Perks for Code Monkeys, How much is “Enough?”

4 09 2010

Whatever my current job title says about me, deep down inside I am a programmer. A die hard code monkey who has never been ashamed of his existence when people from business divisions and clients have treated me and my fellow kinsmen with arrogant attitude. I am here today by choice and so far i have never been remorseful of what i have done to be here… writing this.
Ok, thats enough for covering up esteem issues. Now to go to the real stuff that i am going to write in this blog post:

There has been serious misconceptions about our kind among the non-techies who know that “programming” is a profession. They seem to think that we are some sort of aliens who talk in languages from other galaxies (if we ever talk at all). They also think that we are living on the top of the corporate food chains by leeching resources out of them. These resources may be in form of salaries or in the form of trainings or resources that we programmers demand to fulfill our jobs in an ideal manner. While the rest of the world may call it leeching, for us these are called perks.

So, whether you are a fresh college grad who is looking for a career in programming (or any technical domain) or you may be a seasoned guru who is planning to take your life in your hands by switching to new companies, this article may help you know where you stand and what kind of perks are various companies providing for their technical personnel.

(Note: The below list is a compilation from discussion forums and may not be necessarily true as i have to believe what the member of the forum said)

So, apart from salary (which may vary according to your company, your own negotiation skills and technical abilities), companies can provide the following perks:

  • No dress codes (jeans, T-Shirts, sandals etc are considered OK.) – Though this sounds fine for programmers who are working for software companies but programmers working for corporate sectors may have to follow formal dress code.
  • Free Tea, Coffee (and if you are really lucky, free drinks) – ideally a coffee machine or hot water dispenser should be present in the common room with supplies so that people can help themselves.
  • Flexible working hours – you just finish the work assigned to you within the deadline and no manager should poke his nose in your matters.
  • Comfortable seating arrangement. – a great chair and big desk makes a helluva difference!
  • Company provided laptops. or in case of desktop computers, ergonomic keyboards/mouse and large display devices.
  • Subsidized cafeteria open during work hours.
  • Free meals in case you stay late (or in case you have to work on holidays)
  • Nap Rooms (in case you are spending extra hours on a critical project or just too lazy to go to home)
  • Exercise areas/sports facilities in company premises.
  • Company sponsored memberships at local health/recreational clubs.
  • Mileage expense reimbursement
  • Telephone expense reimbursement
  • Day care center
  • Subsidized concierge services like laundry, shopping, groceries, chores to banks like bill payment or electrician or plumbing services at home etc.
  • Working from home
  • Company sponsored credit card to be used on things that could support you on being a better programmer
  • Company sponsored trainings locally and internationally
  • Carpool or bike-to-work incentives.
  • Pick-n-drop services
  • Private rooms/offices for each one (irrespective of company hierarchy)
  • Buy any book or development tools on company expense
  • Company shares for discounted price
  • Paid vacations
  • Insurace (health, life)
  • Profit sharing
  • Annual/Project based bonuses

There are some additional perks which are intangible and they play a vital role for employee retention:

  • Great view from office.
  • Great, supportive mangers.
  • Nice coworkers.
  • Manageable workload.
  • No Micromanaging
  • No Timesheets.
  • No internet filtering or corporate firewalls.
  • Your opinion is valued.
  • Control over technical resource hiring.
  • A portion of your work schedule can be used on personal projects.
  • Liberty of choosing any development tools/languages.
  • Periodic changes in job responsibilities.
  • Quiet working environments.

Well, this is what i was able to find around and they very much summarize what people get for working in the technical sector. So, if you are negotiating for job just remember that with right skills, you can get lots of additional perks and you should know what you have to ask for.

Well, to be frank… most of these perks make me drool coz i myself am deprived of these. But we both know what we need to do, right?