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Old 07-22-2013, 08:10 AM   #1
onebuck
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Why This Hacker Stood Up Against ‘Verbal Abuse’ in Linux Land


Hi,

Why This Hacker Stood Up Against ‘Verbal Abuse’ in Linux Land
 
Old 07-22-2013, 10:15 AM   #2
H_TeXMeX_H
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The "aggressive tone" has been good for Linux up until now. Why should one person change that ?

This is not about "verbal abuse" or "hate mail", this is about keeping developers in line. If Linus needs to get aggressive, the he should have that right. If you can't handle it, then that is your problem.

It also doesn't matter what gender you are, so don't try to use this as leverage.

In short: I'm with Linus on this one.
 
Old 07-22-2013, 10:51 AM   #3
onebuck
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Hi,

I totally disagree! Linus's abuse is not something that should be tolerated. Bully! Professionals can contribute without the vulgar nudge by a bully.

Linus's kernel development does not entitle him to abuse as he sees fit and act like a spoiled kid with the childish abusive antics.

Personally, I have worked as a professional for many decades.
No one in a professional atmosphere would be allowed to treat anyone in the manner that Linus has done. Might be smart from a kernel perspective but poor people inter-relational skills. One can get others to perform by treating with respect along will a professional attitude.
 
Old 07-22-2013, 11:07 AM   #4
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Got to agree with H_TeXMeX_H,

The way I see it Linus has a problem where he is having to review 'sub-standard' patches.
He doesn't care about the background of the submitter, just the patch itself. So I believe Linus is well within his rights to demand that the quality improve.
Personally I think that the use of plain, to the point language that everyone understands is far more effective than dancing round the subject with diplomatic double speech.

Going back to my 'opener' here, it is about 'sub-standard' patches and nothing else; not gender, social background, race, religion or any of the other 'playing cards'

here is the maillist post which 'sparked' this
https://lkml.org/lkml/2013/7/15/329

be sure to follow that thread, ( left column )
Some interesting points are raised.
 
Old 07-22-2013, 11:09 AM   #5
H_TeXMeX_H
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onebuck View Post
Hi,

I totally disagree! Linus's abuse is not something that should be tolerated. Bully! Professionals can contribute without the vulgar nudge by a bully.

Linus's kernel development does not entitle him to abuse as he sees fit and act like a spoiled kid with the childish abusive antics.

Personally, I have worked as a professional for many decades.
No one in a professional atmosphere would be allowed to treat anyone in the manner that Linus has done. Might be smart from a kernel perspective but poor people inter-relational skills. One can get others to perform by treating with respect along will a professional attitude.
Linus is currently more of a manager of the kernel than a developer. So you're saying that you have been a manager and have gotten people to do work without getting in their face ? Might work for some people some of the time, but once in while you have to be more aggressive, otherwise nothing will get done.

This is not "abuse" or "bullying". Has Linus ever taken anyone's lunch money ? Has he ever insulted someone for no reason ?

It is a style of management and it works. It has worked so far for Linux, and it has also worked in many other environments as well.

Having said that, if Linus were aggressive all of the time, then it would be more of an issue. He has to balance it out a bit. Being aggressive all the time will make developers think that he's like that all the time and ignore him. He must have the right to be aggressive when he needs to. He should also have enough restraint to not be aggressive all of the time, which I believe he does have.
 
Old 07-22-2013, 11:12 AM   #6
yancek
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Quote:
But this week, after Linux creator Linus Torvalds told Kroah-Hartman to get tough with developers who submitted sub-standard patches, Sharp, 28, felt he’d crossed a line, and she told him so.
I find that interesting. What does Sharp want? Gold stars, bonuses or raises be handed out for submitting sub-standard work? Did Sharp contribute sub-standard code? I don't really see the problem with getting tough with people who are sub-standard in their performance. The whole article is pretty vague about that. The reference to 'hate mail' doesn't mention anyone and certainly not Torvaalds or Sharps supervisor, so some people are being jerks in their private emails. There is also nothing specific about exactly what "getting tough" entailed.

Torvaalds is responsible for the project and as long as that is true, people who work for him and the organization will need to deal with him even if they object to the manner in which he deals with others.

