Appian exists to simplify what it takes to create business applications that deliver significant value. From our employees to our customers, we believe in empowering talented people to deliver incredible results.
Being passionate about what you do leads to exceptional results.
Appian employees are determined to create impact in everything we do. We are passionate about improving the world through great software, and our customers' success is our fuel. We hold ourselves to high standards and take pride in our output to make our platform simple, fast, and great.
We value innovation and investment in our people by providing opportunities for growth and leadership. Engineers are encouraged to reserve a portion of their time specifically for individual innovation. An example of this is through Indie Time, where engineers can work on projects they are particularly interested in, which aren’t part of their day-to-day work or team's area of focus. Engineers have seized this opportunity and many passion projects turned into product features that weren’t on the original product roadmap!
Our platform drives meaningful impact to our global customer base ranging from Healthcare to Banks and even the Department of Defense. Each of our customers have unique business challenges, and we are passionate about helping them build applications that integrate, automate, and transform the way each of them does business.
Sharing knowledge is critical to the growth of our employees and our company.
Appian Engineering is made up of talented individuals who work on all areas of the product ranging from mobile to full-stack development, from UX design to Quality Engineering, and more. We strive to be on the cutting edge of software at every level of our codebase, so creating an environment that fosters on-going learning and knowledge sharing across all areas of expertise is imperative; there’s always more to learn!
Whether through a department wide Appian Talk or through a Chapter of peers with similar learning topic interests, individuals regularly share their knowledge with their peers. This also gives them the opportunity to hone their presentation skills in a comfortable environment.
Lastly, knowledge is shared through our documentation. Documentation is like working out. It never feels urgent and there's never time for it, but it's essential long-term. So, we make time for updating documentation as part of our focus on Code Health (more on that below).
Our investment in your career growth starts on Day 1.
When you join Appian, you’ll kick-off your first week in our new-hire orientation where you’ll meet new hires from across the globe and across various teams. From there, you’ll begin your Engineering Bootcamp journey. Onboarding to a new company can often be viewed as a daunting task which is why the engineers at Appian have gone out of their way to make the onboarding process as smooth (and as fun) as possible.
Documentation walks you through the necessary setup instructions to be an effective engineer as well as engineering defined and curated courses on the basics for any Appian engineer. Finally, rotations through squads in the department will help you find your perfect match at the intersection of departmental need and your personal, product passions. Before you know it you're committing code to the master repo just like every other Appianite!
After bootcamp, your first six months will be focused on ensuring you become comfortable and productive with your team. People form "Chapters", which are voluntary groups made for people who want to learn something in common. For example, there is a Women in Engineering book club in which the members have recently been learning about how AI can be biased.
Learning Time looks different for everyone, but we believe it's crucial to creating and sustaining a learning culture. We set aside 5% of every person's time for dedicated Learning Time. Our multi-faceted approach to personal career growth gives individuals greater ownership and input into decisions that drive their career aspirations and makes for a more rewarding and happier workplace.
Appian employees have incredible ideas, and we encourage healthy debate to find the best outcome for all.
We believe that the best idea can come from anywhere, and have worked to cultivate a healthy debate culture. In fact, two of our founders were nationally ranked college debaters!
To encourage this, we have intentionally created a relatively flat organizational structure where there aren't many levels between software engineers and management. We also encourage discussion within squads, between squads, and even at the department level.
When Alex Buchholz first joined Appian, he saw an opportunity to improve the way developers influence their backlog. He came up with an idea: the Eat Your Veggies squad, run entirely by developers, for all developers. Alex used a data-driven approach to advocate his idea to leadership and they agreed he was right. The squad went on to analyze build statistics and determined that we needed to prioritize a new cloud-based development experience that would be more reliable than waiting on users' local machines. They implemented the feature in just under 2 weeks and implemented metrics to demonstrate the value that they were able to deliver: cutting build time in half across the department!
Regina Yan had been at Appian for just a few months when she started the grassroots product illustration initiative. She convinced Appian that we needed to focus more on embedding rich illustrations into our product that both showcase company values and enhance the overall user experience. After just 3 releases, Regina's one-woman initiative has grown to include more members of the UX team and has added more than 20 distinct illustrations to the product. You can read more about Regina's journey from idea to implementation in this blog post.
We want everyone to be open to the possibility that someone else's idea is better than their own and believe that good leaders let others change their minds. This is how the best ideas emerge.
We’re stronger when all voices and ideas are heard and shared.
Our code health policy was introduced as a result of developers raising concern for not having enough time to improve our code base. We've moved away from outdated technologies such as struts when people saw that it would improve our product long term, even if the short-term cost of changing the code was expensive.
Leadership also proactively asks for feedback on how to improve the department, whether that is improving our employee satisfaction or our annual roadmap. A Women in Engineering guild was formed to address concerns and provide additional support for women. We have working groups focused on improving additional aspects that employees have voiced to see improvements as well, such as recognition.
Our inclusive environment truly stems from our culture centered around respect. We’ve worked thoughtfully to create opportunities for our team members to interact and engage with peers in a variety of ways outside of their main function. An example of this is our Community Committee -- an employee led group of Engineers that meet biweekly to plan department wide events and initiatives that create opportunities for peers to fulfill our innate human need of belonging. Examples include the annual Engineering Picnic, Trivia Night, and Board Game Night.
As a department we dedicate 15-25% of our planned work to maintaining Code Health.
If a team drops below 15% on their team dashboard, we flag it to make sure their time is being spent appropriately.
During our annual customer conference, Appian World, all of our Product Managers (PMs) travel to the event to present and speak with customers and highlight the latest and greatest Appian has to offer. Without PMs, production might as well grind to a halt, right? Not for our engineers! Appian World means Qualipalooza for the rest of the engineering department. Qualipalooza is a full week dedicated to our code health. Teams decide where their energy and time would be best spent. It could be anything from refactoring code to be more elegant to adding observability tooling to features that let us know when a customer is in trouble before they even call us. At the end of the week, the work is celebrated and presented to the entire department to bring visibility to all the hard work invested in code health and quality. This investment of an entire week of every team's efforts (in addition to the planned, per sprint allotment for ensuring our code quality) is an investment in the stability of the Appian codebase for the next 20+ years of development.
Addressing our technical debt is an important focus for us, but we recognize that it is ultimately secondary to shipping software and keeping our customers happy. We've been shipping code for 20+ years, so we'll always have some tech debt to pay off. But, we know that proactively addressing it is the key to maintaining our software for the future.
Collaboration = Working Together = Shared Success
Having a work culture where everyone around you is willing to drop what they’re doing to help unblock you sounds like a dream, right? Well, that’s our reality. For example, there are established help chat rooms where anyone can ask a question and anyone with the knowledge and a moment to spare will assist you. We pride ourselves in supporting one another across squads, guilds, and even across departments.
Regardless of team or department, we all have a shared mission to change the way businesses operate with our Low-code platform. And our success thus far is all thanks to our passion for collaboration and transparency. Engineering proactively shares our design decisions to the broader organization, and leadership shares updates regarding our annual goals and road map. Other departments throughout Appian regularly update Engineering on what's working well for our customers and what could be improved. We work closely with our Cloud team to improve our cloud infrastructure, Customer Success to build our Workforce Safety and Campus Pass applications and receive feedback on our features, and Marketing for developing content to highlight our newest features.