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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 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 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 postbigbang (761081) on Monday October 25, 2010 @10:26PM (#34020622)

    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 dudpixel (1429789) on Monday October 25, 2010 @10:32PM (#34020644)

    these people aren't dropping java, they're dropping oracle. there is a big difference - this has nothing to do with apple or your beloved SJ. you wont find too many oracle-haters who dont also believe java should be freed from oracle (and therefore still used globally).

  • 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 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 cryfreedomlove (929828) on Monday October 25, 2010 @10:47PM (#34020734)
    Why should Oracle pay these guys? They did not create revenue for Sun or Oracle.
  • 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 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 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 Tr3vin (1220548) on Monday October 25, 2010 @10:53PM (#34020784)
    Yes, yes, yes and yes.
  • 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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 25, 2010 @10:56PM (#34020798)
    Thanks for being a patent troll to end all patent trolls. Jerks.
  • by Graff (532189) on Monday October 25, 2010 @11:09PM (#34020862)

    Seems to me this is a bunch of people standing up for what they believe in even though it may cost them financially. It would be nice to see a few Apple employees do the same.

    Maybe the fact that there aren't a slew of Apple employees leaving means that a lot of people are happy to work for Apple. Just sayin'...

  • by Eponymous Coward (6097) on Monday October 25, 2010 @11:11PM (#34020868)

    I think they wanted Sun's patent portfolio. How long did they own it before they filed a lawsuit against Google?

  • 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 Snaller (147050) on Monday October 25, 2010 @11:23PM (#34020920) Journal

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

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 25, 2010 @11:27PM (#34020952)

    Seriously, why should Apple write and maintain the technology of their competitors?

    Screw Flash and screw Java.

  • by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Monday October 25, 2010 @11:37PM (#34021004) Homepage Journal
    I've got four words for you: patents, patents, patents, patents.
  • 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 Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @12:04AM (#34021106)

    But is it worth while to develop a new Java runtime for Apple? Apple has announced they will deprecate everything that runs on Java anyway.

  • 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 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 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 hairyfeet (841228) <{bassbeast1968} {at} {gmail.com}> 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?

  • by Ex-MislTech (557759) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @01:08AM (#34021410)

    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.

  • 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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @01:16AM (#34021448)
    "When you're that big, it's easy to step on people just by moving around."

    Have you ever seen a horse or an elephant step on a human? Generally, I've found, they know they are big, so they are careful. Oracle and Microsoft could be careful. The fact that they aren't careful shows their abusiveness is deliberate.
  • by geoffrobinson (109879) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @01:19AM (#34021464) Homepage

    I'm glad you recognize the error of George Lucas's logic has led you astray.

  • by aiht (1017790) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @01:32AM (#34021526)

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

    Have you ever seen a horse or an elephant step on a human? Generally, I've found, they know they are big, so they are careful. Oracle and Microsoft could be careful.
    The fact that they aren't careful shows their abusiveness is deliberate.

    Also that they are not elephants.

  • by Fjandr (66656) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @01:35AM (#34021542) Homepage Journal

    Have you ever seen a horse [...] step on a human?

    <pedant>Yes; sometimes intentional, sometimes accidental. Accidents are usually the fault of the people not letting the horse know clearly where they are though. :)</pedant>

  • by Macrat (638047) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @02:13AM (#34021688)

    Seems to me this is a bunch of people standing up for what they believe in even though it may cost them financially. It would be nice to see a few Apple employees do the same.

    Really tough working for a company that sells popular products.

  • 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 Oligonicella (659917) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @03:05AM (#34021934)
    Actually, I've seen both. An elephant once, and horses a number of times. Only once was the step on purpose, and it was a horse.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @03:06AM (#34021942)

    The alternative to these individuals quitting at Oracle is going bankrupt at Sun. I'm as stanch a FOSS guy as the rest, but Sun blew away $750 million in the final 6 months of 2008 before their acquisition. These cats can take their show on the road, and fork it to Oracle, and that's cool. However, Sun no longer had the resources to plow into FOSS, and Oracle, as any good acquirer, is trying to make a rather large digestion profitable.

    Short story: Sun tried to make a business of FOSS and failed. Oracle, on the other hand, loves profit.

    Chris
    christopherwinslett at gmail dot com (So it doesn't say anonymous coward)

  • 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 ADRA (37398) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @03:23AM (#34022004)

    Wow, you're gibberish isn't even close to accurate. Maybe you should've used the internet to very quickly debunk your own assumptions before wasting our time with them.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @03:35AM (#34022044)

    And people think I'm nuts because I insist on buying my own hardware...

    (Yes, I work for Oracle.)

  • by hedwards (940851) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @03:37AM (#34022052)
    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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @03:45AM (#34022090)

    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 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 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 Rogerborg (306625) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @04:58AM (#34022320) Homepage

    Not all developers. This developer will pack up and leave if forced to eat garbage.

