Does Apple Assign “Fake” Projects To New Hires During A Probationary Period?

Last year, Adam Lashinsky made a claim in his book ‘Inside Apple’ that new Apple hires are sometimes placed on “fake” projects during a probationary period, and are only handed real projects once the company can trust them. To find out if this was true, Ars Technica asked around several Apple employees and found out that none of them ever heard of such a practice. Their interviews with current and former Apple engineers revealed that so called “fake” projects do not exist at all.

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One of the former engineers told Ars that Apple would never waste their own or their employee’s time on something that didn’t directly “contribute to the company’s bottom line” somehow. Several engineers said that only a few US Apple employees would dare leak outside the company. However, Apple has plenty of leverage over its employees, including the prospect of firings and even lawsuits.

I spoke to Apple employees from various areas of the company at differing levels, some who are still at Apple and others who have moved on, but all expressed the same sentiment. No one reported any direct experience of being put on a fake project at Apple, and no one knew a friend or colleague at the company who had. A single former employee acknowledged having heard about fake projects—but only from a friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend, and the employee was quick to acknowledge that the rumor should be treated with a skeptical eye.

To read more about how how Apple works to track down suspected sources of leaks, such as putting an entire room on lockdown, hit up the original article.

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  • m Arch Tom’s on Bar N Ass

    why would someone (unless affected by mental disease) give fake projects to new hires after signing a contract of employment?
    in case everyone ‘s forgotten, trust relationship establishment occurs when signing a contract then, if we trust enough (have enough trust in ourselves to take the risk ) to sign a contract with “counterparts” , we also know already we have everything we want and need (including in-house know-how and how to’s as well as required financial resources and even trust relationships in place with others) to go along the line of lawsuits and recover unwelcome and detrimental effects.
    (either financial loss, company reputation damage & even trust relationships with partners co.’s affected by any employees breach of trust ) , marc

  • Weird Article

    As someone who’s worked for a major tech company, the fake project thing seems a bit blown of proportion. That said, it most likely does happen to some extent. Let me explain.

    I highly doubt Apple (or anyone) would give full time employees something completely useless to work on; but I could see them giving new employees or interns a exploratory projects that may or may not be useful in the future. In a lot of R&D type positions, interns get work is more of a try this and see if it works type deal. This is because they may be lacking experience to work on the projects which need to be done fast and perfectly. Of course, even exploratory/low priority projects always have potential. No one would give someone a project just to see how they handle it, except for maybe in a interview or VERY new hire type test period.