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Businesses Programming

The Importance of Lunch 475

theodp writes "I've been on teams that eat together every day,' writes Joel-on-Software Spolsky, 'and it's awesome. I've been on teams that don't, and lunch every day is, at best, lonely.' Spolsky is firmly in the camp that believes where and with whom we eat lunch is a much bigger deal than most people care to admit. 'There's a lot of stuff that's accidental about Fog Creek and Stack Exchange,' he concludes, 'but lunch is not one of them. Ten years ago Michael and I set out with the rather ambitious goal of making a great place to work. Eating together is a critical part of what it means to be human and what it means to have a humane workplace, and that's been a part of our values from day one.'"
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The Importance of Lunch

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  • Re:Lunchbreaks (Score:4, Interesting)

    by robot_love ( 1089921 ) on Friday April 29, 2011 @01:08PM (#35976540)

    I think this misses the point. It's not about making friends, its about using the tool of how we eat lunch to improve relationships between people and thus make them better contributors. You'll work better with people who are your friends.

    Also, you're a lucky man indeed if your manager pushes you to have friends to improve your performance rather than, say, berating you in front of your coworkers.

  • Re:Lunchbreaks (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Abstrackt ( 609015 ) on Friday April 29, 2011 @01:38PM (#35976918)
    Welcome to extrovert society. I'm a huge introvert, my perfect lunch break is sitting at my desk with in-ear monitors (part earphone, part earplug) listening to some good music and screwing around online for a bit. I appreciate that the extroverts try to involve me in their social gatherings, it's their way of saying they care about me, but I really wish they'd understand that the best thing for me is to have half an hour alone.
  • This is classic (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Friday April 29, 2011 @03:02PM (#35978060) Journal

    True introverts can't understand true extroverts and vice versa.

    An introvert gains energy during solo moments and looses it during social gatherings. An extrovert is drained of energy alone and gains it during social events.

    So, a company meeting will leave the introvert drained and the extrovert charged up. Even if the meeting goes well, what happens AFTERwards is the real issue. The extrovert will be rearing to go and act on all the things discussed. The introvert wants to take a nap.

    It doesn't even matter much when you do it. In the evening the introvert will be exhausted from the day of social interaction and be REALLY exhausted afterwards, while the extrovert has no where to spent all his pent up energy. Do it early and your introvert will be drained during the working day.

    So, get rid of introverts? Pity they are often more stable, less easy to corrupt and in any case, most developers are introverts.

    Most managers are extroverts. See the problem?

    It is even worse for developers who like to get into the zone. No good with a manager who needs constant social interaction.

    Just check, how many coders do you know with a cat vs managers with a dog?

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