[A picture of private offices at Fog Creek Software] Alert! This ancient trifle retrieved from the Joel on Software archive is well-past its expiration date. Proceed with care.

Joel on Software

2000/03/19

by Joel Spolsky
Sunday, March 19, 2000

I want to tell you two stories from my career which I think are classic illustrations of the difference between tech companies that are well-managed and tech companies that are disasters. It comes down to the difference between trusting employees and letting them get things done, versus treating them like burger flippers that need to be monitored and controlled every minute, lest they wander off and sabotage everything. (My second feature article).

Don't even get me started about what a bad brokerage PaineWebber is. They actually sent me a check (to close the account) for $7 which bounced! They had put a stop payment on it! This is the kind of service you get for paying $1000 commissions.


Have you been wondering about Distributed Version Control? It has been a huge productivity boon for us, so I wrote Hg Init, a Mercurial tutorial—check it out!

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You’re reading Joel on Software, stuffed with years and years of completely raving mad articles about software development, managing software teams, designing user interfaces, running successful software companies, and rubber duckies.



About the author.

I’m Joel Spolsky, co-founder of Fog Creek Software, a New York company that proves that you can treat programmers well and still be highly profitable. Programmers get private offices, free lunch, and work 40 hours a week. Customers only pay for software if they’re delighted. We make Trello, which lets you organize anything, together, FogBugz, enlightened issue tracking software for bug tracking, and Kiln, which provides distributed version control and code reviews. I’m also the co-founder and CEO of Stack Exchange. More about me.

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