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I work at Twitter, where i regularly work longs hours (my standard work day is something like 10 - 19:30) and am frequently on call. I even spend time at the weekends thinking and hacking on specific problems.

I feel that the author's post doesn't apply in my case, because:

- Some of the problems i work on are amazing. They're interesting and fun, and i enjoy them outside the normal "work hours".

- Twitter has an "unlimited"—be respectful to your team—holiday policy. I've probably taken about 6-7 weeks off in my one and a quarter years here.

- Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served for free. While you might not count that as 'being paid overtime', the costs of food can add up.

- This behaviour is not required. I know people who do 9-5 and that's it. They get their work done within deadlines, and there's no issue with that.

So, am i to assume that Twitter is a huge exception? I'm not so sure. I think that while Twitter is a special environment, there are many companies that offer similar benefits.

Maybe the real statement shouldn't be "don't do unpaid overtime", but:

"Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle." - Steve Jobs




Right, if it is something you actually want to be doing then that is one thing. But, I bet you are not married and have kids or if you do, they may not be as happy with you as you might think. It's just reality.

As for the Steve Jobs thing, yes I get that. But it's one thing to be Steve Jobs and have this legacy that they make documentaries about and it's another to have just been a cog, even if it's a popular company like Twitter, your whole life and not have any kind of family or life outside of your job. Perhaps everlasting glory is worth everything else but I doubt it's true for everyday programmers at Apple.


I feel like you've got a little over-dramatic here.

Firstly, i'm not married nor do i have children. Secondly, these things will come, in time.

I find it discouraging that you feel that one can't take pride or enjoy work while being "a cog". This isn't about 'everlasting glory'; it's about enjoyment, it's about fun, it's about being proud about what you've created and owning it, it's about respect from your peers, it's about being a part of something.

As you said, "if it is something you actually want to be doing then that is one thing". It is. It is exactly what i want to be doing.


why don't you work for free then ? It should give you same sense of fulfillment and company will benefit even more. :-)


I think most people don't mind when there's some kind of flexibility or give-and-take. But there are also jobs that will just plain suck you dry and never give you anything for all the effort you pour into them.


I agree, but I'm not sure that the article's absolutist view is best.

I used that quote to mean that if you're not happy, then you should change that.


They don't need everyone to work overtime as long as there are people like you that do.


I don't know anyone that actually does 9 to 5... The standard in the midwest is 8 to 5, 1 hour lunch break.

So you're really only putting in an extra 30 minutes per day... Minus the dinner you eat...

I'm going to go out on a limb and say you're probably not the target audience the poster had in mind.


> Twitter has an "unlimited"—be respectful to your team—holiday policy. I've probably taken about 6-7 weeks off in my one and a quarter years here.

Curious as to how these things work in the states. I take it that you pay for the time off from your salary? (E.g. you don't get any for the period) Do you have any time off that is paid by your employer?


It is all paid time off. A lot of tech companies in the US have this policy. I know software developers that have taken two months off (paid) after a big product launch. It is part of the compensation and perks.

Ironically, this policy is illegal in most European countries.


These are actually a benefit the the employer. Issuing official paid time off amounts to additional compensation to the employee. If you have 3 weeks of paid vacation available, that shows up on the company's books as a liability that has to be accounted for on their balance sheet. So, you are in effect being paid your salary + however many days off you get. I'm not sure how it works with an open door policy, but I suspect they'd be able to assume a smaller liability based on the actual number of days people take off rather than some amount that they're owed.


I'm positive it's paid time off. Heroku and GitHub have identical policies.


It is entirely paid time off.


Does your 10 - 19:30 (9.5 hour) day also include time for lunch and dinner that twitter generously provides?


Yep.


So, the reality is, you aren't working long hours. Neither am I. You are, in effect, working 8 hours a day, with an hour for lunch and a half hour for dinner. That you might choose to work while having lunch and dinner is up to you, but I also doubt you are working 100% of the time, either. This isn't to say you don't work hard, but just to say you aren't really working long hours.


> I regularly work longs hours (my standard work day is something like 10 - 19:30)

I live in Japan and what is this?


10AM - 7:30PM


I mean that in Japan, working 8.5 hours (if you subtract 1 hour for lunch) isn't considered working "long hours" at all.

Though I suppose it's not considered long hours in US too, perhaps the commenter above doesn't have a lot of experience or has been lucky till now.


Do you at least get paid for overtime when you're on call?




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