14 November 2004

Time and again

It's begun: Employees readying class-action lawsuit against EA.

I've been watching this on the periphery when the original blog entry (posted by ea_spouse) popped up on Blogdex and when this entry (posted by that spouse?) came the next day. EA is apparently a typical software company only more so. Their standard work process is in overdrive and they've created an environment to sustain it by killing their employees. I've been there. Friends have been there. Some are still there.

I got out of a hypothetical company partially because of similar abusive practices. There are few reasons to invest yourself in something when there's no organization and no possibility for success (or reward). It's a tough argument to make as a programmer and one that I have some guilt about. At what point is it hopeless? Am I giving up because that's the easy path and not because it's the correct path? Employers probably don't look fondly on it either. I had been told once that at a certain pay level, a certain extra effort is expected. With such vague parameters, where do the lines get drawn?

It's ultimately a very unhealthy environment yet also one that may not be unique to software. The wife commented recently that unions have been eying software companies. I was at first unsure that that was necessary, but it doesn't seem so crazy now. The wild-west days of the Internet boom echo still with the uncontrolled hours common to start-ups. Maybe it will take collective bargaining to bring civilization to the cubicle.

[ posted by sstrader on 14 November 2004 at 10:40:32 AM in Programming ]