I've worked with SUSE for over 15 years as an engineer. In that time, there have been many changes and nearly all of them were handled proactively and with input from everyone. There's a very strong corporate culture that actively discourages the political games found in many companies. We have problems to solve and try to find the best and most efficient ways to solve them.
Despite ownership changing three times since 2000, the SUSE corporate culture has remained strong and, in many cases, has had an effect reshaping the culture of the parent companies. We're committed to shipping open source products and active involvement in the communities surrounding the projects we depend on is a huge part of working for SUSE.
Working for one company for a long time has become relatively rare in the tech world but is pretty common for SUSE. There is very low turnover. That combined with a strong corporate culture means that we've been able to handle a lot of growth recently pretty effectively.
Engineering leadership comes from engineering. Team leads are generally promoted from within the team they lead and are expected to be retain some involvement in the code. Our President of R&D has Linux kernel commits!
Historically, since there hasn't been a lot of turnover, there also haven't been a lot of opportunities for advancement into the management track. That's changing somewhat as we grow again.
Advice to Management
Keep doing what you're doing. The SUSE culture is a big win. When I describe it to friends and family, they're invariably impressed.
I have been working at SUSE part-time (More than 3 years)
- One of the most experienced Free/Open Source Software companies in the world (>22 years)
- Meritocratic culture where everyone's ideas are valued
- Emphasis on technical excellence
- Management chain is transparent, accessible, and not too deep
- Superb product portfolio
- Company currently exhibiting healthy growth
SUSE culture is often a bit too reticent to announce accomplishments, so certain areas of the market are not as aware of SUSE products/services as they should be.
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