Discussion on: Software development is a social profession

awnton profile image
Anton Gunnarsson Author

I agree that culture means nothing in the context of "We have great culture! Woho!", but if you dig a little deeper you usually find out what that culture consists of. Is it ping pong tables, beer at the office and amazing parties? Not for me.

For me culture is things like a genuine engagement in your colleagues, being able to be your true self and an atmosphere that encourages having the courage to stand up for what you believe in.

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jorgecc profile image
Jorge Castro

It is what we tried:

  • foosball and ping-pong. It failed. I don't know why but the team never used but the first day. We steal the idea of Google but I really doubt that Google had better luck with it.
  • TV screen. It works but for some occasions. We put on the lobby.
  • Sport. Practically every sport failed (including Yoga and it's funny because they asked for it) but football (soccer, it is a Hispanic thing), some of the technicians even created a championship with cup and stuff. We had a lot of injured (we kicked the problem to the insurance company) but other that, it worked.
  • BBQ, it worked for some events. Alcohol is always a problem, and we couldn't only serve Coca-Cola because we are all adults but we don't want troubles so it is a touchy point.
  • Parties? tsk tsk. It's so much liability.
  • Xmas and other festivities, some collaborators whined against it. We said it was voluntary but sheesh with some people (some people are intolerant). Finally, we gave it up.
  • Secret Santa = never ever again.

And most people are really willing to work (and live) in a safe (traffic jam free) place, even if it means to half his/her salary.

But there is another factor: costs.

Let's say, the company denies you a raise but spend 10x of your salary in an event. It is enough to lower your moral. It is was the reason why I left my first job.

Also, some people think they are in high-school, and it is not. Mistakes have consequences such as to be fired, sued, or arrested.

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awnton profile image
Anton Gunnarsson Author

Yeah, stuff like ping-pong tables, TVs and parties might sound nice but without an underlying core that's based on more people focused values, it won't create a culture worth savoring.