Also a 10/20/30/40 vesting schedule immediately stands out as a red flag for me. 25%/year vested quarterly (with a 1 year cliff) has been standard in the industry for a very long time. I would't trust a company to have my best interests at heart when it is massively beneficial for them if employees quit after 1-2 years (which is already about the average tenure at most companies of that size).
Agreed. But since so many middle managers are twits isn't it incumbent on the employee to learn a set of skills to deal with Johns?
Managing people is hard. Being a good manager is really hard, which is why there are so few of them.
Rather than rail against how terrible Person X is as a manager I feel like it's more productive to say, "Unless I start my own company there's always going to be some clueless middle manager above me. How do I deal with him/her effectively?"
It's much easier to simply find a better job without a John, or where you're shielded from John.
(My name breaks this analogy a bit.)
a) It's hard to identify a good manager ahead of time.
b) People change; circumstances change.
c) Your team and manager will change sooner than you expect, especially if they are a good team or manager.
Who stays anywhere more than 2-3 years now anyway?
My current manager where I work is pretty cool. We get along pretty well, and I don't mind working for them. However, I think my manager's manager is...umm, well, let's just say "not very good at their job", fairly close to the "John" in this story.
If my current manager quit or was fired or died, and I had to work for their manager, I probably would quit before I learned to effectively work with "John"; the job market is pretty good for engineers right now, why the hell not?
Now more and more are moving towards a heavier backloaded vesting schedule. Schedules that are 10/20/30/40 or 15/25/25/35 are more and more common at big tech co.
It can make sense as well, if it takes you a certain period of time to ramp up, once you've ramped up you contribute more value and they want to retain you more there. Yes it is a mechanism to lock you in, but it's not wrong to see why the employer would want to do it. Though yes, you can also get stuck in crap work because they know they can get away with it. Then it's up to you how much you want to deal with that.
Flat vesting sort of implies that four 1-year tenures are just as desirable as one 4-year tenure. And if people can get a better cash-compensation raise by switching jobs, then staying 4 years is probably less profitable than staying 2-3. (Of course, companies could also cure that by making internal raises competitive with job-transfer raises...)
Although I do find .../30/40 a bit stranger. If somebody leaves at 3 years, you save 15% of their stock compared to flat vesting. But if the extra stock gets them to stick around, they're obviously going to leave after 4 when their effective compensation plummets. It's not obvious to me that pushing employees with no long-term intent to stick around and claim more stock is a winning move.
I'm reminded of this quote:
"I divide officers into four classes -- the clever, the lazy, the stupid and the industrious. Each officer possesses at least two of these qualities. Those who are clever and industrious are fitted for the high staff appointments. Use can be made of those who are stupid and lazy. The man who is clever and lazy is fit for the very highest commands. He has the temperament and the requisite nerves to deal with all situations. But whoever is stupid and industrious must be removed immediately." - General Baron Kurt von Hammerstein-Equord
He'll eventually be fired -- with a golden parachute, no doubt -- after reports of sexual harassing women emerge in the media. He'll go under the radar for a few months until the media storm and Twitter mob find something else. He'll reemerge in a new startup, promising to have changed after "much praying, reconciliation, and meditation," and move on. Rinse and repeat.
The real problem we have is that there are many highly competent sexual harassers in workplaces and these issues get swept under the rug specifically because they’re good workers.
Because in this hypothetical situation, John was known to use his position of power to harass women.
This isn't a reason to always participate, but it is one of the many reasons that lots of people do.
In the end he gets bored with his actual work and lets himself be hijacked by some line function to develop internal tools for them, outside of the purview of any manager. Unsurprisingly he ends up an organizational orphan. Which means no one goes to bat for him to squeeze in several weeks of remote work, which sounds like a pretty outlandish demand to my ears. To think that the fact that some random person once 'approved' it makes any difference just goes to show the naïvety. Obviously he didn't get it in writing from someone able to make that decision, and that's the only thing that matters.
In what world is it a good idea for an engineering director to take a deep interest in technical details of a project? Suppose that the director was right and author was wrong in ~all of their disagreements, but just that the author was simply telling the truth about two things: the director spending two weeks doing design mockups, and intervening to specify the type of a database column. This makes the director somebody who is (a) not doing their actual job, and (b) probably nightmarish to work for no matter whether you are a "low performer" or a superstar.
You cannot be an effective manager and simultaneously maintain enough engineering context to make good technical decisions. If you want to be involved in detailed technical design, you need to switch your career track back to IC. And if you are running a company and you want either good technical decisions or high morale among your engineers, you can't tolerate managers playing at being engineers instead of doing their actual jobs. (With something like a manager maintaining a small low-priority internal tool, or doing a rotation onto an engineering team for a week to refresh their intuitive handle on the state of the codebase & tooling but no expectation of being a net-positive contributor, being the exceptions that prove the rule.)
