December 28, 2023

Engineering Culture at Leading Tech Companies: 6 Bright Examples

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Henry Ford once said: “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is a success.” This quotation rightfully emphasizes the importance of engineering culture.

Even a brilliant idea may fail if not implemented correctly, while harmonious teamwork can bring a project to success and a whole company – to steady growth. The key is to establish great relationships within your tech teams.

How to develop a strong engineering culture within your company. We’ll seek the answers by exploring the essence of successful teamwork, the fundamental steps to build it, and the brightest examples of tech.

What is engineering culture?

Engineering culture encompasses the shared values, convictions, practices, and behaviors within an organization or team. It shapes the overall approach to work, including communication, problem-solving, decision-making, innovation, and more. A favorable culture creates a conducive foundation for creativity, self-improvement, and effective collaboration. It raises productivity and contributes to the team’s success.

Characteristics of a successful engineering culture

Business leaders striving to build a prominent engineering company culture should focus on achieving a favorable working atmosphere where the staff members recognize their role in the overall success. Below is a list of values that characterize thriving IT teams in numerous organizations:

  • Communication. A positive culture nurtures open communication, sharing knowledge and ideas, and providing feedback. Such an environment encourages the teams to strive for excellence and spurs innovations.
  • Continuous learning. Companies with the best engineering culture focus on skill development and self-improvement, promoting a supreme role of curiosity and the adoption of new technologies and methodologies.
  • Empowerment. Another feature of a strong engineering culture is granting the team members autonomy and responsibility. This approach demonstrates trust and welcomes independent, fresh decisions.
  • Customer-centric approach. Placing consumers at the center of all engineering decisions creates an appropriate mindset within the team. It allows companies to deliver solutions that perfectly meet or exceed consumer expectations.
  • Agility. Adequate response to changes is vital in today’s business world. Flexibility and adaptability to the rapidly altering environment define the winner in the competitive software engineering world.
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Benefits of a successful engineering culture

Companies exercising a positive engineering culture can achieve the following advantages:

  • Creativity and innovation. The robust engineering culture amplifies creative approach and innovation, spurring the team members to come up with fresh ideas. This way, engineers can build more efficient solutions according to consumer demands.
  • Employee satisfaction. A prominent company culture leads to higher employee satisfaction, which, in turn, helps attract and retain more talent. When employees feel appreciated, they will likely open their full potential and increase their input into attaining the company’s goals. Furthermore, such a culture supports team members’ professional growth and development, contributing to their long-term success and career advancement.
  • Enhanced operations. The culture of agility and adaptation optimizes processes, removing redundant jobs and facilitating effective task distribution.
  • Happy customers. Ultimately, a positive engineering culture leads to higher satisfaction of the client’s needs. Motivated teams produce better products that meet and anticipate demands, bringing greater customer value.

How to build a strong engineering culture

To set up a winning engineering culture, a company needs to take several essential steps to shape the team’s values, attitudes, and practices. Here’s a roadmap:

  • Formulate core values. Identify the fundamental values guiding employee behavior and all internal processes according to the organization’s mission.
  • Establish strong leadership. Ensure that leadership supports the desired engineering culture and the leaders epitomize the identified values.
  • Implement transparent communication. Develop a communication strategy that consistently delivers the importance and benefits of the desired culture to the entire team.
  • Invest in training. Training programs are vital for engineers to enhance technical and soft skills, promoting continuous learning and professional development.
  • Foster collaboration. Take care of an environment that encourages open communication, knowledge sharing, and an overall positive atmosphere.
  • Ensure recognition and rewards. Praise your employees by rewarding behaviors that align with the desired culture. This way, you will amplify valuable contributions.
  • Empower your team members. Grant your staff autonomy and responsibility, allowing them to make their independent decisions and bring meaningful inputs.
  • Implement feedback mechanisms. Regular feedback among the team members and management reinforces transparency and facilitates steady improvement.
  • Promote innovation. Create an environment that nurtures experimentation and innovation, urging team members to find creative solutions to existing challenges.
  • Celebrate success. Honor achievements and milestones, acknowledging the efforts of the engineering team. Make your colleagues feel appreciated.

Companies with the best engineering culture

Let’s explore several organizations that can serve as remarkable engineering culture examples.

