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Leaked Valve Employee Handbook?

PC Gamer reproduces what's purported to be a handbook for new employees at Valve, the privately held video game developer that created Half-Life half a lifetime ago. This appears to be bona fide, and offers additional details and insights on the company's unusual hierarchy and way of conducting business.

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38 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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38. Re: Leaked Valve Employee Handbook? Apr 22, 2012, 21:44 Overon
 
Dev wrote on Apr 22, 2012, 20:19:
Overon wrote on Apr 22, 2012, 09:51:
Reading how Valve does things make me finally understand why "Valve Time" exists. I'm not knocking them though for it.

What I don't understand is why its a surprise? Why is it "finally understand?" Its exactly the stuff they've been saying for years.

I quote them from interviews, and people deny that it can be possible or insist that I must be taking it out of context, yet its right there in the employee handbook.

I've said for a while now that this organizational structure explains a lot of stuff about valve, especially puzzling stuff.
It's a surprise to me because I don't read any Valve interviews really. So I'm ignorant about what they say their work culture is like.
 
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37. Re: Leaked Valve Employee Handbook? Apr 22, 2012, 20:19 Dev
 
Overon wrote on Apr 22, 2012, 09:51:
Reading how Valve does things make me finally understand why "Valve Time" exists. I'm not knocking them though for it.

What I don't understand is why its a surprise? Why is it "finally understand?" Its exactly the stuff they've been saying for years.

I quote them from interviews, and people deny that it can be possible or insist that I must be taking it out of context, yet its right there in the employee handbook.

I've said for a while now that this organizational structure explains a lot of stuff about valve, especially puzzling stuff.
 
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36. Re: Leaked Valve Employee Handbook? Apr 22, 2012, 14:43 killer_roach
 
Beamer wrote on Apr 22, 2012, 11:14:
Yeah, but it makes sense with Valve. They aren't in that industry so they can't train you at all. You have to come in with ideas and training that you don't get in school.

My advantage is that I've self-trained on a lot of stuff, and have done analytical work both as side projects and with my current job. I'm well aware formal education only goes so far, which is why I've actively sought out opportunities to put it into practice.

May have to break out the data sets I've been working on to try to re-familiarize myself with some concepts... not necessarily ones that a company like Valve would need, but if they uncover some interesting trends, then maybe it'll be worthwhile.

(Hmm... considering how much of my independent research has been involving survey data, the prospect of working with the Steam user survey would be interesting. I bet that would be a pretty interesting data set to analyze.)
 
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35. Re: Leaked Valve Employee Handbook? Apr 22, 2012, 11:14 Beamer
 
killer_roach wrote on Apr 21, 2012, 18:10:
Kristian Joensen wrote on Apr 21, 2012, 16:46:
killer_roach wrote on Apr 21, 2012, 16:41:
Dev wrote on Apr 21, 2012, 16:09:
What Is Valve Not Good At?
[...]
Finding and hiring people in completely new
disciplines (e.g., economists! industrial designers!).

I'd add server specialists, UI specialists, etc too.

If they're interested in hiring a tech-savvy economist, they know where to find me.

They ARE looking to hire Economists: http://www.valvesoftware.com/jobs/job_postings.html

*sigh* Yet another posting with the same "four years experience required" BS... really getting annoying for somebody just out of grad school when everyone wants 3-5 years experience for most any position.

Yeah, but it makes sense with Valve. They aren't in that industry so they can't train you at all. You have to come in with ideas and training that you don't get in school.
 
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34. Re: Leaked Valve Employee Handbook? Apr 22, 2012, 10:35 Mangrove
 
Sounds like the type of place, give it 20 years, it will be like the underground society in the film "A Boy and His Dog"  
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33. Re: Leaked Valve Employee Handbook? Apr 22, 2012, 09:51 Overon
 
Reading how Valve does things make me finally understand why "Valve Time" exists. I'm not knocking them though for it.  
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32. Re: Leaked Valve Employee Handbook? Apr 22, 2012, 08:02 Dev
 
Umbragen wrote on Apr 22, 2012, 02:17:
I'm really liking the redo of ThunderCats.
Same. I much prefer that over the couple eps of MLP I've seen, although some of my friends prefer MLP.
 
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31. Re: Leaked Valve Employee Handbook? Apr 22, 2012, 02:24 Prez
 
My experience has been the 'past experience' prerequisite is easily ignored if a candidate is impressive enough. Definitely apply whether or not you meet that particular requirement. I would, but years in the rat race have destroyed my self-motivation. Otherwise Valve sounds like THE company to work for in the gaming biz.  
Avatar 17185
 
Goodbye my Monte boy. May you rest in the peace you never knew in life.
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30. Re: Leaked Valve Employee Handbook? Apr 22, 2012, 02:17 Umbragen
 
I'm really liking the redo of ThunderCats.  
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29. Re: Leaked Valve Employee Handbook? Apr 21, 2012, 22:46 Closed Betas
 
Heh, pathetic attempt at reaching out to new potential employees.
 
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28. Re: Leaked Valve Employee Handbook? Apr 21, 2012, 22:31 Sepharo
 
ViRGE wrote on Apr 21, 2012, 22:28:
RollinThundr wrote on Apr 21, 2012, 13:47:
Edit: holy shit no wonder nothing ever ships.
Indeed. Their management method seems to have a gaping hole: who does the boring work, and how do you decide who gets stuck doing it?

