An ethical approach to software development: the story of Fog Creek

September 19, 2016


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In a world where changes are constant and innovation is expected, the role of software development is crucial for growing companies.

Technological solutions are needed to protect companies from internet insecurities, improve project efficiency and stay up to date and dynamic.

Although software developers are completely essential to our lives these days, it seems they haven’t always received the respect they deserve.

Software developers and Founders of Fog Creek, Joel Spolsky and Michael Pryor recalled their past struggle to find a decent place to work with opportunities to do great work. At that time, in 2000, companies also struggled to find great software developers to create innovative products people actually wanted to use.

Fog Creek was founded in response to this. Spolsky and Pryor recognized the need for proper working conditions to ensure a productive, positive and comfortable environment. According to Abasyn journal of Social Sciences, this is one of the major factors contributing to employee retention or turnover.

Fog Creek over-invested in a central New York office, purely for the comfort of their staff. They recruited the best software people around, made them feel loved, and got great work out of it in return.

Fog Creek specializes in project management tools and has created a number of innovative products which help developers to build software together with the minimum trouble possible.

These include FogBuz, a web-based project management system, Stack Overflow an online programming community, visual collaboration tool Trello and HyperDev, the collaborative coding tool which allows developers to quickly build web apps.

Not only is Fog Creek good to its workers, but it’s also committed to helping the minorities who are often locked out of the tech world. Fog Creek has teamed up with Flatiron School and Recurse Center to give these minorities a better chance of success. It provides continuing education programs to female employees who want to learn how to code and has hosted various events with a focus of women in tech. It also partnered up with the Recurse Center to provide grants to underrepresented gender, racial and ethnic groups in programming.

From nurturing existing employees to providing equal opportunities to the new generation, these guys prove that technology and compassion are compatible and that perhaps the tech world isn’t the cold, soulless place you once thought it was.


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