Code Academy is an intensive, 9-month program software school that teaches beginners how to code--and they're the best at what they do. They're a rapidly growing company that's working hard to keep the team tight-knit while their team and revenue explodes. We're huge fans of the folks at Code Academy because they’re builders, and on top of that, their mission is to empower others to create.
Google Snippets as a service, to give everyone a high-level view of the company
When a company grows as quickly as Code Academy currently is growing, it becomes more and more difficult for individual team members to get perspective on the company as a whole. Individuals within the company add tons of value every day, but with limited information of those accomplishments, it can be difficult to realize that value and get comfortable on how to move forward.
In some companies, that means that an individual’s daily wins can go unacknowledged and the company’s decision making amounts to guesswork. I’m reminded of what artist Tom Sachs has said: "Half of your job in this studio is doing your work, the other half of your job is communicating that it’s been done."
In search of a solution to this problem, founder and CEO of Code Academy Neal Sales-Griffin learned about an internal tool they use at Google, called Google snippets.
Once a week at Google, everyone gets a email asking what they did last week and what they're going to do this week. Just reply to the email and it gets recorded in the system. The next day, everyone in the company receives an email digest that shows everyone's weekly progress and goals.
It's an incredibly simple system that's been a powerful way to drive productivity and transparency within Google, even as its company as grown from hundreds of people to tens of thousands. It gives everyone a high-level view on everything that's happening in the company.
With iDoneThis, I sleep better at night.
Because the Code Academy team is a team of builders, it makes perfect sense then that after they heard about the concept of Google snippets, their first instinct was the build the product themselves. They went from the thought, “man, I wish there was an app for that," straight into action.
The team spent a day rolling their own solution, but the next day, Code Academy CEO Neal Sales-Griffin did a little bit of googling and found iDoneThis. We’re especially flattered, knowing full well the Code Academy team’s ability to create awesome software, that they found that iDoneThis was “exactly what they needed."
Just like Google snippets, iDoneThis works over email and it's incredibly lightweight and easy to use.
After using us for a few weeks, Neal described the impact of getting his team’s daily status updates in stark terms. He put it simply: "I sleep better at night."
The toughest part of doing a startup is the emotional roller coaster. When you have a great team that gets stuff done like the guys at Code Academy do, then daily status updates turn into an affirmation and celebration of the team’s progress. And that's vital for them to work together as a cohesive team, even as they grow.