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Oracle Needs a Clue As Brain Drain Accelerates 388

Posted by Soulskill
from the trimming-the-muscle dept.
The Contrarian writes "It looks like Oracle is not suiting former Sun staff well, nor community members in the Java and OpenOffice.org communities. This weekend saw an unusually large number of rather public departures, with (among many others listed in the article) the VP running Solaris development quitting, the token academic on the JCP walking out and top community leaders at OpenOffice.org nailing their resignations to the door after having the ex-Sun people slam it in their face. The best analysis comes from an unexpected place, with the marketing director of Eclipse — usually loyal defenders of their top-dollar-paying members — turning on Oracle and telling them to get a clue."
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Oracle Needs a Clue As Brain Drain Accelerates

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  • by nebaz (453974) on Monday October 25, 2010 @10:04PM (#34020500)

    Where are they going? And are they hiring?

    • by nschubach (922175) on Monday October 25, 2010 @10:12PM (#34020564) Journal

      All this irks of inside deals.

      Why would a company just sit in the corner quietly letting the community distrust them, leave, and never want to come back. It's poor business and it smells a bit like someone else is pulling the strings.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by postbigbang (761081)

        Follow the money. Oracle is. You're not talking altruism here, you're talking about shareholder return for Oracle shareholders.

        This is not a 'community' sort of organization. You're with the program (pun intended) or not.

        • by chaboud (231590) on Monday October 25, 2010 @10:43PM (#34020718) Homepage Journal

          You can't build a heavily community-driven business model around things like OO, Java, and, to some extent, Oracle, and then just cut it off and let things fester. At least, not if you intend to actually be in those markets in 5-10 years.

          The trick is that, given what we've seen from Oracle in the past few months, they're pretty much doing their best to monetize (read: ruin for short-term gain) Sun in the dumbest ways possible. They're going around and crapping in everyone's corn-flakes. Of course people think that they're up to no good.

          • by postbigbang (761081) on Monday October 25, 2010 @10:53PM (#34020780)

            You're not listening. I didn't say it was moral, good for you, or the route to improved community(s) relationships. It is what Oracle does: make money.

            OSS is a triviality to Oracle. They're out to make money. I'm not trying to be mean or stupid--> this is what they do. If it doesn't serve that purpose, kiss it goodbye. This is what some of us old-timers were trying to warn of; Oracle is a totally mercenary army. Join up, or you're probably the enemy or at least in their way.

            • by FooAtWFU (699187) on Monday October 25, 2010 @11:14PM (#34020872) Homepage
              The purpose of Java is to get companies to write fancy enterprise apps in Java and sell them Oracle products as the database back-end. Why exactly they'd buy the #1 tool which people use to access your flagship application, and then proceed to alienate everyone who uses it, is beyond me... but I don't see how it helps Oracle make money.
              • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @12:37AM (#34021284) Journal

                Why would it matter if a "fancy enterprise app" is written in Java or not? I've seen just as many .NET apps with Oracle backend. When you have a really large-scale enterprise deployment, what other options are there, aside from DB2, and how does Java change the picture?

                • by icebraining (1313345) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @05:16AM (#34022364) Homepage

                  Oracle has literally tens of millions of lines of Java code for almost all their apps. If they screw the java community and lead people to move to other platforms, who will they hire in a couple of years to replace employees? They won't last forever there.

                  Screwing Java means having to port it all to another platform.

                  • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                    by klubar (591384)

                    There are a number of languages and lots of compilers that are not community supported. C# and F# languages and most of the C++ languages are not community supported. There are profit-making (or ones who hope so) companies that pay programmes to develop and support the languages. Customers pay to buy the compilers---although some of the tools may be sold at a loss to support the ecosystem.

