Dev

Twitter & Etsy engineer a developer lovefest, hold the drama

twitter etsy swap

Here’s a sweet little tidbit from the developer world: Twitter and Etsy have worked out an engineer exchange program that will have the two companies trading devs back and forth, all the better for both teams’ growth and development.

It’s like that ABC show Wife Swap, but with developers instead of wives and probably a bit less awkwardness and drama. Probably.

In a post on the program, Etsy engineering VP Marc Hedlund (pictured above) said the swap will help all engineers from both teams absorb the best parts of one another’s culture, work practices, and generally, ” what makes each other tick.”

The swaps will last a week and will send engineers traveling coast to coast from Twitter’s San Francisco digs to Etsy’s Brooklyn headquarters. The devs will go through an accelerated bootcamp/orientation process and then will start pushing code into production.

“It takes a level of trust to let an unknown engineer into the fold, let them sit in on meetings, and make changes to code,” Hedlund writes of the program.

“Of course, some people would be uncomfortable with letting this happen; companies we’ve both worked for would have fits before allowing it. But we believe the value of cross-pollination of ideas and practices is far too high to be blocked by these concerns. While this is an experiment, we’re hopeful it makes both teams stronger, and we’ll be looking for other exchanges to do soon.”

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Twitter and Etsy have similar (read: hipster) cultures already in place and that the companies don’t compete with their products. But Hedlund has make some interesting moves in the past to make Etsy’s engineering team stronger.

In fact, just this past summer, Hedlund championed an effort to create grants to train women in computer science with the end goal of bringing more female engineers into the Etsy fold.

“The company has historically had many very strong and talented women working with us, but not enough of them in Engineering and Operations,” said Hedlund in an exclusive VentureBeat interview at the time. “We felt that we had a better shot at making a meaningful difference on this issue than almost anyone out there, and that in some ways we stood to benefit more, too.”

Top image courtesy of James Duncan Davidson.


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