We are introduced to the Silicon Valley “coasters”, millionaire engineers who make a lot of money but seemingly, do very little work.
A Facebook engineer woke up one sunny summer morning feeling sick. The engineer recalls, “I thought that I was sick.”
It wasn’t a food poisoning or a virus. It was a bad reaction that the engineer experienced when he thought about returning to work.
The person was a leader of a team of 40 and made nearly a million dollars per year. This engineer was exhausted in the short time he worked at Facebook. His project was highly political, and required an immense effort to improve its results.
He couldn’t quit his job, no matter how tired he was. He had to pay taxes, and he needed the share and the salary to do so.
After vomiting, the engineer decided to not go to work. That was not the day. Not ever. He knew they wouldn’t fire him.
It was actually the director’s idea to not go to work.
The engineer had talked to the director the day before about his plans to quit the company at year’s end. He wanted to do so within six months. He wanted to finish the projects he had begun, not get into new projects. He also wanted to collect the stock money that accumulated up to the end of the previous year, and earn the money to pay his taxes.
“The director and me had many conversations. This person says that I was unsure countless times whether or not to leave. He was serious this time. These projects were my responsibility and I was to manage them until completion. I felt good after this resolution. I felt good after this resolution.
Panicked, the engineer thought that the director meant his immediate dismissal. But he explained that he was talking to something completely different.
He said, “I don’t mean don’t go to work.” You are tired and need a break. You don’t have to say it. Everyone will assume that you are working with another team.
The proposal of the director did not go down well with him. The engineer says, “I was furious and wasn’t willing” to accept the proposal. “I was determined to join another team. When I woke up the next morning, I began vomiting.
This is how a hardworking, conscientious individual signed up for “rest and accumulate”, the smallest of Silicon Valley’s secret clubs.
The phrase “Rest and accumulate” describes an employee who, if he has any, has a low workload and remains on the company staff while collecting salary and shares. The whole. In the total compensation that a senior engineer receives, stock ownership is generally a greater percentage than salary.
The engineer went into “rest and hoard mode” once he had finished his coding projects. He then spent his time attending technology talks and planning his next career move.
She realized later that she had been offered to “rest and accumulate” by the director to get her silence about the problems in that project. This allowed her to land on a soft landing, giving her the time to look for the next project.
He says, “Everyone knew that he was a loudmouth” and would tell everyone everything. “The director thought that it wasn’t going to be expensive to keep this person happy for six more months.
Business Insider interviewed half a dozen people with firsthand knowledge about the “rest-and-hoard” culture. Some are high-ranking executives, while others are managers trying to get one of these people back in the realm of productivity. Many people recognized that the practice of “rest and accumulate” was a well-known one that is often kept secret in their companies. They are called “coasters”, or people who live life without much effort.
Their lives contrast with many others in technology. They work long hours and are under pressure to put their company and work first.
Engineers may find themselves in “rest-and-build” jobs for many reasons.
Manny Medina is the CEO of Outreach, a fast-growing startup that knows everything about the phenomenon. He was once a “coaster” for a brief time and says that he saw his success at Microsoft. He also attempted to lure some of these engineers into his startup.
Medina claims that he had the opportunity to earn a high salary while still in college. Medina told the company that he had completed his project months ahead of schedule and would be leaving after he graduates.
He decided to teach others how to use his software for the remainder of the months, since the company didn’t want him to begin a new coding project. Your job was to help others and write documents.
He laughs, “My days began at 11 o’clock in the morning and my lunch break was lengthy.” They didn’t want me creating anything else because someone else would need to maintain the software while I wasn’t there. However, I was required to be present doing very little while others were running around “.
He joined Microsoft years later. There, he claims, they used high-paying positions strategically both in the ranks of engineers as well as in the research and developmental unit, Microsoft Research. According to him, the company was able to hire specialists in new fields like artificial intelligence, robotics and spoken natural language. These specialists were not easy to find so they often allowed them to receive a salary at Microsoft, even though they were still working as researchers or professors at universities.
He says, “You keep talented engineers while also avoiding the competition from having these people, which is very advantageous.” It is defensive.
In other companies, it is less about protecting yourself and more about becoming indispensable.
Ex-Facebook engineer who was awarded this bonus explained that Facebook offers a bonus program called “discretionary Participation” which few people are aware of.
