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Former Valve Hardware Designer Recounts Management Difficulties 224

DavidGilbert99 writes "Jeri Ellsworth has opened up about her time at games developer Valve and has hit out strongly at the so-called flatpack management structure. She says that despite Valve's claims of a democratic structure, there is a layer of powerful management in place and when she was fired she felt like she had been stabbed in the back. 'If I sound bitter, it's because I am. I am really, really bitter. They promised me the world and then stabbed me in the back.'" Develop Online has a good transcript. In the end, Gabe Newell at least let her team keep the rights to their augmented reality hardware. She also notes that she still loves Valve, but the management and bonus structure resulted in communication breakdowns at Valve's size. It does seem that a flat structure can work: Andy Wingo has been weblogging about working at Igalia and seems pretty positive about the experience.
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Former Valve Hardware Designer Recounts Management Difficulties

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  • C64 DTV designer (Score:5, Informative)

    by Neo-Rio-101 ( 700494 ) on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @05:43AM (#44223409)

    I assume this is the same Jeri Ellisworth that designed the Commodore 64 Direct to TV unit?

  • Re:Yes (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @06:26AM (#44223541)

    Ironically your last sentence describes Microsoft over the last decade (ex-emp here). Bureaucratic management nightmare, less-than-zero vision at the top, subpar product execution/innovation, etc. yet constant promises of pink ponies to the grunts, i.e. the way it used it be in the mid-90's. Ironic because they are the exact opposite of the "structureless" environment yet the concept is right on the mark as they continue to slide into the tech heap of oblivion.

  • Re:Sadly (Score:5, Informative)

    by jones_supa ( 887896 ) on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @06:27AM (#44223545)

    Everytime i read "Valve" my thoughts pavlovianly go to HL3. Still not a single word about it?

    Lately someone got snooping into Valve's Jira [] and some conclusions made were that HL3 was either inactive or in developmental infancy. L4D3 was advancing nicely and the Source 2 engine had huge development resources behind it.

    But who knows.

The trouble with the rat-race is that even if you win, you're still a rat. -- Lily Tomlin