EA Spouse Story

A post about [Electronic Arts’ insane hours ](http://www.livejournal.com/users/ea_spouse/) aligns with my thoughts on the subject: it is far too

easy for software companies to abuse their most valuable resources in order to meet a deadline. This has been talked about before: [The Mythical Man Month](http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0201835959/intervarssanl-20?dev-t=mason-wrapper%26camp=2025%26link_code=xm2) (Amazon), software engineering texts in schools, etc. But companies *still* don’t get it: you must take care of that which creates your products. In another industry that might mean making sure all your cogs are well oiled and structurally sound. In the software industry that means the emotional, physical, spiritual, and social health of your employees *must be attended to*. (I would also argue that human resources are the most valuable resources of any industry.) Furthermore, like [Joel](http://www.joelonsoftware.com/) has stated (much better than I could), I think a company can actually be *more* productive if their employees work less but more efficiently. Let me end with a quote from the end of the spouse’s article: > If I could get EA CEO Larry Probst on the phone, there are a few things I would ask him. “What’s your salary?” would be merely a point of curiosity. The main thing I want to know is, Larry: you do realize what you’re doing to your people, right? And you do realize that they ARE people, with physical limits, emotional lives, and families, right? Voices and talents and senses of humor and all that? That when you

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keep our husbands and wives and children in the office for ninety hours a week, sending them home exhausted and numb and frustrated with their lives, it’s not just them you’re hurting, but everyone around them, everyone who loves them? When you make your profit calculations and your cost analyses, you know that a great measure of that cost is being paid in raw human dignity, right? **Update**: It seems this a popular theme for today’s industry, since others have picked up on this story, and the IDGA has written a [quality of life open letter](http://www.igda.org/qol/open_letter.php) about it.