A CEO and a Software Engineer Walk into a Bar…

June 8, 2023

The SEorders a tall IPA in a frosty glass. The tech CEO orders a dirty gin martini,stirred, with 3 olives please. The SE takes a glug of his beer and turns to theCEO with a mustache of foam left atop his lip. The CEO kicks off her heels andlets her feet dangle from the stool. She immediately eats all 3 olives andvisibly relaxes.

SE: Long day at the office?

CEO: God you have no idea. My investors are hounding me to overturn abig decision our board just made that’ll cut some questionable emplo… I mean,costs. I’m just trying to keep revenues in the green before Q2 is over so I cankeep us afloat.

SE: Hm. Sounds tough. I’m just here to take a breather while my coderuns for the 37th time. It keeps breaking at the same line, and I can’t tellwhere the bug lies in the loop. My manager keeps asking for the final file butI’ve got other things going on and I can’t focus all my time on this oneproject.

CEO: Hm. Can’t help you with that but sounds like a bummer. And I justlearned I have to show face at an important fundraiser tomorrow, but I’malready supposed to get dinner with my in-laws – which I’ve canceled twice now.I just wish everyone would recognize how hard I’m working and trying to balanceeverything!

SE: Me too! Everyone talks about ‘work-life balance’ these days butrarely do I see them put their money where their mouth is. It’s been all workand no life for me lately. My DND club is even considering finding a newdungeon master because I’ve missed too many meetings! Our campaign hasn’t evenmade it to the Ice Queen’s Fortress! I’m definitely missing that ever elusivebalance… seems we all are.

CEO: Cheers to that my friend. Here’s to balance and Ice Queens in Q3.

SE: Cheers. Bartender, another round please – this time I’ll have whatshe’s having.


The daysthese two characters had are wildly different. What’s required of them to meetthe needs of the business are on completely different planes. Yet, the endgoals – work-life balance and peer recognition – are the same.

Regardless of a person’s role, technically or business oriented, we all sharethe same human needs. When you walk into the office, you’re still a humanbeing. Meeting the business needs gets you in the door. Meeting human needsgets you the business.