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> Also, words like "high energy" and "passion" often reflect poorly as well.

Interesting. Can you expand on this? I don't see "passion" as negative; it seems to just mean that people like their work.




I think that emphasis on passion during interview suggest culture that takes tech more like identity affair then pragmatic one. It probably means a lot of overtime because people signal passion by staying late and planning/negotiation are cold. It means choosing cool tech instead of good tech. It means a lot of semi mandatory out of work activities.

This has nothing to do with gender, but one might prefer something different.


The problem isn't wanting passion, its who are the types of people to emphasize passion in an interview or job announcement. It's similar to how "code ninja" was the former dog whistle for the kinds of environments that expected late nights, long hours, and no life outside of the office. The terminology has just changed.


On the positive side think of the meme of the passionate "starving artist". Starving never helped me do anything but lose weight, supposedly it isn't even very good at that long term. Nope being underpaid for the sake of emotion is a complete loss.

On the negative side think of the meme of enablers trying to downplay a screamer's actions as merely being passionate about his work, or even worse, the department he manages.


The point of the starving artist isn't that they are starving. They point is that they didn't compromise their vision for money. They didn't sell out.

That's what I assume it is about anyway.


I describe myself as a starving artist pretty frequently. What it means is that every week I find myself choosing between materials and food. Sometimes food wins, sometimes materials do (they did this week). Every penny I can spare goes towards materials and tools but I still can't afford everything I need to not only make my work but make it good enough to match my vision, slowing progress significantly which can be pretty disheartening. And so my struggle will continue until I can start selling my work, make my money back plus labor+profit, and I finally no longer have to consider replacing a $15 electric pencil sharpener a burden.

Honestly it's no different from living on ramen while pouring all your money into a business you're trying to start. It's just more romanticized.


Passion is great. But there are plenty of companies that say they want passion when what they really want is the willingness to work too many hours on whatever flight of fancy upper management is currently chasing.


In job adverts, "passion" is often shorthand for "willing to work unpaid overtime."


I think there are social issues too with 'passion'. At the risk of being blunt there are people without a social life or others interests who put everything into work and call it passion.

Limited to them its just an unhealthy lifestyle. But if used as some sort of a competitive advantage against those with families and interests beyond work this creates an unfair and awkward work environment.

There are people who look to fill a hole with work when the solution is to find a more balanced life. Workplaces should be alert to and proactively discourage this. Work is primarily about work, professionalism, not a place to socialize. And the 'bro culture', open offices show to an extent some workplaces encouraging it.




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