Year 1 is usually nothing and things stay the same unless there is some serious fat that needed trimming. The interesting years are 2 and 3. That's when the parent company tries to optimize things (e.g. streamline the sales force), create synergies, etc and you start seeing the changes. Depending on where you are in the acquired company, it can be heaven or hell.
I'd like to read blogs about the acquisition at the end of year 2.
In my one experience with acquisition, that's when upper management's bonuses got tied to "synergy" metrics and suddenly everybody had to learn a new relationship to reality. Almost everything we did for a whole year was dedicated to gaming those metrics, and our independence as an organization depended on supporting upper management's assertion that we were saving tens of millions of dollars. The opportunity cost in product development was enormous, but it was subtly and not-so-subtly communicated to us that now that we were part of BigCorp, we shouldn't worry about small time stuff like keeping things working and making customers happy. At least not in the reflexive, focused way we had before. Making and keeping deals was 15-dimensional chess to them, and they would tell us exactly if, when, and to what degree the dimensions of quality and product delivery mattered. Meanwhile we should do as little product work as possible and focus on the goal inflating executive bonuses by claiming imaginary synergies through integration.
I've supported sales cycles at small and big companies. I think this is one of the best one line descriptions of what really happens when big companies want to "sell to the CIO" or retain a large existing customer. Sometimes actually solving customer problems is not even 1 of those 15 dimensions.
The CIO being soled to isn't interested in "solving the problem" of their organization either. They have their own metrics, and so on goes the rabbit hole...
Interesting enough I had the displeasure of getting acquired by IBM and the first yr not bad. By year 2 to 3 and being fully converted to IBM culture I can tell you that most of the original employees of the company bought out had all left willing.
I left as well and I couldn't be happier. By far working as a senior level (forgot what band now) engineering consultant for them was one of the worst experience with a company.
They even tried to use legal action to prevent me from switching to another company.They also tried to stall me and BS me long enough for the offer to go away.
I gave them a chance and they matched the offer and terms. 6 months later IBM tried to change the terms of our agreement thinking the other offer was gone and I was at their mercy.
What they didn't know was the other company had been pursuing me for years so I called them and asked if they were still interested. They said yes and I took it. Put in my 2 weeks and IBM tried to stop it with legal actions. Luckily they weren't successful. They even wanted to go after the other company for pursuing me and asking who was the contact. I never told them who it was and said thanks but no thanks I'm out.
IBM was a horrible unethical company to work for IMO.
Run if you can and run early before the max exodus that is surely to come and your industry is flooded.
The funny thing was the day we found out that IBM bought us out one of my colleagues quit right on the spot. Myself and our supervisor at the time were surprised and thinking he was crazy to quit with out even giving them a try. Looking back now I would do the exact same thing if I were to find out IBM purchased our company.
I don't recall ever hearing anything positive from any of my IBM colleagues before,during, or after I left. Actually many former IBMrs called me trying to get out. It was the only company where I had worked at that had a constant bad juju feel about it and inundated with negativity from all the employees.
With other companies that bought us out the process was the same: yr 1 no changes, 2 little changes , 3 you are the new company. I actually stayed with the other companies , the only one I left was IBM. So the acquisition itself doesn't mean that it has to be a negative thing. In my situation the only time it was negative was with IBM.
Year 1 was business as usual with things not changing a lot, but some integration work starting. That morphed into "we need to rewrite all of your software to make it better" which then turned into what turned into "build exactly the same thing but in a different language". We were a remote office and as attrition occurred, headcount was either not replaced or replaced by an equivalent at HQ. Morale and productivity were in the toilet with the prospect of basically a line-by-line rewrite that merely translated things to another language without actually addressing existing technical debt. I ended up walking away from almost 7 figures worth of unvested stock.
But a year later he will have moved on to his next role and the business unit the aquiree became now reports to a manager who doesn't see why you are "special" and should be treated any differently to her existing department. That's when things really change.
Basically the “immediate efficiencies” are laying off the recruiting and payroll people…
An example from a customer that confided that after merging 8 national processes for reporting to various government agencies, the total running cost was unexpectedly almost 8 times higher than before due to the increased complexity and the amortised investment.
