Monday, December 15, 2008


This post has been a long time coming, but assorted events in (how many engineers does it take to determine the model number of an espresso machine?) and out (the Bay Area—'nuf said) of the office made it finally seem like an appropriate time for the post.

Rock stars have marijuana, athletes have steroids, and engineers have caffeine, only this is a performance-enhancing drug with a killer delivery system: coffee.

The on-demand world requires on-demand engineers driven by the demands of managers; even with typical hours of 10 'til whenever, the scheduling requirements of Corporate America just aren't satisfied by engineers' "when it's done" attitude. Stepping in to offer some encouragement that management is too busy to dispense is the break room coffee maker. This marvel of engineering is the lifeline of the office, providing waking hours to a workforce that would otherwise be somewhere between inattentive and dormant.

Engineering lightweights, claiming to not like the taste or breaking their dependency often opt for coffee's weaker—and barely imbibable—cousin, tea, while blasphemers drink the office enemy, decaf. Then there are the addicts: the espresso drinkers. With brewing rituals rivaled only by serious drug users, this group of engineers clearly has a problem, but who can argue with results?

Coffee: the fuel of Silicon Valley, RTP, and the server room of every company.

Image by: emdot

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