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Dropcam CEO's Beef With Brogramming and Free Dinners

timothy posted about a year ago | from the why-is-the-incinerator-so-big? dept.

Businesses 400

waderoush writes "Plenty of technology companies serve free breakfast, lunch, and dinner to their employees, but Dropcam CEO Greg Duffy says that's a form of mind control designed to get people to to work late. To keep employees happy, Duffy says, it's better to make them go home to their families for dinner. Some other suggestions from the San Francisco video monitoring startup: don't fill your engineering department with young, single, childless males (aka brogrammers). Keep your business model simple by making actual stuff that you can sell for a profit. And don't hire assholes. Why pay attention to Duffy's advice? Because Dropcam has a 100 percent employee retention rate — no one who has joined the 4-year-old company has ever left."

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400 comments

Slashdot = intellectual vomit (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43527035)

Think I'll put 127.0.0.1 for slashdot.com in the HOSTS file and be done with it.

Re:Slashdot = intellectual vomit (4, Insightful)

AaronLS (1804210) | about a year ago | (#43527327)

Please do and leave it that way, because no one with a productive/meaningful life cares anything about your trivial host file ramblings.

Re:Slashdot = intellectual vomit (-1, Offtopic)

kaizendojo (956951) | about a year ago | (#43527395)

+ 1 (thousand)

Re:Slashdot = intellectual vomit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43527387)

Hurry up already. There's nothing stopping you. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Why are you still here?

Re:Slashdot = intellectual vomit (5, Funny)

chargersfan420 (1487195) | about a year ago | (#43527593)

Slashdot is a .org.

Hm. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43527065)

I'd agree with dinner, and maybe breakfast to an extent.
But lunch? It's just a time saver to have it at work.
If I eat while working and don't take the time off for lunch, I can leave sooner.

Re:Hm. (5, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | about a year ago | (#43527197)

Yes and no.

Sometimes you need to get off your ass and walk around once in awhile. Focus your eyes on something that doesn't involve pixels or a desk. Lunchtime is perfect for that. Gives you a chance to get out, walk around, notice things, talk to folks in a groups, and in a setting where you're not all eyeballing a PowerPoint presentation.

I get the leave-earlier paradigm, but honestly? 8-10 straight hours in front a screen makes Johnny a very unhappy soul. Break that shit up.

Re:Hm. (4, Funny)

dragon-file (2241656) | about a year ago | (#43527409)

Wait... people do that sort of thing? I mean the walking and the looking at things that aren't pixels?....

Re:Hm. (5, Informative)

egcagrac0 (1410377) | about a year ago | (#43527533)

Normal people do, yes.

A lot of tech workers don't act like normal people, however.

Re:Hm. (3, Insightful)

MindStalker (22827) | about a year ago | (#43527425)

You can provide lunch and this as well. Many companies you see people packing their lunch and eating at the desk in order to get lunch over quickly so they can leave early. If you provide lunch in other area but insist they don't bring their lunch to their desk, it would be a positive.

Re:Hm. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43527573)

That's what smoke breaks are for.

Re:Hm. (3, Insightful)

Wookact (2804191) | about a year ago | (#43527459)

I get an hour for lunch. I may spend the entire lunch doing what ever I choose. Or I can eat at my desk and field calls for that hour, and I am allowed to leave 30 minutes early. Well on some days, unless things are running late, or I am the last one here and we need coverage till 5:30, or a million other things that could keep me here late. Lotsa ways to throw a wrench in the leave early plan.

I enjoy my lunch hour.

NO ASSHOLES ?? MUST BE FULL OF SHIT !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43527071)

Besides, it buys crap cameras and makes them even more worthless !! For a fee even !!

100 percent of 1 is 1 (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43527081)

how many employees are there? just him?

Re:100 percent of 1 is 1 (3, Informative)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | about a year ago | (#43527297)

how many employees are there? just him?

FTA:

Rather, it's that people just like to stay: Dropcam has hired 30 workers to date, and it's never had to give a single going-away party.

Re:100 percent of 1 is 1 (3, Interesting)

AuMatar (183847) | about a year ago | (#43527405)

So in other words statistically insignificant. That's in line with all the startups I've worked for- we didn't lose people unless we fired them with very few exceptions.

