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Friendships in the IT Workplace?

Cliff posted more than 12 years ago | from the stuff-to-think-about dept.

News 790

Greg Cantori asks: "We've seen stuff like this on TV and in movies. Policemen, Firemen, Astonauts, Army guys, etc, all gathered round a BBQ on a sunny weekend, chugging a few cold ones and maybe talking shop, wives and girlfriends preparing salads, kids running round the garden. Middle class bonding and fun, eh? Now, picture your IT workplace. Look around at your workmates. Do *you* get together on weekends? Do your spouses know any personal details of your workmates' spouses, beyond what may have slipped out during a long forgotten company Chistmas ball? Do you go bowling, play poker, or help your colleagues pave the driveway of their new home? Do you even have drinks with them after work? Is it just the professions who share some element of physical danger where this stereotypical bonding occurs, or can it occur with nerdy programmers? What are your experiences with friendships in the code-cutting office?"

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Jeez. (5, Funny)

Leven Valera (127099) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588742)

Damn, man, you mean socialize? As in, hang out? With the users? WTF?

Oh, other IT. Okay. Had me panicked for a second.

Re:Jeez. (2, Funny)

new-black-hand (197043) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588790)

its tempting just to drop them the 'i read your email' line while yous are drunk

Re:Jeez. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2588805)

Yeah, I can just picture what that would be like. All those people who know nothing about servers, not trying to act like techo-primadonna's with their nosed turned up to anyone who uses Windows, or -doesn't- use VI/Emacs/insert cumbersome editor here. That'd be -so- horrible.

Re:Jeez. (2, Insightful)

b_pretender (105284) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588818)

Mountain bicycling is the bridges all social gaps.
Buy mountain bikes.
Go to the local trail for some practice and then drop a few hints around the office that you like to ride. You'll hanging out and drinking beer with co-workers in no time.

Re:Jeez. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2588888)

Not that bad... I just meet my co workers to bake some special muffins :)
mhhmmmmm Space Cakes!

FIRST FISH! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2588744)

I AM A FISH!

Yes! (2, Interesting)

Howie (4244) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588746)

Maybe it's because we're a small company, but those sorts of things definitely happen here.

Social what ? (1)

Betcour (50623) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588882)

For all my spare time, there's Civilization 3.

oh...my...god (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2588748)

/. is fucking ann landers

Re:oh...my...god (0, Flamebait)

jmu1 (183541) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588782)

Well duh-huh! There are a certain few people who are in charge of the story posting that are leftist pansies... of course they are going to push this mamsie-pamsie crap down our throats.

Re:oh...my...god (1)

dup_account (469516) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588850)

I know this is a joke, but..... This suck it up and be a real man stuff is really annoying to me. People (including men) have real wants and needs, and this is the kind of opportunity we should take to help improve our lifes in ways other than learning a new language.

Yah Right (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2588751)

I dont even know most of there names.

And what about university. (1)

CheezWizFire (534072) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588754)

ARe there the same differences in a university setting?

Re:And what about university. (2)

grid geek (532440) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588887)

Sure there are. I'm in a small group of Physicists/Computer Science postgrads and we regularly go out bowling, theatres, cinema etc. Most importantly we take it in turns to forrage for free food from the various seminars and lectures on site *grin*.

However the point about techies being fairly antisocial is true. As a group we're currently reaching the conclusion that our work takes up so much of our time and focus that we tend to get quite passionate and "scare" the non-techies who we meet. Oh well if they're not interested in distributed hetrogeneous storage solutions (with customizable replication) thats their loss seems to be the general consensus.

On the other hand I really don't want to see my lot attempting base/soft-ball (too many arguments about the physical mechanics of it) or soccer (lets not even go there).

Drinks after work ??? (5, Funny)

teaserX (252970) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588755)

Are you mad? IT guys don't drink after work. Espescialy *WITH* other IT guys. We drink *during* work.

Re:Drinks after work ??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2588773)

That's how all good IT work gets done. It's called brainstorming. Especially if it's on company time.

Re:Drinks after work ??? (3, Funny)

ananke (8417) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588830)

my old boss even knew that if he wanted me to do overtime, he had to buy alcohol UP FRONT, and have it ready before i start working that day. and boy, after few beers, my admin skills were enhanced. i blame it on my polish nationality.

Re:Drinks after work ??? (2)

odaiwai (31983) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588873)

Absolutely. It's those comments like:

*@aol.com 550 F**k off lusers

in your /etc/mail/access file which mark a true sysadmin.

dave

Re:Drinks after work ??? (-1)

sinator (7980) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588879)

So the beers were your inspiration behind 'log'?

