Mike Judge on Silicon Valley

Saturday, April 5th, 2014

Mike Judge graduated from UCSD with a degree in physics and then moved to East Palo Alto in 1987 to work at a company that made interfaces for high-resolution screens, so he has some experience with Silicon Valley:

Everybody uses all this technology every day but very few people know what it’s like to be a programmer and coding this stuff. I haven’t seen engineer-programmer types portrayed the way I’ve known them to be. The only exceptions I’ve seen were “The Social Network,” which was great, and a little movie called “Primer.” The guy made it in Dallas for like $5,000. It looks incredible and the engineers seem like engineers.


Back then you looked for a job in the newspaper and I remember seeing a giant ad for Sun Microsystems that said “PUSH” in giant letters, and then underneath it said, “yourself harder than you ever dreamed possible, past all existing goals, up to the level of Sun Microsystems.” It just kind of scared me.


You look at the houses that a lot of billionaires live in, and they’re not flashy the way Hollywood is. I was talking to a very wealthy guy up there who said the last thing you’d ever do is drive around in a Maserati or something. But because nobody wants to show off any wealth, the whole place ends up looking kind of drab. I guess it started from hippie culture, and these are also introverted people, so there’s this code of behavior where you don’t show wealth. You wear a Patagonia vest and jeans and that’s that.


  1. Purpleslog says:

    This is is the Office Space guy, correct?

  2. Isegoria says:

    Yep, Mike Judge did the original Milton animated shorts, which led to the live-action Office Space feature film that he wrote and directed.

  3. Bob Sykes says:

    Sounds like Paul Fussell’s “top out of sight” class from his excellent book Class.

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