Declan Cummings
Head of Engineering

How Our Team Puts Cinder’s Values into Practice

Declan Cummings
Head of Engineering

During interviews, candidates often ask what working as an engineer at Cinder is like. They aren’t asking about our tech stack, which everyone can read about on our jobs page (we’re hiring!) or even how much fun we have - anyone who’s looked at our LinkedIn page can see that we’re a team that enjoys in-person and virtual hangouts. They really want to understand the foundation of our team culture. What sorts of people do we hire, and what kind of team are we building? 

We put our company values – being empathetic, relentless, and intentional – into everything we do. But values without action mean nothing. To describe our team in more concrete terms, we look for the behaviors that support those values.

During our recent company onsite in Nantucket, we had a full-company brainstorming session during which we white boarded specific behaviors that we value in our teammates. We drew direct links between those behaviors and the values of our company. We narrowed them down to a select few, and we’re listing them here.

As a reminder, if these behaviors describe you, head over to our jobs page and consider joining our team.

Cinder is Relentless

We adapt, act fast, learn, and always keep evolving in order to achieve our mission and be one step ahead of the challenges facing our customers.


  1. Passion for our mission: we care about our customers and the online and offline safety of the users they serve
  2. Bias toward action: we do not let perfect be the enemy of good and done
  3. Comfort with discomfort: we run toward challenges, more responsibility, and a broader set of challenges. This is part of working in a startup, and we embrace it.

Cinder is Intentional

We’re focused on our mission and it drives everything we do.


  1. Brutal prioritization: the Trust and Safety industry has a lot of room for tooling improvement, but we manage our resources carefully to provide great improvements in safety and efficiency first
  2. Questioning assumptions and voicing opinions: we welcome healthy debate, and remain open-minded to questioning our own assumptions when it comes to customer feedback
  3. Consideration of impact vs effort: we search for the best way to make the biggest difference for the Trust and Safety teams using Cinder

Cinder is Empathetic

We work to understand the problems of everyone we come into contact with, whether our own team, our customers, or others in the industry. 


  1. Delivering (and welcoming) feedback: we maintain a culture of fast, frequent feedback
  2. Humility: we recognize that we have more to learn from those around us
  3. Support for others: mentorship and teaching are essential steps to scale out our impact and build our team

This is just a start. I’m sure we’ll continue to revisit this list, adding and revising as we learn more about which behaviors contribute to better outcomes for Cinder and our customers. But, I believe it’s important to begin codifying them now. Values and mission statements are great to rally around, but behaviors are what create the right culture and ultimately help push us to delivering what is best for our customers. Articulating behaviors helps hold us accountable to ourselves and to Cinder’s larger mission.