What is your ideal employer?

  • Here is my list:

    1. got a reasonable boss

    2. pay reasonable salary/bonus

    3. has reasonable medical/401k plan

    4. has reasonable career path that i can look/work for

    5. has reasonable annual paid leave

    6. has reasonable colleague(s)

    Honestly, I have yet to find out an employer of mine (ex- or current) satisfy all the above and, no, I don't think my requests are too in-reasonable.

  • Love my job, hated my last job, so an ideal job is determined on both counts.

    What I love  about my current job (as a senior engineer for million-user web sites):

    • Having a boss who, from the beginning,

    • recognized my talents and experience, and expressed personal respect for me and regularly (on my arrival) offered recognition of what I bring to the table, and
    • didn't flinch when I asked for a salary that was barely above average on DICE statistics but was a lot more than I've ever made, and
    • has not backed off from maintaining the sense of loyalty to me and to the rest of the team
    • .. as opposed to disregardful, "yeah we're all engineers, do your job" *shrug*
  • Encourages passion (about software engineering) by simply supporting it with a smile
    • as opposed to demanding, "be passionate!"
    • and as opposed to stifling passionate tendencies
  • Start-up mentality, with strong emphasis on profitable vision and legacy of profitability, rather than emphasis on everybody just doing their corporate duties
  • Great PC workstation
    • 30" monitor, 20" secondary
    • Dual-core AMD Athlon X2 6000+
    • Four WD Raptor drives in RAID 0+1 array plus one 750GB archiver
    • 4GB RAM
    • VMWare Workstation hosting Windows Vista
  • Operations interests (i.e. PC maintenance) are optionally somewhat self-maintained
    • There's always someone who can maintain the network, servers, and workstations, but ..
    • It's hella fun to add a new hard drive late at night at my own expense, fess up the next day, and hear your boss say, "Cool, be sure to expense it! I like that you just take action like that."
  • Very small team, very little corporate politicking
    • Strong one-on-one working relationships
  • Free sodas and snacks (unlimited)
  • Can work 9 to 5, or
  • Can stick around till midnight if I want, whether doing work, installing software, or playing PC games
  • Strong emphasis on productivity, allowing for and encouraging the use of new tools and evolving technology, as long as stuff gets done
  • Hard work takes first priority, but laughter, jokes, show-and-tell, PC and Xbox games, etc., also thrown in the mix and encouraged.
    • Yet, being business-minded enough to want to be and enjoy being focused on the tasks at hand
  • Accomplishing more in two weeks by sitting down and sweating away, with a high-five in the end, than in six months at my last job with a grimace and a moan.
  • Heavy use of my favorite technologies (i.e. .NET / Visual Studio / SQL2005), and staying up-to-date with it (WCF in use, VS 2008 being tinkered with)
  • Spend an hour or two a day, if duties permit, to read a book, install a tool, tinker with a better methodology of coding, or discuss any of it in curious interest with a co-worker, without fear of the boss looking down on it (in fact he admires it).
  • Hated  about my last job (as a CRM software product consultant and engineer):

    • Policies and culture over productivity and technical excellence
    • Disrespect and disregard for members of other teams
    • Senior management making serious technical errors and allowing those errors to propogate through the company and to customers

    • For example, there was an incorrect assumption that SQL Server 2005's Native Adapter was the legacy and therefore more stable connection mechanism, and the OLE/DB driver was the new one. I was the company "bad guy" for telling people the truth.
  • Opposite mindset of Agile / XP thinking and technical excellence and evolution
    • Total acceptance of legacy software, bugs, and instistence on staying within the box
    • Six months of meetings, hundreds of pages of documentation, contracts, sign-offs, for work that could have been performed by one or two skilled professionals in two or three weeks.
    • Zero appreciation for evolving, time-saving technology such as .NET
  • Heartless corporate mindset: "How do you feel about how that meeting went with the client?" "I don't feel, or try not to. It's just a job."
  • Spending more than 30 minutes a day altogether keeping track of billable hours,
    • .. rather than being allowed to put my heart and soul into constructing a solution and be appreciated for my deliverable rather than for hours spent
  • Having a boss whose sole qualifications were
    • Knowledge of the product,
    • Knowledge of Microsoft Office, and
    • Sitting in his chair (being a manager)

    BTW at my current job (which I love) we're hiring (hint-hint).

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