Working at a high tech company like Coveo is something amazing. It is challenging, rewarding, and it helps bring your personal skills to another level. We release some features that change the whole industry, we meet awesome people, and we collaborate to shape the future of the company. This magic obviously happens in our workplace, thanks to meetings, coffees, and  even whiteboard sessions. There is a key part of the Coveo life, kind of a magic ingredient, that binds it all together: Emojis 😁!

This is my tribute to the Coveo emoji culture, and at the same time, a walkthrough for the newcomers. Bear with me as I unleash the true fundamental laws that shape our corporate culture. 

Back to hieroglyphs

In their purest form, emojis are a simple way to express emotions in a textual channel of communication.  They bring in a bit of humanity. 

They are understood by everyone, even without formal knowledge in the emoji language, which is convenient for a company that is half French, half English speaking. It may be one of the reasons why we find them in:

  • PowerPoint: How could you present something to the entire  company if you don’t properly express the purpose of your feature?
  • Email: This one is probably less common, as emails are considered more formal or official. When you scan an infinite list of emails, the slightest cluster of coloured pixels can bring joy into your daily job.
  • Slack: Obviously, Slack is based on emojis, just like the internet has been built for cats and lasers. They rule the corporate messaging universe.
  • Jira: If they haven’t proved to be wonderful enough already, emojis can also be used as a tagging system.

The excessive usage of emojis in the workplace has always been an important part of Coveo culture. And it turns out that our longstanding emoji usage was actually a symptom of something bigger. This was revealed when the  need to personalize content arose. 

Shaping Personalized Interactions

The need for personalization is something we obviously acknowledge. After a few years of collaboration using Slack, our thirst for personalization became intimately related to the number of custom emojis we create in Slack (with a whopping 4,192 Coveo custom emojis, we’d need an encyclopedia to break them all down). As a search expert, I’d like to classify them with a formal taxonomy. Yes, classifying the emojis can be seen as a professional deformation, but let’s try it out:

  • The “So Something” family: Often used to describe a personal trait of a colleague. Examples:
    • :sosalty:
    • :sonoisy:
    • :sopoet:
    • :sorockstar:
  • The animated GIF family: My favourite collection, with animated characters from video games of TV shows. Here you can find Bart skateboarding, Mario running, Left-Shark Dancing, or Kirby chillin. 

  • The contextual emoji: One of the best features of the Emoji culture, contextual emojis will let you add smoke, fire, or rain to something else. Walking legs on an emoji for instance.

  • The “it’s faster than writing the word” emoji: This one is simply an emoji used to write something faster using the powerful autocomplete syntax of Slack. It is usually used for brands or common daily objects: Sitecore, Salesforce, Confluence.

  • The mosaic emoji: An advanced type of emoji representing a large picture divided into smaller tiles.
  • The memorabilia emoji: This emoji is either created to fix an event in time, or was created by someone who left the company for instance. 

A powerful form of social communication

Combining a group of passionate users with a large collection of personalized emojis will give you (literally) a living community. The community will exhibit some unique behaviours that are not observed in one-on-one interactions. Here are a few examples:

Excessive responses to a post. If an image is worth a thousand words, the reaction here is equivalent to a 220 page novel:

Decorative emojis to wrap an important message are also commonly seen on our announcements channels. 

A strong community artefact

Emojis are not managed. There is no moderation, there is no approval. Yet, emojis are evolving and co-existing in their parallel world, reflecting the strong internal culture we have at Coveo.

After 3 years at Coveo, I can guarantee that there is no place on earth with a similar passion for search, data, ML, and emojis. 

Emojis are an integral part of the #CoveoLife. Wanna talk? Hit our career site ASAP.