That being said, in what world does the Eng director look good? Insisting on using SMALLINT (and thus necessitating a change away from SQLite in development) is just terrible, and an Eng director who is halfway competent should realize that such a requirement is patently ridiculous, or at the very least know not to stick their neck out if they know so little about the subject at hand. I'd be furious if my Director of Engineering did stuff like that.
The guy was perfectly willing to stay for the long-haul.
> weeks of remote work without formal agreement
Taking people at their word is "entitled"?
> a quick cash out over adding value to the company
The guy was faithfully performing all the duties assigned to him. Is he drinking the company kool-aid and devoting his life to his company? Thankfully no. Your employer is not your family, nor is it a cult.
Is the author naive? Maybe. Opinionated? Definitely but with good reason - the director was later fired, how often does that happen. Entitled? I see nothing of the sort.
If this is the intention of any of my candidates coming in and they call this "real commitment" to work for my company they would not pass the phone interview. Seriously?
There is a very easy way to filter out candidates who want to leave in 1-2 years. Structure your equity vesting so that there's minimal vesting for the first 2-3 years, with a sizable severance package to protect against involuntary termination. I don't understand why you would give someone 30% equity after 2 years, if you're then going to begrudge them leaving.
That said, the short stories might have worked in an unreliable-narrator way.
To me, there was something vaguely Dostoevskyan about this piece. There's the dithering nature of the conversations described (never addressing the point, always going in circles), the incessant references to people by their acts of intrigue and rank (is the "associate director" today's "titular councilor"?), the general absence of content describing the "real" work the characters are nominally paid for, except as an accessory to some greater plot point that circles back into the previous two themes.
I guess that medium-to-large-sizd tech orgs are good on the path towards becoming a labyrinthine, 19th Century, Russian bureaucracy! I hope that some comparable literature emerges from such fertile soil .
Things that happen in Silicon Valley and also the Soviet Union: https://twitter.com/atroyn/status/1014974099930714115
He joined the company despite being aware of many red flags, just because he hoped to endure the shit until he could cash out. These are considerations, but not really what I'd call "serious" in a professional context.
I'm pretty sure there may have been lots of broken pieces at Snap (the stuff about condos as offices can't just be made up, and is insane), but what I can read between the lines is that he brought a few new ones along himself.
The remote work thing is something you either get signed by the company, or is a personal agreement with another person (and nobody else is bound by it). It's fine to be naive and make that mistake at the time, but to then insist on it in a post like this? That's not naivete, that's a massive disconnect, and you can expect other parts of his story to be similarly out of sync with reality, either by omission or by distortion.
It's really not hard to imagine that a gentlemant's agreement is not upheld when said gentleman is not around to push your agenda anymore.
At first I just read that time was needed "around the holidays", then that somehow was 5 WEEKS of remote time, then there was Easter time in Florida, then there was additional "weeks" during the annual summer trip to Florida, then there was an anniversary trip ... etc
Unless this is specified in the contract I can't see justifying what there alone amounts to ~11 (?) weeks of remote work.
I'm only saying this as someone who has been through many on-site jobs with remote-allowed, and is currently working as a fully remote senior engineer.
So basically, such an important thing for him, he should have confirmed about the conditions with the new manager at least.
They might still not honour it, but at least you'll have some sort of leg to stand on.
Assuming OPs side of things is mostly true it sounds like:
- OP was working for a bad director, one so bad that they eventually got fired
- Instead of placating this director and pretending to take their concerns into consideration, OP fights back more than other teammates (reading between the lines of the quote "However, given that I was far from John’s favorite (we never openly came into conflict, but I didn’t put the requisite amount of enthusiasm into jumping through his hoops to really get onto his good side)" here)
- The director gives him a very poor performance review, that seems to have had serious impact on OPs career, team selection possibility, and personal finances, despite the director eventually getting fired
It just seems like a very high price to pay just to be able to tell yourself that you're not putting up with bullshit.
He signed up specifically for a large amount of money in form of stock - live-changing, in fact. At that point, you have to accept that never compromising is not your winning strategy - because the people handing out the money want something in return, and it's not your charming personality.
Sure. The first time. But the king isn't stupid. He'll make you more and more subservient until eventually you'll be flattering him for bread and lentils else you'll be put in prison. People in power do that a lot.
Giving up who you really are can be a very high price to pay just to be able to receive some (more) money.
I know that as my experience has accumulated i care about a few things more and all things a lot less. O also better understand life is a spectrum of many different perspectives, versus the black or white zealot i was in my younger days...
However, living off social security wasn't really ironic given that she viewed the social security payouts as reimbursement for the (what she considered unjust) payroll taxes she had been forced to pay.
Also, being selfish was central to her philosophy so this was in keeping with it.
My interpretation of The Fountainhead was as I described previously - the importance of staying true to who you are, even if this results in missing out on riches (or goes against popular opinion).
If you choose to read Atlas Shrugged, however, her opinions start to get more extreme and unsettling.
