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Businesses Programming

Do Developers Need Free Perks To Thrive? 524

Posted by timothy
from the man-does-not-live-by-free-bread-alone dept.
jammag writes "Free sodas, candy and energy bars can be surprisingly important to developers, says longtime coder Eric Spiegel. They need the perks, not to mention the caffeine boost. More important, free sodas from management are like the canary in the coal mine. If they get cut, then layoffs might be next. 'The sodas are just the wake-up call. If the culture changes to be focused more on cost-cutting than on innovation and creativity, then would you still want to work here? I wouldn't.' Are free perks really that important?"
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Do Developers Need Free Perks To Thrive?

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  • Re:rather have money (Score:5, Informative)

    by h4rr4r (612664) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @02:25PM (#43785243)

    Just wait until you actually get sick. Then it will seem far less of a great deal.

    These plans are a scam, they are attempting to move the cost of healthcare onto the worker while still claiming to provide coverage. I would rather get no coverage and a raise so I can buy my own. Mind you that raise would need to be $1000+/month.

  • What? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @02:27PM (#43785271)

    As someone who doesn't want diabetes or to become overweight, I would prefer healthy food. I'm sick of the "candy, fast food, pizza" atmosphere in IT. I feel like a lot of companies who buy their employees food tend to focus solely on those which are bad for our health.

  • Re:rather have money (Score:5, Informative)

    by Drethon (1445051) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @02:30PM (#43785301)
    Near ten years as a software developer with no major medical bills (crossing fingers it continues). Don't remember the exact amount it saves me each paycheck but I think by this point I've covered the high deductible. All depends on where you are willing to gamble...
  • Re:rather have money (Score:2, Informative)

    by h4rr4r (612664) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @02:32PM (#43785319)

    A single illness can change that, or a single broken limb. Granted it depends on how high the deductible is and what your total out of pocket is. Never forget that many of these plans only pay 80% even after the deductible is reached until you have spent a good bit of change.

  • Re:rather have money (Score:5, Informative)

    by istartedi (132515) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @02:44PM (#43785497) Journal

    Most perks wouldn't make a huge impact on your pay. Take the coffee, soda and snack budget. Spread it out over all the employees and you get... what? Not very much. Now without the coffe, etc. right there in the office, what do you do? Go to the same boring shop on the first floor of the building every day? Get in your car and drive or (if you're lucky) walk someplace and buy snacks at retail prices. You're right back to square one. You saved nothing. The company lost. You lost. Everybody lost. Penny-wise and pound foolish.

  • Re:rather have money (Score:5, Informative)

    by Spudley (171066) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @02:47PM (#43785551) Homepage Journal

    Just wait until you actually get sick. Then it will seem far less of a great deal.

    These plans are a scam, they are attempting to move the cost of healthcare onto the worker while still claiming to provide coverage. I would rather get no coverage and a raise so I can buy my own. Mind you that raise would need to be $1000+/month.

    Reading the above, I am *so* glad I live in a country with free healthcare for all.

    Sure, it's paid for by my taxes, and sure maybe that means my taxes are a bit higher than yours, but:

    1. If I lose my job and have no income, I'll still be covered.
    2. If I get sick and need expensive medical assistance, I won't be hit with higher premiums or be uninsurable for any conditions.
    3. If I'm in an accident and can't help myself my family won't need to dig through my files to find my insurance papers or pay up-front for anything.
    4. If I feel unwell, I can make a judgement about seeing a doctor based on how I feel, not on whether I can afford it.

    I honestly can't see how anyone who can make a sane argument against that.

    Yep, there are issues -- some people do abuse the system -- but I'd rather have that than the alternatives any day of the week.

  • Re:rather have money (Score:4, Informative)

    by ttucker (2884057) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @02:50PM (#43785617)

    A single illness can change that, or a single broken limb. Granted it depends on how high the deductible is and what your total out of pocket is. Never forget that many of these plans only pay 80% even after the deductible is reached until you have spent a good bit of change.

    This is absolutely untrue, when you buy an HSA policy the deductible, co-insurance %, and out of pocket maximum (deductible + co-insurance) are clearly defined. My out of pocket maximum, for example, is $7,500, which is fairly standard for HSA insurance. Sure, I do not want to have to pay this, but the reality is that this will not ruin anyone financially. The only real difference is that I have to pay to go to the doctor instead of having a copay, but the reality is that a doctor visit only costs me about $75 dollars (instead of $45 copay before HSA insurance). Also note that with insurance having a copay, you continue paying it after you reach the deductible. (Ouch if you get cancer and need 10, $1000 copay MRIs.)

    If you really want to find *shitty* insurance, forget looking at the modest up front costs, and instead look at the yearly and lifetime coverage limits. This is where normal people meet financial ruin, because once the coverage runs out, you are stuck with the remaining hundreds of thousands of dollars of bills. These plans are sold and marketed to people that want the good feeling of insurance, but that are too stupid to see that they are not protected from a catastrophic event.

  • Re:rather have money (Score:5, Informative)

    by tompaulco (629533) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @03:15PM (#43786059) Homepage Journal

    While you're at it, ditch this "high deductible" scam and get some real health insurance

    Health Plans are a scam. "High Deductible" is actually insurance. They had to give it a new name because hardly anybody provides insurance anymore, just health plans, so people have forgotten the true meaning of insurance.

  • Re:rather have money (Score:5, Informative)

    by pwizard2 (920421) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @03:15PM (#43786065)
    I wish we could have single-payer health services like every civilized country on earth. But no, there's too much money to be made so we're stuck with this fucked up for-profit system that provides less care at a higher cost than any of the alternatives.
  • Re:rather have money (Score:4, Informative)

    by h4rr4r (612664) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @04:10PM (#43787047)

    And yet reality disagrees with you.

    Look at outcomes and costs for other systems and see for yourself.

    No charity could ever come close to funding the needs of what you claim are poor people. Try to remember that many poor people are only poor due to a medical issue. The medical industry creates a lot of bankruptcies.

    If what you mean instead is that you are ok with people dying in the street to save yourself a couple tax dollars then just say that.

  • Re:rather have money (Score:5, Informative)

    by Chryana (708485) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @04:34PM (#43787383)

    How long will you have to wait to get it? Canada, NZ & UK have pretty long waiting lists for expensive procedures (don't know about other countries), and people regularly die waiting for them.

    Funny, I live in Canada, and I never heard of that. You might want to call the local newspapers, they would certainly be interested in this. There must be a liberal conspiracy to hide it all. In all honesty, I think it's sad that you're willing to believe this crap. The truth is, there are people here who choose to pay for treatments in private healthcare facilities, but it's always for non life-threatening procedures when they don't want to wait.

  • Re:rather have money (Score:5, Informative)

    by KingMotley (944240) on Tuesday May 21, 2013 @04:38PM (#43787429) Journal

    Insurance companies have not paid out all dollars taken in for a long time. Investments are not needed for a great many to make huge profits.

    Citation please. Here's mine: http://www.statefarm.com/aboutus/_pdf/2012_annual_report.pdf [statefarm.com]

    2012 (in millions)
    Premium Earned $33,210
    Paid Claims $21,523
    Claim Expenses $5,240
    Service & Admin Fees $8,026
    ---
    Underwriting Gain or Loss ($1,579)

    So state farm, after paying out the claims, and overhead, lost $1.5 billion dollars in 2012. They made a profit because... "Investment Gain and Other Income" was $3,070, which covered the losses from paying out claims.

    Gameboyhippo was correct, and your "theory" is false.

If money can't buy happiness, I guess you'll just have to rent it.

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