This is when the company grants an engineer large numbers of additional shares that are linked to the company. These shares can be valued between tens of thousands and hundreds of millions of dollars. It’s a way of showing gratitude for a job well performed. This helps to prevent the person from changing boats as they earn over time. It is an additional concession that top executives sometimes make, such as Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO.
This ex-Facebook employee said that “the first Facebook engineers we knew are in this program.” He was referring to people who worked at the company before it became public. He explains that their shares have quadrupled in value and they aren’t going away. They are truly indispensable engineers. They then start to work eight-hour days.
Facebook did not comment on the matter. However, engineers claim that the company is known for making engineers work long hours. Although these bonuses are not intended to be a “rest-and-accumulate” mechanism, they can help in this regard.
He says, “These people have a lot of intelligence and don’t leave.” They are 35 years old and make seven-digit incomes each year. They are “going in neutral (coasting),” we say.
Silicon Valley has other types of “rest and accumulate” members. These are called “x10 engineers,” which refers to those who believe they are ten times more productive than the average engineer.
According to some, a “x10 engineer” can produce in a single hour what other engineers take ten hours. These guys are simply brilliant. While they may not be as smart, others are more knowledgeable and have a complete understanding of every aspect of the system.
These people often have advantages that are difficult to see with the naked eyes once they have enough experience in their job. They might be able to identify the details and secrets of a project. Or they could be used as an emergency solution for another project.
The engineer said that a Facebook user seemed to not try hard enough, but that he still found the solution when Facebook crashed.
The “rest and accumulate” group also includes the “coasters”, seasoned engineers who have made it to the top of their companies and don’t need to work hard.
Although they may not be x10-engineers, they are civil servants who can do the right amount to pass the annual assessment to be granted the next batch.
Everyone we spoke to believes that Google is the best place for this “rest and accumulate profile” to thrive.
One engineer said that most of his friends at Google work four hours per day. They are engineers, but they don’t work as much. They are familiar with the Google system and know when to place the batteries. Engineers have optimized their jobs’ execution times.
This was confirmed by a Google director who has recently left the company. He says, “There are many “coasters” who reach a certain point and don’t want to continue trying.” They don’t want to be promoted, so they stick to a schedule. After one to two years, if their department does not like it, they are moved to another.
Many tell us that X, the research center for rocket launches to the moon, which is run by Alphabet (Google’s parent company), is well-known in Silicon Valley as the place where you can “rest and accumulate”.
Engineer working for X says that the company’s long term vision and tendency to cancel projects have earned it such fame.
This person emphasizes that “In X, we don’t have budgetary problems”. An engineer can earn between $ 250,000 to $ 600,000. However, it is not easy to get ahead. It’s like a startup, but it is not. It’s like a startup that has unlimited funds.
Ruth Porat, a Wall Street veteran and Alphabet CFO, is believed to be preventing the spread of the unlimited budgeting idea at X, as well as other subsidiaries, by limiting her budget.
Some Google employees claim that their office is looking to hire new staff in all departments, except for cloud data storage which is under the responsibility of Diane Greene.
This engineer says that even though it’s the character of X, it can be tempting to staff to coast. He says that while other tech companies force their employees to meet a deadline for a product, they have to work weekends and nights to do so. “At X, people think, ‘well if it gets canceled, I’ll find another one.’
“Google has a few positions that pay a high salary. Once you get there, there’s no reason to work harder. You can make the most out of your vacation because life smiles at you. The X engineer says, “I’ll get more involved whenever I feel like it,” and estimates that the total salary for a very high-ranking engineering professional can reach $ 600,000. This includes stock options, bonuses, and stock options.
“What incentive is there to work harder when you’re already making $500,000 per month in payroll, and there’s no chance of you moving up?” This person is exposed.
They may have been “resting and accumulation” for other reasons, but they all come to work every day. Business Insider was told by a former Google CEO.
This person insists that “you have to appear personally.” The interviewee says that Google has so many entertainment options on its premises, it’s easy to go to work while still enjoying the company’s facilities. You feel like eating lunch in their cafeteria or attending a conference or class on technology. Or you would prefer to have a drink in the Slice Cafe, which is located in other facilities. You end up working six hours. You may have to invest weekends and nights, but generally the company is so important that you can work less, this person tells me.
Google isn’t the only company offering such entertainment. Facebook offers classes, a carpentry shop and a video gaming room. Oracle offers a sandy beach for beach volleyball and an outdoor swimming pool. Microsoft has a day spa on site, as well as soccer and cricket pitches. According to our sources, engineers can be found “resting” and “accumulating” at all of these companies.