Resources Blog Living six months of core values

Living six months of core values

Like many of our customers, we're a fast-growing company. Growth is exciting – we more than doubled our product portfolio in the past 18 months. With these new products, we continue to develop our market and ultimately help developers innovate faster at scale.

And we found ourselves wondering, as we grew from a company of 10 employees to over 500: Who are we?

So, we began an initiative to explore who we are today and who we aspire to be. We assembled an Advisory Board, a group of Sonatype team members from across the organization who volunteered their time and effort to contribute to this important initiative through a series of cross-functional focus groups. After much discussion and debate, we landed on four core values:


We launched these values at the beginning of 2022 and have been focusing on living them every day. Now that they've taken hold throughout the company, we're excited to share them with you today.


Understanding our values

Sonatype's core values are both foundational and aspirational. They are true to both the culture of Sonatype as a startup, the company we are today, and the company we want to grow into. Trust Through Transparency & Accountability is a great example of this: in our early days, it was easy to be transparent about projects, performance, and overall strategy; however, as we scaled, we lost some of the transparency of a company of 10 employees. It is now a focus area of our leadership team to live up to our value of transparency through a continuous stream of communication with employees.

Our values are also progressive: they build upon one another to culminate in a final outcome: the growth of individuals, customers, and the company. Trust Through Transparency & Accountability is our foundation. As a majority remote company, we cannot function without trust. With that foundation, we can expand beyond ourselves to Embrace Inclusion – by actively seeking diverse perspectives and representation and expanding beyond organizational boundaries. Inclusion enables us to Be Bold with stronger and more courageous strategies, which contribute to our position as market leaders so that we can Pursue Growth individually and collectively.

So what?

Nice values, but we’ve seen this show before. How does this change anything?

Well, that ties directly to our first value – Trust Through Transparency & Accountability. The only way to hold ourselves accountable is by shouting it from the rooftops. Our values apply to how we interact with our employees as well as our customers. They inform the type of people we hire, how we approach innovation, how we serve our customers, and how we continue to grow as a company. They propel our journey to fulfilling our mission and achieving our vision.

"These values become real when we intentionally live them with each colleague and customer interaction. Over time, they will either remain the backbone of our culture, or become a relic hanging on a wall, gathering dust like a company values poster in an Office Space-like break room." – David Rudolph, Chief Customer Officer

Through related initiatives, we've already had participation from nearly 100 employees:

  • 44 employees have already participated as volunteers (and over 70 total have volunteered….we have a waiting list and are working to get everyone involved!)
  • Over 50 employees have submitted nominations for a peer-nominated, peer-selected program to celebrate their peers who are living Sonatype's values


 Trust Through Transparency & Accountability

As a remote company, trust is foundational to the success of our business. Trust = Transparency + Accountability. 

We strive for transparency through clear communications across functions and levels. We hold ourselves accountable to the promises we make to our employees, investors, and customers.

How we apply: 

  • Communicate clearly, with context
  • Make good decisions
  • Celebrate successes, share responsibility
  • Expect accountability

 Embrace Inclusion

The success of our business is fueled by our people. We strive to make inclusion and collaboration essential components of everything we do, for people of all backgrounds and identities, as well as across functions. 

We strive to act with humility. We embrace new ideas. We value feedback from our people. We respect authenticity.

How we apply: 

  • Respect authenticity
  • Foster a safe environment
  • Actively seek new perspectives
  • Collaborate continuously
  • Hire for potential

 Be Bold

We are the leaders in our space. Maintaining that leadership requires us to have courage in how we act, how we generate and communicate ideas, and how we innovate. We stay flexible and learn quickly. 

By producing best-in-class software supply chain management products, we empower our customers to act as change agents in their markets as well.

How we apply: 

  • Bias to action
  • Stay flexible
  • Be thought leaders 


 Pursue Growth

At Sonatype, we are always growing, both individually and organizationally. 

We support our employees' development and strive to create an environment of continuous improvement that enables us to help our customers innovate faster, at scale.

How we apply: 

  • Innovate constantly
  • Be proactive
  • Advocate opportunities
  • Mentor & sponsor others

What's next? 

It's not lost on us that integrating these values into our culture is a long-term process. We are committed to making the changes required for our employees, customers, and company to pursue growth individually and collectively. Below are just a few ways we’re following through on this commitment in 2022:

  • Revamping our Intranet 
  • Enhancing benefits for 2022 
  • Conducted DE&I training for our leadership team and managers
  • Created Core Values materials for hiring managers to leverage in recruiting
  • Themed our company-wide meet-up (SWARM) after the Core Values
  • Read the book Mindset: The Psychology of Success, by Carol Dweck and learned how to apply a growth mindset with keynote speaker Eduardo Briceno
  • Incorporating Core Values with manager training and career pathing 
  • Launched a peer-nominated, peer-selected Values Champions program to celebrate Sonatypers who holistically live up to our Core Values
  • Celebrated Employee Appreciation Day with a "gift of choice" aligned with one of our Core Values
  • Developing an ongoing internal and external communications strategy tied to our Core Values

I am excited to share examples from employees living our Core Values and about the above initiatives over the next few months. Stay tuned!

Picture of Savanna Hajdasz

Written by Savanna Hajdasz

Coming from a background in management consulting with experience in new product adoption, go-to-market strategy, and M&A, Savanna is a Senior Manager on Sonatype's Strategy & Operations team. In addition to supporting overall strategy development and running special projects, her recent focus has been growing Sonatype's culture and employee experience through the Core Values and related programs.