Parties (1)

thunderbird tim (323602) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588757)

I personally throw parties and go to strip clubs w/ my fellow tech support geeks. We go out for lunch alot together too, especially to go get a Margarita during lunch...which helps alot when stressed by tech support cals.

Are you sure (1)

Saib0t (204692) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588815)

tech support geeks? do you mean "fellow tech support colleagues" or "fellow geeks". I thought that "tech support" and "geek" were incompatible words...

Yes, it's a joke...

It depends... (1, Redundant)

Coonra (316112) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588758)

It really depends on the people you work with. If you have common interests, then it's easy to get together after work.

It can important to get to know the people you work with, so you have future contacts. Especially in this economy. It never hurts to know people in other organizations. People you might have worked with in the past.

Telecommuting... (3, Interesting)

sfe_software (220870) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588760)

We all telecommute, but those of us in Florida get together for a big Xmas party every year... a small group of us hangs out more frequently, but it's mostly because we work from our homes etc, and this gives us a chance to get to know each other on a more personal level.

With other jobs, we'd go out for drinks perhaps after completing (or landing) a large project, but never just for the heck of it.

I don't know if it's the "Personal danger" issue, maybe more that we aren't as social as most people...

Yep, lots of them (1)

frinkster (149158) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588761)

I do something with my coworkers at least 3 or 4 times a week, even if it is just getting together for 4-player Madden and a few beers. This past weekend, 5 of us went to a local bar to hear a 6th play in his band. Judging from a few of my IT friends at other places, this is unusual only in the frequency that we get together.

True. (1)

new-black-hand (197043) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588763)

It is more true of IT companies than others, mainly because a lot of IT workers are anti-social, and there is a big mix of personality types in the industry. A lot of IT workers (read: geeks) often take personal opinion too far resulting in IRL flame wars.

im lucky to be an IT person in a small and new non-IT company, so ive got good work with great people.

just my opinion.

Re:True. (5, Funny)

pubjames (468013) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588834)

It is more true of IT companies than others, mainly because a lot of IT workers are anti-social.

We are not fucking anti-social! Idiot.

Re:True. (1)

new-black-hand (197043) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588874)

a lot of, not all, and its from my experience so stfu

Another google question (-1)

Klerck (213193) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588768)

This is obviously another question that could have been answered with google.

Friendship in the office (5, Insightful)

iBod (534920) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588769)

About a year ago, I stopped working in an office and now work full time from my office at home.

I get more done and have less distractions but I really do miss the social interaction, the gossip, the afterwork beers etc.

Why is there always this stereotypical assumption that because you cut code for a living you must be some kind of antisocial, introverted misfit? Coders have friends too y'know.

Re:Friendship in the office (1)

Prop (4645) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588821)

Why is there always this stereotypical assumption that because you cut code for a living you must be some kind of antisocial, introverted misfit? Coders have friends too y'know.

I think it's all the leet people that try to cultivate the hacker mystique. Frankly, I think it's silly.

Re:Friendship in the office (1)

Saib0t (204692) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588837)

Why is there always this stereotypical assumption that because you cut code for a living you must be some kind of antisocial, introverted misfit?

Because it's basically the truth, some exceptions aside? I personally fit in that description and have no problem with it :-)

No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2588770)

To be honest, no, I get enough stress and strain in the office, that the last thing I want to do
out of work time is see the very people who got
me stressed to begin with!

OH yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2588772)

i've been drinking with them more times than i can count (we had a weekly thing for a while, even after the company went bust and we went to different companies), to lunch, to pool, to parties, to strip clubs... one is even my top weed buddy.

even sysadmins need friendship and love!

Re:OH yeah (1)

h3x (467498) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588853)

It's surprising to see the quality of your code after you meet such a friend ( your weed buddy...)

Well.... surprising.... depends of your sense of humor

geeks have superiority complexes... (5, Funny)

Mr. Quick (35198) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588776)

... why would i want to hang out with people that aren't as smart as me?

Dumb question (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588777)

Unless you are a total misanthrope, you're going to make a few friends at the workplace. I was the single tech guy where I'm at until my company bought a small CATV engineering firm that also had a tech guy. I've learned quite a few things from him, and we generally have a good time when we hang out. (At work & away).

Jaysyn

Ask Slashdot? (5, Insightful)

Accipiter (8228) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588779)

Okay, is social behavior THAT strange a task that we need an Ask Slashdot article about it? I'm still not clear on what the question is, but it seems to boil down to this:

"Am I allowed to be friends with everyone at work?"

