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My reflection at Culture Amp

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This month marks my one-year time with Culture Amp. Culture Amp is a tech company based in Melbourne, Australia that builds an employee feedback platform. The Culture Amp platform helps companies to collect, understand and act on their employee feedback to develop a Culture-First company. I still remember when I joined the company as an intern while I’m still finishing my Master of Information Technology course at The University of Melbourne.

It’s been a great experience since then, where I learn a lot about real-world data science applications, and organizational psychology and experienced directly the time when the company is in its hyper-growth without losing its core values. This month is the end of 2018, and within this post, I’d like to take a bit of reflection on my experience at Culture Amp and share an exciting plan that I’m looking forward to in 2019


I joined Culture Amp (CA) on December 2017 as an intern data engineer. At that time I still have one more semester before the completion of my Master of Information Technology course at The University of Melbourne. I apply to Culture Amp through the Tin Alley Beta internship program. The whole process happened quickly, from the time I submit my application, came for an interview with Budhi (former Lead Data Scientist) and Josh (People Scientist) and got accepted into the company.

My internship at Culture Amp lasts for three months during summer break. There are several projects that I get involved with during this time. The first project that I worked on is building a prototype tool to visualize CA survey benchmark data. Culture Amp platform has huge data from surveys conducted by their customer. From this survey data, CA generates a benchmark to compare the level of engagement from various companies from different types of demographics. The tools that I built, aggregate all of this data and represent it nicely with filtering capability so that a user can slice and dice the information quickly. Within this project as well, I learn about using D3js with React, to build a custom bubble chart visualization to visualize user comments from the survey based on the sentiment analysis and volume of the comments. Another thing that I learned from this project was, setting up a Flask project to build a RESTFul API. I continue working on this project as I graduated to part-time work with CA and it’s used to represent CA benchmark data at the Culture First conference in the US.

Benchmmark Exploration Tool Comment Visualisation Global Engagement Score Distribution

Another project that I worked on during my internship time is still related to Benchmark data. I help to refine the user interface for the existing tool for generating benchmark data. This tool has been built by another engineer on my team. This is a tool that’s used by People Scientists to create engagement benchmark data for different demographics. In this project, I got a chance to refine the UI and improve the UX of the tools.

Collective Intelligence Team

After finishing my internship, I got an offer to keep continue working with Culture Amp. During this time as well, the team that I’ve been working with has transitioned and changed their name from the DataLab team to the Collective Intelligence team. This transition aligned with the goal of the company, to leverage a large amount of inspiration content created by our customers and use it to generate more inspiration in the platform. As background info, inspirations are a collection of ideas that Culture Amp people scientists/customers created to make an action as a result of an insight that companies get from the survey. In this team, I worked on a project that helps people scientists harvest new ideas from the inspiration corpus and curate that content.

I worked part-time for about six months until I graduate from university. This period was a tough time for me because I need to finish my master's thesis project while working part-time with one year old son. But accepting a part-time role at Culture Amp has been my best decision so far. Culture Amp offers flexibility that I haven’t experienced in any other companies that I’ve worked with before. I can negotiate the load of work that I’m able to take every week and most of the time my team leader will agree to that. I also have an outstanding mentor at Culture Amp, and he helps me to adjust myself to the company and guide me through what opportunity are available for me in the company and how can I grow as an individual.

New Frontier Camp

Three months lead to the end of the new year, Culture Amp rolled out a new team structure for a product group. It’s similar to a tribe in Spotify, at Culture Amp they call it Camps. The idea is, there are five big camps, and within each camp, there will be small teams that own specific modules in the platform. Those five camps represent big modules that Culture Amp has in the platform (Collect, Understand, Act). In addition to that, there’s also Amplify camp that has a function to serve others by building a set of tools/foundations to speed up other team's development processes. Lastly, the New Frontier camp, it’s the camp where new ideas are incubated and tested. After spending several months at a Collective Intelligence team, this is the camp where I end up, officially in my one year in the company.

Imagine a startup accelerator, that’s what New Frontier camp looks like. The mission of this camp is to bring new ideas to the company, incubate and test it (by talking to our customers / potential customers) so that new ideas will become a new source of revenue for the company. In this camp, we try to implement several methodologies such as Lean Startup, and Design Sprint to quickly test an idea and decide whether or not the idea is worth exploring further. A lot of what we’re doing in this camp also comes from The Startup Way book written by Eric Ries. The idea of having an internal startup within the company is what makes me interested to move from the CI team and join this camp.

2019 and beyond

Enough reflection on my time last year at Culture Amp. This month has a couple more weeks left before it ends itself and the year 2018. So many things experience happened throughout the year, many things I learned, and there will be so much more in the upcoming year. I’m looking forward to 2019 as there will be more exciting things me and Culture Amp will do. If you feel challenged and think it’s time to try something new, Culture Amp always hires the best people out there. Please reach out to me or see what opportunities we have.