Linux Namesake Argues In Favor Of Being A Jerk

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Civility isn't being PC, kissing ass or being a yes-man. I can tell someone off civilly just as well as being an asshole, but civilly feels more professional. In doing business, I've found that being an asshole generally doesn't make you a lot of business partners in the long run, but being stern yet fair gains you respect from your peers, underlings and partners alike. Its called business, not friendship. But that doesn't mean you have to be a jerk.
Had myself a great NCO in the army. The guy was hard on us enlisted folk, but still knew how to be fair and honest. Honesty isn't being a jerk, its telling it like it is. If you're perceived as a jerk for saying true, then perhaps the person perceiving is in the wrong.
I agree that professionalism isn't how you dress, but it is how you act and how you go about doing whatever business it is that you do.
However, civility doesn't hurt a damn bit.

iniudan:

geizr:

iniudan:

And the person toward who he had no courtesy, had a complete lack of integrity, responsibility and self-accountability, has she submitted a broken untested kernel patch, tend dared take offense by been called and cursed for it.

If that being the case, then one can remove her from the project and explain precisely why her code is unacceptable without resorting to rude comments. One can be direct and truthful without being an ass. Just because one person displays unprofessional behavior does not give another excuse to engage in the same.

So you would reject someone because they made a mistake ? Know what, I much prefer to be called on and cursed for doing something stupid and still welcome, then been ejected with a nicely worded letter and flowers.

PREAMBLE: after writing the text below, I felt I should add some context why I'm responding as I am. I interpreted what you said originally as meaning that she has been a problematic repeat offender. If this is incorrect (the sentence structure was garbled to me, so there is a chance I misunderstood your meaning), feel free to ignore my response here as it may be inapplicable.

If the mistakes are repeated and the person shows no remorse or effort to correct the mistakes, then, yes, I probably would remove the person from the project. When one is in charge of a project, sometimes one is forced to make decisions that may not be the most pleasant to implement. But, again, that doesn't mean one has to be an ass about it, nor does one have to be all saccharine about it either. As I said, one can be direct and truthful without being an ass.

Yes, I could just say to such a person "You're a fucking incompetent, lazy idiot! Pack your shit and get the fuck out of my company!". Or, I could say "Your performance and quality has been significantly below the standards of this company and has shown no signs of improvement. It is for this reason that we have been forced to terminate your employment." One is clearly being an ass, while the other is simply a firm and direct statement.

Now if this were only the first such mistake the person made, then, no, I wouldn't remove the person, but I would certainly let them know that their work was erroneous. My next response would be to ascertain the reason the mistake occurred and determine if corrective measures (such as informing or mentoring the person) can be taken to prevent further such mistakes. I don't know of too many employers that would be so intolerant of mistakes that the instant even one occurs they immediately fire the employee or move them to a different project (though, I can imagine there are a few). Most (at least, I would like to think most) are probably willing to tolerate a few mistakes before they take some significant action to correct the problem or, depending on the repetition and nature of the offense, engage drastic measures.

In fact, I remember an incident from back in the days that I worked part-time at Toys R Us while going to college. Basically, I had been exhibiting a rather arrogant and aloof attitude toward and around my co-workers, and I was unaware that I was being such. However, my co-workers complained to our manager about it, and my manager gave my a very stern and direct talking-to on the matter. Needless to say, I became much more aware of how I carried myself and interacted with my co-workers. In that little talking-to that I received, my manager successfully laid down the law and made it clear that I needed to shape up or ship out, and he did so without having to be abusive, abrasive, rude, or crude. He didn't even shout; he spoke in a simple, yet firm, voice that made his position clear and the kind of action that he felt necessary to take if the problem is not corrected. Direct and truthful without being an ass.

Bujiraso:

iniudan:

Bujiraso:
There's a huge difference between being professional and polite and being nice or likeable.
I think Linus is confusing the two because he seems not to be differentiating them.
Additionally, being able to untie your emotions from an issue and respond in a cold and objective manner is a mark of maturity. Children and especially adolescents are the ones who get swept up with their emotions and let it alter their behavior.

It's generally best to work without emotions. This means maintaining an unchangingly calm and professional demeanour.

Just my two cents.

Actually I am pretty sure he know the difference, Linus a nice guy in general, but if you do stupid mistake that you shouldn't be doing, he will call you out for what he think you are, at that very moment.

And the mistake the person made was actually quite a major one, they committed code has stable which was unstable and that simply wouldn't compile, which is a mistake so obvious even a student shouldn't make it.

And the kernel maintainer who accepted the commit, was told to stop been a doormat and start yelling a bit, has he let unstable code go through, while the person who actually submitted the code was told they were "the devil f*ck head" for daring submit obviously broken code, then the discussion how not liking Torvald way started from there.

What would you do if you called a plumber for a new toilet plumbing and he left you with a flooded basement, I am pretty sure most would yell at him like rotten fish, either in person or in his back. Torvald just prefer would just do it in his face.

I reiterate my point that being professional really knows no end of benefit.
Not saying you can always maintain it but you ask me what I would do if a plumber flooded my basement?
I would see promptly to getting him fired.
No need to yell.

