MetaCell's handbook

View the Project on GitHub MetaCell/handbook

What We Stand For


Before anything else, values come first. Without clear, shared values, we wander independently and contradict one another. Everything’s harder when we all believe different things about what’s important to us, our company.

Primarily, what we value in the company is to:

  1. Be a great place to work
  2. Build cool software
  3. Push neuroscience discovery forward

How do we make sure MetaCell is a great place to work? With the following values:

We offer flexible hours, thus everybody is in charge of their own time management, so trustworthiness is also important when it comes to time reporting. We all like to do a bit of surfing on the GoT or Avengers subreddit (no spoilers) to clear our minds but being honest and transparent about working hours for example if you are a contractor or an employee is an example of how this is paramount. We do not ask our contractors and employees to use time trackers because we hold everybody to high standards and we want to be able to trust them, as they should be able to trust their colleagues. We expect honesty and rely on each other to deliver great software to our clients. We believe in second chances but once trust is broken, it’s a lot of unnecessary work to go back from that.

Build Cool Software; what does that mean?

Building research software in academia is often a struggle. Hiring experienced developers with the right expertise for short or medium length grants is tough, sometimes students will write the software as part of their masters or PhD and they have to learn how to code while the try to answer meaningful scientific questions at the same time.

Incorporating cutting edge ideas coming from research labs into the industry is also very hard, companies lag up to 10 years behind compared to what forefront scientists are developing. Big organizations seldom have an easy time innovating, challenging and changing the way “things are done around here”.

This is where MetaCell comes in with its scientific translational approach. We develop industry standard neuroscience research software with our academic clients, often open source, and bring those same ideas and standards to pharma and the life sciences industry in general. MetaCell applications and services advance the understanding of the brain, ultimately helping our clients make the most of their neuroscience data and models.

We find ourselves building software in two main ways. One is helping other organization solve their problems by deeply understanding their problem space, working to define the ideal solution with them, and then building it for them. This is our service contract business and has been MetaCell’s bread and butter since 2011.

The second way we build software is potentially even more impactful. We build our own software products and improve them without experience from helping organizations do more with their neuroscience data. In this path, we offer an off the shelf license based solution to our clients and potentially customize it with their specific needs. This is much cheaper than rebuilding everything from scratch, because we are not reinventing the wheel every time - only when a better wheel is needed.

These two approaches go hand in hand. By solving new problems with our service contracts, we gain the capital to re-invest in MetaCell to build our own products based on our own vision to help our customers, so next time that same problem comes up we have a solution ready to use.

Push neuroscience discovery forward; what does that mean?

Our academic software propels scientists towards new discoveries. When our academic partners and clients come to us with an idea that will unlock new computational experiments that’s when we really get excited, because we know we are accelerating brain science in a sustainable way.

In the same way, our industry clients and partners might be sitting on a goldmine in the form of a ton of data from clinical trials that’s sitting on some dusty hard drives in a padlocked room. We take pride and joy helping our clients unlock the potential of this data with our neuroscience data intelligence off the shelf solutions and custom builds, so they can make new drugs or life sciences products more efficiently.