Why Sarah Sharp Leaving Linux Is Bad For Everyone

It was profoundly sad to read Sarah Sharp’s blog post today that she’s leaving the Linux Kernal development team.  The sort of it is that she just had it with the caustic social atmosphere maintained by that group, most famously exemplified in the well publicized rantings of Linus Torvald himself.

This to me is a universally bad sign for everyone not just in IT but everyone touched by it, which is everyone.

The chief damage of poorly socialize and highly aggressive communities in IT is that they develop a mono-culture.  They mistake a specific way of arguing and reasoning as the ultimate means of making progress in IT and thus limit the progress that can be made by those groups to those with that specific way of arguing and reasoning.

This closes what should be an open market place of ideas and limits progress in the field to people who can pass particularly personality tests or have their ideas recognized by people with a demonstrably limited ability to recognize or appreciate the worth of other human beings.

We have entered a phase of human history where conceptual models are the basis of or economy.  Cloud computing, iphones, kickstarter, service architectures, snapchat and most of the 1/3rd of the global economy driven by IT is entirely the product of conceptual models.  Communities like this ensure only a small number of socially compromised individuals will be able to bring their ideas to market, which limits the possibilities for all of us.

I understand this.  I passed a phase in my career where I had to step away from something I loved because the politics of it all left me burned out and I couldn’t see a way to recover.

I wish Mrs Sharp good fortune and happiness, selfishly I hope she takes a break to recharge and that I’ll see here like again driving IT forward.  Right now though, all I can feel is a deep sadness that it had to come to this.