November 14, 2016 | By

Jive Shock


Imagine you get off a plane. You’re in a foreign country. You’ve studied the language, but everyone’s talking fast and in slang you didn’t hear in your classes. People’s clothes are not like yours (are those guys wearing dresses?). You don’t recognize the food the street vendors are selling, and what is that smell? Your head starts spinning, and you wonder if you really belong here.

These feelings might be good indicators of culture shock.

Coming into a new company can be like entering a foreign country. People at a new job might talk, look, sound, or smell (hopefully in a good way) different than people at the last one. That’s why Jive has provided a cultural guide to help you transition from wherever you are to the infinitely better place where you can be—the wonderful world of Jive.


Food: Jive believes in food. We provide lunch every day, and dinner on Thursday “stay-late” evenings. We have a google doc on which you sign up to receive these delectable offerings. Marcie, our office administrator, coordinates our lunches, so be nice to her. The two rules regarding food are as follows: 1. Be grateful—always. No complaining. 2. Don’t touch the food until Marcie’s finished setting it up, or she will chop your hand off.


Beverages: We have a fridge stocked with drinks. Drink them. Especially if you come here from a humid, low-altitude climate and are likely to initially experience dehydration or high-altitude sickness. We also have our own water cooler. Because we’re cool like that.


Entertainment: We host Lunch ’n Learns several times a week. Plainly put, they are lunches where we learn something . . . yeah. Each member of the dev department has the chance to be the one presenting at the L&L; i.e. the one providing the entertainment. If you’re not a natural presenter, don’t be nervous; we don’t throw tomatoes. (Marcie would get mad.)


Dress: Casual. We work in jeans and sweatshirts here. And sometimes barefoot. But if you like to dress nice—nice being a button-up shirt or a polo—we won’t hold that against you either.


Topography: The Jive development department is one large room lined with rows of continuous deskspace, which is dotted with computers. The atmosphere is open and conducive for collaboration. The lights are mostly kept off and the blinds are kept closed so you won’t get a headache from looking at computer screens all day. The dim atmosphere resulting from this gives the room its nickname: the dev cave.


Government: We don’t have official team leads. Govern yourself.


Economy: Booming. Jive doubles each year and has no plans to stop. So prepare yourself for a lot of exciting growth and continually having to learn more names as new people come on board.


Work Structure: We use pair programming. Don’t expect to work alone; we do everything in pairs and groups. Loneliness = nonexistent.


Education: Jive only accepts smart, skilled people into our “country,” and we expect them to keep learning once they get here—hence initiatives like L&L and pair programming. To further educate our team, we will also be offering a “developers’ university” in the near future, a 3-7 p.m. class that will be held once a week and will help developers sharpen their current skills and learn new ones.


Goods: We give you a computer. Take good care of it. Feel free to use it to work from home. Just don’t do something dumb to it, like, say, knock Dr. Pepper all over it. Not that you or anyone you know has ever done that.


Sports: Jive has hosted a softball team in the past. We host a turkey bowl. We like sports.


Holidays: We celebrate holidays in style, with parties, food-making contests, and more. And then there are days off as well. For the official list of Jive holidays, see our wiki.


Language: We speak in acronyms. Expect to be confused at first; know that you will become fluent with time. It’s a mixture of tech, telephony, and Jive.


Transport: Haven’t installed the teleporter yet, sorry. We just have to walk from room to room.


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