You know, most people you work with do enjoy having fun. And most people you work with usually have fun with their friends. Now, if you're a friend of theirs, chances are they'll want to have fun and invite you along. Why? Because you're their friend. That is how friendships work.

I didn't realize this was such a complicated subject. People who are compatible will gravitate toward one another, regardless of the venue.

What do you need, written instructions?

Re:Ask Slashdot? (2, Interesting)

DarkDust (239124) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588843)

It is THAT strange. I'd never go drinking with my co-workers, because they are not the kind of people I like to have as friends (doesn't mean they aren't nice people, just not the people I hang around with).

And as far as I've heard friendship of co-workers outside the work is very rare in the company I work. I only know of two people who go climbing some times.

I've made the experience that IT people generally lack social skills. Some more, some less, but I don't know a IT professional who's a 'party animal'. But maybe I just know the wrong people :-)

Re:Ask Slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2588854)

I think the point of the article is to see if the IT industry is falling into a more middle-class social environment. Judging by the number of people on Slashdot who work in IT, seems like a valid question.

Friends in IT (1)

Arjuna01 (85430) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588780)

Of course we do! We play poker once a month, we help each other move, we visit each other on holidays, and we drink together after a hard day of work. I hang out with 6 out of 10 of the guys, the others are either managers or just not people I would enjoy being around after work.

I think since the job tends to be more stressful, we bond with those around us more and learn not only the technical aspect of their lives but also personal in the process.

Don't you have friends? (1)

ericlj (81729) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588783)

I hang out all the time with some people who were coworkers at a previous programming-only shop.

My current employment is at a place where I am the only programmer (not even a sysadmin at this location). This is the place where I don't have 'work friends' over all the time.

thursday nights (1)

necrognome (236545) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588784)

drinks with the coders and sys admins. no users allowed.

I have no friends (2)

underpaidISPtech (409395) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588791)

which is why I have to hang out on /. all the time.

Seriously tho, I work a midnight to 8am shift, if I had friends, I'd never see 'em anyways. God Bless 24/7 support :(

Friends?? (1)

GdoL (460833) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588792)

Social life? After work? What is that??

I would... (1)

digitalsushi (137809) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588793)

I'd invite my co-worker friends over on the weekends when I feel like hanging out, but they dont seem to care about checking their work email on the weekends! I know, I can't figure it out either.

They loved me so much at my former workplace that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2588796)

...they called me 'sticky tech' and I was a coworker's 'email slave'!

And, as a practical joke, the owner of the computer that I was sharing with him deleted all my GNOME panels and set my window manager to some horrible one with no 'close' button and disabled all the other window managers!

Get a Life (2, Interesting)

1alpha7 (192745) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588798)


No, I'm not a social introvert. My cow-orkers were picked by HR. Yeah, right, there's a good filter for close, personal friendship. I pick my friends, and the overlap has thus far been slim, although anything might happen.

1Alpha7

That's because it's TV (5, Interesting)

Tony Shepps (333) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588799)

TV has a tough job to do, in using only 23 minutes or 46 minutes to develop a plot and resolve it with any sort of realism at all. Not to mention the many interruptions in which your drama must flow correctly. If they can take shortcuts with characters, they will.

In RL, it's important to have social situations secondary to the job. That way your social life and your job life can remain independent - and any job issues won't affect your friendships.

Although I am the sort to have few friends, and thus not an expert, I would say that depending on your job for your social life would be a bad idea in RL.

IT Faces dangers too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2588801)

Hey, we face danger too. There's always the risk that our site will succumb to "the slashdot effect" causing angry users and employees ready to bite our heads off because they can't access the web site.

small/big company (1)

ethanmcc (307139) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588802)

at the startup i worked at from '98 to early 2001 there was def a social scene. in the silicon alley building where our office was located there was a bar on the first floor. drinks after work (or even a few well-placed rounds during the day) were a common occurance.
now i work for a big blue chip company. funny that there's so many more people in aggregate, but the scene is so much smaller. people are def more guarded. even so, on my small team i consider the people with whom i work my friends.

Computer programmers naturally solitary (3, Interesting)

pubjames (468013) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588803)

People who are heavily into IT are naturally solitary types.

Perhaps using a computer provides some of the fundamental interaction that we require, making social interaction less important for computer programmers. Stupid idea? People have emotional relationships with cats and dogs, and even with creatures which arguably don't have any self-awareness or emotions (pet spiders and fish, for instance). These animals fulfil some basic emotional need for interaction, and something to care about. Can the same thing not be said of a computer? They evoke emotional responses from humans after all. (Especially when the damn things crash when you haven't saved a copy of your work).

