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the best company to work ?

What is the best company to work for in software fields these days? Microsoft? Oracle? IBM? Google? What about other lesser known company - small but "elite" kind ? Please explain your choice.

Raj
Thursday, August 01, 2002

Read a good article on SAS a while back.

Daniel Shchyokin
Thursday, August 01, 2002

Here's the SAS article:

http://www.fastcompany.com/online/21/sanity.html

When I worked for a pharmaceutical company, I used to use SAS a lot to analyze sales data.  I always liked the SAS people.  Very friendly and knowledgeable.  They had the only tech support people I've ever encountered who were always on the ball.

J. D. Trollinger
Thursday, August 01, 2002

No, you don't want to work for the SAS. They send you to dangerous parts of the world and you get shot at.

Oh, /that/ SAS?
Friday, August 02, 2002

Your own company?

Jan Derk
Friday, August 02, 2002

Even if you don't own the company, you still work for yourself. The compnay that gives you a paycheck is just your employment vendor from whom you purchase cash with your time and expertise.

If you own the company, you still purchase cash from the company with your time and expertise.

The best Employment services vendor? Your own company of course. They are easier to deal with ;-)

"asset"
Friday, August 02, 2002

"asset" -- If you own your own company then you get to call all the shots.  I'd say that's a bit different, no?

Herbert Sitz
Friday, August 02, 2002

Yes, but you still need to trade time/expertise for cash to pay the bills.

"asset"
Friday, August 02, 2002

<"asset" -- If you own your own company then you get to call all the shots. I'd say that's a bit different, no? >

No if you ignore your customers then you won't be in business for very long.

Tony E
Friday, August 02, 2002

>>> The compnay that gives you a paycheck is just your employment vendor from whom you purchase cash with your time and expertise. <<<

An interesting but greatly oversimplified way of looking at the situation.  Of course, there is a trade relationship, but money is not the only consideration.

The cash is needed for other other trades (food, clothing, etc., the usual stuff...), but there is other compensation I expect from an employer.  One of the most important is resume enhancement.  Expertise doesn't decay or wear out, but it does get obsolete.  As I plan on being in the software development business for a long time, I do take such factors in to consideration when selecting an employment vendor.

mackinac
Friday, August 02, 2002

Yes.  Many non-cash benefits, though unforunately for some jobs, cash is it.  The trick is to be able to choose primarily on non-cash benefits. This usually has the long term side effect of improving the cash benefits.

"asset"
Friday, August 02, 2002

Personic was also nice, competent managers, no crazy politics, but that was back in the day, all my contacts are gone from there.

Daniel Shchyokin
Friday, August 02, 2002

To more directly address (but not answer) the original post in this thread:  This list seems to be populated by people trying to find the answer to this question, or to the related but quite different question: "What is a good company to work at...?".

Unfortunately, nobody seems to have much of an answer.  SAS and Microsoft are often brought up.  The article on SAS gives the reasons, although it is out of date.  Joel has something about working at MS somewhere on this web site.  It is easier to think of companies I'd rather not work at.

Small companies can have their advantages.  A small company dedicated to software development can provide a good environment for doing that.  The few that I knew anything about, including one of my past employers, vanished in the dot.com/Internet bubble.

mackinac
Saturday, August 03, 2002

Not Yahoo.

It's really not the place it used to be.  There are still a lot of great people there, but as a company it's becoming a lot more like every big evil company.  I suspect that a lot of the good people will leave soon after there are credible signs of a economic recovery.

Jeremy Zawodny
Sunday, August 04, 2002

Something happens when a company grows beyond roughly 10 people.  This seems to be a kind of tipping point.  Beyond that number, the company starts to become stupid, bureaucratic, irrational, and evil -- just like the big corporations.

I'll never work for a big company again.  There's nothing worse than being stuck in a meeting where you have to act enthusiastic about a completely ridiculous project that pretty much everyone there *realizes* is ridiculous.  This isn't exactly office politics -- it's just the bullshit that comes from working for a big company where the upper management usually has no clue about what happens in the trenches.

Anonymous coward
Sunday, August 04, 2002

There was a website for a company... "Statewave" I believe the name was... involved with William Livingston and contained various writings and studies related to instictive human herd behavior.  Unfortunately it no longer exists.  Talking about human herd behavior is not a popular thing to do...

Livingston wrote "The New Plague", "Have fun at work", and "Friends in High Places".  It's interesting reading if you can find a copy of any of the above.  The books expose, and attempt to explain much of the dysfunctional nature of large organizations and project failures.  Livingston is an engineer.

At any rate, I remember something about a herd division becoming mandatory at around 50 members.  It was more of a statistically significant occurance, meaning without any real explanation - one thought was "need" and span of the controlling leaders.  The hierarchial organization is considered a throwback to tribal life.

Joe AA
Sunday, August 04, 2002

>>> Something happens when a company grows beyond roughly 10 people. This seems to be a kind of tipping point. ... <<<

From my experience I'd put the number higher.  Maybe at 50 or even a little higher.  But otherwise, I'd agree that something goes awry.

With 50 people, everyone knows everyone else. Management understands the problems of software development and isn't just interested in cutting costs.

mackinac
Sunday, August 04, 2002

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