On Fair Treatment of Employees

Recently I read an article about treating tech employees (specifically focused on engineers) better.

I should like it, right? It made a lot of great points. Pay engineers more, treat people better, encourage better communication.

But something felt off and it felt hard to really support. I couldn't put my finger on why.


Rich and I don't hire employees. It's a rule. Occasionally we do hire junior contractors, I draw the line here. I figure we can pay them a lot, teach them a lot, help people's careers and actually give back to our community in this way.

If I ever went up to Rich and told him he was now going to take a salary and I'd take all the rest of the profits, eyebrows would be raised. It just would never happen. We build all the tech together and share business tasks and everything is very naturally meant to be split 50/50. It only feels fair.

If we brought on someone to help us build Basis, it simply would not make sense that we only pay them a salary.

It would definitely not make sense for me to treat them as an "engineer" stereotype and start pontificating about what makes "engineers" happy. Good pay, yes, mm. Treating them well, yes, mmm.

Wait... isn't that what humans should get? Good pay, fair treatment, etc? And... shouldn't they be getting a fair share of the profits, not just a fair salary? Why can't they work 20 hours a week if they feel like it, especially in a role like engineering where it pretty much is impossible to actually code 40 hours a week? Why cage them in an office as if they can't be trusted and treated like an adult?

Rich and I are friends and business partners. We would never force each other to work 40 hour salaried weeks period, let alone while one of us profits. That mindset makes no sense to me these days.


Engineers should demand more from companies.

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