                    Oracle can maintain the Java language and the tools without the OSS community. As for the rest of the open source pr

                • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                  Teradata, for one. Yes, it is primarily a hardware solution instead of a software one, but it is scalable, reconfigurable, and actually an RDBMS instead of an ISAM depending on computer speed/power to overcome the limits of the interpretation code required to pretend to be an RDBMS. The power, speed, and capability these machines are capable of is simply amazing. SyBase, the company which has been losing market share to the Oracle marketing department for well over a decade, but whose ISAM implementation
              • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @12:51AM (#34021340) Journal

                You actually answered your own question "the #1 tool which people use to access your flagship application". And frankly I don't see it hurting oracle long term because you are NOT their customer it is these giant enterprises that are hooked on Oracle DB the way desktop users are hooked on Windows. These people already pay insane amounts of money for Oracle DB, and my bet is old Larry is gonna go for a "top to bottom" full stack approach ala IBM, Where you have SPARC machines running a custom Solaris and both designed to squeeze maximum I/O out of Oracle DB and to be as tightly integrated as any iDevice. And frankly he'll probably make another couple of mountains of money off it, old Larry didn't get as rich as he is by not knowing how to maximize revenue.

                My bigger concern is what it is gonna do to FOSS in general. While I'm primarily a Windows guy I use a lot of FOSS tools and this whole LibreOffice business, now with the developers abandoning ship, could really come back to bite FOSS companies in the butt. How? Because one of the ways to get serious revenue is to be bought out by a bigger company with the resources to put behind your project and who is gonna wanna buy a FOSS software company now? They will look at Oracle and say they didn't get the code (because libreOffice is quickly taking that) and they didn't get the people (because they all split) so what did they get for all that money? Office furniture? I predict in less than 3 years the ONLY ones you'll see buying FOSS companies are patent trolls hoping to milk the IP. After all they can hire a dozen Indians for every one American so they don't need the developers, and if they don't get the code either, what is left besides the IP?

                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  by Anonymous Coward

                  They will look at Oracle and say they didn't get the code (because libreOffice is quickly taking that) and they didn't get the people (because they all split) so what did they get for all that money?

                  Ah, but they *did* get the code. And they *could have* got the people if they did not - as someone else put it so appropriately - shit in their cornflakes.

                • by VSpike (1220258) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @05:19AM (#34022380) Homepage

                  My bigger concern is what it is gonna do to FOSS in general. While I'm primarily a Windows guy I use a lot of FOSS tools and this whole LibreOffice business, now with the developers abandoning ship, could really come back to bite FOSS companies in the butt. How? Because one of the ways to get serious revenue is to be bought out by a bigger company with the resources to put behind your project and who is gonna wanna buy a FOSS software company now? They will look at Oracle and say they didn't get the code (because libreOffice is quickly taking that) and they didn't get the people (because they all split) so what did they get for all that money? Office furniture?

                  I'm not sure I see that argument. It's perfectly possible to buy a non-FOSS company and drive away all the best talent, squander your customers' good will, lose the market position of your products though underinvestment and/or stupid strategies and generally drive the good name that you paid for into the dirt. In that case, you'd end up with nothing but office furniture too. When you buy a company, sure you have some assets both tangible and intangible. But also what you're really buying is a brand, a place in the market, some mindshare, a community, and good will. If you lose that (which is all too easy to do) then it doesn't matter if the company's products were closed or open, you're still equally screwed.

                • by vagabond_gr (762469) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @08:42AM (#34023376)

                  They will look at Oracle and say they didn't get the code (because libreOffice is quickly taking that) and they didn't get the people (because they all split) so what did they get for all that money? Office furniture? I predict in less than 3 years the ONLY ones you'll see buying FOSS companies are patent trolls hoping to milk the IP.

                  I agree with your argument. But seeing the same argument from a positive perspective, a prospective buyer will understand that all they're getting is office furniture unless they're willing to respect the product they bought and the community behind it, and use it to their advantage. So I predict that in 3 years the only ones buying FOSS are companies who understand FOSS, which is great.

