Tech Careers: The Perils of Office Romances

When developers get involved with developers, what happens to the code?


You Can't Detect What You Can't See: Illuminating the Entire Kill Chain

Posted September 17, 2012

Eric Spiegel

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My office mate Jerry was admiring the newest software developer hired into our merry band of techies. She was the second female in the group, but the first was married with kids. This young lady was our age and had no ring on the finger.

And I had to admit, Jerry was right. She was easy on the eyes.

We were having our Monday morning stand-up meeting where the team leads had to kick off the week with a status update. When a new team member was hired, they had to play a game our manager Chuck was fond of – two truths and a lie.

It involved sharing three supposed facts about themselves while everyone voted on which two were true and which one was false. If the newbie fooled everyone, Chuck would buy them lunch.

The object of Jerry’s affection’s stood up in front of the group and started the game.

“Hi my name is Suzanne and I’ve been writing software since high school. I’m excited to be on your team!”

Jerry leaned over and whispered, “Not as excited as me.” I gave an affirmative chuckle. But I had a fleeting thought of trepidation over Jerry’s enthusiasm.

Suzanne continued with the game.

“Here are three things about me. First, I was a cheerleader in college. Second, I have done modeling for magazines. And third, I was valedictorian of my high school.”

Chuck asked everyone to vote for which one was the lie. It wasn’t close. The majority voted that the valedictorian claim was a falsehood.

It was clear Suzanne had the looks to be a model and she exuded the perkiness of a cheerleader. But I thought she was playing off her good looks, so I was one of the few who voted for modeling as the lie.

And I was right.

“I was offered a modeling job, but it wasn’t something my dad would have approved of,” she said with a coy smile, getting a laugh out of the group.

Jerry was eating it all up. She was smart, funny and good-looking. Yet, something about her still bugged me.

As an award for outwitting most of us, Chuck had to take her to lunch. And he invited me to come along.

Jerry was not happy.

But he wanted to know more about her, so he said, “make sure you find out if she has a boyfriend and any other interesting stuff.”

“Okay, Jerry, I’ll be sure to find out.”

Jerry was an admitted late bloomer. He took to writing software at an early age and in high school he was the star of the math club, chess club, etc.

He was tall and lanky and not bad looking I guess. Most important: Jerry was a good guy and could be naive about the opposite sex. I felt protective of him and Suzanne seemed out of his league.

So as we were sitting at lunch, Chuck was going on about how Microsoft was going to change the world and Suzanne sat in rapt attention. But every once in while she would glance at me and smile.

Let me tell you, she had a seriously enchanting smile.

As promised, I asked, “I understand you recently moved to town. Do you have a lot of friends here or a boyfriend?”

She looked at me with a disarming look, brushed her brunette bangs out of her eyes and said “Why? Do you want to be my boyfriend?”

Chuck laughed like it was the funniest joke he ever heard. I must have turned several shades of red.

“Ha. Um no, just curious.”

She went on to say she had friends but no serious boyfriend.

When we returned to the office, I filled Jerry in. He was thrilled. Although I did leave out how she made me blush.

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Tags: programmers, developers, IT Jobs/Salary

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