It's a shame to see that this was flagged and removed from the Hacker News front page. Shanley makes a great argument here.
Taken down from HN? That is just silly.
Here is a similar article that is a little more analytical and feels a lot less angry.
No. Just no.
Do my coworkers and I "unhealthily" blur our social and work lives? Perhaps. Does the lack of meetings reflect my inability to coordinate? Maybe. Are my job's perks blinding me to bigger organizational issues? Quite possibly.
Does it matter at all? No, no, no, no, no. No. Not one bit.
The only things that matter: I get shit done, and I enjoy doing it. What's the point of improving your "culture" if it makes you more miserable? In twenty-five years, would you look back more fondly on: being a cog in a very efficient machine, or having a job that you looked forward to going to every day?
If you chose the former, I think you might want to reevaluate some things.
I agree with you. I'm not entirely sure what the perceived problem is. She makes all of the things listed sound like gimmicks designed to trick people into taking jobs. I view them as amazing perks that I am not entitled to, but rather have the privilege of enjoying. At the end of the day I just want to work with people I respect on products I enjoy. If someone takes a job based on 'culture', they are the problem, not the job description.
While her writing style can come off as aggressive, that doesn't mean she's not making valid points. She's not saying that having fun at your job is bad. She's not even saying that these specific perks are bad. She's merely asking you to examine them a little further and not accept these things at face value. One of the biggest take aways is to look at hiring practices. Not hiring people because they don't fit your "culture" can be really toxic. It breeds homogeneity, which tons of research shows is terrible for creating products. Not only that, but it can mask things like subconscious racism, sexism, agism, etc. Another big take away is examining the culture of focusing only on shipping quickly, which has become somewhat of a sacred mantra of silicon valley, but can be bad for your product and company overall. There are many other points in there, but I wont go into them all. Again, the biggest thing she encouraged (in her own, somewhat harsh way) is to examine and question, not just accept because it's "cool" or "fun" to do so. I would highly suggest rereading from a place of wanting to understand her perspective. I know it's hard not to get defensive when reading something with a harsher tone that bashes something you love, but I think there are some great nuggets in there, and it would be a shame to miss them out of anger.
I love that this made it to DN. And I love Shanley. That is all.