Re:100 percent of 1 is 1 (1)

dragon-file (2241656) | about a year ago | (#43527449)

That's because they cant get away. They are literally chained to their desks. They dont get free breakfast, lunch or dinner but they do get to spend time with their families. By spend time I mean they have visitation hours.

Re:100 percent of 1 is 1 (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year ago | (#43527579)

everyone they canned they freaking hated.

Re:100 percent of 30 is 30 (2)

hendrikboom (1001110) | about a year ago | (#43527391)

30.

What about Foosball ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43527087)

Whats his position on Foosball ? No Foosball, no work, seriously.

Nigger (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43527095)

"no one who has joined the 4-year-old company has ever left"

So what do they have like two employees?

Just Like... (1)

camperdave (969942) | about a year ago | (#43527275)

"no one who has joined the 4-year-old company has ever left"

Just like the CIA.

But...Agile teaches us... (0)

engineerErrant (759650) | about a year ago | (#43527105)

...that we shouldn't want things like identities, families, and lives. It is a joy for us to be interchangeable work-bots. Dissention must be expunged so that we can be assimilated. Obedience is happiness!

Re:But...Agile teaches us... (5, Informative)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year ago | (#43527147)

"...that we shouldn't want things like identities, families, and lives. It is a joy for us to be interchangeable work-bots. Dissention must be expunged so that we can be assimilated. Obedience is happiness!"

"Agile" does nothing of the sort. If that's how you're doing Agile, you're doing it wrong.

Re: But...Agile teaches us... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43527263)

Isn't it a crucial part of Agile to tell others they are doing Agile wrong? :)

Re:But...Agile teaches us... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43527287)

I see this sort of comment a lot, but I think it's important to note that this comes close to sounding like a "no true scotsman" fallacy. If the net effect of agile were that most places that practice it in some form end up like he is describing, does it really matter what the intention is? At best, it would mean that agile is helpless to solve the problems that exist in all of those workplaces.

Re:But...Agile teaches us... (1)

PmanAce (1679902) | about a year ago | (#43527393)

All agile does is to make the client more involved in the shorten development cycle, the work more accountable (as in changes and implementations are done earlier), and the team members better team players. Agile has nothing to do with workplace problems.

Re:But...Agile teaches us... (3, Interesting)

AuMatar (183847) | about a year ago | (#43527465)

No, those are things that agile *claims* to do. Whether it does that, what else it does, and how well it actually does those things varies greatly. "Agile" in my experience is usually just a buzzword meaning iterative development of any sort.

Re:But...Agile teaches us... (4, Insightful)

obarel (670863) | about a year ago | (#43527347)

The one consistent thing about Agile: "you're doing it wrong". I have never seen a different answer to any complaint about Agile.

Re:But...Agile teaches us... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43527319)

That is not 'agile'. Agile is about consistency (you know, knowing people work 8-5 and have a family). If you are working to a deadline then you are not being agile. It is about knowing what you CAN do in the next 2-3 weeks with a fixed input. It is not about what you are going to do.

I have seen so many abuses of agile its scary. The truly scary is it is from the same group of people who claim to be it. Current flavor is trying to cram it back into waterfall. "we want the product on july 20 and these 300 features, but use the agile tools to create your whole roadmap for the next 4 months".

Some people have used agile as an excuse to be even more pedantic about schedules.

Pfft (5, Funny)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | about a year ago | (#43527109)

To keep employees happy, Duffy says, it's better to make them go home to their families for dinner.

That's fine for regular employees, but assuming sys admins want to go home to their families is just silly.

http://xkcd.com/705/ [xkcd.com]

Hiring assholes is never worth it. (5, Insightful)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about a year ago | (#43527111)

You end up with unmaintainable code, late deadlines and an environment where numerous employees want to kill each other. Profit? Good luck.

It doesn't matter how talented the asshole is if he\she costs more than they're worth. I'd rather have a few mediocre developers who are nice to each other, write to spec, comment appropriately, and write code that anyone can understand and maintain.

Re:Hiring assholes is never worth it. (3, Insightful)

NFN_NLN (633283) | about a year ago | (#43527277)

You end up with unmaintainable code, late deadlines and an environment where numerous employees want to kill each other. Profit? Good luck.