            • by falconwolf (725481) <falconsoaring_2000 AT yahoo DOT com> on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @03:14AM (#34021982)

              I didn't say it was moral, good for you, or the route to improved community(s) relationships. It is what Oracle does: make money.

              No, you're not listening, er reading. You don't make money by paying billions of dollars buying a company then dumping that company's products. Nor do you as a software business make money by treating developers of your platform like shit. Oracle is foolhardy doing so. Sure right now they're the 800 pound gorilla but there are other enterprise scale databases [eweek.com] on the market. Microsoft will even help customers transition from Oracle to SQL Server [stockwatch.in]. IBM has it's own offering, DB2 [ibm.com] as does HP [informationweek.com]. Of course there are also open source based DBMSs such as ones based on PostgreSQL [enterprisedb.com], Computer Associates spin-off Ingres [ingres.com], and Firebird [slideshare.net].

              Falcon

            • by Vintermann (400722) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @04:48AM (#34022290) Homepage

              When buying a knowledge-oriented company, there's always the risk that the employees - the company's most important assets - decide they don't want to be bought, and find themselves other jobs. Sane buyers take steps to keep them. The value of those employees was a huge part of the price of Sun - unless the non-employee assets of Sun (read: copyrights and patents) is worth a lot more than the market though they were, Oracle is throwing money out of the window.

              Buing Sun, and watching the employees go? To me, it looks similar to the reckless acts of spite that coke-crazed IT CEO of the eighties would pull. I would not be happy about this attempt to make money if I was an Oracle shareholder.

              • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @07:50AM (#34022992) Homepage Journal

                Buing Sun, and watching the employees go? To me, it looks similar to the reckless acts of spite that coke-crazed IT CEO of the eighties would pull. I would not be happy about this attempt to make money if I was an Oracle shareholder.

                Just to be clear, Oracle is not "watching the employees go" any more than Sun was when they were buying companies with successful products and then firing everyone who knew anything about them. I talked to a Storage-somethingorother employee when I visited Panama, who happened to be staying in the same place I was. Sun had bought her company and she was about the last person who understood the product because she was the only one who knew the answers that wasn't highly paid.

                Sun fired everyone that made any kind of money after they bought each company, and Oracle is doing the same. They don't know or don't care that the people they are getting rid of are the most important employees they have. As the various divisions approach the edge of the cliff of fail, the remaining talented employees will find other opportunities, but the problem is very much the deliberate sacking of the employees who keep the place running in order to reduce the amount spent on personnel.

                Sun killed itself by buying good products and fucking them up. Let's hope Oracle does the same. I'm not so attached to Sun that I wouldn't give them up in a second to destroy Oracle. To the wolves with you!

                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  by PCM2 (4486)

                  Sun fired everyone that made any kind of money after they bought each company, and Oracle is doing the same.

                  But to be fair, those folks' necks were on the blocks as soon as merger talks started. It's virtually standard operating procedure to chop the top positions after any merger. It's not just about money; as an organizational principle, you don't need a bunch of "founders" and former C-levels from some start-up you bought hanging around in lame-duck management positions, getting in the way.

        • by zill (1690130)

          You're with the program (pun intended) or not.

          Only a Sith deals in absolutes.

      • by Craig Maloney (1104) * on Monday October 25, 2010 @10:39PM (#34020686) Homepage

        Because communities cost money to maintain. Oracle doesn't care about whiny developers; they only care about the bottom line. Developers will use what they're told by their management. Period. End of story.

        As much as Oracle is an anathema to what developers and techies hold dear, until Oracle starts to see some damage to the bottom line, they won't care one iota.

