TOUR: The Office Where Programmers Are Treated Like Rock Stars

fog creek, march 2012, bi, dng

Photo: Daniel Goodman / Business Insider

Fog Creek is a software developer by and for software developers.The company was founded in 2000 by Joel Spolsky and Michael Pryor who were finding it impossible to find a good place for computer engineers to work. They loved what they did but they couldn’t find a place that treated them with love. So they created one.

The company focuses on software solutions for programmers and engineers. FogBugz, one of their flagship products, is a computer program that helps computer engineers and programmers collaborate on projects and track bugs.

Their other programs are also aimed at providing programming solutions and increasing effective collaboration on projects.

To do this they need good developers. To attract developers, they asked themselves: “What if programmers were treated like rock stars?”

The Fog Creek office answers that question. With individual spaces for its programmers, catered company lunches every day, and a relaxed, fun office environment, it is the kind of place anyone would enjoy.

Fog Creek's office is downtown at 55 Broadway near Broad Street.

The office entrance is welcoming.

And so is Allison Schwartz who sits at the entrance desk. Originally from Texas, she has been in New York for five years, two of which she has spent at Fog Creek.

On her desk she has this old photo of her grandmother. The dodo is the logo for Kiln, one of Fog Creek's most popular programs.

For the communal lunches they need a nice big kitchen area.

And it has a stunning view.

One of the keys to fueling great engineers is strong coffee. This fancy espresso machine can give Starbucks a run for its money and each employee needs to be trained to use it by non other than Joel Spolsky, Fog Creek CEO and Co-founder.

For a machine like that you need a couple other machines to prep the beans.

Dual refrigerators for drinks and food.

Both are well stocked.

They have plenty of other snacks as well.

The kitchen area also features this curvaceous couch.

The office eschews cubicles and keeps desk areas open.

This Lego Fog Creek sign was a gift from Betsy Weber at TechSmith.

Ben McCormack is on the Support Team, he moved to New York from Atlanta one year ago to join Fog Creek.

Nearby we noticed this funky Reddit guy.

It used to belong to the office, but Adam Wishneusky, also on the Support Team, snagged it for himself.

In the centre of the office is this glowing fish tank.

With some spectacular specimens inside giving us their best look.

Once lunch time hits everyone heads to the kitchen for their daily free, catered lunch.

Part of the reason they do this is to bring everyone together to socialize and get to know each other.

The spread is pretty good.

They don't have steak every day, but usually at least once a week.

And some delicious dessert.

It is a perk everyone appreciates.

The lunch is shared between Fog Creek and their sister company Stack Exchange (their office is one floor up).

After lunch it is back to work. Bradford Ley is a System Administrator and makes sure the engineers at Fog Creek have all the space and speed they need to do their work.

The Angry Birds on his desk were gifts from a White Elephant Xmas gift exchange in the office.

Nearby in The Igloo sits his colleague Sven Henderson.

Walking through the office we notice this strange decoration.

It belongs to Dane Bertram a developer working on FogBugz. The blue yellow chain was for Leap Year Day, an idea he picked up from the show 30 Rock

A funny comic strip on the wall. Appropriate for a programming company, especially one that develops bug tracking software.

Benjamin Pollack (seated) and Kevin Gessner (standing) both started as interns themselves but now are full time developers.

He got this duck in a Halloween gift bag and then started collecting more.

Gessner's office is across the hall and he has these quirky welcome mats. Gifts from his mum.

He also has this dragon sculpture.

On our way out we stop by the company's library where there was a meeting in progress.

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