I usually bring this up to give people a baseline in explaining how loud the preaching eventually got in the _Sword of Truth_ series.
_Atlas Shrugged_ is one of the few books I couldn't finish once started; the characters were just too obnoxiously stupid.
When you are dealing with people such that what they want is not for you to get a job done, but to humiliate you for the pleasure of wielding power, there is no fixed cost that will qualify you as having played ball, no bargain such that you can keep your side and trust them to keep theirs. The cost will always keep going up. The only questions are when the endgame will be reached, and what you will do then.
The net result of the big round table with every senior dev in attendance was "John" spent an hour trying to deflect us from the topic at hand, 30 minutes pretending to listen to us, then within two days it was back to, "I want you to tell the teams to go back and rename all the DTO objects they've created".
In the end I just left. There's no point fighting that kind of environment. Someone hires "John" and is happy with what they do.
"They aren't proven"
"They aren't mature enough"
"They are bloat"
"They make the code too complex"
"They don't scale"
"They are slow"
"They make it hard to read the code"
"The language vendor might pull the plug on them"
"They have bugs"
"They aren't any easier than <MY_WAY>"
If you read between the lines, people that object to new language features are almost always doing it for a single reason, which they may not even admit to themselves:
"I'm not a competent enough developer to understand the language feature, so nobody should use the feature"
When I started my career I put up with it for the money. About 7 years in I walked out (quite literally) after the most amazing amount of verbal abuse I've seen delivered in an unjustified tantrum. One of the best memories of over 30 years in tech.
"It just seems like a very high price to pay just to be able to tell yourself that you're not putting up with bullshit."
That would be funny if it wasn't so sad. 'Specially given the recent events/news about Stalman.
Oh yes! This rings so true with me.
One of my biggest bug-bears in IT are the leaders who have the gift of the gab and know how to BS their way through life. They have that personality that allows them to talk about any subject and people will listen assuming that they now what they are talking about.
If they know how to use those skills for the betterment of a project then they are fantastic people. In other words listening to the devs and using their skills to manipulate the higher ups to get more time and resources. Usually it works the other way round though by ignoring what the devs say and forcing their own will upon them.
For example by insisting on switching to Scrum 9 months in to a 12 month project that had been happily running on waterfall up to that point.
Perfectly describes our friend John.
The rest of the quote is quite interesting too:
I love these as a new mgr - new guy shows up, I know nothing of their unique ‘foundational promise’, I have no idea if they can contribute or work well with team, I put some effort in to get them going, then they start sending long (they are always WAY too long) emails about being special cased over 20 people who I’ve known longer and have worked harder for me. I check with HR and a hard pass. I’m not considered humane for failing to give someone I’m paying lots of money to lots of remote work time. And I know what remote work time is like when an employee is visiting family - even though they are “working“ it takes them hours to respond to slack.
I don’t mean to be harsh, but if you look at compensation rates - your manager does get to call the shots at least a little in return for money they are throwing at you.
And yes, if a top performer keeping you is pretty high up on list. 20 reports is too many though - def not a great sign in my book.
Interesting, I feel the opposite. The longer it takes me to respond to someone’s messages, the more real work I am actually getting done because I’m deeply focused. The days where I quickly reply to everyone are usually the most unproductive.
Remote workers on vacation / traveling / visiting family -> low productivity.
That said, overall situation -> totally reasonable to bail out for the employee, clearly not a good fit overall. But for the last, new manager - they may not have had a good impression of employee given employee was themselves not treated properly by company before and the expectations they brought were out of the blue for new person.
I’m not sure what that means.
Sadly, I find this to be all too common in the industry. It’s super isolating and depressing when you work alone on projects and aren’t in an environment that fosters socialization and team-building. Forming those bonds is what makes people happy to go to work everyday and work hard. Managers should do more to prioritize interaction and teaming up on projects when it makes sense.
You can be very productive while being social as well. In fact, the shittiest projects have consistently been those where people don't communicate and communication includes a human factor, starting at the most basic level.
Why? Because fundamentally we are social animals and opening up to this circumstance will allow meaningful, project-related communication at a much more useful level when you previously connected at a human level.
I find it exceedingly weird when you have next to no interest in the people you work with for 8+ hours every single day.
A really good setup would likely be something that respects all sides on the spectrum - people who prefer to be quiet and working in solitude should not be judged for it.
Neither should people with more social approaches be dreaded by the introverts. That would be ideal. In essence, we need a system that is able to integrate all preferences and make use of them in the most productive way.
Thank you for reminding me that I should be more considerate.
The first month is awesome. Complete freedom & autonomy, then the depression starts kicking in.
I've been doing it for 30 years, I know how I like it.
On the other hand, you take a bunch of young people straight out of college, collect them from around the country and the world, drop them in a new city without any social network, lean on them to work 50, 60 hour weeks, and suddenly socializing with your coworkers becomes very important, especially if you're single, not very religious, and not very outgoing. The alternative is complete isolation and sad phone calls with friends and family thousands of miles away.