I suppose people know this, except the worst kind of bean counters, so this move is primarily motivated by “product brochure“ enhancement, absorbing a competent competitor that show some promise in a strategic area for IBM. The OpenShift business is just another mainframe in IBMs rather long history of "hybrid cloud“ strategy. They've been doing it for 50 years.
The event, whether you are acquired or acquiree, presents significant and unique opportunities to move vertically and/or horizontally to improve your situation. If you're sitting there wondering about job security then you (a) didn't have job security in the first place; (b) are wasting everyone's time, including yours.
If you are better paid than the existing employees it's actually more likely that your salary will be frozen until it "harmonises" with them. You are also unlikely to have the contacts at the acquirer for an interesting lateral move, even if its permitted in the terms of the acquisition, I think the last time we were told there would be no internal transfers for the first two years.
The process was remarkably similar even though they were quite different businesses. Middle management was purged quite quickly, shortly after that all the value creators walked.
In both cases the purchaser ended up with a customer database and some residual support revenue. This may have been their expectation all along, I don't know how the figures looked.
I've read somewhere that most acquisitions don't deliver any value for the acquirer. This is why their share price usually falls on the news.
Indeed, after all what would be the point of going through the trouble of acquiring a company if major changes weren't coming ? If you don't need something special, there is a myriad of other option from simple client account to investment or the various partnership level, including shared owned subsidiary for R&D/other.
(Though this isn't necessarily intended to deflate any fears about IBM meddling at Red Hat; for a company as important to OSS as they are, any change is worth being wary of.)
AB was a profitable company, but InBev is just very good at efficiency in brewing. IIRC they paid handsomely above market price at the time and were able to translate their efficiency to AB in such a way that the combined reduction in cost and uptake in revenue creates value net/net for InBev (and therefore AB)
I doubt something in engineering and sales? Or perhaps sales is the closest answer.
For some areas change is immediate, others much slower.
I've been through it working on released and unreleased projects and how things are handled changes based on that
Q: What do you get when you cross IBM and Apple?
On the bright side, now RedHat employees can flash their new IBM business cards at International Brotherhood of Magicians shows in Las Vegas to get in for free, thanks to the terms of a trademark infringement lawsuit settlement from decades ago.
Is this true? I can't find any references anywhere.
Working at Kaleida was like having parents who couldn't get along and argued all the time, so no hard decisions ever actually got made.
ScriptX supported QuickTime on MacOS, Windows and OS/2, but Apple was shy about IBM and other companies having access to the source code.
IBM desperately wanted everyone to use and love OS/2 (so they renamed it Warp so the cool kids would dig it), while Taligent was tasked at solving the problem of Apple's shitty operating system. Taligent also had their own weird incompatible object model, as well as CommonPoint's "people, places and things" metaphor, which they shamelessly ripped off from Schoolhouse Rock.
CHRP was the Common Hardware Reference Platform for the PowerPC, which IBM and Apple collaborated on. IBM made a CHRP PowerPC Thinkpad that ran OS/2, but out of pride refused to sell one that ran MacOS, which kind of missed the whole point of CHRP. IBM just couldn't imagine why anyone would want to run anything but OS/2 on them.
I would have loved to have a MacOS powerbook running on wonderful Thinkpad hardware, because Apple's laptop hardware was pretty crappy at the time. It would have been the best of both worlds, but it was never to be.
And then there was OpenDoc. There were actually two different incompatible implementations of OpenDoc, one from Apple on MacOS and one from IBM on OS/2, and they didn't talk to each other (which kind of missed the entire point).
IBM was shipping a bunch of OpenDoc stuff on OS/2 (Eric The Half-an-OS), and used it themselves, but nobody else wanted to use OpenDoc or even OS/2, despite their extensive advertising campaign and Warp re-branding attempt.
IBM's implementation of SOM (System Object Model), which their implementation of OpenDoc was built on top of, required that you use IBM's C++ compiler to get special optimizations, otherwise every message send was quite expensive.
Apple had their own implementation of OpenDoc that used their own compiler, and wasn't compatible with IBM's.
Apple used their version of OpenDoc to create CyberDoc, a component oriented web browser, which was extremely cool and flexible, but didn't go anywhere unfortunately, even though it was a brilliant approach.