It doesn't matter how talented the asshole is if he\she costs more than they're worth. I'd rather have a few mediocre developers who are nice to each other, write to spec, comment appropriately, and write code that anyone can understand and maintain.

I think you're confusing jerk-off with asshole. A jerk-off is what you're describing in the first sentence, and also the environment that eventually turns other people into assholes.

A true asshole does quality work, but quickly becomes annoyed when:
- people check in "shit" code that fixes the symptom without addressing the actual problem
- they have to adhere to shit specs they had no input on
- they have to work with jerk-offs (as defined above)

"Know your shit" OR "Know you're shit"

Re:Hiring assholes is never worth it. (5, Insightful)

TXG1112 (456055) | about a year ago | (#43527291)

developers who are nice to each other, write to spec, comment appropriately, and write code that anyone can understand and maintain.

This is pretty much the textbook definition of a good programmer, not a mediocre one.

Re:Hiring assholes is never worth it. (5, Insightful)

Spy Handler (822350) | about a year ago | (#43527299)

I'd rather have a few mediocre developers who are nice to each other, write to spec, comment appropriately, and write code that anyone can understand and maintain.

If they could do that (esp. the bold part), they wouldn't be mediocre developers.

Re:Hiring assholes is never worth it. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43527305)

I'd rather have a few mediocre developers who are nice to each other, write to spec, comment appropriately, and write code that anyone can understand and maintain.

I don't think mediocre means what you think it means.

Re:Hiring assholes is never worth it. (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about a year ago | (#43527331)

You may be confusing social assholes with coding assholes. Sometimes socially clueless idiots write the best code; you just don't want to interact with them if possible unless you've formed a tough back-bone.

Re:Hiring assholes is never worth it. (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | about a year ago | (#43527389)

Salesmen.

Re:Hiring assholes is never worth it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43527469)

That's not entirely true. There are certain problems (not even all that difficult) that mediocre people will never, ever be able to solve. One's best bet is to hire a gifted person who is pleasant but if it's not possible, a business must bite the bullet in some way: hire the difficult person as a contractor or potentially lose business while searching for someone nice capable of doing the work.

A developer who writes unmaintainable code and misses deadlines is by definition not a gifted worker. It doesn't matter whether such a developer is pleasant or not: such a person is a liability and should not be hired and, if he is employed, he should be redeployed into an area where he can be an asset or he should be fired.

Finally, the classic example of the asshole who is worth it is Steve Jobs. I have never read of a successful person who created a real business who was such an incredible douche bag.

Re:Hiring assholes is never worth it. (3)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | about a year ago | (#43527525)

You end up with unmaintainable code, late deadlines and an environment where numerous employees want to kill each other.

Assholes create and cause shit. Noted.

Re:Hiring assholes is never worth it. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43527553)

You are falling into the trap of correlating talent with asshole. In my experience, a lot of real assholes also tend to be less technically talented as well.

Lack of social skills does not correlate to intelligence either.

yay! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43527115)

We have brogrammers where I work. Idiots, every one of them.

Re:yay! (0)

salteye (2788803) | about a year ago | (#43527265)

Cool story bro.

Re:yay! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43527569)

I see someone's dropped a few tabs of Agile this morning.

lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43527117)

30 employees and nobody's left? Wow! And they offer maternity leave? O. M. G. Seriously, what kind of ignorant fluff is this?

Reactionary much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43527121)

Some of us are young, single, and childless (not necessarily male). It's a neat perk that keeps the cost of living down, and in the Bay Area those costs are already ludicrously expensive.

Besides, who wants to take advice from a four year old no name company just barely out of its diapers? Come back when you've been around at least a decade.

Re:Reactionary much? (0)

salteye (2788803) | about a year ago | (#43527225)

Slashdot is now for angry older people in their 30s and 40s.

Re:Reactionary much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43527257)

I work for a 30+ year old company that's doing particularly well. Lots of experience (read: older workforce with very little attrition), offices in areas with far lower CoL than SF, relatively little empire building, few primadonnas, absolutely no brogrammer culture, and most importantly work weeks capped at 50 hours for salaried employees. Seek us out before your caffeine tolerance builds up and you have to switch to Adderall.

Re:Reactionary much? (1)

salteye (2788803) | about a year ago | (#43527463)

See this? Pompous, self-righteous attitude. Yeah, I'm sure your older workforce is made of coding aces who are honing their skills after their families go to bed. Have fun living in your bubble. Hope you don't get laid off!