Sure we do! (1)

alta (1263) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588808)

Well, it may not be the same situation. Me and my 2 partners get together with our families a few times a year and have a cookout or go see a movie or something. But I guess being a startup we share financial danger, not physical.

Not a chance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2588810)

You mean I should be hanging around with that weirdo Linux guy? I don't think so. I suspect he will spike my drink and have his wicked, linuxy way with my private o.

Socializing (2)

AnalogBoy (51094) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588811)

I hang out with people every once in a while from previous workplaces, but not my current one. I keep believing this is just a bad dream - I haven't even memorized people's first names. Just the first initial and last name. I get weird looks when i say "Good morning, bsmith!". I dunno why. But in a company that considers Christmas & Thanksgiving "Just another workday" unless you can prove meaningful or religous backing for the days, I won't dedicate too many engrams..

The comradare I had with my co-workers at the deceased dot-com i worked for is still strong, and one of the best friendships of my life came from it, but here.. Well, for one, im the only one under the age of 30 and my biggest chum is a manager. Interpret that as you may.

Odd question.. (1)

phetching (88569) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588812)

I don't think what job you have has anything to do with if you're more prone to hang out on the weekends. Generally, if you're working in a position of narrow scope, odds are your co-workers are going to become some soft of staple in your social life; who better understands you then the people who have the same passion you do which drove you to that working environment?

It makes sense, the workplace puts you on somewhat of a common ground. When i was working in SF, we hung out afterwork and on weekends in a huge group. We were all different, but all shared the same passion for technology, and the same passion for beer (this helps) and since we enjoyed each others company at work, it spilled over into social gatherings as well.

The same would hold true outside the tech industry, but it's even truer, i gather, within the industry, especially in smaller towns and cities where it can be hard to find anyone other than your coworkers who even know what SSH is.

So yeah, IT people /can/ be social and fun and hang out with each other.. it's the people, not the job.

Legal dept. discourages company parties (2)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588813)

BBQ on a sunny weekend, chugging a few cold ones

then someone gets in their car and has a massive accident, sues company for supplying the alcohol. End of party. A lot of night clubs are starting to take keys away from impaired patrons because, more and more, the responsibility is being shifted to the clubs. Just think "Tobacco company is responsible for someone's smoking and lung disease" for legal precedent.

Then there's the possibility of sexual harassment suit after a few cold ones, not to mention making 'politically incorrect' jokes... It all puts a big chill on the so-called 'fun'.

Get togethers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2588814)

Does going mountain biking and white water rafting count? So far no family get-togethers but the families find other outlets, us overworked, underpaid IT guys gotta get out in the sun with other dudes once in a while. Other chicks would be cool too, but the wife........

of course! (2)

nbvb (32836) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588816)

We get together to go to Yankee games, hang out after work at the bar, etc.....

My entire team (~10 sysadmins) get along great.

I even keep in touch with the folks from my previous job -- we all get together once a month or so to hang out.

Ya gotta keep yourself sane. :-)

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.....
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.....
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.....
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.....
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.....
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.....
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.....

:-)

Yes, but... (5, Interesting)

under_score (65824) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588817)

My work experience may not be as atypical as I once thought. I have two very good friends who I seem to end up working with over and over again. We are buddies from high school. We went to the same university and then went separate ways - for a short time. One of us, got a job at a startup and then convinced the founders to hire the other two of us. We made up the whole dev team and it was great. Lots of fun, loud music, really productive 30 hour stretches... Things turned sour financially, so we all managed to jump to Sun. From there, we all split up again, but only for a short time. We ended up together at another startup. Again we split up, and that is how things stand at the moment. Nevertheless, we have plans afoot to reunite. This is not to say that everything has been rosy. We have had our share of conflicts. Working together is one of the best ways to get to really know your friends. We have come very close to losing our mutual friendship due to work related problems. At one point, one of these friends of mine was my boss, and he wasn't very good at it (partly because he was my friend, but also just because it was his first time managing). I won't get into the details, but suffice it to say that there were some very very bad moments. Our spouses/girlfriends have relatively minimal contact which is partly because we are now geographically dispersed. I live in "northern" ontario, one friend lives in Toronto, and the other lives in San Fran. We see each other from time to time. Of course, I also make new friends when I start a new job. I have some very good friends from the days when I worked at Sun. And in my current job, which I started quite recently, I am developing some friendships that will almost certainly turn into the bucolic middle-class scene which is described in this article. But it depends on the work environment. Certainly this won't happen if you are in a telecommuting position :-) It also won't happen if you have a negative attitude towards your co-workers. You have to actively seek this out (if you want it that is). It doesn't just happen automatically. As well, office culture can play a fairly substantial role: if there are frequent social events, I think it is less likely that more spontaneous relationships will develop.