At the time, CHRP and Open Doc were supposed to be "the future", but in reality, neither Apple nor IBM really had their shit together nor were serious about swallowing their pride and getting along well enough to develop products that actually shared the same technology and plugged together and synergized as well as they promised.
It would have been wonderful if both Apple and IBM followed through with their plans to their full potential: A CHRP PowerPC ThinkPad laptop running MacOS, OpenDoc and CyberDog!
Kaleida missed the boat on CyberDog, but was around OpenDoc early enough to go through the motions of adopting its Bento file format (FWTW), but never did anything with OpenDoc itself (neither Apple's or IBM's).
The fact that there were two incompatible versions of OpenDoc on different operating systems, and ScriptX was meant to run on both, made that kind of difficult to impossible.
OpenDoc required huge amounts of memory, and so did ScriptX, which had its own totally different object model (like Dylan + CLOS), so it just wouldn't have been practical at the time.
As sad as it was, Steve Jobs was right to "put a bullet in OpenDoc's head".
Jobs explained (and performed) his side of the story in this fascinating and classic WWDC'97 video: "Focusing is about saying no."
Q: What about OpenDoc?
Jobs: What about OpenDoc??! (nods)
Jobs: Yeah. (sips) (smirks) (leans) What about it?
Q: (laughs) Ooooh nooo!!!
Jobs: It's dead, right?
Jobs: It's dead, right? (nods)
Q: Oh, I don't know, I spent a lot of time working on it. And it kind of makes me sad.
Jobs: (shakes) Yeah? (stands) Well, let me say something that's sort of generic. (paces and gestures) I know a lot of you spent a lot of time working on stuff that we put a bullet in the head of. I apologize. (opens hands) I feel your pain. (genuflects)
(prays) But Apple suffered for several years from no, from lousy engineering management, I have to say it. (applause)
There were people who were going off in eighteen different directions, doing arguable interesting things in each one of them. Good engineers. Lousy management. (slouches)
And what happened is you look at the farm that has been created with all these different animals going in different directions (crucifies arms), and it doesn't add up (bends over). The total is less than the sum of the parts.
(prays) So we had to decide what are the fundamental directions we're going in, and what makes sense, and what doesn't. And there were a bunch of things that didn't. And microcosmically they might have made sense, macrocosmically they made no sense. (waves arms)
(prays) And you know the hardest thing is, when you think about focusing (fists), right, focusing is saying yes! No. (palms out) Focusing is about saying no. (palms down) Focusing is about saying no. (emphasizes)
And you've got to say no, no, no. (chops) And when you say no, you piss off people. (points finger) And they go talk to the San Jose Mercury, and they write a shitty article about you, you know? (spreads hands) And it's really a pisser.
Because you want to be nice, you don't want to tell the San Jose Mercury the person who's telling you this (holds out hand), you know, just was asked to leave, or this or that, it was that, so you take the lumps.
And Apple's been taking their lumps for the last six months (chops), in a very unfair way (spreads hands). And it's been taking them, you know (fists), like an adult. And I'm proud of that (pulls up sleeves). And there's more to come (spreads arms), I'm sure. There's more to come.
Some of these -- I read these articles about some of these people who have left. I know some of these people. They haven't done anything in seven years. And you know, they leave (waves hand), and it's like the company's going to fall apart the next day (shrugs).
And so I think (hands on hips) there'll be stories like that that come and go (pulls up pants), but focus is about saying no (Clinton thumb).
And the result of that focus is going to be some really great products, where the total is much greater than the sum of the parts (chops).
And OpenDoc... I was for putting a bullet in the head of OpenDoc. A: I didn't think it was great technology. But B: it didn't fit (shrugs). The rest of the world wasn't going to use OpenDoc.
And I think as a container strategy (hand on chin), there's some stuff in the Java space that's much better. And even the OpenDoc guys were trying to were trying to basically rewrite the whole thing in Java anyway (waves hands), which was a restart (shrugs). So it didn't make sense (hands on hips).
For a company like Redhat I can't imagine it will be largely changed in the first couple of years at least, so for that period of time you will be working with the same co-workers, and if you're not in the Redhat C-suite probably for the same boss in the same facilities on the same stuff. So in that regard nothing has changed.