Quote:
Yeah it’s OK to yell at each other because we’ll obviously just meet over beer and pound each other on the back and it will be all fine.
That type of behavior is not restricted to Open Source. Anyone who has read about the early development of microsoft knows that Gates, Allen and others would constantly abuse, curse, demean and scream at each other and they openly admit it and make no apologies for their behavior. I seriously doubt this type of behavior was limited to microsoft. Personally, I think it would be more productive to not behave in this manner and more would be accomplished by being civil. On the other hand, it seemed to work well for microsoft.

Quote:
I think less than one percent of the kernel developers are women.
What percentage of people who apply for jobs are women? If 1% of people working there are women and a much larger percentage of women apply for jobs, they could have a problem under California and US law.

Quote:
The only thing is: I just want to open a discussion channel and have a frank discussion with this, and have it among kernel developers.
"and have it among kernel developers'? Then why this interview, unless anyone who goes on the internet or at least reads wired.com is now a kernel developer?
 
Old 07-22-2013, 11:14 AM   #7
druuna
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Torvalds side of things: lkml.org -> Linus Torvalds reply

Quote:
[...] I'm *also* not going to buy into the fake politeness, the lying, the office politics and
backstabbing, the passive aggressiveness, and the buzzwords. Because THAT is what "acting professionally"
results in: people resort to all kinds of really nasty things because they are forced to act out their
normal urges in unnatural ways.
I also work(ed) for (large) companies as a professional over the last 15+ years and the above quote from Linus' reply is all too familiar and this behaviour annoys the hell out of me.

I'm not advocating the use of "verbal abuse" as a main way of doing things, but I do believe it is necessary and healthy to do so when needed.

I'm with Linus on this one.
 
Old 07-22-2013, 12:14 PM   #8
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Hmm, from reading the (lkml) thread it seems Wired is trying to make a mountain out of a molehill. Well, as it has been said, they're more tired than wired and guess they need to boost sales.

It isn't news that computer geeks underappreciate the social niceties. Normal urges don't always need to be expressed without restraint over the age of about 3. However, it isn't news that overindulgence in the social niceties leads to politicians, lawyers and other vices. A little balance is appropriate. We don't have to pick sides on this one; Wired is acting like a troll: and don't feed the troll.

Last edited by mostlyharmless; 07-22-2013 at 12:14 PM. Reason: clarification
 
Old 07-22-2013, 12:36 PM   #9
m.a.l.'s pa
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I'm familiar with this management style because of my own experiences over the years. What I've seen is that many are successful with it, many are successful without it. It isn't a requirement for success. That's why I'm with Ms. Sharp on this.
 
Old 07-22-2013, 12:40 PM   #10
H_TeXMeX_H
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Here's another good quote from Linus:

Quote:
The fact is, people need to know what my position on things are. And I
can't just say "please don't do that", because people won't listen. I
say "On the internet, nobody can hear you being subtle", and I mean
it.

And I definitely am not willing to string people along, either. I've
had that happen too - not telling people clearly enough that I don't
like their approach, they go on to re-architect something, and get
really upset when I am then not willing to take their work.
https://lkml.org/lkml/2013/7/15/407

There is another important principle that I have been thinking about. I think that keeping things civil all of the time only leads to so much internal tension within a group, that they will use behind the back tactics to get even, or things can escalate very quickly. Things have to be kept fair, not necessarily civil. If you don't like what someone is doing, it is better to tell them, and in a way that is very clear and that they can understand rather than to say "please don't that, please, pretty please, thanks ". This does not work. From what I've seen, Linus doesn't curse constantly, nor does he abuse anyone in any way. He does curse and become aggressive when things are not going right, and he has to make it very clear to people that it is wrong.

I would also agree that things have been blown out of proportion by the media on this issue ... most likely because of the dominance of feminism in current the mainstream media.

In this case it is Sarah Sharp who is biased in thinking that always using kind and nice words, and never cursing will make everything better. I see Linus as the one who woke her up a bit, and that this is a good thing.

Last edited by H_TeXMeX_H; 07-22-2013 at 12:43 PM.
 
