Open Source Hackers: about retaining them, the Novell case

In dicember Jeremy Allison of Samba fame resigned from Novell in protest over the Microsoft-Novell patent agreement, about a month ago Jeremy Irons, one of the lead developers of the Samba Team, also left Novell giving advices to young programmers, and now it is Robert Love turn to leave, as reported by Dave Rosenberg.

Managing human resources by Mark & The Zebra

Robert Love in his blog wrote a post eloquently entitled “epilogue“.

An operose decision, I resigned as Chief Architect of our Linux Desktop endeavor, effective today.

In the house that Ximian built, we dreamt and saw to fruition the world’s finest Linux desktop, Linux’s first desktop commercial success. Seated at the table aside some of the industry’s sharpest hackers, we challenged ourselves not with the goal of building another Linux desktop, but with the aim of engineering a more perfect desktop—Linux or otherwise. Unsatisfied with simply cheaper, we went for broke: better and faster, too. SLED’s éclat is ours.

Leaving is never easy. But here and now the timing is right and so, after three and a half years, here’s to what’s next.

It is great time for Novell, and not only Novell, to understand that free software’s gurus and open source hackers need love too. The employer knowing exactly what is annoying people can respond and retain people longer. Is Novell listening hard enough?

Open Source firms selling software made from scratch within their organizations – what I call Corporate Production Model – don’t need to pay too much attention to retain their employees, no more than any other software company.

On the contrary firms basing their business on commons, need to feed patiently and persistently the hackers they hired. Weak intellectual property assets need a lot of care, appropriating returns is already difficult without extra handicaps.
Whether Microsoft is really hiring Open Source Evangelists or not, Commercial Open Source firms have to pay a lot of attention, hackers are precious to them.

Technorati Tags: Commercial Open Source, hackers, novell, hiring