Danger? (1)

cow ninja (306125) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588820)

Is it just the professions who share some element of physical danger

I am the contracted sysadmin of an HP 9000/I20 owned by the government. I know Danger

Not enough time to get to know people... (1)

Nerftoe (74385) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588822)

People come and go so fast in my IT workplace (large pharmaceutical), that there usually isn't time to really get to know people. Of course we all have our casual acquaintances, but it seems the people you work with are always changing. The weeks are always so fast paced that we want to just chill on the weekends with our families (translation: playing Xbox while drinking some Coronas). :)

It really depends on the work environment (2, Interesting)

Matey-O (518004) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588823)

At my LAST job, we had plenty of 'Employee appreciation' type BBQ's that were really strained. It was rather obvious that the sentiment wasn't genuine and it came from some Management cookbook to increase productivity. The staff saw through it easily. (But we still ate the donuts.)

At my current job, there's a much better morale, a camaraderie if you will (Kum-ba-ya) While we don't usually get together on the weekends, there are more than enough employeee sponsored Potlucks during the holidays to seriously impact my wasteline. We've had Beer's in the Bar after work, and folks pretty regularly bring in food in the morning. All this is pretty funny as the IT department is a vacuum of calm in an otherwise really f*cked up government entity.

(That and they're taking the troops to breakfast this morning. Yum!)

IT support staff comaraderie (1)

willith (218835) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588824)

I'm not a programmer, so I can't speak for that type of animal, but among the support staff in my two previous jobs--you know, the much-embittered guys that answer helpdesk pages and go to lusers' desks and fix problems--there has been a high degree of extra-work fraternization.

We hung out on weekends, and we'd go drinking after work if the day had been particularly stressful. Quite often we'd swap luser stories.

I think the World War I guy-in-the-trenches mentality that is forced onto a lot of support guys brings about hard and fast friendships.

Re:IT support staff comaraderie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2588840)

Support? Programmers don't want id10Ts anywhere near them. Only mormons work in support.

Geeks of a feather... (1)

Brad Wilson (462844) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588828)

Since we're all geeks in the engineering and IT departments, more often than not we'll be getting together for something a little less blue collar than bowling. Think: LAN party, D&D, etc.

Of cource we do! (1)

little alfalfa (21334) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588829)

What are we? Savages? We're people like everyone else. We just get together to do different things. Instead of having BBQs we get together for gaming. Hey Bill! Come on over and we'll play my new PS2 game! Bring over your laptop and we'll get the rest of the guys over for a LAN party!

Re:Of course we do! (1)

little alfalfa (21334) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588856)

Stupid spelling errors...my bad.

Socializing? That's too scarey (1)

dup_account (469516) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588831)

First, I appologize as my spelling sucks today.

My opinion is that geeks have two phases in their lives. When they are young (and stupid/innocent) they work way too many hours trying to make a big bang. They still have the illusion that if they work really hard, and sacrofic their personal live they will be rich by 27. When they hit 27, they have married the first girl that would sleep with them, their wife is pregenant. This is when they hit the second stage and become "family unit isolated". They put in their time and then rush home to the wife, kids, and playstation.

If we geeks weren't allowed to have a computer, video game console, tv, palm, or any other time consuming electronic appliance, there might be a change for us. We would be forced to get out and socialize.....

You would think that user groups would be a good solution for geeks getting out more, but a lot of us can only manage to make the technical meetings and then run away before the social hour starts....

I do (1)

marcushnk (90744) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588836)

My workmates are some of my better more reliable friends that I have...

But then again, my workplace is a place that we enjoy a great deal (most of the time).

I really don't see what "Greg Cantori" problem is, and I would suspect that he isn't enjoying his work, therefore he should move along until he finds a place where he is happy. Your job is just about money, its about quality of life.

Then again, you don't really need to be mates with your fellow drones, to enjoy your job either (but it helps).

Friendships (1)

FazeOut (464604) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588839)

I manage and code for an ISP in Louisiana, every monday it's tradition that I take out some of the technicins out for 2.50 pitchers of beer at a local bar. I've found it to be a great bonding experience, but theses tuesday mornings really REALLY suck :-P

Of course! (1)

Cpt_Corelli (307594) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588844)

Why should IT people be any different from other employees? At my previous company we went out all the time to different bars and clubs. A lot of my former colleagues are now close personal friends.