What will be different will be access to a company that has been running for over 100 years and evolved over that time, at all levels. Facilities all around the world. Access to some of the scientists that you may have only read their papers but now can chat with via slack.
If you're currently an executive staff level type (VP, Exec VP, etc) and you're part of the acquisition, you're going to be landing in a whole different world of agendas and counter agendas, that can be tough to navigate. You will want to establish relationships quickly, they will be both rewarding and help you see things that might be coming your way that you would miss otherwise.
At its heart though, IBM is just another company trying to do things to make the world a better place and to profit off helping the world get there. You will find the Finance guys are ones who have the ability to make things happen or not, the marketing folks may often be distracted by shiny objects that don't seem to contribute to the vision, and some of the fading parts of the business are not going into the long goodnight easily.
And if you're patient and look clearly, you will see that fundamentally the company bought you so that you're technology could both improve the company and continue to grow in its own right, and so everyone is "on your side" to a large extent. The biggest danger to your dreams will be your own executives, not IBM. They are the ones who have gone from being masters of their own universe to a star in somebody else's universe, and sometimes that transition affects them in ways that isn't immediately apparent.
I have never seen this materialize in any big company. Different departments may as well be different companies. They never talk to each other.
I've pinged many folks over Sametime (predecessor to Slack) just by having their name, you could then lookup their Sametime Id.
Most of the time it was over simple details, i.e "Hey, I see you're the author of this RedBook. In Chapter Foo Paragraph Bar, did you really mean FooBar or BazBaz?"
But hey, details are everything in our industry.
It was really nice to get the answer straight from the source, no matter which continent they were on. Anecdotal, but wanted to provide a counterpoint.
I'll grant you that the technology Blekko brought to IBM (the crawler) was something that a lot of people who were inside the company were interested in, so there were inbound contacts as well when someone said, "Hey we're doing X and wondering if you can do Y?" And that often lead to a discussion about what crawlers could and couldn't do legally :-) But it also lead to lots of great collaborations on various data sets and projects.
"Companies" are filled with people who talk. The only place I've heard where this is a huge issue (from former and current employees) is Apple where secrecy is pretty rampant. And while every company seems to have some "special" projects that aren't discussed, general conversations seem to be fine.
At IBM there are a lot of really really smart people who have done really cutting edge research which for me, was kind of like being a kid in a candy store :-).
I too was in similar shoes. While I agree with much of what you wrote, I disagree with this point. The size and compartmentalization of the company precludes cross-department access.
I ask because it sounds like we had different experiences there. I found all IBMers to be very open to talking about what they were working on, as slack became more widely deployed it was even easier. (Sametime as an IM client was a bit clunky). People would post on their 'home' page what they were up to some times, I talked at length with an engineer working with the atomic force microscope (AFM) in San Jose.
If this is what you meant, then my disagreement was misplaced as I never sought it out. By "access" I meant things like resource access on similar projects and the like. Watching 5 different cloud computing arms do the same siloed activities is what I meant. That open resource access is not fostered across the company by policy was my disagreement. Also, my experience predates Slack (but they did force us on Lotus email, ug).
When has this ever been the prerogative of a multinational for-profit corporation?
We have to adapt to today's world, but we should remember a better world, one in which it was not customary to treat life as a zero-sum game, did exist, not so long ago. Social problems only become unsolvable if everyone forgets they were once solved.
That is what is known as “a marketing stunt”. Same as having Watson play Jeopardy.
You’ll have to be more specific, as I’m not aware of any such world in recent memory.
No, no, no. A big company like IBM may have started out that way, but what almost inevitably happens over the long term is that selfish, greedy, ambitious, power-hungry, sociopathic people become employees and work their way up to the top (or get hired from other companies where they have done likewise) and turn the company to their own ends. And these ends are generally bad for the employees, the customers, and quite often in the long term the financial well-being of the company.
Now it is true that sometimes you get a reformer at the top like Nadella at Microsoft who honestly wants to do things right, and has the brains to figure out how to do it. That said, it is quite clear that this has not happened at IBM.
What kool-aid have you been swimming in?
Imagine Jim Whitehurst being CEO of IBM in 2 years.
Yeah. That’s why they helped the Nazis and invented ILMT.