Re:Reactionary much? (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | about a year ago | (#43527509)

And when the IRS clamps down on benefits in kind will you feel the same way.

Re:Reactionary much? (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#43527571)

Some of us are young, single, and childless (not necessarily male). It's a neat perk that keeps the cost of living down, and in the Bay Area those costs are already ludicrously expensive.

Besides, who wants to take advice from a four year old no name company just barely out of its diapers? Come back when you've been around at least a decade.

There's plenty of cheap (and good) food in the bay area - if you can afford the cost of Bay Area housing, dinners needn't be a major expense. I can pick up a decent meal (Chinese, Mexican, Thai, Vietnamese, etc) for $6 - $8 within a 10 minute walk from home or from the office. Though I usually end up cooking.

30 workers over 4 years? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43527125)

While I don't disagree with his logic or reasoning I do double his methodology would hold true for a larger subset of employee demographic.
Basically to summarize he states:
Make a highly profitable product.
Don't overwork your staff.
Hire people who can't as easily uproot and change.
Don't hire assholes.
No shit... really.

Re:30 workers over 4 years? (1)

Zephyn (415698) | about a year ago | (#43527237)

Based on what I've seen and the places I've worked over the years, all of that is nowhere near as easy as it sounds.

Re:30 workers over 4 years? (1)

benjfowler (239527) | about a year ago | (#43527247)

It's common sense.

And there's nothing common at all about "common" sense. Duffy is a genius, so you'd expect him to show common sense even at his age (he's only 26).

What he seems to have stumbled upon too, is our industry's ridiculous Peter Pan myth, that youth and rudderless energy trumps experience and wisdom.

A lot of people start startups to flip them. The failure rate is exceedingly high. Conventional businesses that aim to grow organically are less sexy, still fail, but don't fail nearly as often as "startups". I would like to build a serious business once; I don't think I would like to start a "startup".

Re:30 workers over 4 years? (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#43527377)

Duffy is a genius, so you'd expect him to show common sense

I don't think the link between genius and common sense is as strong as you seem to think it is.

Though I may only be saying that because I definitely don't have any of one of those.

Re:30 workers over 4 years? (1)

benjfowler (239527) | about a year ago | (#43527457)

"Common sense" is basically wisdom.

The exceptional people I've known can not only assimilate enormous amounts of knowledge in a short time, they can also pick up wisdom faster. Wisdom is definitely an edge when starting and running a business.

They're overanalyzing. (5, Insightful)

ron_ivi (607351) | about a year ago | (#43527129)

Just keep employees happy.

Some programmers like free dinners, and enjoy sleeping til noon and working til midnight, and don't mind the 12 hours because their best friends are at work.

Other programmers want to work 9-5 to drop kids off in the morning and get home to them at dinner.

Many programmers go through each of those stages in their carreers.

It's not an either/or question. Just make a workplace that accomodates both groups and keeps both happy.

Re:They're overanalyzing. (3, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year ago | (#43527187)

The thing is, the art of management in IT is often perceived as being maximizing the amount of hours worked (in the demonstrably mistaken belief that this means these programmers are getting more done), so companies try to ensure they get more programmers in the first group and no programmers in the second group.

Re:They're overanalyzing. (4, Insightful)

benjfowler (239527) | about a year ago | (#43527489)

Maximising output, perhaps?

Dumb people think that (maximising hours) == (maximising output), knowing nothing about how productivity tails off when hours worked in a week exceed ~ 40 or so.

There's a VERY good reason why people work 35-40 hour weeks. To maximise individual output.

Re:They're overanalyzing. (1)

The End Of Days (1243248) | about a year ago | (#43527539)

Well shitty programmers need jobs as well. They get jobs in the places like you describe.

Are those the jobs you seem to keep getting? Guess what that says about your skills.

Re:They're overanalyzing. (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about a year ago | (#43527321)

Maybe it's easier to accomodate to a uniform group. Although it's worth pointing out that this approach may not work outside the US, hiring based on age, sex and family status isn't exactly legal everywhere.

Don't fill your company with X or Y (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43527131)

because it doesn't fit my model of reality and goes against all these cool buzzwords that I just made up.