        • by moderators_are_w*nke (571920) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @02:50AM (#34021874) Journal

          Did you read TFA? It is no just about developers and communities, it's about analysts as well. If Forrester and Redmonk are issuing research notes saying drop Java then management wont be singing Oracles tune for long either.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Craig Maloney (1104) *

            Java is still a viable concern because of inertia. There are a lot of companies that bought into Java, J2EE, and the rest that are still going to be using Java regardless if Oracle mandates every developer wear a silly hat and pray to Larry Ellison 3 times daily. And again, Redmonk is a developer-based tea-leaf reader; nobody in business will care what developers fancy as the next big thing, because Java is here in their datacenter making stuff work now.

            Sad to say, but even if every single current Java deve

        • by Aceticon (140883) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @04:38AM (#34022266)

          We're not talking about IDEs here or a new variant of AWK, these are big ecosystems which often take years to master and until you do your productivity is crap.

          Sure, you can force your developers to learn it and use it ... at the cost of loosing the better ones over time and having trouble getting new ones because nobody wants to go down a career dead end. This is not the 1950s anymore, people don't work in a single company for their whole lives and anybody with 1/2 a brain pays attention to their future employability.

          When finding experts on a specific set of tools costs you twice as much as for another, even managers start getting a clue.

          That said, these kinds of effects take years to appear and in the meawhile I'm sure Larry will cash-off on the suck....err investors.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 25, 2010 @10:43PM (#34020714)
        "Why would a company just sit in the corner quietly letting the community distrust them, leave, and never want to come back."

        Abusiveness is a pastime of billionaires such as Larry Ellison and Bill Gates. They abuse the rest of us because they can. Abusiveness is just a hobby for them.

        Both Oracle and Microsoft make so much money because they have virtual monopolies, not because they are good at what they do. It is too difficult and painful to go elsewhere for what they supply, so their customers accept the abusiveness.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by binarylarry (1338699)

          When you're that big, it's easy to step on people just by moving around.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by hedwards (940851)
            Perhaps that's a compelling reason not to allow corporations to get that big. MS has in the past caused damage to the world just by existing. I doubt it's the case any more, but there was a time when they employed a significant portion of the world's best physicists.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Aceticon (140883)

          Oracle is know for their excellent database and for crap everything else. This has been so for the last 15 years - all their tools, from the time of Oracle Forms till today are unstable, bug-filled POSes.

          Anything Oracle aquires just withers and dies - just recently Oracle bought BEA, makers of BEA Weblogic a top Java J2EE Application Server, and proceeded to kill the golden eggs goose by steeply increasing fees (now charged Oracle style, per-CPU-core), resulting in all large companies rushing to get rid of

        • Abusiveness is a pastime of billionaires such as Larry Ellison and Steve Jobs.

          Yes, Bill Gates was guilty of many sins and while his self-rehabliliation may be self-serving, some good will come out of it.

          So tell me: outside of yet another Stanford building with his name on it, what is Steve Jobs doing with all that sheeple lucre?

      • by countertrolling (1585477) on Monday October 25, 2010 @11:19PM (#34020898) Journal

        it smells a bit like someone else is pulling the strings.

        Very likely. It's more like they bought Sun to kill it, as a favor to a friend...

      • by znerk (1162519) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @12:19AM (#34021186)

        It's poor business and it smells a bit like someone else is pulling the strings.

        Perhaps Steve Jobs [slashdot.org] is the puppeteer?

      • by williamhb (758070) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @12:51AM (#34021338) Journal

        All this irks of inside deals.

        Why would a company just sit in the corner quietly letting the community distrust them, leave, and never want to come back. It's poor business and it smells a bit like someone else is pulling the strings.

        All this smells of Oracle kicking a few heads...