Amazon engineering culture

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The outstanding features of Amazon’s culture include innovation, a customer-centered approach, and a relentless focus on long-term value. Here are key characteristics that help Amazon implement and sustain a strong engineering culture:

  • Leadership principles. Amazon sticks to 16 Leadership Principles, which serve as the foundation for all actions. These principles, including “Customer Obsession,” “Ownership,” and “Invent and Simplify,” guide the behavior of every team member. For instance, the principle “Invent and Simplify” encourages employees to bring extraordinary solutions, while avoiding excessive complexities. Learn more about Amazon’s approach to logistics that helps the company excel in order shipping.
  • Customer obsession. The client is at the center of everything in the company. Teams conduct all their activities with customers in mind, ensuring that all ideas align with their demands.
  • Autonomous decision-making. Amazon empowers staff to make decentralized decisions. This approach promotes flexibility, enabling teams to move quickly and experiment with new ideas.
  • Long-term goal-setting. The company prioritizes long-term thinking over short-term gains. This is Amazon’s path to bold investments in innovation and infrastructure that may take years to pay off.
  • Working backwards. This approach derives from Amazon’s customer obsession. Product development in the company starts with a “working backward” process. This means that engineers primarily define the customer experience and then work backward to build the technology and processes required to deliver that experience.

Google engineering culture

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Google is another example of a robust engineering culture, distinguished by innovation, collaboration, and tech advancements. Google’s outstanding culture relies on the following pillars:

  • Innovation and moonshots. Google facilitates a culture of innovation, focusing on ambitious projects known as “moonshots.” Thus, Google X, the specified experimental research division, works on moonshot projects, such as self-driving cars and internet-delivering balloons. This ethos spurs engineers to think big and strive for groundbreaking ideas.
  • 20% time. The concept of “20% time” is the proprietary method by Google that allows engineers to devote a portion of their workweek to personal projects or initiatives beyond their primary responsibilities. This perspective enhances creativity and multiplies valuable ideas.
  • Cross-functional collaboration. Cooperation is central to Google’s engineering culture. Engineers work closely with cross-functional teams, including product managers, designers, and data scientists, reinforcing holistic problem-solving.
  • Agile development. Google exercises agile methodologies, driving flexibility and adaptability in response to changing demands. This practice enables teams to make quick revisions and deliver products that meet user needs. Discover more software development methodologies.

Netflix engineering culture

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Netflix’s distinctive engineering culture is based on innovation, freedom, responsibility, and a commitment to attracting top talent.

  • Freedom and responsibility. Netflix allows its engineers to make decisions and take ownership of their projects, facilitating accountability and creativity.
  • Cultural values. The company has established a set of cultural values, including fair judgment, communication, and innovation. These values guide employee behavior, attitudes, and working processes.
  • Innovation. Netflix nurtures an atmosphere of innovation where teams have the power to explore new ideas and take calculated risks. In the rapidly evolving industry, the innovation mindset is crucial to stay on top.
  • High performance. Netflix aims to hire high-performing specialists and create a conducive environment for them to thrive. The company prioritizes excellence and urges employees to reach new heights.

Facebook engineering culture

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Facebook, now Meta, is focused on innovation, collaboration, and a user-centric approach in its culture. Its core elements include:

  • Hacker culture. A “hacker culture” encourages creative problem-solving and a hands-on approach to challenges. This approach drives innovation through continuous experimentation and learning.
  • “Move fast and break things”. This motto reflects Facebook’s willingness to take risks and react promptly to changes. While the specific phrase has evolved, the underlying principle of rapid iteration and experimentation remains.
  • Focus on impact. Facebook urges its engineers to focus on the effect of their work. The company values initiatives that can benefit billions of users, and employees are encouraged to initiate projects that make a difference.
  • Innovation hubs. The company establishes innovation hubs, such as its famous Menlo Park campus, to inspire creativity and collaboration. These spaces are crafted to facilitate leisure interactions and idea exchange.

Apple engineering culture

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The iconic tech giant exercises a prominent engineering culture characterized by innovation and a continuous pursuit of design excellence.