Garbage, Wrong (1, Troll)

salteye (2788803) | about a year ago | (#43527137)

Young, single, childless males are the ones who will dedicate their evenings to making sure not only that things run properly, but that you are in the front of your field. Filling your department with family oriented people is just going to give you a whole bunch of people who will do what they must and anything they need to not to lose their job. If you follow this advice, DO NOT EXPECT TO INNOVATE!

Re:Garbage, Wrong (4, Insightful)

benjfowler (239527) | about a year ago | (#43527311)

Obviously not hiring the right people then!

All the biggest innovators I have worked with in my current gig are married with kids. One has teenage kids.

Hiring kids and brogrammers, you end up with a shitload of very clever people (or 'clever', since many have intelligence, but lack knowledge and wisdom). And a mountain of garbage. What you're looking for is people who _aren't_ wet behind the ears, but who actually give a shit about what they do. If they hack Lisp in their spare time, but have a family, they stand a decent chance of being a good hire.

Re:Garbage, Wrong (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43527355)

Young, single, childless males are the ones who will dedicate their evenings to making sure not only that things run properly, but that you are in the front of your field. Filling your department with family oriented people is just going to give you a whole bunch of people who will do what they must and anything they need to not to lose their job.

If you follow this advice, DO NOT EXPECT TO INNOVATE!

Because, we all know, young single people never act in ways that just favor their career. And never make mistakes from inexperience that an older programmer has learned how to avoid. And never decide to quit suddenly so they can backpack Honduras.

Re:Garbage, Wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43527421)

That work ethic is a fast path burnout. That's fine for a company with a 2-4 year lifespan striving for a buyout. But what happens after all the tribal knowledge walks out the door?

Re:Garbage, Wrong (1)

Svartalf (2997) | about a year ago | (#43527561)

Meltdown. That's what happens...

Re:Garbage, Wrong (1)

hendrikboom (1001110) | about a year ago | (#43527439)

Some creative, innovative youngsters grow up to become creative, innovative parents with children.

Re:Garbage, Wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43527543)

Heh... In most cases, they've not refined their thoughts and taught their minds to move in the directions needed to do what you claim.

Innovation comes from a creative mind- period. Youth isn't the sole source for this- and if you're telling yourself this, you're deluding yourself and you're part of the problem, not the solution.

Slang isn't always cool. (0, Flamebait)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year ago | (#43527185)

"Some other suggestions from the San Francisco video monitoring startup: don't fill your engineering department with young, single, childless males (aka brogrammers)."

Who's the idiot who came up with "brogrammers"? Sounds like a bunch of gay guys from "da hood".

(aka brogrammers) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43527189)

young, single, childless males (aka brogrammers)

Yeah? Well fuck you (aka asshole), too!

His Employees Already Win... (5, Insightful)

MatthiasF (1853064) | about a year ago | (#43527195)

...for having a CEO that actually cares about them.

Re:His Employees Already Win... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43527575)

This is more important than the advice. It's not just the CEO. The people you want to retain aren't dumb enough to be fooled by a few free pizzas or sodas if the work environment is toxic, it doesn't matter how much you get paid... unless you are getting Wall Street money.

4 years? (1)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about a year ago | (#43527213)

I've been working as a software developer for the same company for 12. There are 6 other software developers who, apart from 1, arrived before me (1 arrived 1 month after me). Since then, 2 have come and gone. The first came from overseas and inevitably returned there and the second found himself detained at Her Majesty's Pleasure for something or other.

3 of us are single childless males :).

Maybe good advice, but... (1, Insightful)

Improv (2467) | about a year ago | (#43527219)

Having had a company for 4 years might not be enough to qualify for giving advice people should listen to.

Re:Maybe good advice, but... (4, Insightful)

benjfowler (239527) | about a year ago | (#43527411)

I think he's qualified.

For conventional small businesses, about half fail in their first year. The fact that he's managed to achieve so much at his age makes him an EXCELLENT person from whom to seek out advice.

Re:Maybe good advice, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43527497)

Especially when his advice is illegal when taken at face value...

Re:Maybe good advice, but... (1)

erice (13380) | about a year ago | (#43527597)

Having had a company for 4 years might not be enough to qualify for giving advice people should listen to.