Instead, just focus on (a) meeting as many people as you can bear and (b) establishing membership in a few groups with regular activities.
The latter is more straight forward, and can accomplish the former. There are lots of options: signing up for a sports league, taking classes (art classes, exercise classes, continuing education classes, whatever), going to a board games meetup group, joining a volunteer organization, join a church (or whatever) if you're even mildly religious. Friendships, like all relationships, are built on shared interests and repeat interactions.
You can also meet a lot of people without joining any groups, although it's easier if you're the sort of naturally sociable person who can strike up a conversation with anyone you're around for more than two minutes. Besides the obvious (go to places there are people, talk to them), or the "run for political office" strategy (it gives you a reason to go and introduce yourself to a few thousand people in your area), there's also the reverse strategy, where you establish a routine.
Pick a few activities to do yourself, and do them on a regular, predictable basis in public. Go for a walk or a run every day at the same time, on the same route. Go read at the library or a park a coffee shop at the same time every week. Go to a farmer's market every weekend. You don't need to schedule your entire life on a recurring basis, but by just keeping a regular schedule you will make yourself more visible, familiar and approachable to the people around you, and they'll feel comfortable saying "hi" or introducing themselves.
While meeting lots of people and joining a few groups can lead to finding a few close friends, it's also a big help in itself in alleviating the isolation which comes with moving to a new place. You'll be surprised at even the difference that just introducing yourself to a couple hundred people makes. Suddenly, everyone around you isn't just one flavor or another of "stranger"; you know their names (or at least, some of them, depending on your memory for names and faces), and they know yours. You've been introduced, so now you can wave or say "hi" or comment on the weather without it being weird.
I did this for over five years (I was working as the only dev on a project, PM gave me 100% autonomy), it's just fine. Work is for work, not hanging out.
I would have liked to work on a team for that project, but not because I needed to socialize.
Humans are social, but I socialize outside of work.
Very early in my career I was working with other young engineers and I wanted work to be a social place too. I learned from that quickly, there's much too many downsides: you don't get to pick your coworkers so sometimes they end up being not great as "friends," you realize that work relationships are incredibly shallow because no matter how much time you spent socializing once one of you leaves the company you never see each other again, trying to turn the office into social hour interferes with work, it's probably best my coworkers don't see the same side of me as my friends.
I see this sentiment a lot and I don't get it. You are spending more time with your coworkers than anyone else. I'm not saying you should find your best friend in the office, but enjoying your time with coworkers seems like a good thing. Maybe the definitions of socializing are different. I'm not talking about after hours drinks or philosophically debating for hours. I'm thinking chit chat, jokes, having shared strife reaching a common goal, feeling better for having worked with them, and generally enjoying the 1/3 of a day you spend with them. Professional and friendly. It also so happens that the majority of people I work with I would likely make time to see outside of work from time to time. Non-work socializing is different and more fulfilling, but you have much less time to squeeze that in outside of weekends, which are also squeezed for time when you have a family.
I'd also reckon a typical remote team probably has more of the routine social interaction some other comments here describe as personally beneficial than this arrangement.
No, not really. It depends of your personality. Some people are more than happy doing pure work tasks. It’d be a mistake to think that everyone likes the same environment.
Me too! And I find it much easier and faster to get better stuff done when on a team with smart and creative people rather than locked away trying to solve everything on my own. Working with smart people who know things I don't is inspiring and makes me produce better work, and hopefully they can gain from my areas of expertise.
It doesn't even have to have anything to do with socializing per se. I don't need to know about your kids or what you did on your weekend and we don't even have to eat lunch together or go out for beers after work. But for me having someone I turn to and say "Hey can you take look at this thing, I can't get it to work" and having them understand what I'm trying to do and say "Have you considered this different approach, here let me show you" is a key to me getting my best stuff done.
It's the socializing part that's not everyone's cup o' tea.
Socializing exists on a continuum. I hate with a passion any sort of company wide or overly organized 'fun' events, but I would still love to have a few colleagues to drink coffee with while casually chatting about what they think about the new features in tensorflow2.
Definitely not. I want 0 colleagues.
Seems a self-defeating statement. Thinking isn't wrong. Neither it is that someone else is right.
Sure this means able-bodied people had twice as much access to something but hasn't that always been the case? Like, if you can walk, you can take either the stairs or the ramp to get into a building.
I don't think blocked cycle lanes are a good point of comparison as they don't fulfil their intended function when blocked.
Yes, you do (if I understood what you mean correctly): https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/cdot/supp_info/bicycli...
The ADA was passed in 1990, so it was in place a full 17 years before Berkeley started adding video to the web.
The university strongly agreed with disability accessibility law. They put policies in place to make sure content was accessible. They offered free support to professors to make content accessible, and they required professors to sign documents saying "I have made this accessible". People lied by signing these forms when they had not made the material accessible.