  • Design-centric philosophy. Apple approaches design as the cornerstone of the engineering culture. The company creates a strong visual and functional identity, emphasizing elegant and user-friendly design as a fundamental part of its products.
  • Collaborative product development. Apple follows the development process where hardware, software, and design teams work in synergy to attain perfect integration throughout all stages of product development.
  • Brand loyalty and identity. Apple’s engineering culture emphasizes the creation of products that amplify brand loyalty. As a result, all Apple products feature a distinct identity and style.
  • Iterative design process. Apple products undergo multiple iterations to achieve the desired level of refinement. Thanks to this practice, the company has gained a reputation for meticulously designed and engineered products.

Spotify engineering culture

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Spotify’s priorities include a dynamic and collaborative engineering culture that relies on innovation, autonomy, and superior user experience.

  • Agile development. The agile methodologies, including the “Spotify Model”, promote cross-functional teams, swift iterations, and the maximum user value.
  • Squads, tribes, and guilds. Teams at Spotify are organized into “squads,” small, interconnected groups that work on specific aspects of the product. Each squad carries its autonomy and responsibility. Squads are part of larger structures called “tribes” and “guilds.” Tribes combine related squads, fostering collaboration, while guilds are cross-cutting groups that share knowledge and best practices.
  • Innovation days. Regular “Innovation Days” tradition encourages engineers to work on projects beyond their job duties. This approach drives creativity and experimentation.
  • Fail-fast mindset. A fail-fast mentality entails experimenting and making quick lessons from failures. This way, Spotify nourishes a culture of continuous improvement.

Engineering culture in Coreteka

For over seven years of successful engineering experience, Coreteka has become a reliable software innovations partner for leading companies globally. However, tech expertise and experience are only part of the assets that make our team stand out. Coreteka’s articulate engineering culture is what makes it much more than a software developer.

We do not merely solve technical assignments by creating code. We address the strategic business tasks for our customers. How can we implement such a comprehensive approach? Coreteka’s top management has vast work experience in leading positions in logistics, retail, agrifood, and more. Keen domain expertise allows our professionals to identify core pain points in specific sectors and suggest feasible solutions.

Our teams exercise an agile development approach and maintain a collaborative atmosphere. We encourage regular client feedback and conduct internal meetings to discuss our challenges and opportunities. All team members are welcome to share their experiences and ideas.

Take a closer look at Coreteka’s events for the team.

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FAQ on engineering culture

🔴 What is a strong engineering culture?

An engineering culture spans the shared values, convictions, practices, and behaviors shaping the atmosphere within an organization. It constitutes the overall approach to the working process, including communication, problem-solving, decision-making, innovation, and more. A strong engineering culture creates a favorable foundation for creativity, self-improvement, and effective collaboration. Ultimately, it raises productivity and contributes to the team’s success.

How do you build a good engineering culture?

The fundamental steps to building a strong engineering culture include formulating core values, establishing solid leadership, ensuring transparent communication, continual training of your personnel, empowering your team members with autonomy and responsibility, fostering innovation, and celebrating success. Apart from these, each organization can invent its own methods to contribute to a conducive and inspiring working environment.

🔴 What are the elements of a great engineering culture?

The primary elements of a successful engineering culture include open communication, continuous learning, delegating autonomy and responsibility, a customer-focused approach, and quick adaptability to changes. Enrich these practices with your unique approaches to create a one-of-a-kind collaborative framework.

Why is culture important in engineering?

A favorable working environment where the staff members recognize their role in the overall success is crucial for an organization to thrive. Such an approach spurs creativity and innovation within the organization, attracts outstanding talent to join the company, and perfectly satisfies the client’s needs. 

🔴 What company has a strong engineering culture?

Prominent global engineering culture examples include companies like Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Spotify, and more. There are also remarkable industry players of smaller sizes. A strong engineering culture benefits organizations of all sizes and their clients alike. 


A favorable engineering culture is vital for the company’s long-term growth. It helps companies build a conducive framework, spurring collaboration, innovation, effective decision-making, and continual pursuit of excellence.

With a wealth of companies globally that implement a successful engineering culture, replicating their practices would hardly work. An organization should shape its own unique mission based on its capacities and strengths and derive its exquisite values.

Coreteka combines technical excellence with solid domain knowledge and promotes a collaborative environment where every employee is rewarded for their input. The focus on finding the optimal solution to client’s needs helps us continually improve and innovate.

Contact us to discuss your project with the tech and domain experts.