Three weeks ago we held our quarterly “All-Hands” event where every WP Engine employee travels to our Headquarters in Austin, TX for a week to spend quality time together as WP Engineers. Everyone from San Francisco to Philadelphia gathers for a week of face to face meetings and fun shenanigans that help build relationships and strengthen our company culture as we continue to grow.
While many of our teams are used to working remotely with each other, regularly conducting meetings via phone or Google Hangouts, nothing can really replace a week of face to face meetings and events. It’s important to our culture to have the shared experiences from spending time together as a company in meetings, collaborating on support tickets, and yes, bonding over some of Austin’s delicious food.
The last all hands was in November 2012, and there were about 30 folks at WP Engine. At this All-Hands, we were rounding 50 WP Engineers.
The idea for All-Hands (or All-Hangs, as we like call them) started at the SF WordCamp in 2012. We traveled as an entire company to the WordCamp, and it was a huge experience for us as a company. Jason and Ben led exciting “state of the company meetings,” and we all got to spend quality time co-working and doing support tickets together.
A lot gets done during All-Hands weeks, both from a “making progress on our strategy and tasks” perspective, and also from a “having an awesome company culture” perspective. I’m on the team that spends weeks organizing, and there is a lot of planning that goes into it, but All-Hangs one of my favorite things we do as a company.
Every All-Hands has a big finale. This time around, we planned for everyone to kick back and relax at a video game arcade bar on 6th Street followed by a company-wide dinner at a local landmark, Opal Divine’s. It was a blast to let everyone loose in the arcade to compete against one another. You could tell who the real gamers are!
Of course, we continue to solve support tickets the whole time. You can see in the picture that we’ve got techs set up with their laptops in the arcade, solving tickets while the games go on in the background. We’re always on-duty to solve support tickets!
Then, the whole company set out across downtown Austin on the way to Opal Divine’s for dinner. Imagine 40+ people walking down 6th street at 4PM in the afternoon. There was a surprise before dinner: we got the chance to visit our new office space!
WP Engine has been growing quickly, and we’ve outgrown our office space in the Capital Factory. Inside the new offices, our CEO, Jason, took a few moments to address the team. He talked about how many people we’ve added since our last All Hands, how each and every one of us owns a part of what we’re building. Every time Jason stands up to address the company, he covers something very personal that he believes the company can mean for each of us personally in the years to come. Those talks are always a highlight for us.
This post is about WP Engine’s culture, but it’s probably impossible to sum up a company culture in a blog post or a few photographs. It means something unique to each of us, and we all bring something to the company culture at WP Engine. Culture is something we all focus on and curate. Culture is a big reason I’m proud to be part of WP Engine.
From all of us at WP Engine, thanks for being part of the journey. And, by the way, if all this sounds like something you want to be part of, we’re hiring more people every week. We’d love for you to join the company. Maybe next time your face will be in the All-Hangs photos!
To see more from our week, make sure you check out the rest of the photos on Facebook.