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Discussion on: Should we form a labor union?

sirseanofloxley profile image
Sean Allin Newell

It's hard, but I think right now employees have a lot of power. The software job market is just so....tilted towards us I guess is a good way to put it. Perhaps if we simply didn't work for employers who didn't offer a minimum high bar of standards, that could be the pressure needed. And it doesn't need to be the fringe employees who are living pay check to pay check; it can just be the top 30% or 20%; the 'top talent' has a lot of sway over what kinds of incentives employers provide. That's why we see silly things like daily free lunches being hyped instead of robust paternity leave; the top talent the employer is after has done their market research, and the 'top talent' hasn't matured yet.

I hope that as our industry matures, the engineers will be able to shape how we want the industry to look like and function with discussions like these here on, and on Twitter, and yes, even irl in our break rooms and slack channels.

I guess what I'm envisioning is more of an educated workforce via an ad hoc union of sorts, that's more grassroots than formal and organized. We don't need legal power, we need social pressures and community. Idk, maybe that doesn't honor the real hardships certain families experience, but here in Texas in the DFW metroplex, even bad engineers have it really great. It's hard for me to imagine a software engineer living on the edge down here, but in calfironia I'm sure that's the norm. #costOfLiving