I understand how he feels

Microsoft has decided to accept contributions to a wide range of their stack.  Scott Guthrie (among others) describes this decision here.

Rob Conery has a post wherein he describes an attempt on his part to setup a repository on GitHub that could tie into the CodePlex respository (see details in his post).  There was apparently some blowback on this, and so he reversed course.

Rob laments this:

“So, when I blasted out my little announcement, people (I spose fairly) thought I was being a jerk (again). Some venom filled my timeline and I even had a rather scathing DM from someone whom I consider a hero of mine.

That sucked a bit.

And I spose I deserved it.

So I’ve deleted the repo and I’ve deleted the account. So much for that idea.”

This might come as a surprise to some readers, but I think this is unfortunate.

Before Rob joined Microsoft as an employee, he was well-known and highly regarded due to his work with SubSonic (among other things).  He then joined Microsoft as an employee.  After a bit of time, he decided to end his employment at Microsoft.

Now, I’m not on Twitter, so perhaps I’m missing some context, but I don’t recall his public posting about leaving Microsoft as bitter or vindictive or anything like that.  He had his reasons at the time, plainly stated them, and it seemed pretty straight forward to me.  The dude took a job, then after some time, left it.

Since then, Rob has done a lot of work outside of Microsoft technologies, embracing Ruby, yada yada yada.  He has at times when discussing that work made comparisons with Microsoft technologies, but I’ve never thought of what he’s talked about as being some sort of “Fuck you Microsoft” message.  He talks about what he does and why he does it.  People (including myself) might not agree with it, but so what?  Maybe there has been some undercurrent there that only his former co-workers see, but I don’t see it.

Rob further laments:

“As for me, I think it’s probably time to stop ribbing my friends publicly – or talking about Microsoft in general. It’s too easy to be cast as an ass no matter how many open source projects you run, or time you take to educate and show people new things. I’ve always thought my actions would speak louder than whatever dumb words I choose.

I was wrong. Shark Jumped.“

Yes, I am now going to make an analogy comparing Rob Conery with Steve Forbes.  Deal with it.

This will age me, but at one point, Steve Forbes decided he wanted to run for President.  No, I don’t know why he did it.  Anyway, during that time, he proposed something (I believe a flat tax proposal) that drew some criticism along the lines of “Of course Forbes wants a flat tax.  He’s rich and it will benefit him.”  Paraphrasing a whole lot (since I’m old and don’t feel like looking it up), Steve Forbes responded with a really reasonable answer:

“Yes, I am rich.  It is true that you could see a flat tax as benefitting me.  The fact is, as someone who is rich, I have the resources to hire people who can find all of the ways that the current tax code gives me loopholes to benefit me with the current tax code.  No matter what the tax code is, I will be rich.  The question is, is my flat tax proposal a good idea or not?”

In other words, don’t judge something based on the identity of the messenger.

Can’t someone else do the GitHub thing?

I would imagine that there might be corporate/legal reasons why this couldn’t be done by, say, Scott H or Scott Gu himself.  Can’t someone else do it?  Is Brad Wilson still at Microsoft?  If so, someone else?  If it helps the overall community, why not do it?  Because Rob suggested it?  That’s silly.

There is some irony here.  Rob sent me an old school DM (called email) about why I was permanently banned from commenting on his blog.  It was due to the fact that it was too easy for him to cast me as an ass (keeping in mind, I am one).  Pot meet kettle and all that.

Yet it remains: if Rob’s idea is a good one, and I don’t see why it isn’t one, why can’t someone else implement it?

posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 8:55 PM Print
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