20 October 2005

Linus Torvalds

Linus Torvalds wrote the kernel of the Linux operating system, which has been enhanced, expanded, ported by thousands of individuals and companies working over the internet. See everywhere.

Nowadays, he still controls kernel development, but his role for several years has been pretty much entirely one of co-ordination. He is an IT manager. Just as Free Software is software that we can look at the source code of, Linus' management is done in public for us all to watch and learn from.

I just hope someday he writes a management textbook. It will be full of stuff like this:

Guys, stop being stupid about things. I already sent rmk an email in private.
And Alan, there's absolutely no point in making things even worse.
Mistakes happen, and the way you fix them is not to pull a tantrum, but tell people that they are idiots and they broke something, and get them to fix it instead.
You don't have to be polite about it, and swearing is fine. So instead of saying "I don't want to play any more because Davem made a mistake", say something like "Davem is a f*cking clueless moron, here's what he did and here's why it's wrong".
Notice? In both cases you get to vent your unhappiness. In the second case, you make the person who made a mistake look bad. But in the first case, it's just yourself that looks bad.

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