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Working hours

Game maker EA is getting quite a lot of attention these days. Their new Sims2 is received quite well by my social neighbourhood, finally we have a piece of software to talk about. The way EA operates its own sims is received with less enthousiams. In his blogpost Frans refers to the case as “White Collar Slavery”, on EA emplyees working 90 hours a week on a structural base. In the comments on the post is a quite interesting discussion on the culture of labor law and practices.

Dutch legislation on the matter is quite complex. In a recent project I worked on an automated script to check hours worked. To mention (an over-simplified version of) some of the tests:

  • You are entitled to 11 hours free of work, in one stretch, per day

  • Having worked in a night shift this is 14 hours

  • A nigth shift should be no longer than 9 hours

  • Once every 9 days you are entitled to 32 hours of  leave

  • Once every 9 days you are entitled to 60 hours of leave. Your employer can neglect this rule once every 5 weeks

The letter of the law and the actual tests are somewhat more complicated, how to exactly measure the timespans is even more tricky. But we made it to automate the testing. The amount of hours worked by the EA emplyees would have been interesting test material, it will probably lead to overflows ;/


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  • Eric Wise

    Back when I was young, I was in love with the idea of becoming a video game designer. Then when I was in high school I started researching the industry, and I discovered the intensive amount of labor that video game team members put in. I decided at that point to shift my focus to business programming.

    I love programming, but I love having a life outside of work more.