On Jan 1, 2008 1:35 PM, M. Edward (Ed) Borasky <znmeb / cesmail.net> wrote:
> Robert Dober wrote:
> > Short and pittyless: I hate the arrogancy (but very often there are
> > reasons for such things) of the guy, but would always consider
> > coperation with him. I *believe* that he has written stupid things,
> > ok, who has never? Do not even look at me but if you are I can prove
> > the contrary easily . . .
> > It is sad that he left the community and it is sad that he has
> > problems of finding a job, can we afford to lose such brilliant a
> > mind? I do not believe so, but our society does, what could one add?
> > Good luck Zed...
>
> 1. Well ... there are a lot of Ruby and Rails books on the market. But
> there are a lot *more* books on how to deal with "difficult" people.
> Francis' point is valid. Behavior like Zed's is unacceptable. It is
> grounds for immediate dismissal in every organization I've ever been a
> part of, and always will be. Behavior of that kind drives productive
> people away.

True, but I think we need the occasional fringe behavior in any community.

>
> 2. Can we afford to lose such a brilliant mind? First of all, since this
> is a "community" and not an "organization", I don't think there's a
> notion of "loss" here. That is, we couldn't really have kicked him out
> if we had somehow "met and decided that he should be expelled." So yes,
> if we have indeed "lost" Zed Shaw, I think we can afford it. There are
> lots of brilliant people who are easy to work with, although anyone can
> be pushed to the limit.

From a business perspective, I agree.

> 3. I also want to say something about programming and behavior a little
> more generic than just Ruby, Rails and Zed Shaw. Decades ago Gerald
> Weinberg wrote a book, _The Psychology of Computer Programming_. Bear in
> mind that this book was written in a day and age when programmers were a
> scarce resource. I just checked Amazon and the book is still in print,
> and the Amazon page links to Weinberg's blog if you're interested. The
> point is that:
>
> a. The psychology of programmers is different from that of some (but not
> all) other professionals, and
> b. There are enough good programmers that one in general does *not* need
> to tolerate unacceptable behavior. That was not always the case.
>
> >> I can understand the fascination of watching an otherwise-intelligent person
> >> commit career-suicide by way of an embarrassing and tasteless rant. But the
> >> Ruby community will survive being kissed off by Zed Shaw.

I know of a lot of very smart people that would hire the person for
precisely his use of foul language and bad attitude.

The only thing I don't like about that blog, though, is the focus on
people who use Rails and how evil/idiotic they must be.  But, I just
think that sociologically, a scaffold (Rails) that allows people to do
things when they really _don't_ know how to do things can be
frustrating for some coders.

Todd