Depends on what you consider boring. They've hired experts for marketing, documentation, PR, etc. Also the handbook mentions contractors and outside help. Outsource the boring bits
 
Avatar 17249
 
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27. Re: Leaked Valve Employee Handbook? Apr 21, 2012, 22:28 ViRGE
 
RollinThundr wrote on Apr 21, 2012, 13:47:
Edit: holy shit no wonder nothing ever ships.
Indeed. Their management method seems to have a gaping hole: who does the boring work, and how do you decide who gets stuck doing it?
 
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26. Re: Leaked Valve Employee Handbook? Apr 21, 2012, 22:02 Dev
 
Sepharo wrote on Apr 21, 2012, 19:51:
Valve just posted this on Facebook.

http://www.facebook.com/Valve
That pretty much confirms its real if valve is posting a link to it on their official facebook page.

Plus, it would take FOREVER to gin up a fake like that, with all original artwork, and everything consistent with valve's vision and communications. Its one thing to take a random company's legalese handbook with copy/paste and replace everywhere the company's name is with VALVE, but to rework it like that? Heck if it is a fake, valve needs to hire the faker

This comment was edited on Apr 21, 2012, 22:14.
 
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25. Re: Leaked Valve Employee Handbook? Apr 21, 2012, 21:57 killer_roach
 
Dmitri_M wrote on Apr 21, 2012, 21:11:
Experience requirements are often designed to cull people who wouldn't apply due to a lack of confidence... apply regardless.

Fair enough. I've been working on some portfolio-type stuff since finishing my Master's, and maybe that will be enough for me. After all, beyond the experience requirements, the job details seem right up my area of expertise (I've mostly been applying for positions as an economist/analyst, an econometrician, or a statistician).

Just frustrating, but at this point, what have I got to lose? Guess I just continue on with my philosophy at this point - "keep sending applications until somebody gives me reason to stop".
 
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24. Re: Leaked Valve Employee Handbook? Apr 21, 2012, 21:13 PHJF
 
Valve is a top-tier gaming company, of course they would want experienced employees.  
Avatar 17251
 
Steam + PSN: PHJF
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23. Re: Leaked Valve Employee Handbook? Apr 21, 2012, 21:11 Dmitri_M
 
Experience requirements are often designed to cull people who wouldn't apply due to a lack of confidence... apply regardless.  
Avatar 22350
 
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22. Re: Leaked Valve Employee Handbook? Apr 21, 2012, 20:52 Krovven
 
killer_roach wrote on Apr 21, 2012, 18:10:
Kristian Joensen wrote on Apr 21, 2012, 16:46:
killer_roach wrote on Apr 21, 2012, 16:41:
Dev wrote on Apr 21, 2012, 16:09:
What Is Valve Not Good At?
[...]
Finding and hiring people in completely new
disciplines (e.g., economists! industrial designers!).

I'd add server specialists, UI specialists, etc too.

If they're interested in hiring a tech-savvy economist, they know where to find me.

They ARE looking to hire Economists: http://www.valvesoftware.com/jobs/job_postings.html

*sigh* Yet another posting with the same "four years experience required" BS... really getting annoying for somebody just out of grad school when everyone wants 3-5 years experience for most any position.

Doesn't mean you shouldn't apply for any job that is asking for experience. You apply anyway and hope for an interview.

 
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21. Re: Leaked Valve Employee Handbook? Apr 21, 2012, 19:55 DG
 
killer_roach wrote on Apr 21, 2012, 18:10:
*sigh* Yet another posting with the same "four years experience required" BS... really getting annoying for somebody just out of grad school when everyone wants 3-5 years experience for most any position.
Congrats on the phd, a great achievement.

But it doesn't prepare you for commercial work. You need to be able to combine academic knowledge with commercial experience in order to put it into relevant context before it's expertise. I'd strongly suggest trying to take a route where there will be someone with working knowledge of your field plus commercial experience who can guide you from the academic environment into the commercial one.

It may be unappealing but large corporate (particularly banks and consultancies) are generally set up for that. It's common for people to leave uni, take the corporate grind for a few years then they get into the position of being able to do what they want.

Smaller companies, well you're looking at reporting to the board on big-money stuff straight off. There's not much room for figuring stuff out, they need someone who can deliver right away. There is the holy grail of smaller companies who specialise in your shit, but holy grails are hard to come by.

Think about it from Valve's perspective - they'd have no idea what you're talking about and you'd have no idea what they really need.

I'm sorry if I'm the one breaking this to you, but a phd doesn't walk you into a $100k+ salary, not unless you're really lucky or did your thesis on some new technique you've figured out for drilling oil or something. It does make the route a lot shorter and will pay off in the long run though.
 
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20. Re: Leaked Valve Employee Handbook? Apr 21, 2012, 19:51 Sepharo
 
Valve just posted this on Facebook.

http://www.facebook.com/Valve
 
Avatar 17249
 
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19. Re: Leaked Valve Employee Handbook? Apr 21, 2012, 19:33 theyarecomingforyou
 
RollinThundr wrote on Apr 21, 2012, 16:17:
HL2 and that series in general (and I know I'm going to get jumped on for this) is one of the most overrated titles ever imo. Portal sucked, Counterstrike sucks, L4D sucks. Much like Blizzard, Valve is right up there in regards to most overrated developers in the industry.
I'm not being funny but what sort of games do you actually rate then? Clearly people enjoy different games but to slate both Valve and Blizzard seems to fly in the face of conventional wisdom, both of fans and critics.
 
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SteamID: theyarecomingforyou
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38 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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