Scenes from Shopify HQ, Part 3: Some of the Rooms

by Joey deVilla on April 20, 2012

Shopify office lobby, featuring the front desk

It’s the end of the week, and my monthly check-in with Shopify HQ in Ottawa is drawing to a close. I fly home tonight at 9:10 p.m., arriving an hour later at Billy Bishop Airport, after which it’s a quick cab ride home to High Park. I thought I’d share some of my photos of the office before taking off.

Shopify office lobby, with the front desk front and center

This is a relatively new office, but it’s just what we needed. We were running out of space at the old place — it was already cramp when I joined as the 60th employee, and with the acquisition of the mobile dev company Select Start Studios, we’re now at 100.

The two pictures above are our reception area — we look like a real company now!

Poster in the Shopify office: "Do things, tell people."

We’ve got a number of mottos that we live by at Shopify, and this one’s one of my favourites (you could say I’ve been doing this all along): Do things, tell people. Get stuff done and make sure people know about it. This one’s posted on the wall outside our CEO Toni Lutke’s office.

Tobi Lutke's office

Tobi’s office is one of the more sedate rooms at Shopify HQ. The others, for which we were given budgets to decorate as we saw fit, are a good deal more colourful.

Shopify's videogame room, as seen from the door, with anime posters adorning the walls

Every self-respecting software development shop understands the need to take a break from work and play videogames. Hence the games room, which features a nice-size TV, proper Street Fighter arcade-style controllers, an oft-used XBox 360 and a less-used Playstation 3.

Close-up of posters in Shopify's videogame room

And yes, a lot of posters catering to Anime fans. Anitra would love this room.

Close-up of anime posters in Shopify's videogame room

Shopify videogame room, as seen from the back

Close-up of animer posters in Shopify's videogame room

In addition to offices divided by function, we have a number of unassigned workspaces that people can use if they need some extra-quiet space to take a call or get work done. These rooms are themed, with themes determined and then implemented by employees (who were given decoration budgets, natch!). Here’s the Silly Hats room:

Shopify's hat room, as seen from outside, with the "Silly Hats Only!" sign outside

It features a fine set of chapeaux and a mirror so you can see how dashing you look when haberdashed:

View of hat room, with the hats hanging on the wall and the mirror beside them

The music room is one of my favourites:

Shopify's music room, as seen from the door

Nice, quiet, low-lit and decorated with classic album covers, its a good place to get a little coding work done, do a conference call or even record some podcast audio (I’ve done all three).

View of posters on the wall of the music room

Close-up of posters on the music room wall

Cool companies need cool workspaces, and Shopify is — as Outkast would’ve put it — ice cold. While Accordion City is home, I’m looking forward to my next visit in May.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Dylan Blanchard April 20, 2012 at 10:18 pm

Nice, Joey!
I’m all about the music room, to. Totally up my alley.

I was out of the office this week, so we didn’t get to meet (bummer), but I’m looking forward to your next visit!

Stay cool.

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