• Freddie O’Connell


    Freddie brings his lunch in a Hello Kitty bag, and sometimes his lunch is in the shape of children’s cartoons (Elmo, for example.) He only held the Donnelly Cup (last place in Pong) for a few days when he first started working with us.

    Freddie used to drive a car that belonged to Daryl Hannah (the mermaid in Splash). It had a “BIODIESEL” decal on the back window in Old English font. He sold it, and now he’s the only Rustician that drives an all-electric car, a Nissan Leaf. He’s good enough, smart enough, and dog gone it, people like him. We like him, and we like the end-user way that he approaches software development.

    I work at Rustici Software. I've worked here since Dec 2011. I've begun to wonder why anyone works anywhere else. Or, at least, to wonder why people who are employees at other companies don't demand that their companies value them the way Mike and Tim do the rest of us.

    Rustici Software provides internal transparency about salary structure, which is generally competitive with the industry; we have an innovative benefits program (currently, I have Amazon Prime, my high-speed Internet service at home, and my lawn care included on top of a generous 401(k) and HSA-based health insurance package); and we have fun together as a company (including a robust intramural pong league with Elo-style rankings).

    In addition to having high expectations about raw performance on the job, I'm impressed by Mike and Tim's ability to hire for culture, as well. High expectations are a two way street: Mike and Tim have them of me (and all of us), and I've always had them of myself and my employers (which is one reason I haven't worked for a lot of companies on a long-term basis).

    This is a company built by developers for developers, and Mike and Tim have literally solved the biggest employment frustrations I've had anywhere else I've worked in the broad industry of information technology.

    When I get recruitment emails from headhunters, I delete them.

    On top of all this, we're solving an interesting problem, something I didn't fully realize when I applied to a job under the banner the obscure acronym "SCORM." Now I get to help people think about how they experience the world and how to make sense of it (experience tracking and informal learning).

    When I applied, I was attracted by their having won "Great Places to Work" awards for several consecutive years. They continue to do that, and it continues to be well deserved. And I get paid to work with smart, fun people solving interesting problems.