17 Aug 2012 aicra   » (Journeyer)

Again, it has been awhile.

Today, I had an interview with a company that needed a technical writer who knew Unix. While I could go into the differences between UNIX and GNU/Linux, I would rather focus on what is happening within our community.

We used to be a community. We worked together on projects and we lifted each other up. What happened today was a complete shock to my system.

I have never been a system administrator. It would be a lie to say I had not thought about it. Instead, I spent my time advocating for freedom and coding. Why? I love it. Why else would you do anything? Oh... yeah. For $$

Well, since I had been using Debian all these years, I had a chance today to look back on some of my work. I have created installers and programs, I have ported applications that were only ported for Red Hat to Debian and got these to work. Upon contacting the companies, they told me... we don't care if it works on Debian, only Red Hat.

Before it was commonplace, I was making isos and using cdrecord to burn CDs, showing anyone who would listen how. In fact, I was instrumental in the first installfest in Phoenix. Yes, I have been a part of the community both online and in real life.

Yet today, I felt like a luser, a newb and why?

Because I am not a sys admin and I was applying for a job where I would work with server babysitters.

I believe my expertise is in the mid to high level. However, I was asked questions about things I never use, like /op. (Don't use it because really... it's all about me.)

I have tinkered with SaaS, worked on embedded applications and hardware and the list goes on and on... boring, I know.

The point is that I *thought* we were a community. I *thought* it didn't matter whether one was a programmer or a sys admin or even a n00b.

Haven't these people read Emmett's Welcome Wagon?

Now, I see that there are many opportunists just using Linux for profit.

I have actually de-constructed several programs that use ffmpeg but do not include the GPL. A lot of companies are using our work and not including the GPL. One company that makes a good profit using FFMPEG and does not include the GPL is Articulate. Another is Adaptive.

There are companies that offer a "free" compiler. They do offer the code, but it is so obfuscated, it would be challenging compiling this mess. The product manager laughed as he told me this.

There are so many positives that have come from our community. Unfortunately, I am seeing a lot of negatives. Not anything we have done, but the unintended consequences of our pure vision.

Today is a sad day for me.

Perhaps tomorrow will bring more hope for community. At least I can say that we did have good intentions and made some positive changes. Unfortunately, the businesses and opportunists are dividing our efforts and our community with their labels as:
Power user
Super user

Any insinuation that a programmer is less valuable than a system administrator hurts our community.

Working together is what we did. It's how we succeeded and to see that change, even on a small level is devastating!

Let's get together and work together. That's how we are going to make things happen.

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