        Oracle's community relations might not be "nice" but they have unblocked some serious blockages. Remember, when Oracle bought Sun, the Java Community was effectively on strike, threatening to veto the Java 7 specification unless Sun gave in and gave proper support to Apache Harmony (and by extension Google Android) which would have doomed Sun's Java business. IBM had been long-since trying to pull the rug out from under Sun and "eclipse" Sun over Java, and they could do that because of its relative openness. The OpenOffice/LibreOffice issue is again where Sun's slight-openness was being used as a stick to beat the company with; if it was proprietary there'd be no issue, but because it is somewhat open Sun gets beaten with twigs for not doing more. Remember the flack they had for putting Java code into OpenOffice before the JVM was open source? Since Oracle have taken over, they've taken a tougher line that sounds community-unfriendly. But IBM has killed support for Harmony and fallen in line on Oracle's OpenJDK; much of the Java community has given up on the Harmony fight and the Java 7 spec looks like getting through -- even the Eclipse Foundation, Sun's former mortal enemy, is going to support it. Much of the community has been kicked off OpenOffice... coincidentally giving Oracle greater weight within the project to push its agenda through. Oracle probably won't get great press for their community relations, but they seem to be scarily effective at getting what they want out of the community of businesses (as opposed to the community of individual developers).

    • by naz404 (1282810) on Monday October 25, 2010 @10:26PM (#34020628) Homepage
      This sounds really, really bad for Java's future on OSX now that Apple's deprecated it and it's Oracle that's now supposed to do the porting.

      Read this weekend perspective on the whole Apple dropping Java thing [subfurther.com].

      On the other hand, despite all the difficulties, with Oracle's vast resources at its disposal, it would be ridiculous if they couldn't do a new OSX port. Maybe Steve Jobs wants the opportunity to call Oracle "lazy" too ;P
  • Sounds like the staff is downsizing voluntarily (by quitting). Personally I'd rather wait for the layoff and the 1-2 months of severance pay, but whatever. (shrug)

    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Monday October 25, 2010 @10:10PM (#34020556)

      Oracle is losing good employees, good teams, the kind of people who won't have trouble finding more work. Also a layoff may not have been forthcoming. Oracle doesn't seem to be big on downsizing their Sun acquisition, just mismanaging it. So you could well find if you said "Fuck it, I'll stay on until they lay me off," that in a year you are still there, and still on a horribly mismanaged project that you hate.

      Plus they are leaving to make a point.

      • by Fluffeh (1273756) on Monday October 25, 2010 @10:49PM (#34020752)
        I read a very interesting article about workplace restructuring and offering redundancies a while back, but I cannot find a relevant link. I did find a similar article though here [roadtransport.com].

        The disadvantage is that the employees most likely to volunteer for redundancy are often those the employer would least wish to lose, namely the good performers who are able to find a new job easily.

        The people who are leaving here aren't even taking big payouts. They are leaving because they are THAT good that they are able to pick and choose the sort of work that they want to do, and are rewarded well enough for their work that they can choose to find a position possibly in a lesser financial bracket and still not worry.

        These are the folks that are really the bread and butter behind the whole project. They are the ones that will either make, or more likely break (according to current trend) the whole acquisition that Oracle has done.
        • by rsborg (111459) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @02:58AM (#34021906) Homepage

          The disadvantage is that the employees most likely to volunteer for redundancy are often those the employer would least wish to lose, namely the good performers who are able to find a new job easily.

          I was working at a company recently acquired by Oracle in 2005 (name left as exercise for reader), and my coworker pretty much told his manager he wanted the severance. This guy was pretty good and self-directed, but he was not an Oracle type (more of an independent consultant), and Oracle won by cutting him loose, and the guy got enough cash to start his consultancy... with which he's doing well.

          Moral: Sometimes the folks who want to leave won't necessarily be doing well for your company, even though they're stellar and very hireable (note: I left after a year as the merged company wasn't a fit for me either).

      • by Lord Ender (156273) on Monday October 25, 2010 @11:44PM (#34021024) Homepage

        Everyone says "mismanaged," but the only thing that really matters is the bottom line. If they mangle the hell out of Sun, but still manage to grow their own stock valuation by $7.4B in the next 20 years or so, they profited from the purchase.