But, coming to think of it, I must say that after having worked with different categories of people, IT people tend to socialize less than other. Idiots.

...oups. That includes me I guess.

My experience... (2)

UM_Maverick (16890) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588845)

I don't know about other people, but I am in a development program at a large company. Most people in the program were recruited from schools quite some distance away, and relocated here. Because of that, we pretty much know only each other (the fact that they put us all together in classes for two weeks helps), and we've become pretty good friends. I don't hang around w/my direct co-workers much, mostly because they're all double my age (I write COBOL...). I play golf, go to happy hours, hit the "nightspots", watch football, etc... with people in the program, though.

Now, the problem I need help with is meeting people *outside* of work...bars suck, gyms don't work...the best luck I've had is basketball at the local park, but it's gettin a little chilly for that in New England...anybody have any ideas for this?

The Boss keeps repeating this phrase -- (2)

brassman (112558) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588846)

"Don't dip your pen in the company ink."

TV, Movies, Real Life? (1)

torqed (165298) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588847)

Uhhh. Have you ever seen a group of firemen, astronauts, etc, doing that stuff you describe in real life? Maybe it's just TV.

Nope, (5, Interesting)

Nos. (179609) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588848)

There's a select group of people in my office that I go for coffee with, but almost no socializing happens outside of the office. Too many people have been stabbed in the back by co-workers, so there is the element of trust missing. Management (one of the worst backstabbers in our group) has tried some feeble efforts at team building, but cannot treat us with respect on any regular basis. The odd time that praise comes down from above, most of us are looking for an ulterior motive.

Its unfortunate since most of the people here are very skilled, but without trust between us, there is no way people will open up to each other, and thus, no socializing. It makes for a very ugly environment to work in. A co-op student we had about a year ago make this comment about one of the supervisors, "She's the only person I know that will smile to your fact while shoving a knife in your back." He came to this conclusion 4 weeks after working in our office.

Myself, and several others have actually been "hauled into the office" beacuse we tried to point out a flaw in a decision. In my case, I did it in private, explaining how a particular device did not meet our needs and would not provide the needed functionality. I was told to purchase it anyways. We got it, I explained again why it wouldn't work, and was pulled into the office by my supervisor and manager.

I'm not happy, nor are most of the people here. I'm half looking for a new job at the moment, while I take advantage of some training and pursue some more certification (yes, MCSE, but if it makes me marketable, who cares).

Quake parties (2)

Confused (34234) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588852)

The social interaction is there, even if it doesn't include girlfriends and BBQ. More often than not, it also includes some game like Quake.

Geeks just have a different common ground between each other than fire fighters or policemen, but the pecking order still is established somehow.

Hahahahahahaha (1)

TJ6581 (182825) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588857)

Isn't it bad enough to be trapped in a room with these people all day? Firemen and policemen, military actually depend on each other for their lives. If my life depended on the IT decisions that my coworkers made I'd be totally screwed. On a serious note I doubt that with recent trends of IT professionals people actually spend enough time in one job to form those kind of lifetime friendships.

Consultancy (1)

perfp (460362) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588859)

I believe that there are few businesses with more need for social gatherings that the type I'm working in. I'm a consultant, and spend most of my time in the office some client. During the last 4 years, I've seen my company office maybe 40-50 hours in total. Therefore, my company arranges frequent gatherings (monthly meetings with dinners), parties, sports activities etc. so that we will have a social venue where we can get some interaction with our real collegues.

Now, the last year, the frequency of these things have dropped significantly, and the result of that is that we are feeling alienated from our own company, and as a result, more and more people are leaving, also long-timers. What a shame...

Friends != Co-workers (1)

Roger_Wilco (138600) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588861)

In general there is no reason to assume that my co-workers are my friends. I want to "party" with my friends, not a bunch of other geeks I see too much of anyway. There's no reason co-workers can't be friends, if they happen to be the kind of people I like, but I hardly want to feel obliged to spend more time with them.

it depends on the company (1)

Apps (21158) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588864)

I think it depends on the company you work for.

Two of the companies that I have worked for had a very tight group of people and we all socalised toghther (OK went drinking together). Sometimes work is talked about. Some (not all) partners of coworkers used to join us.

I have worked for another company where that seemed not to be the done thing to any such extent.

