January 03, 2009

Co-Operation Through Community

Today I'd like to talk about co-operation through community.

For years I've been telling people that you don't have to be the smartest or most talented computer wiz to accomplish great things because there is always someone out there that is 1. smarter than you are 2. has gone through your problem and solved it already 3. would like to tell the world about how they did it.

This concept is embodied in Linus's Law which is defined as "given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow" or in other words, with enough users looking at the same problems a solution will rise to the surface.

The problem lies in a few egotistical dog-in-the-manger types who believe that knowledge should be kept hidden like a secret weapon only to be brought out from it's shroud of mystery for "shock and awe" and quickly hidden away again.

**** NEWS FLASH ****
To those of you that employ this tactic, you are fools. By isolating yourselves from the I.T. / Geek community you aren't preserving your jobs or making a great name for yourself, but quite to the contrary in that you show that you are not team players, can't be trusted and are in general a pain to work with.

Point in case...
At work, super Stevie comes in the other day with a bootable usb drive running a 16 bit MS-DOS shell that can run a few useful diagnostics programs and some other useful tools and has a mini version of windows 98. I show a little interest on how he made it and he becomes tighter than Fort Knox. This is his "secret" and he won't tell anyone about it.

Guess what super Stevie... who cares? You figured it out, and if I need it bad enough I'll figure it out too and then your superdie special secret will be public knowledge to anyone who asks me and then you'll have to find another artificial way of making yourself important.

** One Last Thought **
If the local burger joint has two hamburger flippers and one of them has a plain steel spatula with a black plastic handle and the other gets a gold plated spatula with an ivory handle, aren't they both still hamburger flippers????

Make yourself special for what you have to offer, not for what you refuse to share.

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