        Oracle doesn't sell to "the community." They sell to PHBs and banks. Do they need top coders or community goodwill to do that? Probably not. It's all marketing and backroom deals in the big-contract software world.

        • by winwar (114053) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @12:42AM (#34021316)

          "Everyone says "mismanaged," but the only thing that really matters is the bottom line. If they mangle the hell out of Sun, but still manage to grow their own stock valuation by $7.4B in the next 20 years or so, they profited from the purchase."

          But does the bottom line really matter? Just because you manage to grow doesn't mean you had good management. You could have mismanaged your way out of significantly more money. That they don't care indicates that the bottom line really isn't of primary importance. What's the point of having good employees if you don't use their talents? If you really don't need them, then get rid of them on good terms. What's the point of throwing away goodwill if you don't have to? Or not trying to gain any if it doesn't cost anything? That is classic mismanagement.

      • by sg_oneill (159032) on Monday October 25, 2010 @11:59PM (#34021072)

        Dear Oracle,

        Half the MySQL people have run off screaming, OpenSolaris is now as good as dead (and with it the last best hope for Solaris itself) , OpenOffice has pretty much lost its shit, and James frigging Gosling, of all people, has basically packed his bags and gone home.

        Sure you got the Sun IP. Now what? Hire some 20yos to work on it? Good luck with that shit!

        I hope to hell Google kick your ass in court, then build an Enterprise stack out of Davlik, so your left with empty hands.

        Your ignoring Sun, now Sun is going away. Congratulations!

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Ex-MislTech (557759)

          They can ship it to India or China and have ppl work on it for super cheap.

          Why hire ppl in the US who expect extravagance like homes and cars.

          I don't think they bought what they did to embrace it, they just wanted it contained.

          That is done now.

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Hognoxious (631665)

            They can ship it to India or China and have ppl work on it for super cheap.

            As long as they don't use retarded abbreviations, they can hire mnkz for all I care.

      • by Nefarious Wheel (628136) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @12:12AM (#34021144) Journal
        There's a sort of nimbus around highly creative people that other creative people want to be around. I would suspect that for every top-level name that leaves an Oracle, dozens - if not hundreds - will be updating their resume. In about 40 years in IT I've seen a pattern repeat rather a lot; once a firm is declared "toxic" by the best minds, they reach a sort of "avalanche point" and that firm can kiss their market leadership goodby within about three years, no matter how much marketing mind share they have. Some, like IBM, have recovered from that sort of thing (it took several archiquakes to make the change though) but it takes longer to climb back than it does to fall.

        If you're a long term investor, I'd start slowly leaking Oracle shares out of your portfolio about now. Microsoft? Maybe. Watch to see what venture capitalists are lining up behind those brilliant ex-employees, and ponder. This industry hasn't run out of breakthroughs yet.

    • by chaboud (231590) on Monday October 25, 2010 @10:48PM (#34020744) Homepage Journal

      If you're good enough to get a better job somewhere else, just leave. The best people aren't going to get laid off unless they make it quite clear that they aren't doing any work.

      Besides, this is about making a statement, making a stand on principle. In early 2009 I quit a job I'd had for 10 years, on principle. It was a tough move to make, but absolutely the right one.

      Sometimes, when you are pushed into making a move, you realize it's the move you should have made years before.

      • by bzipitidoo (647217) <bzipitidoo@yahoo.com> on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @01:16AM (#34021446) Journal

        Yes. I can speak from the other side of that decision. Several times now I have been in terrible jobs. And I chose to stay. I doubted whether the job was going as badly as it looked. Kept trying to work with people even after they'd clearly demonstrated that they were incompetent, bullying, abusive, and treacherous. At one job it was so bad we never even got around to doing any real work, but stayed mired in political foolishness. We could not agree on what to do, because everyone was so much more interested in being the big man who was calling the shots that they'd rather hang than endorse any plan other than their own. They all saw being the author of The Plan as the ticket to job security. In the end, we all hung, and deserved it.