Oracle and IBM both do it.
I'd much rather deal with IBM using ILMT than Microsoft or Oracle licensing. Every single one of my customers who have used ILMT and came through a PWC license compliance audit reported to me that the ILMT numbers were accepted as the official count, after an inspection of the customer's asset database compared with an ILMT server list showed that the ILMT clients were deployed pretty much everywhere. Flexera negotiates a special dispensation from IBM to get their numbers accepted on par with ILMT, but Flexera doesn't keep up on a timely basis (within a month or two) with ILMT's tracking of new license models issued by IBM.
It is true that if you are not using ILMT and an IBM license compliance audit team comes knocking, then your life is going to suck. Then again, IBM tells everyone in the paperwork to deploy ILMT, and they've made it as easy as possible for nearly anyone (up to about 5,000 servers) to install and run ILMT, and of course it is no-charge software. Usually only takes at most a week for most sites to install, stand up clients, get the firewall rules right (or set up procedure for updates over air-gaps), integrate into LDAP and SSO, get into backups and verify, compare results with actual licenses (what IBM calls "entitled"), etc., where the actual ILMT install itself usually only takes an hour or less using their all-in-one mode.
As far as my Microsoft and Oracle folks have told me, there is no official license management system that is written into the license contract verbiage like ILMT is into IBM's that they will accept as the official count, that short-circuits any license compliance conversations dead-right-there. If you or anyone reading this knows of any, then please point me to the tooling, as that will save me a hell of a lot of time dealing with Microsoft and Oracle.
It was an OK place to work, and they gave Jet some level of autonomy, but I left when I read that Walmart wants to start "integrating" their stuff ours, which in my case was a lot of Java crap that was clearly at least 10 years old.
I doubt that my experience is atypical with this. Big companies like to buy smaller ones, but don't like having two versions of one thing, and very often they'll view their original version of something as superior to the one they just purchased. In the case of Walmart, I think they bought Jet exclusively for the name.
I'm hoping that IBM is smart enough to sit back and let Redhat do their thing. I don't really want Redhat to become something bloated and horrible like WebSphere.
Anyway, I happen to go to a brewery and meet one of your product guys- he had a Jet shirt on, and I just went over and said hello. We got along great, famously actually, and after a few beers I said "hey you know, this remote thing... its not looking like a long term thing... you guys seem pretty interesting..." and we set up an informal meet and greet. I get along with everyone, and had a trip out HQ the next week. I poked around about Jet, and mentioned hey you know I live about ten minutes from their office, and yeah- all the talk was about how quickly they could get off their stack and onto Pangaea. I just fought that, and gone through the painful task of moving some stuff to their stack, and another 2 years of dealing with migrations and not focusing on customers just seemed terrible. I ended up leaving.
But yeah WMT in general is all about the "one right way" to do things. Which is great if its the right way, but I often used to say that there were a few bad teams that were just absolute anchors around the entire firm. I understand you don't want 10 teams building the same thing, but a little healthy competition is ok to me...
Cognitect has a few references that seem a bit old , but I see WalmartLabs release clj libraries from time to time , and I heard a podcast once where someone talked about working with Clojure remotely too .
The most interesting thing about that team was that it appeared that not just a beard, but an epic beard was required to on it. I keep in touch with one of them, but he has left the firm. The others... I should probably send a note to- those were good guys.
I guess more generally though, they are "off strategy" and clojure was not making inroads at Labs, at least at the time I had left. There was a lot of gravity towards only using Java on the backend, part of my friction with upper management was pushing node.js as a backend technology. My feeling on the Clojure guy was that they were a good team so they were left alone since they weren't a core feature and they never generated any noise. That's just my take on it though, why after the big upper management change they really bristled against certain teams and technologies but were content with others was not clear to me.
Before I sent this off, I figured I should look at your links- the featured guy in the podcast was the one person whom I had mentioned that I keep in touch with but had left the firm- as have the other two that were on it. I recognize three of the contributors to lacinia.
The strategy is more about reaching different customers, and gobbling up potential competitors while they are small. The frontends may look a lot different, but its all one backend (or at least that is the end state for these acquired companies).
