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Cover image for A laptop - a reason to choose your new employer?

A laptop - a reason to choose your new employer?

attkinsonjakob profile image Jakob Attkinson ・3 min read

Last time I've went through the hiring process it was 2013 and since then a lot has changed. At least that's what I've been told.

After a few discussions with some recruiters on LinkedIn I scheduled 3 interviews with some companies that seemed interesting for me.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not some sort of guru or God-of-coding. Actually, I think of myself as quite a mediocre developer, but I like to believe I compensate with dedication and hard work. Therefore, I look for companies that activate in a field that's of interest for me.

pressure

I never discuss money or perks in a first interview with a potential employer. Mostly, because it's not very relevant for me. Culture, for example is much more important to me. However, in all three interviews the guy on the other side of the skype-line wanted to impress me with perks. Fruits, coffee, parking spot, all kinds of random stuff. But the weirdest stuff all 3 employers from 2 different countries offered one exquisite perk:

A shiny and new MacBook Pro

First time I heard this I was a bit confused, but I moved one. The 3rd time I asked myself like WTF is this and why is it so important to mention it to me in the first interview (instead of, for example, telling me they have a budget from X to Y EURs for this position)?

I mean, since when is a laptop a perk? And why does "everyone" assume I want a Mac in the first place? What if I'm the "Surface Book" type of guy?

Gaming on Mac

As I said, I've haven't been looking for a new employer in quite a while, however, an my previous jobs nobody ever talked about these kind of stuff. At my first job, I had a range of stuff (from monitors to laptops) that I could choose from. I wasn't forced on a Mac, or a Lenovo or whatever.

At my current working place, instead of forcing everyone to use the same machine everyone had the chance to choose their own working environment. Some chose a Mac, some chose desktops, some chose Lenovos or Dells, whatever they wanted.

We spend at least 8 hours a day using those machines and gadgets. Don't tell me there are still companies out there that expect a develop to work from a non-mechanical keyboard?

Last but not least, at my third interview I told the guy that for me it's very important to have 3 monitors (not because they are SUPER necessary, but because I got used to it and they are usually cheap since I'm not a designer) and the freedom to choose my own keyboard, mouse and chair.

gaming-setup

The guy was so surprised that a "shiny new MacBook" wasn't enough to shut me down that he couldn't reply if that's possible or absolutely not.

I have 3 more interviews scheduled next week. Can't wait to see what else I learn.

What's your take on the subject?

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attkinsonjakob profile

Jakob Attkinson

@attkinsonjakob

Lost soul wondering around a techy world while trying to forge his own path

Discussion

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I think this is fairly common. A lot of people think that developers only want Macs, and that Macs are the best for all kinds of development.

I lump it in the same category as recruiters confusing Java with Javascript. If someone offered me a Mac, I'd ask them if I could have a different system if I wanted. Maybe I'd choose the Mac, but...

 

Regardless of what you chose, I don't see this as a "perk". It's not a laptop I can sell, use for any personal purposes or do whatever with it. It's not "my laptop", it's the company's laptop that I only use for business purposes. Shouldn't be considered a benefit for the employee.

 

Hmm, I disagree.

If you were working felling trees, and the employer said you'd be allowed to use chainsaws and dedicated heavy machinery or, I don't know, a hatchet from Walmart, it'd be an important factor in whether you wanted to take the job.
It wouldn't be your chainsaw and you wouldn't use it for recreational purposes, but on the other hand I'd definitely like to know if what tools I was expected to work with and judge based on whether I got on well with them.

 

I've seen a few of these job posts where they list necessary things but given a spin so that they're a 'perk'. Now, I don't see Mac's as being essential or necessary, but I mean 'tools' in the broader sense.

It's vital to an employer and a business to have an employee that is enabled to do their best work; it's vital for an employee to have the best tools to enable them to do their best work.

For developers, I think that falls into the category of a high-performance computer (in whatever form that appears), at least one large, high-res monitor in addition to the laptop, and solid ergonomics.

But yeah I've never been a fan of these 'facts of the job' that get pushed into 'perks'. I've even seen some with things like 'parking on site', I mean....

 

some with things like 'parking on site', I mean....

At least if it came with a company car....
Although I'm a bike fan, lol

 

I would trade a macbook for a nice chair anytime!

 

I don't think these are mutually exclusive. Especially if the job is not remote.
I believe it's important the solutions are tailor to each the needs of each employee, not "one chair/monitor/laptop" fits all.