        Why did I stay? Didn't want to be seen as a wimp and a quitter, and don't like giving up. Yes, yes, for fear of looking like a wimp, I wimped out. Talked myself into doubting the meanings of what I was seeing. Then there are all the vague fears of what such a move might do to your career. And you can always find news about the job market being terrible right now, even when it isn't. Too easy to buy into that. Supposedly it doesn't look good on the resume if you're a job hopper. Potential employers will be wondering if you are "reliable". They have a whole bunch of subjective criteria that are all the more powerful for being just about unconscious. If you left one job before you had another job lined up, they'll doubt your sanity. It's very hard, and scary, to walk away from a paycheck. To some people, pay trumps all. No matter how beat up, abused, and demoralized you are, no matter if every proposal you make is instantly mocked, shredded, and dismissed for political reasons that have nothing to do with the merits of the ideas, nor how many doubts and aspersions about your competence and your work ethic are expressed and cast, no matter how many times you are manipulated and shoved into a hopeless situation and then blamed for failing, or framed, you should take it like a man because you are being paid. Stiff upper lip.

        Well, no, you shouldn't. No one should take that. Keep some savings on hand so you can leave. Then do so, even if you aren't good enough to get a job somewhere else. Do it not just for your own sake, but for all the others who are in the same boat as you. I wish I had. Staying on is implicit approval of the management. My hat is off to you, sir, for having the guts to give them what they had coming.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          I am somewhat in the same boat. I'd love to say I didn't walk away because I didn't want to be a quitter, but when you live in an area with a high concentration of similar skill sets, it's a little more difficult.

          I first learned the lesson of this OP when I worked at Sprint PCS. I worked with incredible, intelligent, wickedly clever colleagues. When MCI was rumored to be talking merger with Sprint, the very best immediately left. With about 10 years distance to reflect, I still see it from the same pers

  • by newdsfornerds (899401) on Monday October 25, 2010 @10:21PM (#34020596) Journal
    I hope they pay the price for their ignorance and hubris. What did they get for buying Sun, exactly? As far as I can tell, they got a busload of very smart engineers who can find work wherever they want, or found new companies. Oracle needs them more than they need Oracle, even in this economy.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 25, 2010 @10:21PM (#34020598)

    I've never worked at Oracle or Sun, but if I read the man correctly he is not about to be swayed by either criticism or staff departures, even high level staff. At any rate, replacements can be hired or brought in through acquisition; no engineer or manager is indispensable.

    Clearly, Ellison does not think of Oracle as an open, collaborative enterprise like a university, but rather as an empire, like IBM in the '60s and '70s (his own analogy) or Microsoft in the '90s. If people don't like it, tough. They'll usually end up paying him to use his stuff anyway.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 25, 2010 @10:36PM (#34020668)

      Clearly, Ellison does not think of Oracle as an open, collaborative enterprise like a university, but rather as an empire...

      Empires rise and fall.

      If people don't like it, tough. They'll usually end up paying him to use his stuff anyway.

      We didn't. I'm was just promoted to COO of Hewlett-Packard's acquisitions wing because I spearheaded a migration to MySQL from the Oracle Enterprise Suite. I saved my company billions of dollars promoting temporal and technological efficiency. It really wasn't much of a hassle because people who know MySQL well are like Mexicans hanging around Home Depots - there's no shortage of 'em.

      The shrewd move was so successful that I was awarded the position of my old boss, the old COO. His secretary is now blowing me on a daily basis while he's stuck begging for pussy from the HR and mail ladies.

      Plus, I called Larry Ellison personally and told him to go fuck himself. Top of the world, baby, and nobody will ever take that away from me.

    • by houstonbofh (602064) on Monday October 25, 2010 @10:54PM (#34020792)

      At any rate, replacements can be hired or brought in through acquisition; no engineer or manager is indispensable.