I've worked for several startups. Four years is long enough to expect some turnover if the headcount is non-trivial. The pointed questions to ask are:

1) How many employees?
2) What kind of roles to they serve?
3) Is the company obscuring turnover by keeping traditionally high-turnover roles like sales as contractor?

Brogrammer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43527229)

Never use the word brogrammer... Ugh who comes with with these terms? Every body goes through stages, I had my 20's when I didn't mind putting in hours, now in my 30's with a family time with them is more important than establishing a career which is what I did in my 20's. So you find a company that is more family friendly, not a startup.

Re:Brogrammer... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43527501)

A 'brogrammer' is a specific subset of young male programmers generally. Anybody using it as a synonym for 'young, probably unmarried, male programmer' is doing it wrong; but there is a recognizable population(unfortunately) that it fits pretty well.

As a business owner (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43527261)

I will now stop paying for everyone's lunch all the time - I thought I was being nice.

Retention rate isn't everything (1)

Diddlbiker (1022703) | about a year ago | (#43527279)

Without RTFA, not sure if retention rate is the be-all-end-all. I can easily get a retention rate of 100%--hire all the incompetent idiots nobody else wants. They'll never leave my company, because they'd be out of a job. Voila!

Not saying this guy is doing it wrong; just saying that retention rate alone isn't that much of a useful indicator.

And here is where I stopped reading (4, Interesting)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about a year ago | (#43527309)

That’s why there are no free dinners at Dropcam—around 6:00 pm the company

I am sorry, at WHAT time? Ever heard the song 9 to 5? 9 to 5! Dinner is at 6 o'clock. Having to stay at work till six and then the commute means you won't be home close to 8. Kids will be in bed by that time. Dinner will be waiting in the oven.

A GOOD going home hour is 5... oh wait. that is rush hour, means you leave "early" and arrive home just as late. Do you know what would be even BETTER? A company with FLEXIBLE hours and a max 8 hours on the workfloor. Now THAT would be a social company. Even better if you can take a half day off to deal with plumbers and other stuff.

Nobody left in the last 4 years. Geez, I wonder why. An economy down the drain may have something to do with it.

Don't get me wrong, a company that doesn't expect unpaid overtime in exchange for a greasy cold pizza (especially if there is no pizza) everyday gets pretty old pretty fast. But closing the doors at 6 doesn't show much of an improvement. You are still putting in a long day, except now you don't get free dinner at the end of the day. What about those without a family for who a company dinner saves time not having to cook for themselves?

It is telling that the article calls him a wunderkind idealist and then fails to list any idealistic thing in the next few paragraphs.

Re:And here is where I stopped reading (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43527609)

Then again it doesn't say in the article that EVERYONE leaves at 6. There may be some who leave earlier than that, and those who leave at 6 may be a 10 minute bike ride from home. You don't really have any way of knowing that just from the article, so you're overreacting "slightly",,,

Do you even code, bro? (0)

HeckRuler (1369601) | about a year ago | (#43527341)

don't fill your engineering department with young, single, childless males (aka brogrammers).

First off, "brogrammer" is one of those moderately new phrases that hasn't been fully defined yet. I always thought it was any code shop whose members were close friends and did stuff together outside of work. It just coincodence that young single childless programmers don't have established roots and have time to go for a beer after work.
So let's break it down:
-Young: No experience means entry-level pay. You REALLY need at least one experienced guy, but surrounding him with minions and padawans isn't a bad business descision
-Single/childless: No roots means that they (statistically) don't have anything better to do after work... than work. If a manager can employ a guy to do 80 hours for 40 hours of pay, they will probaly do so. Dicks.
-Male: Sadly, sexism in the industry is pretty well established. No good reason for it. There ARE reasons, but none of them good.

Keep your business model simple by making actual stuff that you can sell for a profit.

Did you just associate programming with "actual stuff"? Really?

And don't hire assholes.

Wow, what a revelation. Now, this might actually be news for people who are used to hiring salesmen, but for code shops? Naw.

Because Dropcam has a 100 percent employee retention rate — no one who has joined the 4-year-old company has ever left.

Which anyone can do if they get a group of dead-end-career types who know they're lucky to have a job, any job. The dead sea effect is well known, this guy might just have hit those salty sailors early. He probably does have a good point when it comes to retention and the common family-man sort. Once you have roots it's harder to up and leave for greener fields.

