Great speaking with Karim Fanous, VP of Customer Success at Qumulo. Qumulo began five years ago with 18 engineers and one product manager. Today they have 160 employees with the number of sales people just outpacing the number of engineers.
The nucleus and vision of the company was established by Neal Fachan, Co-Founder and Chief Scientist. Neal was committed to hiring self-driven people and empowering them to self-organize to work on a particular problem or feature.
Today there are nine teams with four to six engineers, one Project Manager, and one Scrum Master. Every team works on one or more features that are built over a few weeks or quarters but are decomposed into two-week increments so the team can get feedback from customers in a timely manner.
The composition of the teams is dynamic. Changes happen infrequently and they are done within reason.
The technical engineers don't have someone telling them what to do. Each team designs, plans, develops and tests the features.
Qumulo fails fast when hiring with non-technical skills being as important as technical skills. Engineers at Qumulo are able to communicate, collaborate, are active owners empowered to fix problems, empowered to do the right thing, and "get stuff done."
Karim is confident that self-driven, motivated individuals build better products. They don't need to be motivated since they are owners of the business. Also, not needing to hire managers saves a lot of money. Also, the compelling work environment enables Qumulo to compete for talent in the very challenging Seattle market.
While this model may not work for every company or even every division within Qumulo, it works for the developers and engineers who are developing higher quality code in less time.