It depends on the company culture

Work is NOT the place to make friends!!!! (3, Flamebait)

HanzoSan (251665) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588870)



Everyone at work is essentially your comptition, when it comes time to get that raise, your so called friend will use everything against you he can to make sure he gets the raise and not you, and because YOU were stupid enough to allow this competitor into your life, you suffer the concequences when they ruin it.

Lets get a few facts straight, theres no such thing, as a "Friend" at work, these are called assosiates, you work with them, but you are careful what you say around them. Talk bad about the boss around the wrong guy and next thing you know you'll be fired or in your bosses office explaining yourself.

I know i cant be the only person here who knows that the first rule is never trust anyone at work.

The second rule is never try to make friends with people at work.

Third rule is not to date women from work. If you are a high up CEO or boss, and all the women are after you, dont fall for it, you know they just want a raise and want to move up.

Well enough with my rules, I'm sure everyone knows the rules, but some people are too blind to follow.

Re:Work is NOT the place to make friends!!!! (1)

Malic (15038) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588895)

Where do you work?! I don't ever want to end up there...

We Hang Out Somtimes (1)

Matty_ (74368) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588871)

At my old job in the web hosting group of a big ISP, we would occassionally strole over to a bar down the street and get drunk on tequilla shots.

Does that count?

It was all too convenient being that our office was located in an area full of bars and restaurants.

At my current job, there are three of us in the whole company, and we have occassionally done some things, especially if the company is footing the bill.

Can be done just.... (2)

Lion-O (81320) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588872)

I don't see why this would not be the case at IT departments. However, I do think that there is a big "but" here. I experienced on quite some occasions that the whole feel of 'getting together' vaporized the moment where such a "coming together" is forced upon the department by the boss or manager who thinks "its good to be together and get some relaxation going".

I allways enjoy these things the moment its organized (or simply not organized at all) by some other colleague or simply thought up by the group. And usually those occasions are much more fun too.

I'll have to AC this one. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2588875)

Certain pockets of people do have friendships with each other outside of the workplace. And there are a few "magnet" people which act as a spoke. But interraction is generally light, otherwise.

However, by monitoring the network's AIM traffic, I keep tabs on their relationships. Interestingly enough, I am also privy to inter-office affairs, the guy who tries to get laid on AIM, and the guy who IS getting laid by someone he met on AIM.

But I think relationships outside of the workplace are fundemental to creating a 'good ole boys' network inside of the workplace.

I hear sirens (1)

britt (50456) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588877)

I think the creepy 50's sterotype police are on their way!

Getting OUT was the goal (1)

eagl (86459) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588878)

I had a summer intern style job for 2 years in High School at a smallish company working on a government software system. Every Wednesday we would take an extra hour and head to a local park and play touch football and get lunch. The boss held occasional parties at his house and even a high school junior/senior like myself was invited to hang out with them after work.

Getting outside and doing SOMETHING to relieve stress was the big goal, and I guess that is why the company didn't have any overweight geek types... We all had fun being active outside.

I hate to say it, but I'm a stereotype: no life (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2588880)

(Posting anonymously to preserve my anonymity.)

After work I take the bus to a Chinese restaurant and eat dinner, then I either go to a book store or straight home. At home I get on the computer, or a play on my keyboards (musical, not computer).

Even on the weekends I don't do much socially. I do some volunteer work at a nature center, but other than that I spend most of the weekends reading and writing.

So although I do have a life outside of computers - music, books, writing, nature - I really don't have a social life, and you can forget any thought of friendship with my co-workers.

I guess the stereotypes are true to an extent: I don't make friends easily and my interests are very esoteric by "normal" standards, so I spend a lot of time alone. I am looking forward to the Lord of the Rings movies, but that's pretty geeky in itself. (And I'm really bad here, anyway. As I said to someone on a message board "U-pedon i lam in Gelydh. Pedon Sindarin." *sigh* Yes, I actually speak Elvish.)

I guess my social ineptitude is partially a result of the whole "geek angst" experience: beat up by the "cool" kids in school; most school kids didn't want to be friends with me; chess club, RPG club, band. I've also got manic-depression thrown in to the mix, though, with a heavy emphasis on the depression. That didn't help any.

So do I have friends among my coworkers? No. They aren't like me. Even working in the computer industry.

Yes (1)

schambon (416146) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588883)

Huh, yes.

Actually, I moved from France to Sweden to work, a year and a half ago. Basically, I've almost only met people from work since then, and "people from the office" are 95% of the people I hang out with, during evenings or week-ends.

We go and repaint each other's flats, help moving, go for drinks, etc, etc.

The big upside of this is that you end up really liking your work environment and the people you work with.

