Case study: How Bloomberg empowers a culture of collaboration

Stack Overflow for Teams makes people comfortable saying, 'I don’t know'

clock • 3 min read
Case study: How Bloomberg empowers a culture of collaboration

The Bloomberg brand is synonymous with finance, media and technology.

With a global team of more than 8,000 software engineers, the company supports streams of real-time data about financial market movements and journalistic endeavours, to mobile and enterprise applications and AI models geared towards the analysis of financial data.

To create a culture that fosters collaboration and knowledge sharing within the workforce, Bloomberg adopted Stack Overflow for Teams. The knowledge-sharing platform works with a company's existing tech stack to centralise knowledge that may be scattered, buried and time-consuming to locate.

Trusted by Fortune 100 companies, Stack Overflow for Teams is designed to help enterprises establish a collective, internal knowledge base bolstered by enterprise-grade security.

Thousands of Bloomberg engineers, data scientists, designers, and developers have used Stack Overflow for Teams to ask questions and find answers from subject matter experts within their own large organisation.

To nurture the growth and learning journey of its employees and strengthen a sense of community within the business, Bloomberg also champions the formation of Guilds, which are communities of interest dedicated to specific topics or technologies.

In a company where innovation is central to success, Stack Overflow for Teams' question and answer format has been an instrumental tool in mentorship and professional advancement. In a dynamic organisation like Bloomberg, which frequently introduces new tools and technologies to its infrastructure and applications, a centralised and asynchronous platform like Stack Overflow for Teams is a boon for collaboration and on-the-job learning.

Not just for newbies

El Wieschaus, head of product development experience in Bloomberg's engineering department, says that even seasoned professionals like her rely on the tool to swiftly address challenges and unfamiliarity.

"Stack Overflow is a really critical part of how we learn, and how we understand systems at Bloomberg. I literally used it this morning. I was looking for a particular error that I was getting as I was writing a little piece of code on the side.

"It becomes really important, especially for the newer people in our teams, as well as people working on new technologies that they may be less familiar with, to get started quickly and to find the answers to questions that they might have, where the answers are really well-thought-out."

The impact of this knowledge-sharing approach has been significant for Bloomberg over the years it has been in use. Stack Overflow for Teams expedites the onboarding and integration of new hires, while also enabling established engineering teams to collaborate asynchronously across time zones, generating substantial efficiency gains.

The connections facilitated through Stack Overflow for Teams has also led to enhanced productivity. "Those kinds of connections ultimately do lead to real productivity gains," explains Wieschaus.

"When people feel like they can reach out to another individual, when they feel connected as a community, when they feel comfortable asking questions, it means that we can move faster. It means that we can better serve our clients and build better products. It means we can get feedback faster, and ultimately, that really helps our company thrive."

A culture of curiosity

Bloomberg aims to foster psychological safety within its company culture, enabling employees to support one another and take risks, stretching their abilities in new directions.

Gulru Ustundag, engineering manager of Bloomberg's structured products engineering team, says, "Overall, this knowledge base and the ecosystem of Stack Overflow creates a culture of curiosity and openness and gives people comfort to be able to say, ‘I don't know,' which is really important in our learning.

"Community is really important at Bloomberg. When you're stuck, you may ask a question to the people who are in proximity to you. But Stack Overflow actually widens your reach and you're able to engage those who you wouldn't otherwise connect with."

Bloomberg's integration of Stack Overflow for Teams and its emphasis on fostering a community of learning and support mirror an important aspect of modern organisational dynamics. By harnessing digital platforms to create an expansive knowledge ecosystem, companies can facilitate rapid adoption of emerging technologies, bolster employee knowledge, and fortify the foundations for organisational innovation and success.

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