Old 07-22-2013, 01:37 PM   #11
onebuck
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Hi,
Quote:
Originally Posted by H_TeXMeX_H View Post
Linus is currently more of a manager of the kernel than a developer. So you're saying that you have been a manager and have gotten people to do work without getting in their face ? Might work for some people some of the time, but once in while you have to be more aggressive, otherwise nothing will get done.
Yes, I have managed other professionals and without abuse or foul language. You do not need to be aggressive in order to manage other professionals. Most professionals do take pride in their work and when something needs attention when brought to them by their manager properly then most will do what it takes to get things right. I really like the way Greg Kroah-Hartman handles his responsibilities. Maybe Linus should look how Greg performs with other professionals involved with the kernel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by H_TeXMeX_H View Post
This is not "abuse" or "bullying". Has Linus ever taken anyone's lunch money ? Has he ever insulted someone for no reason ?
Oh yes it is! Whenever you go off on a rant or cursing to get things done then there will be a poor working atmosphere. Not saying you do not need to be corrective or stand ground when someone doesn't perform up to professional standards. You can manage the situation in a honorable professional manner without abuse or foul language.

Quote:
Originally Posted by H_TeXMeX_H View Post
It is a style of management and it works. It has worked so far for Linux, and it has also worked in many other environments as well.
Maybe in your part of the world. But most organizations do not wish to be behind the eight ball when someone is not performing in a good managerial style by poor management skills.

Quote:
Originally Posted by H_TeXMeX_H View Post
Having said that, if Linus were aggressive all of the time, then it would be more of an issue. He has to balance it out a bit. Being aggressive all the time will make developers think that he's like that all the time and ignore him. He must have the right to be aggressive when he needs to. He should also have enough restraint to not be aggressive all of the time, which I believe he does have.
This is not the first time he has put a foot in the mouth. Aggression is not a good form of managing anyone. One can mentor or even present a reasonable response to a poor or incorrect action. Then that professional can correct the situation.
 
Old 07-22-2013, 02:37 PM   #12
H_TeXMeX_H
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onebuck View Post
Yes, I have managed other professionals and without abuse or foul language. You do not need to be aggressive in order to manage other professionals. Most professionals do take pride in their work and when something needs attention when brought to them by their manager properly then most will do what it takes to get things right. I really like the way Greg Kroah-Hartman handles his responsibilities. Maybe Linus should look how Greg performs with other professionals involved with the kernel.
He's not always working with professionals. His management style has worked so far, and I'm sure it will keep working for a while yet. If you really want to know if his style is bad, have him change his style and see it how it affects kernel quality control.
 
Old 07-22-2013, 02:44 PM   #13
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Grinning as I read all of this.

Slipping the knife in with a smile on your face and speaking in a polite voice does not change the part where it hurts to slip the knife in. Feelings get hurt no matter what.

So getting yelled at or having polite rejection. Same same result in my view.
 
Old 07-22-2013, 02:54 PM   #14
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This:
Quote:
Originally Posted by druuna View Post
Torvalds side of things: lkml.org -> Linus Torvalds reply



I also work(ed) for (large) companies as a professional over the last 15+ years and the above quote from Linus' reply is all too familiar and this behaviour annoys the hell out of me.

I'm not advocating the use of "verbal abuse" as a main way of doing things, but I do believe it is necessary and healthy to do so when needed.

I'm with Linus on this one.
...and This:
Quote:
Originally Posted by rokytnji View Post
Grinning as I read all of this.

Slipping the knife in with a smile on your face and speaking in a polite voice does not change the part where it hurts to slip the knife in. Feelings get hurt no matter what.

So getting yelled at or having polite rejection. Same same result in my view.
Petty much sum up my views on the subject.
In my experience people who are passionate, forthright and sometimes downright rude may be hurtful in the short term but in the long term they're a million times better than those who hide things behind corporate speak or are two frightened to tell things as they are.
 
Old 07-22-2013, 02:58 PM   #15
onebuck
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Hi,
Quote:
Originally Posted by H_TeXMeX_H View Post
He's not always working with professionals. His management style has worked so far, and I'm sure it will keep working for a while yet. If you really want to know if his style is bad, have him change his style and see it how it affects kernel quality control.
No one works with only professionals in the work place. Positive interaction is important between everyone within the wok space.

Only Linus can change his style but Linus is too stubborn to change or feel that his actions are bad. I feel he should be aware of the situation and how other professionals feel about these matters.

I applaud the way that Sarah Sharp has handled the situation. She happens to speak up about the mannerisms and how it effects others. As to feminism, I raised daughters and taught them to believe in their abilities. Showing them that self worth is important throughout their career. The days of the glass ceilings are long gone and the good ole boy network is not as prevalent or strong as it once was.

Professionalism is a important point in any career or work place.
 
  


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