100 percent rention a good thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43527349)

Having 100 percent retention is not necessarily a good thing either. From what I learned, too little retention is bad (for obvious reasons) but a very high retention rate can also be a sign that you are being too lenient on your employees and that may cause them to take advantage.

Steve Jobs? (2)

Tablizer (95088) | about a year ago | (#43527353)

don't hire assholes

Apple would never exist

Food rewards (4, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | about a year ago | (#43527361)

Google uses dinner as a form of manipulation. It's considered bad form to eat dinner at Google and then go home. It's like training animals with food rewards.

Possible scenario (-1, Troll)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year ago | (#43527367)

I start a company with 8 of my FRIENDS and stay profitable... there's the 100% retention rate. If it was a big company with a 100% retention rate, I'd be impressed. Also, they make a camera... a cheap one, while I can't say either way on the value, I can't imagine they're doing anything cutting edge here. Coincidentally, he's keeping costs down by not offering any perks to his employees in turn supposedly keeping the cost of the camera down, that's too much trust there imho. I do agree with the capping of worker hours, but here's the flip side, why should a w-2 worker who gets paid a salary for 40 hours no more work even the extra 15 minutes in 40.15 hours for free? Nobody should be feel obligated to do that (I know I'm being idealistic, but numbers are numbers). Another asshole CEO trying to fluff up his image by talking about how great he is while lining his pockets imho.

Let me guess which group represents the largest of (1)

firex726 (1188453) | about a year ago | (#43527373)

> Some other suggestions from the San Francisco video monitoring startup: don't fill your engineering department with young, single, childless males (aka brogrammers).

Let me guess which group represents the largest of new programmers out there?

100 percent retention not always good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43527407)

100 percent retention could also mean that you retain bad employees.

Wha the actual fuck? (1)

glwtta (532858) | about a year ago | (#43527423)

A young, single male is an automatic 'brogrammer' now?

hey jerkface (0)

verbatim (18390) | about a year ago | (#43527431)

don't fill your engineering department with young, single, childless males (aka brogrammers).

Leave the bigotry at home, please. this isn't the 1920s and not all of us subscribe to certain puritan notions of "family".

I would otherwise agree with the idea that "going home" to rest is better than "resting at work" (because as long as you are accessible by work, you are not fully resting and free from it).

How did he find out? (0)

magarity (164372) | about a year ago | (#43527443)

Has it occured to this person that he's about to be hit with a class action suit by all the single people who applied and were not hired? How do you even find out if people are married with children during the interview without asking directly, which should be a dead giveaway to all the singles who are turned down? Here's a hint everyone: if asked during an interview "are you married/party member/religious?" just respond with "which do I need to be to be hired here?" Whatever the answer, reply affirmative unless the answer is "doesn't matter" in which case echo back "then it doesn't matter".

a career oriented workplace (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43527473)

with regular shifts and work weeks, no forced OT, traditional benefits, decent pay, treat workers like people.. get long term stability.. imagine that. what a novel idea. too bad most companies dont do that anymore.

Brogramming -- a direct result of Dunning Kruger (3, Interesting)

Ralph Barbagallo (2881145) | about a year ago | (#43527491)

The proverbial "brogrammer" is the only type of programmer your average valley C-level Dunning-Kruger sufferer can relate to.

Uh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43527495)

So some guy nobody has ever heard of before, who made some company and product nobody has ever heard of before, who has no employees, makes a statement about how he is the greatest hiring genius, and it gets to the frontpage of slashdot? The fuck?

Excuse me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43527517)

young, single, childless males (aka brogrammers)

Can we address the fact that's not what the term "brogrammers" refers to, at all?

Retention. (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about a year ago | (#43527535)

Dropcam has a 100 percent employee retention rate — no one who has joined the 4-year-old company has ever left.

Not a surprise in this crap economy. How many have been fired? In the '80s I worked for a very small company with an extended 100% retention rate; nothing lasts forever.

Otherwise, I generally agree with the sentiment. As for "brogrammers," there's no evidence that young, single, childless males are better than other combinations and I'd argue that herd ("gaggle" -- "braggle"?) of them is a recipe for disaster. Varied experience and perspective are more helpful in the long run.

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