Modern Enterprise Code Open Source

Something surprising about working for Red Hat

redhatYou know I’ve always been a consultant at heart, even when that wasn’t my job title. People who know me know this isn’t hyperbole: the only thing that I really care about is doing a great job for my clients — whatever that may mean on any given day and whatever technology may be implicated.

As I started with Red Hat I assumed I’d still be completely unbiased. Even though I’d been a fan of Red Hat and JBoss for as long as I can remember, the only thing I care about at the end of the day is what actually needs to get done out in the real world. And since joining the company, I’ve been doing just that: helping clients resolve the normal issues that come up with big enterprise code bases and helping them improve or tune the way they’re doing things.

It was initially easy to stay the unbiased consultant.

It’s getting harder to stay unbiased though. More and more I find myself pulling for the JBoss (or whatever) code work… to deliver — but not because I work for the company but because I want all those hours of all those people, some of whom work for us but many who don’t, to be able to contribute to what my client’s doing. Having been close to the technology for a while now, I actually know the names of the people working on the technology, I know their blogs and their Twitter accounts, and I know how passionate they are about the code they’re creating. These people aren’t drones sitting in some cubicle. They’re out there in the community and they very much their own brands, but they want to work at this place and they want their work to be out in the community. Put differently, some of these people work for Red Hat and some don’t but you can know them almost as easily as I can.

And it’s infectious. Sometimes I find myself daydreaming that some issue or unexpected behavior of an obscure corner of the code will be broken and I’ll suddenly have an easy opportunity to submit a pull request and get to be a committer on Hibernate or the core EAP or Fuse or something. This is a first for me.

I didn’t know I’d feel like this when I signed up, but yeah… it’s kind of hard to stay unbiased when you know how much goes into it all and how any of us (you included) can be a part of it all — if you want to.

It’s a good surprise.

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