Open Source Hackers: Jeremy Irons’ hints for young programmers

Jeremy Irons, one of the lead developers of the Samba Team, wrote an article for ZDNet entitled “Working for the Man? Advice to a young programmer“. After his resignation from Novell he talks about the importance of the community.

The community is more important than your employer
Are corporations fundamentally amoral? If they can make more money by outsourcing your job to India or China, or recycling employees into fertilizer for the rose garden at corporate headquarters, will they do it? I once had to listen to several high-level executives (for a previous company that shall remain nameless) waiting for the private corporate jet complain how inefficient it was that the country was run by democratically elected politicians as “they just didn’t understand business.”

Corporations are great places to work when things are going well, and I enjoy the perks as well as the next employee, but I’m very careful even in my optimism to not make the mistake of thinking this is the way things will always stay. In the free software/open source community, the people you’re collaborating with and creating code with are the people you can really depend on. While you might not get on with all of them personally, they share your common goal of making sure that the code is the greatest, most beautiful work of art that all of you can create together. Smart corporations, at least the ones you’d want to work for, hire from that pool of people, and even though individual corporations may stumble and fall, if you’re part of our community you should be able to successfully manage your career between the occasional stormy periods of corporate upheaval.

Read the full article.

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