If they hadn't lied, and had made use of the free support when creating content, the material would have been accessible from the beginning, and the university would not have been dumped into the massively unlawful position they were.
This wasn't some "opportunistic ADA lawyer", it was the inevitable result when hundreds of employees lied about accessibility.
Pages 3 and 4 https://news.berkeley.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/2016-08...
Here's the list of statements that people said they'd done that they mostly had not done:
1.I have reviewed and implemented edX’s “ Guidelines for Creating Accessible Content.”
2.All PDFs attached to my course follow the University of California Office of the President recommendations.
3.I have reviewed and implemented applicable guidelines into my course from the Web Accessibility team’s resource “Top 10 Tips for Making your Website Accessible.”
4.All mp3 and mp4 files in my course have been submitted for transcripts for SubRip Text (SRT) files.
5.All video and audio in my course have accurate captioning available to users through the edX HTML5 player
What's the point of removing content because its not accessible to some small fraction of the population? Is this meant to punish the professors who signed something they likely didn't fully read? It seems that it's punishing individuals who would find this information useful.
What's the point of a law that can just be ignored with no consequences?
> who signed something they likely didn't fully read?
I'm always surprised when I hear this. Signing a document to say you've complied with the law when you haven't complied with the law is a pretty big deal. Maybe I'm missing some context, but you should read the things you're signing.
Because it sounds like this accessibility document is also a fairly similar piece of boilerplate.
If you're saying that Berkeley was paying lip-service to accessibility by having boiler-plate that faculty didn't really need to comply with, well, that makes the situation worse, not better.
"We tried but we didn't account for human factors so we failed" is much better than "we didn't really try, we just pretended, because we wanted to give a good impression without actually making any changes".
However, I would certainly think that "we wanted to give a good impression without actually making any changes" is probably closer to the truth. I doubt Berkeley as an institution really cares about accessibility; it sounded like a good thing and policies were enacted without a lot of thought given to the ramifications. If multiple professors signed off that their courses were accessible, then it certainly strikes me that this was a low priority that was largely ignored.
Thankfully the world doesn't actually work that way. We make buildings accessible because it's the right thing to do, and because society has decided that excluding people (who are already greatly disadvantaged) is wrong.
Rules like ADA aren't designed to make the most logical sense, they're designed to work. If you don't mandate the shutdown of the inaccessible booths then the company has very little incentive to fix the problem.
Is it the right solution though? Does it make sense to spend 1% of GDP on something that helps 0.5% of the population (I'm making up numbers here)? Is this really the most cost effective solution? Wouldn't it make more sense to e.g. give disabled people a Basic Income (social support) enabling them to not work, instead of forcing every employer to spend time and money on making the workplace accessible (even though 99% of that effort will be wasted)? It might be cheaper to hire 2 musclemen to carry a disabled person around, rather than renovating each historic building to add ramps and/or elevators... Yeah, I agree that there are non-monetary effects as well (people socialising and/or feeling useful) but there's probably decent solutions for those as well...
Some not made up numbers for you:
Roughly 15-20% of people self-identify as handicapped. At least one study suggests that up to 60% of the population has some degree of impairment and would benefit from more accessible design in the world generally.
This fits with my observations. Most people who are only mildly impaired actively distance themselves from the label as it is stigmatizing. People only embrace the label of being handicapped or disabled if they need so much accommodation that it is worthwhile to put up with the bullshit that goes along with having a stigmatizing label.
Accessible design ends up helping anyone who isn't at optimal ability at that very moment.
> In the United States, 60% (101.4 million) of working-age adults who range from 18 to 64 years old are likely or very likely to benefit from the use of accessible technology due to difficulties and impairments that may impact computer use.
Public phones are going the way of the dinosaur. Most folks have a smartphone these days. I feel like that's largely irrelevant.
Hearing impaired accessibility features in, for example, computer-based games came in very handy when we were homeless and spending our entire day at a library where you needed to either keep the sound off or wear headphones. None of us can wear headphones due to health issues that promote ear infections, so we just kept the sound off all day and relied on the visual cues intended for deaf or hearing-impaired people.
As you admit you're making up numbers... is there any evidence that these costs are killing businesses? Snap could most certainly afford to do it without thinking twice about it.
So you politely point out this won't work for you, they're breaking the law and frankly, making you feel very excluded, and they're like:
"Meh, women. We'll get around to it. But yeah we'll put some signs up in the meantime. You can use the ones in the building down the street. Thanks for pointing that out..."
It's not just about the design competence or legal compliance, it's the principle.
What's confusing is why you'd close the men's bathroom until the women's bathroom was built?
The point is you think about this up front.
The reason you would require the functioning facility to be closed is to make it clear to the business and all others there are consequences for this incompetence and lack of care.
Also, the example is absurd because urinals wouldn’t satisfy all restroom needs. Men don’t defecate in the urinal. It’s even in the name.
