Book Review - Cube Farm by Bill Blunden
If you want to feel better about your job (or confirm your fears that corporate life is horrible), you might want to read Cube Farm by Bill Blunden (Apress). It's a quirky little book about a person's foray from college into a corporate environment of a major Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software vendor.
Blunden went to Cornell and got a degree in physics. But in Cleveland, that and a couple of bucks will get you coffee at Starbucks. It might even get you a job at Starbucks. After a stint in food service, he got another degree in Management Science and ended up eventually securing a job in IT working for Lawson Software in Minnesota. In his time there, he was part of a grossly dysfunctional company that had most of their software projects die before seeing a shipment to market. The people, given code names in the book to "protect the guilty", are a rogue's gallery of misfits and psychopaths who will make you hope you never have a boss or coworkers like that. The story ends when he decides to leave because he doesn't like what he's becoming.
The book is touted as "a reality check for anyone preparing to enter the work force, and a survival guide for those entangled in their own personal version of Office Space." While I have no doubt these work environments exist, I've never seen all these personality types in a single place in my over 25 years of IT. For a first IT job, this guy had a horrible experience. His "lessons" at the end of each chapter are short one liners about corporate life, but they are largely based on an extremely cynical view of corporate life. If I had his experience at Lawson, I'd probably feel the same. But I'm not sure I'd buy this book as anything more than one person's hard luck story of life in IT as well as an entertaining read by a talented writer. Using it as a guide to surviving in the office place might cause you problems if you work in a more normal company...