You Can't Pay Your Bills with Craft Beers.

wweihs on May 21, 2018

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 wonde... [Read Full]
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Which brings me to the point of this post: You can't pay your bills with craft beers.

Especially if you work as a remote worker :D

I hope no one uses "Rockstar developer" (which actually means "young white male with no interests outside of binge programming") any more but I wouldn't be surprised if some companies still do

 

One of the agencies I worked for used to put out ads like that, and they got the recruitment agency treatment to turn them into, well, "my client, a fast-growing up-and-coming city-centre cool fortune-9000 forward-thinking company" sort of thing. Their use of the phrase "rock star" used to get us a lot of applications from people thinking we were Rockstar, whose offices were around the corner. Pointless.

 
 
 

Haha right! It's less common now, but I still see it every now and then!

 

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.

YEP.

 

Very frustrating. I feel myself responding more to positions that just list requirements, and seem more family friendly, because the cool bro culture has always been difficult for me. I'm not a cool bro. lol!

 

"We have really comfortable desk chairs" would be a bigger pull for me than craft beer

 

Agreed! A comfortable desk chair might eventually save you money on a doctor bill, however depending how many craft beers you drink, it could be argued that this would save you some money too. ;)

 
 

...I've worked with an array() of wonderfully talented people...

...annnd I'm hooked 😄

In seriousness though, you make some wonderful points here. I agree 100% with the items on your list, especially the second point. The right environment to grow and develop is so vitally important - I've seen more than one promising dev career derailed or cut short because of a bad fit. Thanks for the great article!

 

I have definitely been in the position where it was a bad match! That is very important! Thanks Anna!

 

A really important aspect of this to keep in mind is that perks like this are not only easily revocable, but are usually the first thing to get axed when business gets rough.

Especially in "The Valley", it's not uncommon during salary negotiations for company recruiters to use arguments like, "Well, we provide catered lunch every day, so if you assume $10 a day for lunch and 50 working weeks that's another $2,500 per year," etc.,

But that $2,500 doesn't get rolled up in calculating the company match for your 401k, your yearly bonus-as-percent-of-salary, or the next year's raise. And if you actually count on that "benefit" as cost savings and the company has a down year, you might be disappointed to find that it got cut.

Anyway, to be clear, perks like this can be great, and can have a positive impact on company culture, but it's worth being cautious in how you approach them, in my experience.

 

You can't pay your bills with craft beers.

Definitely true. I see beer taps onsite and ping-pong tables in the break room as strategies to try to trick workers into extending their workday though. "Might as well stay, we can have a pint and tap the ball around after work" becomes "That was a good ping-pong game, let's quickly go back and look at this code we were working on earlier today, just an hour or two, dinner can wait."

 

Precisely and if they serve free dinner there too, I would think twice about working there!

 
 

Great post introduced with a perfect title. Well done. Happy Coding!

 

this is really helpful, grounding advice--i'll be starting my first dev jobhunt in a few months, so i'm grateful to have this in the back of my mind now :)

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