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Blog posts, Company, Tech | 06/11/2024

The Ledger Way – Chapter One: Culture

Ledger VP of Engineering Carl Anderson focuses on our working culture in the first of three blog posts exploring what it’s like to be an engineer at Ledger. Find Carl on Linkedin here and stay tuned for the next two posts!

At Ledger we want to make managing digital assets easy without compromising on security.

It’s a simple aim but requires a wide spectrum of technology and a team of experts!

We’re building hardware, our own operating system, and apps in C and Rust running on that OS; as well as a full set of applications, services, and SDKs built in React (web and desktop), React Native (iOS & Android), Scala and Python (backend services).

At Ledger, you’re part of the blockchain revolution and everything we build is focused on those pillars; security and ease of use. This makes Ledger a unique place to work due to the decentralized, multifaceted, and immutable nature of blockchains, which deeply impacts how we work.

This series of blog posts will walk you through some of that culture. We’ll explore what it’s like to work for the Ledger tech team: our tech culture, the key team practices we abide by, as well as our key tech practices.

Nothing groundbreaking, and all ingredients are common to all tech native companies, but as always, it’s how you mix them that makes it unique, and my goal is that by the end of these three articles, you’ll have a great overview of how we do things the “Ledger way”.

If not self-custody, then why crypto?

As we say at Ledger: “Not your keys, not your coins”.

The blockchain revolution enables digital ownership and its decentralized nature allows us to go permissionless: you don’t need to ask anyone to access your funds. If you can be independent and own your assets directly, why hand over your keys to another 3rd party?

This is what we mean by self-custody: your keys, your coins. No one should decide for you, certainly not us. At Ledger, we’re self-custody maximalists, we provide our users with the technology to own their digital assets and interact with them freely and securely. 

Want to know more? Here’s a great School of Block episode explaining it all: How to keep your crypto safe | School of Block

Ledger Unplugged

We provide the technology to users to own and manage their digital assets themselves without needing a 3rd party. That freedom extends to all our products and services.

We want our products open and connected to the world. As long as the user is safe, it’s cool for Ledger users to use it with another software wallet, or Ledger Live with other crypto services. We’re building an open tech platform.

Users use our products because they’re great, not because they have to.

Finally, since we’re managing seeds here and loyal to self-custody and permissionless principles, it’s critical that should Ledger disappear, users remain in control of their assets. This notion is at the heart of our systems’ architecture.

Users aren’t the product

Since the birth of the internet, we’ve uploaded trillions of photos and videos to the internet for free. And what business model has allowed this information to be free? Advertising.

Advertising is the internet’s default business model, not because that’s what we want, but because it’s what pays the bills. Right now, the few large corporations that run the most effective ad networks control most of the value on today’s internet. To this purpose, users are tracked and the data is harvested so these networks can serve the right ads and monetize their user base. If you don’t pay for the product, you are the product.

Blockchains provide us with the technology to break away from this paradigm and allow users & content creators to exchange value directly.

As we’re building the new generation of technology powering web3, let’s make sure we protect users’ data and privacy and don’t bring over these bad web2 habits.

More details about what we mean here: Intro to Web3 for beginners | School of Block

Be Humble

We’re not superstars. We’d be nowhere if it weren’t for the team. Engineering is a team sport. As brilliant a developer as one may be, if you can’t work with the team then you don’t belong here. Attitude over aptitude.

Furthermore, it doesn’t stop at Ledger. Everything that we’re doing is thanks to the work of thousands of other engineers throughout the world responsible for building and operating that technology. 

Every day, we’re using technology or principles created by others and we’d be no one without them. That’s why we believe in open source and giving back to the community. Just as the community is helping us, anything useful for others should be shared.

Our mission is to secure web3, not just Ledger users.

Be Proud

We’re humble, yet we’re proud of our work.

We don’t release a feature we wouldn’t show our friends at a party.

We strive for excellence. In our craft and our products, we should be proud of what we do.

Check out our careers page to join our team and catch us again next week for the second installment where we dive into Ledger’s team practices!

Stay in touch

Announcements can be found in our blog. Press contact:
[email protected]

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