From my perspective, Walmart.com is finally seeing customer facing improvements as they have finally completed the backend re-write and migration which took literal years and held up most customer-facing work. Rewriting the FE, while not a small undertaking, is actually not that difficult to do with their architecture. Compare that to say Amazon, who I interviewed with, and they admitted that changing say the "Amazon orange"color to something else would be a herculean effort involving a year of planning across the entire company and lock step releases across the company. They seemed to think they had a better way of doing things, but after hearing that, I wasn't so sure I wanted to work there.
Honestly the whole recruiting process had turned me off. They had reached out to me, and they baited me with the run the "front page of amazon" hook. I knew things were not headed in a great direction where I was, and it was right before bonus/vesting, so while I was not yet actively looking, I said just have a talk, make some contacts there. The recruiter I spoke to was unlike any I had spoken to, he felt like he worked out of a call center. He made it clear the position was based out of Austin, and I wasn't looking to relocate. It also became clear to me that this guy was just trying to fill this role, he had zero interest in trying to see what else was open where I might fit. Even though I wasn't looking to relocate, I figured I could wow them and either get them to relent on relocation or find a more local role that would fit. 6 months and several rounds later I finally get an on-site. At this point though, I had started actively looking, and by the time I got on the plane, had 3 offers in hand. I wouldn't have gotten on the plane, but I did kind of want to see the process through, I had never been to Seattle before and had a friend there.
I was really disappointed in the whole thing really, particularly their recruiting process.
You can't just change the code - then you also change the whole product development model. If IBM wants a change - then it must be preferred by the upstream community in order for it to happen. If they bypass this, then they kill the existing model and will find most engineers leave
And yet, within 5-6 years the entire hardware division imploded.
And, meta-comment: this site layout is frustrating on mobile, the text runs off the left/right edges slightly and it refuses to allow pinch/zoom. Sites really need to stop writing code to intentionally screw with readers.
It always seemed to me as-if Sun's hardware folding was just somehow oddly delayed from all the other UNIX RISC players folding around 2000 (because of the unsinkable Itanium and the dotcum burst).
I always wonder what would have happened if Apple had bought them.
Oracle's acquisition of Sun was just sad, because they were wiping them out to make them go away, since Sun couldn't swallow their pride earlier and sell out to a company they considered themselves superior to, like IBM or Apple. So their window of opportunity closed, and they got scrapped and devoured by soulless vultures. An acqui-expire.
Apple was not shy about telling NeXT customers to take a hike, and they are much bigger now.
Oracle guys doing conference decks with sailboats cracking jokes about how they accidentally broke EMEA sales and shipping by shutting off a data center on schedule, but before the apps were migrated.
Imagine feeling that, then hearing your employer was being acquired by pretty much the antithesis of that culture, on a decline and happy to destroy anyone for a perceived bump in their falling stock price.
It may be different if your perspective is that of a principal from some failed startup IBM bought. They were nice enough as long as the handcuffs lasted, you didn't care about the bogus 401k match, and your large-ish check cleared.
I can only understand his anxiety if he is an exec high up the chain and likely will be trimmed and his multi-million dollar salary is affected, and he has a huge mortgage, and lots of bills to pay and so on. Otherwise, life just goes on.
> I can only understand his anxiety if he is an exec high up the chain and likely will be trimmed and his multi-million dollar salary is affected
IBM's got a long history of layoffs over the past decade. The double edged sword of working remote is you have fewer opportunities in a job crisis like this. That said, line staff's phones and inboxes are probably blowing up with recruiters.
There are other sources of anxiety besides financial
IBM apparently changed their policy on that in 2017.
> In the USA there was an edict last year for staff to work from specific offices based [on] their role
IBM does work for EVERY Fortune 100 company. I can't comment on the working conditions but as a person who regularly works with IBM I can tell you that they aren't much worse than any other 400K employee sized company. There are a lot of folks there that love process and a bunch that are IBM lifers.
Still, the potential to push open-source further into enterprise in a HUGE way, particularly in private cloud, and give a company that might not stomach a strategic relationship with a smaller organization like RedHat.
Please also don't forget that IBM is contributing to open source projects (Istio comes to mind) that align with their strategic direction.
