[vox-jobs] [fwd] Interesting job description, very extropian. (was re: [Fwd: Netflix is Hiring])

Bill Kendrick nbs at sonic.net
Wed Jul 15 12:40:29 PDT 2009

Seen on NBLUG's list

----- Forwarded message from Scott Doty -----

Date: Wed, 15 Jul 2009 11:14:09 -0700
From: Scott Doty
Subject: [NBLUG/talk] Interesting job description,
 very extropian.  (was re: [Fwd: Netflix is Hiring]

   -------- Original Message --------

   Subject: Netflix is Hiring                   
      Date: Tue, 14 Jul 2009 22:42:10 -0700     
      From: Roy S. Rapoport <rsr at inorganic.org> 
        To: baylisa at baylisa.org                 

 I just read http://baylisa.org/services/announcements.shtml which advises
 me to be brief.  I was intending to wax lyrical about Netflix and the
 environment here (I'm sending this from my personal account, but I've been
 working at Netflix now for about 2.5 weeks).  In the interest of helping
 people with really short attention span: 


 There.  The rest of you can feel free to read more below.

 Firstly, more about the technical environment here:  Netflix is probably
 pretty unique (personally, I use the word "weird") -- we've got a steady
 supply of IBM Kool-Aid here.  We run IBM server hardware (on which we run
 both AIX and Linux; more of the latter, thankfully) and storage systems.
 We're also now starting to use Isilons and Netapps, thankfully.  Scripting
 language of choice seems to be Perl, though as a Python person I'm grateful
 to not be required to use it.

 Speaking of not being required to do something, Netflix is big -- and I
 mean BIG -- on minimizing rules, regulations, red tape, etc.  It's helped
 them get to where they are today.  Their big motto is "freedom and
 responsibility" -- do whatever you want to do, just act in Netflix's best
 interests.  It's a little crazy.  A good example of this is the vacation
 policy and tracking system, which is described in one sentence:  There is
 no vacation policy and tracking system.  You take off the time you take
 off.  You work the time you work.  You get paid regardless.  Another
 example of "let's not waste time tracking and managing stupid stuff" is
 lunch.  They realized people had meetings over lunch, and when they did,
 they'd order lunch in.  Then they'd have to figure out, when lunch arrived,
 who ordered it, where to bill it, who was supposed to get it, where it was;
 sometimes people wouldn't show up and there'd be lots of food left over.
 Lots of work for not much of a reward.  So they just started ordering in
 lunch for everybody.  Consistent, easy to track, less headaches.  Doesn't
 mean you don't get to go out to lunch, mind you.  You just don't have to

 Internally, it's described as a high-performance environment.  Their focus
 is on hiring very very good people, paying them significantly-above-market
 wages, setting out the context for what success looks like, and unleashing
 them.  If they don't perform, they get fired.  It really is that simple. 

 For some people, this can be a scary place to work in.  If you value
 safety, if you value thinking you'll always have a job (ha!), if you've
 been in this industry for a long time and are ready for a little slower
 pace, more calm environment ... it's not the place for you.  I've been in
 IT for 18 years, and I've been happiest when I've been at my most
 disruptive.  I've never been in a more perfect environment for me.  It's a
 shark tank.  If you think you're a shark, you're going to have a fantastic
 time.  If you think you're chum ... it's probably not a good fit.

 If you're interested in talking more, feel free to email me here, at
 rsr at inorganic.org, or at my work address, at rrapoport at netflix.com. 


----- End forwarded message -----

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