I've no idea how you get to burning the whole building down, my rationale for conveying the importance of respecting standards, legislation and plain human decency was pretty clear I think.
Why didn't you decide the building should be burned down, rather than just closing the offending restrooms? Or if not burned, closed temporarily? Or, per your example, what is the difference if they leave the restroom open but specifically disable the urinals, letting people use the sinks to wash their hands?
Where exactly is the line that you draw on what should be sabotaged to rectify the injustice? Is it just do whatever the legislation says? Does following "legislation" always equate to "plain human decency" and does that rule apply 100% of the time in the past, present, and future?
Although I don't get why you think you're entitled to come up with a hypothetical scenario but balk at entertaining any questions clarifying it or related hypotheticals. But anyway, agree to disagree.
That being said, once it's law you have one thing to do and two options:
- you have to follow the law
Besides that, you should embrace what your fellow humans might have thought when bringing in this legislation, enabling you to either:
- Help you understand and embrace it
- Vote differently in the next election (or, sadly but truly bring in your net worth to lobby towards your opinion to greater effect)
To be clear though: I think directing the booths be rebuilt to standards was acceptable; burning the building down would be excessive.
You may believe there's nothing wrong with arbitrary discrimination but I don't.
EDIT: granted, writing posts in English isn't arbitrary, but neither is installing small booths, there are good space-utilization benefits to it; it's unreasonable, because those benefits don't trump accessibility to people in wheelchairs.
In this particular case however, the office had wheelchair-accessible rooms so I don't see why the booths had to be accessible as well when they serve the same purpose as the rooms.
How do you not understand that if your business offers something, it has to be accessible and available to everyone? Otherwise, it's discrimination.
> Life has always been unfair.
And laws like this ensure the world doesn't become even more unfair.
The author knew it would be a shitshow before they even started. But took the job because of the stock. Started at the job, found it to be terrible. Stuck around... because of the stock. And so on. Meanwhile, your bet rests on the company, which you now know to be a badly run shitshow, beating estimates and turning a healthy profit. Surely you know that isn't going to happen. At a certain point you're making a life decision based around the hope that stock market investors are too stupid to see the obvious. Then scale that thought process up to an entire company, and you wonder why the place isn't functional.
I do have sympathy for the author, no-one deserves to work in a miserable job. But that's why we have the option of quitting. Stock vesting fundamentally affects that.
Good on this person to walk away like that.
"epoch" actually comes from Greek :)
1. Always be Coding. Keep solving interview / LeetCode problems if you want to pursue SE role. You never know, when shit hits the fan and you're asked to leave. Not being prepared to give interview in a short notice will hurt a lot in the future.
2. Spend the first 90 days understanding team dynamics, culture, execution. I rather observer the first few days and play dumb as apposed to show off my skills, even though I know I could do a hell of a better job that the other guy.
3. If I dont like things going smoothly in first 90 days you should gtfo. I was in teams before, where there were soo many gaming types folks (I personally dont play video games that much) and barely a culture of reading or discussing tech papers. I pretty much realized its not my place and I need to gtfo.
Who enjoys meetings enough to want to call one @ 7pm on a Friday? That single event would be enough for me to be starting to email recruiters, it shows that the manager not only has no respect for their employees but is clueless; since it's fairly unrealistic to expect that meeting to be productive.
Unless it's a political move to try to force through some unpopular change in a meeting that nobody is paying attention to, which is another deeper level of red flag.
Maybe don't make long-term financial plans around a company that's obviously unstable?
If I was hiring for a developer position and Google'd Marko Tupper's name, I wouldn't even agree to meet with him based on this article alone. Why would I want someone so ego and drama-driven on my team?
I won't even leave negative reviews on Yelp or Google Maps out of fear of reprisal or future employers finding them.
You say this like the reprisal is unfair immediately after admitting you would do the same.
It’s not nearly this bad but there are some stories that are worth telling.
Here's a list by the author from 2012, FYI: https://bobsutton.typepad.com/my_weblog/2012/02/the_no_assho...
Two things that stood out for me:
1/ If a director of engineering is not able to run a sprint planning meeting or is grossly inefficient at that, what was the reaction of other devs at Snap who were part of the same meeting. More than likely, if they see that as the state of the managements, were they looking for jobs too?
2/ Is there a point in having engineering teams where there is no regular interaction with the manager?
First -- when it comes to stuff like remote work (especially since he was first told "no, you can't do that" when he first explored switching teams), that's all stuff that needs to be in writing. Period. I don't even think this is a hard concept or something you need to learn from experience -- it's just common sense. If you are promised something that is outside the norm or what is official company/department policy, you get that in writing. If you can't get it into your contract, it needs to be at least in email communication with the hiring manager -- but you should really get that into your contract.
