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Our SilverStripe Culture (from a newbie's perspective)

Diversity and inclusion are two key values for us here at SilverStripe and which Tamara Buckland, one of our Development Managers, is highly passionate about. This is her perspective on what makes SilverStripe culture so special.

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Company culture is an integral piece of any company and is the number one thing I look for when researching a new company to join.

As a Development Manager at SilverStripe, our culture isn’t just a core part of my day to day focus, it’s also a huge passion of mine and something that I’d love to share my thoughts on with you all.

I’m gonna go ahead and dive into some core reasons why I think the SilverStripe culture is special and why I think it’s important for us to always put energy and focus into it.

Core values

A while back, some key members of the SilverStripe team, put together some core value statements based on values that were already living within the company, to help induct new staff and to retain these in our culture. What I really liked about this process was that the people who got together to write these statements down were voted in by other staff members as people who they thought best embodied the SilverStripe values and culture. I think this was the key to ensuring that our statements really connected with everyone in the team and weren’t just there for show.

I love walking around the office and observing these values being lived everyday. You see them coming to life when you overhear robust and honest conversations taking place in the office, leading to great outcomes for our customers and building trust between colleagues. You also see it when our development teams take on the often challenging task of completely changing the approach to a project at the very last minute and the way they work with their clients to achieve that.

I’m not saying we’ve got this nailed, as I believe there is even more we can achieve in this space, but there are so many examples of where we do these well and I’m proud to be a part of that.

Focus on Diversity and Inclusion

I’m really passionate about Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) and I’m so pleased to see that SilverStripe is too. For SilverStripe, our main focus is on building an inclusive culture, one that makes sure we’re set up to support all our people and provides safety for people to truly be themselves.

With an inclusive work environment in place, we are in a stronger position to hire for more diversity and make sure all staff can thrive when they’re here.

So what are we doing to build an inclusive workplace currently?

  • We’ve formed a committee, dedicated to D&I, comprised of SilverStripers who were voted in by their peers. This group has been recently formed and are exploring their new role and I’m excited to work with them to build strategy in this space.
  • We’re participating in company-wide unconscious bias training, to start our journey to mitigating bias in our processes and culture.
  • We’re forming tighter frameworks for promotion in the developer space to help eliminate unconscious bias.
  • We’re putting together a Code of Conduct which will help us set clearer expectations around behaviour and help us create safety and inclusivity in our workplace.

As our committee and leadership teams kick off the new year, we’ll be focusing more energy into the D&I space and coming up with more strategies to compliment what we’re currently doing.

As a company, we’re still finding our voice and stance in some of these areas and I can guarantee we will make mistakes from time to time. The thing I love is that we have people who genuinely care about D&I and want to continue to focus on doing better and learning from our mistakes. And as part of the wider tech industry, it’s absolutely vital that we are part of the global solution toward mitigating/eliminating bias and encouraging diversity in our teams.

We’re always learning

One of my favourite things about working for SilverStripe is our commitment to the development and learning of all staff. I love that my job exists to focus on our developers’ career development and upskilling and it’s something that we take really seriously.

We have dedicated Hack Days where staff are encouraged to spend time working on interesting projects where they can learn something new,  expand their skill base and have fun, often on projects that benefit our community and company. I’m currently spending my hack days learning to code!

We also have dedicated leave days for attending conferences and budgets for people to attend relevant training and conferences.

Our mentoring programme includes external mentors who come in to help with specialist knowledge and underpinning this is a willingness to share knowledge and upskill our colleagues every day. I particularly love our ‘Community of Practice’ events which include lunchtime sessions (with lunch included, yay!) where people can get up and teach us some cool things they know about and other forums where teams can share learnings from their recent projects. There are probably even more learning avenues that I’m still not even aware of!

What I’ve listed above is probably just a small representation of what my colleagues will think makes our SilverStripe culture special and over time, I’m sure I’ll have more to add to the list. We’ve also got so many opportunities to improve upon this and I’m really looking forward to working with my team to do this work. For me personally, I’m particularly excited about helping the company continue to evolve and actively work on their Diversity & Inclusion strategy. Bring it on!

If you’re interested in putting some of these things in place at your work, here are some of my favourite resources:

Are you interested in becoming a SilverStriper? We are always on the hunt for talented people! So please visit our careers page and look at the job openings available. 

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About the author
Tamara Buckland

As one of SilverStripe's development managers, Tamara's role is to ensure our people thrive by championing our company culture and values, and providing individual support and development to team members.

Her background in small business ownership, service design and change management has been focused on helping people thrive and get the most out of their careers.

Tamara enjoys archery, opera singing and board gaming, and is an avid collector of tough stickers (tattoos).

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