      They do occasionally go out and found competing companies, however. Some quite good... Occasionally they even get bought by the company they walked from in the first place.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Oracle doesn't like playing with anyone, unless they are attempting an acquisition.

      Recently I had to enquire about buying Solaris licenses for a client so they can upgrade next year and was told by our channel provider they had to be purchased directly from Oracle now, then got a warning that Oracle had been going behind Sun Partners backs and attempting to sell to their clients directly.

    • by Snaller (147050)

      One day Oracle will reach the end of the road - perhaps that day is visible in the distance?

  • Someone has suggested implanting an eye in Mr. Ellison's backside..

    So that he can see where his shit is going!

  • Why should Oracle pay these guys? They did not create revenue for Sun or Oracle.
    • by Garen (246649) on Monday October 25, 2010 @11:19PM (#34020896)

      From Mike's blog [sun.com] (in reference to the ZFS+Fishworks effort), probably the highest profile departure from the aforementioned article is this fun fact:

      "What began as a mere $2.1M incremental engineering investment for 2.8 years has now shipped more than 100 petabytes, more than 6000 systems, and 100X in revenue. "

  • by crhylove (205956) <rhy@leperkhanz.com> on Monday October 25, 2010 @11:02PM (#34020830) Homepage Journal

    I hope they find good and fulfilling work with a company that values them more highly. I'm scared they're going to start messing up VirtualBox next!

    Viva Libre Office!!!

    rhY

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by crazycheetah (1416001)

      Being that I use VirtualBox on a daily basis for work (I run Linux on my one computer and need Windows; VirtualBox makes that painless and easy), I'm scared of this. However, I still keep getting updates to VirtualBox, and I think Oracle could actually have good use for it. I just fear they're going to kill a free version of it... I really fear that, because I don't use the OSE, because I need the USB support...

  • by starseeker (141897) on Monday October 25, 2010 @11:09PM (#34020866) Homepage

    Back in April '09 Schwartz sent an email [wsj.com] out that touched on Oracle and Sun's employees. Specifically:

    Having spent a considerable amount of time talking to Oracle, let me assure you they are single minded in their focus on the one asset that doesn't appear in our financial statements: our people. That's their highest priority - creating an inviting and compelling environment in which our brightest minds can continue to invent and deliver the future.

    I suspect the most interesting point here is whether Oracle considers these departures to be a problem or not - the open source community obviously has its priorities and skill sets it would consider key, but Oracle may take a different view.

  • by TeriMaKiChooth (1925618) on Monday October 25, 2010 @11:48PM (#34021044)
    Oracle has never been a place to make a career. On average, employees leave every 3 years. Why? because that is the culture encouraged by Ellison - politics among employees
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Hognoxious (631665)

      On average, employees leave every 3 years.

      If they keep going back then I have no sympathy for them.

  • by rabtech (223758) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @01:35AM (#34021544) Homepage

    Working at Oracle is a bit crazy. They'll fork over $1200 for fancy chairs, but if you want a 1920x1200 screen instead of the default 1440x900 then the laptop request has to go to Larry Ellison's office for personal approval. IT denied my request for 8GB ram on my test server to load a >4GB dataset. I'm looking at eBay to find an old server with 16GB ram so I can actually get my testing done. No, I'm not joking.

    Oracle pays well and has good benefits, but sometimes it is extremely frustrating to be unable to obtain the tools and resources you need to do your job. That kind of thing can drive you crazy.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ledow (319597)

      Easy. Don't test. Then when everyone comes crying that you haven't submitted your tests, won't sign off on the code, etc. ask them to demonstrate how to test >4Gb sets on a 4Gb machine without spending several MONTHS waiting for the thing to do it because of swapping (if it can do that at all).

      Stuff buying an old server to do it on, that's called idiocy. You're being paid to do a job, you can't do that job because of inadequate resources, the answer is not to go and find those resources yourselves bec

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