The second thing is the whole way he switched teams. Obviously there was something super sketchy going on there (and in retrospect, was the first sign that Snap was trying to manage him out), but that's a massive, massive red flag. For his own performance reviews/bonuses/reporting stuff, the idea that he would technically report to someone else while actually working for a totally different team just doesn't make sense. I understand needing to get away from a bad manager, but this was maybe the worst way to go about doing it, because it offers the employee little to no protection if something in that super sketchy scenario breaks down (which is exactly what happened).
Third, although I'm not going to call this guy "entitled" -- I do take issue with some of the work ethic stuff. I understand the hell that is unproductive meetings, especially meetings that don't involve you or that preclude you from doing what you actually need to do to get done. I have significant experience managing requests/meetings from higher ups that impede on getting your actual work done.
If you're called into a last-minute 2 hour meeting and it means you can't leave on time to avoid traffic, in my opinion (which may be unpopular), the adult thing to do is to stay late and attend the meeting -- paying only as much attention as is necessary. Yes, it sucks to have to leave the office late (and potentially hours later if you need to avoid traffic) -- but barring any sort of preset appointment or obligation, stay in the damn meeting and find a way to avoid having to be in the next one. Not to belabor the point, but the way you get a Low Performance review is to skulk out of a meeting and literally hide from your boss as you sneak out of the building.
Anyway. I do hope the author has found a place that is a better fit for them.
I saw the author's request for extended remote work as entirely reasonable, but I work at a company that has an extremely generous and flexible remote policy, which I love and take full advantage of (working from home several days a week). I now believe that engineers can be at least as productive remote as on-site. Thus, denying his request to work remotely felt, to me, a little petty.
I've worked at companies in the past that discouraged remote work. I think back then, before I'd tried it, I would've seen his insistance on working remotely as a little lazy and entitled.
On the other hand, I do share the frustration with being stuck doing "team-building" stuff that you hate. In most of the cases when I've had "team-building" or mandatory "fun" activities for work, I would have preferred to stay home and sleep. It's also hard to let your hair down when there are bosses around who have the power to fire you or determine your rate of pay.
The biggest problem seems to be bad/micromanaging boss "John."
I concur with the overall point about working remotely being great and often much more productive than working in the office.
Is that legal in that area?
I lived in a townhouse association where someone started the company out of his house. Eventually he started hiring and it didn't take long for everyone to notice his employees were taking all the parking. Fortunately the city had zoning laws and he chose to move when push came to shove.
Fortunately the guy in question didn't put up a fight after that and promised to move / did.
Zoning regulations might just be unenforced unless someone complains. I mean, when was the last time the town just showed up at your house for a regular audit to check you're using your house for it's zoned purpose? I've never heard of that.
> As someone who’s usually pretty good at chewing over a problem until I can find an acceptable solution, being trapped in a situation where there was no acceptable solution was miserable, and I still couldn’t stop chewing.
Eek, uncannily familiar with this feeling.
"Stand up to bullies!" is a cheerful thing to say from the safety of your chair. Not so nice when you're the one the bully will pound into the dirt for standing up
I knew what I was getting myself into. There were red flags, but I chose to ignore them for the sake of a huge equity offer.
Act II - Council:
Snap starts every employee’s onboarding off with some real hippy type of shit. The aforementioned hippy shit can continue into your regular employment if you so desire, which I did not.
Act III - The First Months:
For the first ~1/2 year at Snap, I was mostly isolated on a handful of projects where I became the sole maintainer, and rarely got to interact much with other engineers or my manager.
Act IV - The Phantom Resident:
When I worked for Snap in Venice, we occupied a beach-front condominium with a likely fictitious resident who supposedly slept in our “conference room” to meet zoning requirements.
Act V - Moving to Santa Monica & ADA Semi-Compliance:
The Snap Santa Monica offices were pretty standard big tech office fare. Miniature “phone booth” meeting rooms raised the ire of building inspectors over ADA compliance, and the company implicitly encouraged employees to continue using the non-compliant facilities while replacements were acquired.
Act VI - The John Months:
I needed to stay until at least the following February to vest the first 10% of my stock grant, but it was proving difficult to keep going. A friend on the customer ops team, Nate, offered to have me transfer over and work on their projects full time, and after receiving assurances that I would be able to travel around the holidays and work remotely I jumped on it.
Act VII - The Team Change Switcharoo:
I went through with the team change to customer ops, but for HR purposes I ended up technically reporting to an engineering manager on a different team. Nate, who was going to become my manager under the original plan, didn’t take this news well, but I didn’t mind. The work on the new team proved enjoyable and the stock price even started to recover as I began vesting my stock grant.
Act VIII - The Beginning of the End:
I got a hatchet job of a performance review from my time working for John, and Nate left the company which put me in a tricky situation. I ended up truly joining the team I was technically a member of, and began integrating more into their work alongside my own.
Act XI - The End of the End:
Remember the agreement I made with customer ops about working remotely around the holidays? My new team decided they weren’t going to honor it, and didn’t let me know about that until just a few months before I was planning a trip.
