biz cas.

I'm sure that to a lot of people, the invention of business casual (or as those of us who are hip and in the know like to call it, "biz cas") was a much needed relief. Some boss figured out that employees hated dressing in suits all the time, and since their business didn't really require people to be dressed to go to church with their grandmothers, they could improve morale all around by allowing slacks and polo shirts.

But then to some others, business casual is a burden. For while some bosses would not have the guts to require suits and ties for their employees, they're happy to require slacks and loafers. I'm speaking, of course, of software engineers.

It's stupid to make us dress up, and I'll tell you why. From what I understand, dressing up at work is about image. It's about creating the illusion of being professional. It's to impress other people into trusting you with their money. Some might argue that it makes you work harder when you feel professional. It makes me surly. Even if I were not naturally given to surliness, I would constantly be aware that I was wearing dress-up clothes. I would be distracted. And surly.

Back to image. So if we've established that you're trying to impress other people and you're trying to do it by gussying up a bunch of softare engineers, then you've already failed. Engineers should not be meeting customers. We became engineers because we're bad with people, and the machines understand us. Your clients majored in business in college, were popular in high school, and made fun of people who would become engineers. We don't like them, and they probably won't like us, no matter how starched our shirts are. It is in your best interest to keep us separated.

Our job is to sit in front of the computer and sweet talk it in a special language to do what you want. Your job is to supply us with caffeine drips and no reason to ever want to leave our desks and stop working. If our loafers are hurting our feet, you have failed, and there goes your willing slave. You may think we're updating software specification, but we're actually updating our resumes.

Give us jeans or give us death! We will happily be your devoted minions, hacking away on our off hours, too. Extend casual Friday to casual Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and we'll log in on Naked-At-Home Saturday and see if we can't get a little work done. We won't even complain when you make us fix your kid's iPod if we're allowed to do it in our Levis.

Please. Biz cas is for grown up frat boys. We think for a living. Don't make us surly.

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