“It doesn’t have to be crazy at work”

20/11/2018 0 By walsk

Don’t read this book, if you’re an “average Joe” software developer, especially if you have any sign or chance to have a burnout soon. And if you work at an average software company too.

Why? Because this may leave you with the feeling of deep sadness. You may even start the process of changing jobs. You may feel like Basecamp is The Best Company In The World and the rest are ages behind.

And seems like this is true.

And there are really few companies like Basecamp right now, so even if you start changing jobs, there are few chances you get into one. (If you get, I’m really happy for you!)

So better don’t read it, don’t buy it, don’t let this sadness ruin your “happiness” (or happiness?) at your current position.

And now that I’ve warned you…

Here the real review starts

“We don’t believe in busyness at Basecamp. We believe in effectiveness. How little can we do?”

“Stop equating work ethic with excessive work hours”

And also they have “office hours” when you can ask questions to a particular employee, but you’re encouraged to keep the communication asynchronous in order to let people do their best work, have uninterrupted big chunks of time… “People are working longer and later, because they can’t get work done at work anymore!” OMG, somebody understands that! And these guys are company owners!

You’re encouraged to read this book immediately, if you’re an entrepreneur or a business owner (even the smallest “family” business). This is a new standard, powerful call and a mark of new future. Why?

Because the developers are also reading it now (no matter I’ve warned against it). And tomorrow the best developers will not want the tennis tables, dinners and Friday pizza parties at work. They will want the perks described in this book.

So you may pick up this train and introduce these perks first and get all these guys queueing in front of your doors, wanting to get inside and work for you.


Getting personal

For me the read was especially painful, because it happened at the same time I got a new position and started working a bit more. With a perspective to work even more. And more. And there are a few problems to this (specific to me and my situation).

  1. I currently live in Russia and earn money in local currency, i.e. rubles. I’m now getting close to $2k per month. This is relatively big amount for Moscow (and crazy money for the rest of Russia), but I tend to buy books and courses and subscriptions to services in dollars. (Yes, it’s time to change something here.)
  2. My current employer is quite a big software development company. It has a lot of perks, but almost none listed in The Book. Sometimes you might get a day of work from home, if you’ve done something really helpful and important, but the rest of time you sit in the office. And work long hours (but that’s normal to software engineering…), with lot of tight deadlines.
  3. I’ve worked here for 5+ years. And I’ve started feeling sick of a lot of company-specific things, namely, lack of opportunity to work from home for significant amounts of time.

And then I read a book describing perks and approaches, that I’ve needed, like, for my entire life! But my company doesn’t have them!

Feels like I will soon be in the process of a major job change. All thanks to this book. 😀 Because it forced me to reconsider my views on the things I value in an employer. Async communication? Yes, please! 4 workdays per week in the summer? Yes! And even that’s not all!

If total profits grow year over year, we’ll distribute 25 percent of that growth to employees in that year“. What?!

So yes, better don’t read this. 🙂

P.S. Also: now I’m really curious, what bad Basecamp employees have to say about the company. They just have to have some feedback! I wonder, what is it…