Act X (The Finale) - Dealing With The Fallout:
I couldn’t find any way around the predicament I was in, and had to leave the company. Despite some minor depression symptoms I managed to find a new job and walked away from what would have been a life-changing amount of money.
I noticed three things:
* This developer is focused around me me me, everything has to revolve around him
* This developer is probably hell to work with
* There was a huge cultural mismatch between him/her and Snap
These were my thoughts while reading the article with some comments after every tl;dr. I wasn't able to finish the article because it felt very whiny and egocentric.
>tl;dr — I knew what I was getting myself into. There were red flags, but I chose to ignore them for the sake of a huge equity offer.
At least the author has a lot of self-awareness.
>tl:dr — Snap starts every employee’s on-boarding off with some real hippy type of shit. The aforementioned hippy shit can continue into your regular employment if you so desire, which I did not.
To me this sounds pretty great? Who doesn't want to work in a team in which there is "real" team bonding? People bond over time and shared experiences. I feel like the author is really cynical and is unable to see the benefit from this. I have worked in dysfunctional teams where it's every man for himself and I prefer the opposite by a large margin.
This screams to me that there is a huge cultural mismatch between the author's ideal place to work and Snap Inc.
>unfortunately the workload we had mostly kept us working separately on our own tasks with little room for interaction. It wasn’t uncommon, for the first part of my time at Snap, to get up in the morning, drive to the office, go through the work-day in the same room as two other people but rarely speaking to each other ...
Then maybe ... talk to each other? The author is literally blaming the workload for being unable to socialise with this coworkers -- in the same freaking room. Take out 10 minutes of your time and have coffee, there is a reason those teambuilding activities exist. But I'm giving the author the benefit of the doubt, so let's continue.
>tl;dr — For the first ~1/2 year at Snap, I was mostly isolated on a handful of projects where I became the sole maintainer, and rarely got to interact much with other engineers or my manager.
I empathise with the author because I too have been in the same situation.
>tl;dr — When I worked for Snap in Venice, we occupied a beach-front condominium with a likely fictitious resident who supposedly slept in our “conference room” to meet zoning requirements.
OK I have to admit, that is really weird and possibly illegal?
>tldr — The Snap Santa Monica offices were pretty standard big tech office fare. Miniature “phone booth” meeting rooms raised the ire of building inspectors over ADA compliance, and the company implicitly encouraged employees to continue using the non-compliant facilities while replacements were acquired.
Understandable but an annoying situation. I don't fault anyone for using the booths even with an Out of order sign ... as a developer I would rather have someone use the booth than not use it, phone calls suck.
>The first indications that something was amiss came from just getting introduced to the project by the other engineer already working on it. After showing me the Github repo where I could check out the code, he pointed me to an enormous design document for what was, at the end of the day, not an overly complicated project. When I asked him why he’d put so much effort writing out an extensive design document for a project whose architecture would probably change significantly by the time it wrapped up, he gave me what would become an all-too-familiar reason: John insisted.
Author sounds like a hellish developer to work with. He is bouncing from "let me just stay here for 4 years and cash out" to "I know this better than anyone else". Engineering director writes big document to align everyone and this developer wants to do everything on his terms.
It is a bit disturbing to see a new account just drop a linked in profile like that.
Anonymous stores like this are great, but I really don't want to see the IRL profiles and etc for folks who don't have a voice or wish to stay anonymous.
At midnight, a bus rolls in to the parking lot. Everyone was told to line up in a formation, head forward, arms straight and down to the side.
The bus door opens and out pops a drill instructor with the vigor of a tasmanian devil, barking out orders. Everyone got loaded into the bus in orderly fashion and was told to to put our heads down, cradled between our legs. The bus drove around for what seemed like an hour. Later I found out the camp was next door to the airport.
Upon arrival, the bus stopped, the bus driver got out and the drill instructor got out. We were left to our selves, with no instructions, no understanding for ten minutes. Then came an imposing man with a wide brimmed hat with a voice that sounds like a frog inhabited his throat.
He proceeded to say in a frank manner we are now to disembark off this bus and make our way outside to find a pair of gold foot prints on the ground. We are each to line up on them and wait for further instructions.
After the last person has gotten off the bus and when everyone was situated, we are then told the meaning of those foot prints. It is a tradition passed on through history, whereby someone before us had stepped on those foot prints prior to starting boot camp and there will be people after us to step on those foot prints.
From there we entered the gates thus began our journey to become United States Marine Corps, an organization with a history of over 243 years.
tl;dr -- Every organization has whackadoo indoctrination.
Nope. Just whackaddo organizations. I'd argue the Marine Corps is included in that, but at least they have the excuse of needing soldiers to be able to depend on each other for their lives. Snap... not so much.
1. Internally you'll feel like you're growing still even though you aren't
2. Externally to investors same feeling
3. You will collect resumes in case you want to fire up hiring again quickly