Culture is a very interesting thing in the tech community, and it has really come a long way. Over the years I've worked with an array() of wonderfully talented people, from all sorts of walks of life, and it has been a really cool ride.
When I first began cutting my teeth as a Developer, it was right around when the dot-com bubble had fizzled out. Web Development was a fairly new thing, Flash was everywhere, and mobile app development was a twinkle in Steve Job's eye. CSS was just beginning to replace that god awful table markup, and everyone and their dog was coming out with a new CMS in their preferred language. It was the new frontier, back when learning something new meant gasp opening a book.
The tech culture then was similar to something you might find in the movie 'Office Space'. Depending on your organization, you might see a definite delineation between tech department and everyone else. You know, the weirdos that look at that black cmd prompt all day, and if your computer breaks they will definitely know how to fix it.
Over time, agency work began to get more popular. Many upper management positions were replaced with PMs. Around this time I began to notice a cultural shift forming. Office casual was replaced with the sweatshirt, backpack, jeans and sneakers ensemble, and you could definitely tell that companies were starting to place fly traps in their job descriptions that attracted this type of individual.
You started to see things like, "Rock Star Developer", "Craft beers on tap", "Ping-pong table","Free Spotify subscription". All of those things are well and good if you are a 20 something male fresh out of college, but as someone who is not, let me tell you that those things don't actually have too much value.
Which brings me to the point of this post: You can't pay your bills with craft beers.
Though it's not always the case, be a little bit weary of an organization that tries to sell these things to you as part of the package deal. Money is definitely not everything, and working with a team of great people is invaluable. However, in my experience when an organization tries to do this, it's because they might be lacking in other areas.
All of those things can be pretty good bonuses, but when you're weighing the pros and cons of accepting a position take those things out. Ask yourself instead
- Is this the best fit for me culturally and personality wise?
- Is this a position where I can really see myself growing into what I want to be both short-term/long-term and inside/outside the company?
- Will they see the value in what I can potentially bring to the organization?
- Most importantly, will I be happy there?
If all of those questions are answered with a yes, then you can take a look at their craft beer selection.