    And your manager is sitting on a pile of resumes thick enough to beat a rhino to death, many of whom will be prepared to work for significantly less than you're currently making. During a recession, the beatings will continue until morale (or the job market) improves.

  • 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 icebraining (1313345) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @05:21AM (#34022392) Homepage

    Developers, developers, developers.

    "So you can write in Java and sell it to 92% of the market, or you can write in ObjectiveC and have 8%".

  • by syousef (465911) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @05:52AM (#34022514) Journal

    Not all developers. This developer will pack up and leave if forced to eat garbage.

    And your manager is sitting on a pile of resumes thick enough to beat a rhino to death, many of whom will be prepared to work for significantly less than you're currently making. During a recession, the beatings will continue until morale (or the job market) improves.

    Really? Because where I am they're having trouble hiring people with the skill set we require.

  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @06:18AM (#34022598) Journal

    Oracle is a database company.

    No they're not. Their database is the centrepiece of their stack, but Oracle makes money from the vertical integration. That was the entire reason behind buying Sun - that they can now offer the entire stack, from the CPU up to the user-visible applications. The real money is in the support contracts, and the more that they can cover with their support, the more money they make. If you're using C#, you're not going to pay expensive Oracle consultants.

  • by Craig Maloney (1104) * on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @07:47AM (#34022976) Homepage

    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 developer swore off never to code another line, there would still be Java out there, and folks ready to learn to take their place. COBOL didn't need a community, and Java won't either.

  • by ThatsNotPudding (1045640) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @07:53AM (#34023028)

    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 Pfhreakaz0id (82141) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @08:38AM (#34023350)

    this. Its definitely the support/consultants who make the $ for oracle. I used to gripe about Oracle's horrible documentation, lack of good samples, bad tools, etc, and then I realized (when I got offered by support to get a consultant down there for the nth time) that they have little incentive to document/make their products easy to use).

  • 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 ledow (319597) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @09:33AM (#34023862) Homepage

    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 because in a year's time you'll be buying your own paper and ink for the same reasons. Maybe this is how Oracle keeps its margins, eh? Having its own staff buy their own equipment to do their own job?

    No amount of chairs will let you load an 4Gb dataset, but if they are authorised, get them. Personally, I'd then have no end of fancy chairs in my office and when my boss can't get into the room because of all the chairs, I'll just say "Oh, well, this is 100 times the equivalent price of the test server I needed to do my job. Apparently I can get all of *that* authorised but not something that'll actually result in a product. I thought I'd sell them off to your bosses to raise funds, I'm sure they'd love to know what their money's being spent on."

    Make a fuss if it's that important to your job, and I guarantee they'll find you a way to do it. Don't let other people's stupidity / arrogance / power-games ("Oh, no, sorry, *you're* not approved to have *that* piece of equipment") / etc. get in the way of you doing your job in the most sensible way.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @10:29AM (#34024550)

    Don't be a moron.

    In most big enterprises that play these kinds of games, not doing your job because you can't get equipment is _not_ an excuse.

    Yes, it's a catch-22. No, the bureaucracy doesn't care.

  • by PCM2 (4486) on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @03:46PM (#34028834) Homepage

    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 Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 26, 2010 @04:53PM (#34030076)

    I'm going as AC because I actually been acquired by Oracle. Oracle is an extremely micromanaged company, when people a few hops down from Larry don't have any real power whatsoever.

    Technologically, we are forced to use an arcane infrastructure. Everything is about politics and most developers are what's left at the bottom of the barrel. Oracle does not innovate, it acquires companies instead.

    Once you're in, everything is so bizzarre that I understand why people would flee in droves. We've seen that too (I'm not from Sun).

    For example, all developers must use a hosted development environment (that is a hosted linux machin in a datacenter in the US). With latencies of over 200 milliseconds from some parts of the world, serious distributed development is impossible. Besides that, you're forced to use ADE, which is, in Oracle's worlds: "ADE is the most performant, highly available, and scalable Source Code Management system on Earth."

    We use that as a joke, it's probably the most arcane version control system I've seen:
    - every file is a symlink to an NFS
    - files are versioned independently (that is, no consistency!)
    - it is a Clear Case derivative with an Oracle DB as a backend
    - an installation of an ADE client needs 3GB
    - nobody knows how to install it on anything other than a company standard linux box
    - it is slooow!!! (builds can be 4 or 5 times slower than on a local disk)
    - it is cumbersome: you need to run 6 command to change a single file: begintrans, checkout, checkin, beginmerge, mergetrans, endmerge
    - most IDE's dont work with it
    - Most Java apps get confused with the intensive use of symlinks (most notably JAXB)
    - they make everyone use it (sooner or later)

    If you're a technical guy, Oracle is probably one of the least challenging environments to be in. If you want to grow, you have to basically become a manager.

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