Worst Companies to Work For, Part All

  1. Posted on July 15, 2007 7:07:AM by Earl Beede to Practicing Earl
  2. humor, irritating, worst, best companies to work for, Management

Steve McConnell (my boss) is bragging about his company since it got voted the best small company to work for in Washington State. He is so proud that he needs to do the bragging in three parts!

I have to admit, it is a pretty nice place to work. Did he mention the free beer? Anyplace that has free beer is a great place to work by definition. Not to mention that I am writing this in my private office while wearing shorts and listing to the blues. Unless, of course, I get too distracted by trying to decided how to spend my many weeks of paid time off. (I am thinking August is no longer good for me.)

Now that I have you all jealous, of course Construx is a great place to work. There are only sixteen of us and we are all contributing professionals. I think you can do things as a small, flexible company that you just can't do other places. What may be more interesting are the common things that make a company a worst company to work for. Not the weird things done by a psychologically disturbed pointy haired boss but the irritating things that happen day in and day out that can make a place a living hell.

Here is my short list:

  • Bodily noises from the people who work around you that are better left to the pages of Mad magazine
  • Food or drink at a work station that has been there since the disco age
  • Print jobs that a) use the last of the paper or b) jam the machine and were launched by a person who just went on a three week vacation
  • Anybody who works around you whose teenage children have more ethical lapses than a presidential administration
  • Any client or manager who begins a request with the phrase, "It is just a ..."
  • The rattle made by the air vent in the ceiling in which you have already stuffed 37 post-it notes
  • Application dialogs that tell you that the system has crashed/needs to be restarted and then asks if it is "OK"
  • Meetings scheduled for the end of the day because that is, "the only time everyone is available" -- because we want to go home!

Anything else?

Maksym Shostak said:

July 22, 2007 12:49:PM

When I was learning at Military Institute there was Colonel MykolaGornin. Colonel GorninWe (cadets) have been drilled by him very hard. Often, hisindignation was:"When a cadet gets a command, he tries not to perform the best as hecan, but to get rid of it in "anyhow" way"!I understood him when I was final-year student.But cadets were doing in the "wrong way" because often there (in thearmy) was approach like "dig from this tree until the dinner" :-)I meet such approaches in civil life too.

Maksym Shostak said:

August 2, 2007 12:45:PM

I'd like to add some items in your short list, Earl:

- your manager calls every your idea as nonsense, and they become approved by practice later (but he continues to act the same way);

- your manager does not know such terms as application architecture/design;

- you work at cubical office with 50 employees, sitting on uncomfortable chair;

- extra noisy repairing is going on the other side of the wall, or there are English studies;

- system administrators decides what programing tools you (developer) need to use, what version of MSDN...

That's life in outsourcing.

What do companies outsourced they software projects earn?..

Maksym Shostak said:

September 14, 2007 1:31:AM

Who is asking such kind of questions, and what does he want to measure?

Why the 2-nd and 3-rd category of activities are not called "core job activities"?

How about "mythical man-month"?

Criticalcare web » Worst Companies to Work F said:

November 25, 2010 4:45:PM

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Earl Beede

Earl Beede, CSDP is a Senior Fellow at Construx Software, where he designs and leads seminars and provides consulting services on early project-lifecycle practices, estimation, requirements, quality assurance, contract management, and software methodologies.

With more than 20 years experience as a quality assurance representative, systems analyst, process architect, and manager, Earl has designed and written software development processes for companies across a wide variety of industries. Prior to joining Construx, he held quality assurance and systems analyst positions at organizations that include the Department of Defense, Boeing Computer Services and Verizon Wireless.

Earl has a Bachelor's degree from the University of Washington. He is a member of the IEEE Computer Society and a past coordinator of the Seattle Area SPIN (Software Process Improvement Network).


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