The Chinese hire programmer motivators in tech companies

madoka

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Jun 22, 2004
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https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/24/business/china-women-technology.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur

China’s vibrant technology scene is searching for people like Shen Yue. Qualifications: Must be attractive, know how to charm socially awkward programmers and give relaxing massages.

Ms. Shen is a “programmer motivator,” as they are known in China. Part psychologist, part cheerleader, the women are hired to chat up and calm stressed-out coders. The jobs are proliferating in a society that largely adheres to gender stereotypes and believes that male programmers are “zhai,” or nerds who have no social lives.

“They really need someone to talk to them from time to time and to organize activities for them to ease some of the pressure,” said Ms. Shen, a 25-year-old who has a degree in civil engineering from a university in Beijing.
. . .

Ms. Shen started work at Chainfin.com, a consumer finance company, in October. She declined to disclose her salary, but Zhang Jing, a human resources executive who hired Ms. Shen, said it was around $950 a month.

Ms. Shen came to Beijing from the northeastern province of Heilongjiang. She has long black hair and pale skin and wears red eye shadow to the office, where she always has a ready smile for her colleagues. They call her by her nickname, Yueyue, which translates to Joy.

At Chainfin.com, the bulk of her work is tending the front desk, organizing social events, ordering snacks for tea breaks and chatting with the programmers. She may call a programmer to a conference room and ask him, “Did you have to work overtime?” before listening to his various frustrations.

Meh, the British had relationships managers over a decade ago.

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Paladin3

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Mar 5, 2004
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My motivator is broken. I drove through McDonald's for a sausage mcmuffin with egg this morning. Talk about giving up.

Or, I could look at it this way...they were 2/$4 and I gave the other one to my daughter. Maybe I'm fiscally savvy and the picture of generosity all wrapped up in a bundle of handsome.
 
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KB

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Nov 8, 1999
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"Must be attractive, know how to charm socially awkward programmers and give relaxing massages."

That sounds more like a productivity crushing, but welcome distraction, more than motivation. That is unless she's like: "10 more lines of code and I will rub you down". :)
 

clamum

Lifer
Feb 13, 2003
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I thought one of the requirements was "Must be attractive." OH SNAP. J/k sorry Ms Shen I bet you give a good massage though!

Not sure how I feel about this. On one hand, an attractive lady is always good. On the other it seems like it would actually be a productivity lessener (technical term) like KB said.
 

dud

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Feb 18, 2001
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This would go over well in other parts of the world ...
 

madoka

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Jun 22, 2004
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I wouldn't care if my motivator looked like Mayne and Naer's love child. If I got random massages while working, I'd be pretty happy.
 
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Carson Dyle

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Jul 2, 2012
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In the US the motivators provided are piles of food, candy and soda. And the programmers look like they take full advantage of it.