Is Apple unable to dream up a killer new product because it no longer attracts young talent?


Got some engineering work under your belt and eyeing a job at Apple? The Guardian has a rather acerbic article that could make you reconsider depositing that CV to One Infinite Loop, Cupertino. The media got in touch with developer James Knight, a 27-year old ex-Google coder, who described the Apple "culture" as "negative, strict, and harsh", and the work environment as "very hostile". "You're gonna be working 60-80 hours a week and some VP will come yell at you at any moment." - said Knight.

"Several" Silicon Valley recruiters seem to share the coder's sentiment in what's explained as a trend that has been blooming slowly for years and has now manifested amidst the latest tech boom. In the past, Apple was revered in the Bay area tech circles, as career-minded specialists were careful not to tarnish any possibility of landing a job at One Infinite Loop. But right now, the mood appears to be shifting towards dismissing the very same opportunity as dodging a bullet. Programmers in the job market openly talk of issues such as "high-stress culture" and "cult of secrecy", which goes against office tendencies of gentler management and "playful" workdays.

Moreover, Apple still doesn't serve free food or offer much in the way of benefits, which is notorious at the very least, and downright shocking for the kind of high-prized, perk-accustomed engineering talent that the company wants to attract. Thus, recruiters claim that Apple is no longer attractive for "top young talent", which now eyes the likes of Facebook, Alphabet, Uber and Airbnb. Ambitious programmers and designers, the kind of employees who sign a contract to dream up the next big thing, are put off by what seems like a "confusing and rigid culture" bearing "a lot of secrecy, a lot of control".

Also, engineers no longer look "to work for Apple", but rather towards "big problems" on the cutting edge of technology, ones that will challenge them creatively and put them at the center. And even though Apple is tackling self-driving car and artificial intelligence projects, it hasn't produced a truly novel product in a while. Its last major release, the Apple Watch, did not become a "must-have" among users, even though it is the best-selling smartwatch right now. Meanwhile, iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks are no longer considered groundbreaking products, just ones undergoing refinement.

Although Apple is the world's largest corporation, more stable than venture-backed companies like Uber and Airbnb, and pays its employees well, it may have to consider relaxing the reins in addition to brainstorming a killer new product. But the latter can't happen without fresh-minded talent, and at present, the iPhone maker seems to be off the radars of disruptive programmers who value flexibility and lifestyle perks over security and a big salary.

Then again, The Guardian's report is only indicative of a trend. For all these recruiters who claim Apple has lost its appeal, there could be just as many claiming the opposite. For all the young coders who'd rather get a job at Uber, there might be just as many who'd give anything to work on the new iPhone. But where there's smoke, there's surely fire. Meanwhile, Apple hasn't reflected upon the publication.

source: The Guardian

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55 Comments

1. TheStanleyFTW

Posts: 252; Member since: Feb 20, 2013

Yes. :)

48. engineer-1701d unregistered

ha let some f**ker yell in my face as he stated and watch the vps face hit the ground and my foot break his jew.

58. JumpinJackROMFlash

Posts: 464; Member since: Dec 10, 2014

You're probably right about him being a jew. The probability is high.

2. SkyfallWalker

Posts: 73; Member since: Jan 28, 2016

Is it too much for Apple to make iTunes available for Android?

4. xocomaox

Posts: 201; Member since: Dec 14, 2015

Yes .

9. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

Apple's management is too proud of itself, they will never change

10. LetsBeHonest

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

Apple is not Microsoft nor in the same state(in smartphone of course) lol. Apple is all about me.. me.. me...!!! They make money from selling hardware unlike google who make money through their services(ads:P).. Apple made theirown echo system tied strictly with their hardware. They provide a unique very closed experience. And they don't give a damn abt outsiders:P "If you don't have iTunes, uhh.. then you don't have am iPhone.. :P"

22. Norris

Posts: 121; Member since: Jun 26, 2015

Why are you so hateful toward other companies?, and praise apple like there's nothing else..

