Dilbert’s cynical take on office politics can be cruel, for sure, and Google has certainly taken its blows in the strip over the years. But this time, its creator Scott Adams has pointed his pen at Google engineers and their reputation for arrogance.
In a comic strip published on Dec. 27, Dilbert makes fun of the supposed hubris in the Googleplex. The infamous pointy-haired boss comments on hiring a Google engineer who’s so smart he’s “evolved into a life-form that exists as pure energy.” Says the life-form: “Bow before my greatness, you pitiful humans!”
Real life Google engineers, however, aren’t amused by the depiction. Richard Hay, for one, took to his blog to decry the stereotype, saying that “the more senior engineers become, the less arrogant they tend to be.” We’ll let you decode Hay’s qualifier comment.
While a number of commenters sided with Hay, others posted retorts about the elitist attitude of Silicon Valley engineers in general, and one snarky commenter took a direct zing at Google:
If you think you can simply “flip that bit” and not be arrogant because you say so, then you are indeed guilty as charged. There is a culture problem at Google. Many of the employees tend to think everyone wants to be like them, or that the world would be a much better place if everyone would just do things “the Google way.”
Not surprisingly, working as a top engineer with one of the tech industry’s titans has been known to stoke the ego. A former Google manager once told Business Insider that one of the many lessons he learned at the company was, “Don’t be afraid to be an asshole about hiring only really smart people who have achieved something extraordinary in their careers.”