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"People seem to assume that the key to lack of socialization is forced socialization. Hey, employees don't talk enough? I know, let's make sure they hear each other all the time!"

It's exactly the same when the big shots think there is not enough innovation. Let's just hang up a few banners "We are innovative" or run some off-hours, unpaid "hackathons" while shortening deadlines even more.

I have participated in several hackdays and we were encouraged to work on something relevant to the business. I thought that smelled bad so I always made a deliberate effort to do something as opposite of the day to day as possible and I encourage anyone participating in an employer-sponsored hackday to do the same.

Generally I tried to do something with hardware and the experience was always extremely gratifying. I built great relationships with coworkers through those projects.

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