30. LetsBeHonest

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

Me? I don't hate any companies.. And I never used any Apple product more than 3 months lol.. Those were extremely closed for me which is not my cup of tea...

43. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

I was using iTunes before I ever bought an iOS based device. I thought it was the best music management app I had seen. It allowed be to edit the tags and add mu own album art (which other apps can too). It's only downside is it is connected to Apple's servers for content and listing available media and it makes the application slow. It is the worse malware ever, but I still use it.

50. engineer-1701d unregistered

i had itunes in 2001 or 2 i loved it but it kept crashing my computer so got pissed and battery kept going bad so anyways i still have it somewhere hahaha.

23. tedkord

Posts: 17414; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Oh God, no. I hate iTunes. It's gummed up both PCs I installed it on. Granted, that was quite a few years ago, and it might have gotten better, but no way I'm installing it on my phone.

49. engineer-1701d unregistered

hahahaha thats the only thing stopping masses of people like 60% leaving and going to android or some other. the itunes is on apple.

59. JumpinJackROMFlash

Posts: 464; Member since: Dec 10, 2014

Why the f*** would you want that crap on Android?

3. Sidewinder

Posts: 515; Member since: Jan 15, 2015

Hmm.. Well the iPhone was their trump product. But I don't think the iPhone can keep sustaining their revenue. The competition is pretty neck and neck. So unless they try a different approach than just polishing existing features, their future as a sustainable business company is unsure.

5. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Well written article.

7. LetsBeHonest

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

Agreed!

6. LetsBeHonest

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

Well its true Apple hasn't dome something truly innovative since a long time. They are kind buy companies with tech and implement it in theirs and name it that they made it. All those tech sites biased towards Apple will claims it as the best and give Apple tons of credits where no name about the originals who made the tech will get mentioned in their articles anywhere. But Apple surely are the trend setter among developers and OEMs and that gives meaning to Apple's existence more than enough. IPhones are great just like it's competitors but not as great as some (biased) tech journalist exaggerating it to.

38. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Problem is that they have actively entrenched their old and dying leadership after jobs died. They sacked Forestall asap and he was the only young exec they had. Ive no longer designs anything decent since Jobs died either. The iPhone 6 looks like crap and the Apple watch is even worse. The battery case is just laughable along with their Pro series trashcan shaped macs and the new MacBook looks like nothing special. They can't come up with something new to save their lives and if they do, they are all set to mess it up.

41. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Yep So instead they pay ton in marketing and make tech journalist sell the iphone for them. You know if someone tell you something is the best eventually most ppl will fall for it.

8. DRS1977

Posts: 679; Member since: May 27, 2015

Apple is a Walmart brand. Anyone can buy an Apple product and just like almost anyone can buy a Toyota Corolla. They are not special or exclusive.

24. tedkord

Posts: 17414; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

What's that got to do with the article?

46. sgodsell

Posts: 7451; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Walmart has reasonable prices for everyone. Apple is overpriced in all of their products.

12. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Apple better get there s**t together.

54. j2001m

Posts: 3061; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

Not going to happen, look what they offered with the pro iPad and said you can now give up your pic, Hahahahahahhahahahahahahah The best part is many Apple sites like the Verge lost all credibility when they reviewed it and then when you then put there surface reviews next to it, what a joke It just shows all there iPhone review are crap one way reviews

57. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

The iPhone 6s plus is great just sayin.

13. Loubielou

Posts: 603; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Apple thing anything they make it will be successful even reguarding the prices the are charging,they do not seem to realise that cost of buying or running there phones its way over the Top,even the Chinese market were Apple struggle to gain buyers,they seem to prefer Budget phones over Apple iPhones the Chinese

14. palmguy

Posts: 983; Member since: Mar 22, 2011

It's the 80's again! The end is coming!!

15. darkkjedii

Posts: 31311; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Trust and believe, they have something coming down the pipe. Apples believes in milking the cow dry. Stay tuned.

20. Tizo101

Posts: 567; Member since: Jun 05, 2015

like what though? because I don't see the Apple car being successful.

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