At Fermyon Technologies, we have a set of four core values (our CHIP values) that we seek to embed into day-to-day life at Fermyon. We believe these values challenge each of us individually (and all of us collectively) to create the kind of atmosphere that will make us successful. That is, we believe we will be happier, more productive, authentic, and interested in our work (which drives success).
Pioneering the Next Wave of Cloud Computing - that’s the Fermyon vision. We think that a few emerging technologies such as WebAssembly enable a new kind of cloud computing, one that will benefit developers, operators, and SREs. One that will lower the cost of cloud while improving performance. And most critically, in a crowded world of complex cloud offerings, we believe the next wave of cloud can be elegant and even fun to use. We want to build software that people will love.
Curiosity is about asking questions with an aim to improve something. Sometimes the status quo is good enough, but sometimes we can make meaningful improvements. Sometimes there’s a better way to build a project or a better way to avoid certain mistakes. Curiosity is the value that helps us identify those better ways.
At Fermyon, we are interested in asking questions about technologies the industry takes for granted. How do we make developers more productive? How do we speed up the cloud? How do we make cloud technologies more affordable? And we believe in asking questions about our company culture. How do we work better as a team? How do we employ tools to make our conflicts productive and respectful? Given a perceived failure, how do we rebound from that and head toward success?
Curiosity is the value that helps us take an open, adaptive and creative approach when asking those questions.
Aristotle talks about the doctrine of the mean – the idea that any virtue can be taken to unhealthy extremes. The person who embodies a virtue does so by learning the right way to employ that virtue. It’s about balance. Curiosity is a good example of a value that, if taken to either extreme, can be harmful. Lack of curiosity leads to complacency and hubris. But too much curiosity can prevent us from ever achieving our goals. There is a time and place to shelve curiosity in the name of getting things done.
To be humble is to acknowledge the value of those around you. At Fermyon, we are open to change, open to the ideas of others, and open to feedback. We are not afraid—individually or collectively—of being wrong. And consequently, we do not need to feel defensive.
One idea that helps promote humility is the principle of charity. This principle says that when evaluating the ideas and recommendations of others, we first assume that the person has positive intentions, and has also put thought into the idea. The first question one asks using the principal of charity is “how can I understand this idea better?” rather than “how is this idea wrong, misinformed, or defeasible?”
Humility does not mean always backing down or never offering your own views. Humbly assessing the ideas of others may still lead you to believe that your suggestion is the best candidate. And one may still exercise humility while advocating for their own idea. Similarly, to refuse to offer your own ideas does not embody humility, as it does not show respect to those around you. Respecting others, and trusting them, entails sharing without worrying that your idea might not be the final idea.
We view differences as a source of strength. If we all looked, acted, thought, and behaved the same way, we would identify, work on, and solve only a small number of problems. We need diversity in many areas before we can appreciate the breadth of human experience. We need different viewpoints to discover a broad range of problems. We need a breadth of strengths to discover potential solutions. And then we need a breadth of viewpoints to understand if our solution is a good (or even a great) one.
We, as Fermyon, want to represent a broad range of strengths, races, creeds, backgrounds, preferences, viewpoints, and orientations not because it is “politically correct” or legally expedient, but because we acknowledge that we are stronger when we are diverse.
Passion is an enthusiasm to do our best work. We are here at Fermyon because we believe in the vision and the goals. Passion is about applying enthusiasm to that belief. Passion is what gives us the incentive to creatively explore. Passion is what helps us push through the thankless tasks. Passion is what invites the new user, new employee, new community member into our circles. And passion is what motivates us to see our responsibilities through to the end.
As a value, passion plays a second role. It is a barometer. While some days or weeks, life’s circumstances drain us, if we feel like we’ve gone too long without that spark of passion, it is a good moment for questioning, and perhaps a good moment for re-orienting. In this way, we can think about passion as an early warning system for burnout. The Fermyon culture is a culture of shared support. When you are worried that this early warning system is ringing, share with others. Conversely, when others share this burden with you, support them.