Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
Published on September 9, 2012 By Draginol In Business

While the unemployment rate nationally remains over 8%, the unemployment rate in the tech industry is basically zilch. Software developers and game studios can't hire people fast enough and fiercely compete for the talent out there.

This is why companies fiercely guard their company cultures. When every person at a given company knows that they can easily find another job if they so choose, the onus is on companies to make sure that the "work experience" is such that they have an incentive to stay.

I've read a lot of articles that imply that terrible working conditions in the game industry. But that's not the norm. Most game studios and developers in general live and die on their development talent and treat them with that knowledge. Horror stories are news because they're uncommon.

In software, a top percentile developer can produce over 20X more usable code than the average developer.  This is why so many companies are willing to do a lot in order to ensure that the culture that attracts and keeps high end talent.

In a small company like ours, our success boils down to attracting great talent but, and this is the key, keeping it.

A lot of the software we make simply can't be made elsewhere. Years after Fences was made, there's still no competitor to it. Same for WindowBlinds, WindowFX, and countless other products that we are, literally, the only provider of at any price.  

The game industry side of the fence is the same thing.  Simply put, a company as small as ours (50 or so) was able to do all the aforementioned non-game software while publishing Sins of a Solar Empire and Demigod, develop Galactic Civilizations (And now Fallen Enchantress) as well as design, write and run Impulse along with its international server farm.  

And that doesn't even taken into account that we also run or host many different websites such as, Stardock's various sites,, and countless others.  And again, 50 or so people total are making this happen.

That sort of achievement is only possible because of employee retention and that means always providing the kind of company culture that makes people want to get up and come to work every day and do amazing things.

Because if we don't provide an environment that keeps people happy and wanting to do cool stuff, they know that they can go anywhere they want. It's that competitive.

And that, my friends, is why software companies take their company cultures very seriously.

Comments (Page 2)
on Sep 12, 2012

"Why do you think American is the number one country?"

I don't.


I think 'American' is an adjective, not a country .... Spell checker ....

on Sep 13, 2012

When I get all growed up I'm gonna rename this country 'Big WC' and the capital city will be Stardockiaopolis. This way we'll all be skinners and no one will be around to say it don't work. After all.........companies do a good job of protecting their culture, imagine what could be done here.

End of fantasy.