Of course, when programmers are peers of the program managers, the programmers tend to have the upper hand. Here’s something that has happened several times: a programmer asks me to intervene in some debate he is having with a program manager.


“Who is going to write the code?” I asked.


“I am…”


“OK, who checks things into source control?”


“Me, I guess, …”


“So what’s the problem, exactly?” I asked. “You have absolute control over the state of each and every bit in the final product. What else do you need? A tiara?”

Joel Spolsky, Joel on Software
How to be a Program Manager” (link)

Michael Bloomberg on loyalty: “an obligation to do everything you can”

Bloomberg on company loyalty:

Bloomberg, like a lot of founders, describes a business world consisting only of “us” and “them.” But his conception includes a third class of characters, for whom he reserves a special circle of hell. Call them “those who used to be us”—the people who, by leaving Bloomberg’s company to work elsewhere, have contravened his code of loyalty. He won’t rehire them. He won’t permit a good-bye party. He won’t even—if he can help it—shake their hand. “Why would I?” he asks rhetorically. 

On his reaction when employees tell him they’re leaving:

I say OK. That’s the end of the conversation. Then I sit there. If they want to stagger on for a couple of minutes and tell me why, that’s fine. But I think “OK” is an appropriate answer. To say, “I understand”—that would be lying. I don’t understand why anybody would want to leave. Say “Good luck”? Obviously, I would never do that. Tell them to go screw themselves? That doesn’t make a lot of sense. It’s over and done with. As for asking why, I don’t much care.

And on the obligation the company owes to employees:

You have an obligation to do everything you can, no matter what it costs. They get into trouble, you pay their legal fees. They have a financial problem, you help them out. They have an emotional problem, you provide the best doctors and counseling. They have a physical problem, you get them into the best hospitals—and if your insurance plan doesn’t cover it, you pay for it. 

Source: Inc

The biggest problem I see with this perspective is it strongly discourages entrepreneurial types from considering working for you. Compare it to Reid Hoffman’s concept of “Tours of Duty”; night and day.