Edit: Just mulling over the "rather do it in his face" and to me that isn't a particularly safe bet. I see that it's probably perceived as some sort of integrity, right? I love that. Integrity is great. But everyone will have personal feelings on issues that people just don't need to hear. I've gone through my fair share of personal trial through just telling people how I feel too much; it hurts people. To reframe it?

You can have integrity and be professional as well. Saying "your work with the linux kernel is ended right now. Please go." is a fine substitute for any cuss words.

The thing is that the person is still welcome to contribute to the kernel and work along Torvald, while if you were in his position , from what your saying, you would gladly send the person away has to never hear of her again. Yes, Torvald might get angry and curse, but at least he tossing people away on a whim just because they don't fit in a vision of "professionalism" for a moment.

And how do you get a plumber fired ? Most are independent contractor.

geizr:
In fact, I remember an incident from back in the days that I worked part-time at Toys R Us while going to college. Basically, I had been exhibiting a rather arrogant and aloof attitude toward and around my co-workers, and I was unaware that I was being such. However, my co-workers complained to our manager about it, and my manager gave my a very stern and direct talking-to on the matter.

And that right there is one of the reason Torvalds hate professionalism, people go through the backway, instead of been honest with the people they are working with. Had Torvald been your co-worker he would have told you directly that there was a problem had you had to work with him directly, but most likely wouldn't even had complained in that situation, has he doesn't care about people personality, has long has it doesn't affect what need to be done.

iniudan:

geizr:
In fact, I remember an incident from back in the days that I worked part-time at Toys R Us while going to college. Basically, I had been exhibiting a rather arrogant and aloof attitude toward and around my co-workers, and I was unaware that I was being such. However, my co-workers complained to our manager about it, and my manager gave my a very stern and direct talking-to on the matter.

And that right there is one of the reason Torvalds hate professionalism, people go through the backway, instead of been honest with the people they are working with. Had Torvald been your co-worker he would have told you directly that there was a problem had you had to work with him directly, but most likely wouldn't even had complained in that situation, has he doesn't care about people personality, has long has it doesn't affect what need to be done.

They didn't take the back-door as a result of professionalism. They took the back-door because that was the perceived corporate culture at the store. Professionalism actually allows you to tell someone when they are out-of-line or behaving inappropriately, and the truth is that they actually were free to tell me directly that they found my behavior off-putting; they chose not to and instead took it up with the manager. The point of my example is that my manager WAS able to be direct without being abusive, abrasive, etc.

Of course, I feel it necessary to also add that it is entirely possible to be completely insulting and abusive without ever being rude, crude, or using a single swear word. Yes, I'm sure you're quite aware of such, but I just wanted to make it explicit in the conversation.

geizr:

Okay, dude, I have never said anything like that. You're going to have to show me the post in which you interpreted my comment to say something like that. Otherwise, you are engaging in slander.

You are correct, i have mixed you up with a guy named feeqmatic. I am sorry for talking without doublechecking and i will delete the post now.

I think the headline is a bit misleading, in that being HONEST isn't exactly like being a jerk, while he actually criticises that you're more of the latter if you try to get perfectly along with everyone.
But well, I am just someone who agrees that the current "professional" way isn't really working out for anyone.
But I am also someone who is disgusted by most of my society's social standards and practices for pretty much the same reasons he lists, so what do I know.

Strazdas:

geizr:

Okay, dude, I have never said anything like that. You're going to have to show me the post in which you interpreted my comment to say something like that. Otherwise, you are engaging in slander.

You are correct, i have mixed you up with a guy named feeqmatic. I am sorry for talking without doublechecking and i will delete the post now.

I appreciate it. Please be more careful in the future, cause you came out swinging pretty hard there with some pointed attacks.

What a jerk.

First he says how "There are certain people I refuse to work with, for example. They may be good engineers, but they just aren't people I can work with", and then go on about how she's wrong because they need to figure out
"how to work together DESPITE people being different", which ironically is the definition of "being professional."

To me it sounds like he just wants a free pass to yell people into submission. Which is all good and fine until it happens to him, I guess.

Theoretically good, except a boss can be a big jerk and get away with it. An employee who tries it on his boss is likely to be on a fast one way trip to the Job Center. Its ok for someone like Linus to be a dick but for the average working stiff its just not going to happen.

Thing is, he is wrong. The mailing lists and IRC channels where most of the business of the Linux kernel is done are extremely hostile places.

There is a reason why most distros keep their own bugzillas for the Linux kernel. If you report a kernel bug on the official channels without a painstakingly detailed analysis of why when and where it happens and a git bisect showing when the bug was introduced at best you will be ignored, most likely someone will rip you a new one.

Several promising developers have left kernel development as a result of the hostility. The best example is probably the developer who campaigned for almost 10 years to have the Linux kernel be made realtime aware. For all that time his ideas were rejected and ridiculed. The final straw was when a low latency scheduler by a different developer, very closely resembling his ideas and proposed patches (but generally regarded as inferior) was accepted into the kernel.

(For those not aware Linux was considered crap for audio and video work and other work that required low latencies, because of the granularity of its schedulers. A realtime scheduler was on many users most wanted list for along time and several distros applied his kernel patches by default. The realtime performance is still considered sub-par by many.)

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