is intensely satisfying, and the motivation for everyone here is based on chasing that satisfaction and achievement. It’s a ton of carrot, and hardly any stick.
I tend to be so busy at Tumblr, not only developing but also blogging, that I can forget how much I appreciate the culture and environment here (and the people, holy crap). It’s good to take a step back and have a look at where you spend most of your hours every day. I’m glad I get to spend most of my hours at Tumblr. Everyone here “gets it”, and until you know what it’s like to wade through a sea of people who don’t, you’ll never know how great it feels to finally come home.