The big downside is that when your company goes bust, so does a big chunk of your social life.

From my personal experience, I'd say the IT business is one of the best for socialising outside work -- mind you, that may be because of the relatively low median age.

In fact we go out every friday (almost)... (1)

esses (223521) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588885)

but then again... we're not IT guys... we're embedded apps engineers... yay...

You deal with idiot customers all day... how can you NOT drink? :)

Oh and yeah.. we have stump pulling parties and remodling parties... any excuse to drink really.

The ITLAB rocks! (1)

Tofu (2355) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588886)

Here at the ITLAB at the Medical Univeristy of South Carolina we all are very sociable. We have
partys [thetofu.com] with co-workers and friends. We help each other move. We got out drinking or to
concerts together. We play LOTS of video games together. We have X-File marathons [www.thethttp] .
And POTA marathons.

My co-workers are my best friends (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2588889)

We are a small company of approx. 30 people, specializing in linux development and deployment.
I count my co-workers as among my best friends, approx 80% of the company are ravers, and we see each other almost every weekend.
My MD is a blue haired freak with a heart of gold and can party any of us into the ground.
My project manager is gay , like me, and we have spent many many many weekends partying together and crashing at his place. We're each others 'fag friend' , and are close as can be.
Our marketing person organizes raves every now and then , and the entire company goes on a party outing, then hit the after-parties together .. monday's are usually VERY quiet around the office after those weekends.
I went out of my way to find the best linux job i could in backwater africa , but i managed to find my home. I always wanted to emigrate, but since working here... there's no way.

Most of the people (2)

underpaidISPtech (409395) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588891)

I've worked with are not people I would choose as friends, despite our "common" interest in the job. The place I work at now, I don't even trust the guy next to me not to stab me in the back, let alone have a beer with him. The one guy I did respect quit. Lucky Bastard.

I did do a 2 year stint as a chef at an upper-crust society club for awhile. That was loads of fun, lots of beer and Thurs/Fri. night fun. Anytime we had a banquet was an excuse to raid the liquor cabinets -- the Sous Chef did most of the raiding too ;)

Commuters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2588892)

I live in one of the longest average commutes counties [washtimes.com] .

Socializing is typically narrowed down to Highway Oral. [highwaysex.com] with the Co-Eds.

Most of my friends are old (1)

xtremex (130532) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588893)

Since I am in my early 30's, I have just 2 good friends, that I've known for maybe 12 years. Most od the "friends" I have made since then have merely become acquaintances. I am a very friendly person, however, I find it hard to find someone I can "sync" with. Although an office affair is fairly common!

kindda (2)

avdp (22065) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588894)

I may be wrong but I think this is a white colar job versus blue colar job thing, rather than an IT job versus everything else.

Sure, we do the christmas party, the "sponsor a kid" for the holidays stuff, the donuts on people's birthday, and on monday morning before our weekly status meetings we all talk about our weekends and stuff. But I would say this is all very superficial stuff. I see no deep bonding like you describe. Sure, a couple of people here that have similar interests (video games) do get together every once in a while to play, but that's about it. Maybe it's because of the way people come and go (get hired and laid off) or the way "political correctness" is such a huge influence that we hesitate interacting with our co-workers in any way that (heaven forbid!) could result in building a real friendship.

I think if you work in a type of job where your life depends on the other guy (firemen, policemen, etc) there is absolutely NO WAY BUT to forge really deep bonds with these co-workers. You know, the kind of job where "team work" is not just an abstraction that improves productivity, but where it means life and death.

I am sure there are exceptions to this. In fact, I know there are exceptions to this because my previous job was different. We were a very small team and yes, we did bond that way. But I always thought we were the exception rather than the rule.

um (2, Funny)

harvord (197507) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588896)

We dont have weekends or friends, we have THE SIMS!

are you kidding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2588897)

hang out is a understatement. were like a huge family around our IT office. i'm sure that it helps that there is only 20 of us, but still. We go out for drinks at least three times a week, with Friday always turning into the 2am out at the clubs night getting hammered. celebrate the holidays, potlucks, stuff on the weekends, etc.

Hell, NO! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2588899)

Great Code! Why would I want do that? I'm already forced to spend 8 hours a day in an office full of PEOPLE during the week. I'm glad that at least I don't have to see another human face on Sundays.

Alcoholism and your IT staff (1)

zerofoo (262795) | more than 12 years ago | (#2588900)

Yep, we hang out with everyone in the company...as a matter of fact, the IT department here is full of alcoholics. I once built a server while drinking lots of beer with my co-workers at my house.
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