[if I were a RedHat employee, I might feel differently... 0:-]
While I work on what HN lovingly refers to as "Enterprise" applications (very legacy, very slow, very 1970s... and yes, very Oracle - PeopleSoft, Weblogic, Tuxedo, Oracle 12g:), there are parts of IBM that are shockingly agile, and have completely embraced open source both internally and as offerings.
Maybe their awful corporate conduct outweighs open source handwaving?
I'm a person who looks to the future and hopes that e can find a better way forward. The company has new leaders, new employees, and a new focus on cloud.
There are no losers when a 100-year old Fortune 100 company validates your strategy and values.
Does anyone have any idea what regulations might impinge on Chris's choice of format for sharing his thoughts?
None. People who learnt that their companies are being acquired via public news services are not in possession of any information the SEC would consider "insider".
The company would likely be upset if anyone leaked and take disciplinary action, but the regulator isn't concerned with that.
That doesn't mean that there aren't folks who feel that way. There could, for example, be people within IBM afraid to speak out, even privately. There could also be people who have already left IBM who felt that way prior to leaving.
A. "lifers" who are biding their time until retirement and aren't interested in rocking the boat, or doing anything to make noise. They want to come in, do their time, go home and go fishing... lather, rinse, repeat.
B. New grads who have no clue what they have walked into because they haven't worked anywhere else for comparison and haven't been at IBM long enough to realize how dysfunctional they are.
C. contractors who really don't give a f%!# as long as their paychecks clear.
None would be particularly motivated to reach out to the people of an acquisition and offer any guidance.
Not trying hate on Redhat, I just never got the impression of them being particularly innovative. A lot of the most interesting stuff I have heard of from them seems to have come from acquisitions, like CoreOS or Ansible. In which case, I don't see why these acquisitions now living under the IBM umbrella is necessarily that much worse than being under Redhat.
RHEL isn't distributed under free software licence?
> In terms of working on interesting new software/infrastructure platforms, working somewhere like Hashicorp, or even working at Google Cloud or AWS also seem more appealing.
I work on Openshift and Kubernetes and for me and barring Google I can't think of a company where I will get to solve as many interesting problems as I have solved at Red Hat. AWS is very new to Kubernetes and I do not think they have lot of people who can mentor someone just starting with Kubernetes. From what I have seen, if you work for a particular cloudprovider, you pretty much become goto guy for that cloudprovider in Kubernetes. It can be blessing or curse but at Red hat - engineers are forced to think one layer above. How will this work on Ceph FS, NFS, iSCSI and EBS? And yeah - You don't feel like second class citizen if you are remote at Red Hat. At some companies even though - they allow remote, they can exclude you, if they want all hands on the deck (like physically).
It is true to some extent that - Red Hat strength isn't churning out new technologies (but they can surprise you). But to Kubernetes for example - it has brought a stability for enterprise(again I could be biased). If you scratch the surface, many features in Kubernetes that you take for granted was developed in Openshift.
Also, RHEL is distributed under a free license; if you want it free as in beer there's always Fedora, and also CentOS which is also a Red Hat product.
What does the capital B mean? Is this long and short billions? I've never seen capitalisation used as a notation for that.
Most people, including me, are probably unaware what Red Hat is actually doing.
It's a pretty big sum.
Not familiar with IBM's current management enough to know if that is a possibility.
If I was talking to Red Hat about a job - and I just submitted a resume before this announcement - I'd break it off.
He is completely right about mental safety in the workplace. Indeed, even as a long time IBMer with a great track record, I don't feel safe by any stretch of the imagination. This affects my performance and well-being.
I wish him good luck.
They sell things they can’t deliver, they never drive technology forward unless you pay them to, and then they get angry and confused when you pick someone who didn’t stand still over them.
Back in the day, almost everything we did ran in IBM mainframes, next year we’ll be signing away our last contract on any of our 500 different IT systems with IBM and we’ll never do business with them again if it can be avoided.
And that’s saying a lot, because I think most companies who sell software to the public sector are terrible leeches, but IBM always took it one bit further and never understood why no one loved them.
I mean, they still don’t get why nobody wants watson, and keep on trying to sell it, never realising that what it does for BI is stuff we automated almost a decade ago, and what it does for deep learning is so much worse than some of the smaller setups that you can scale by running them on AWS or Azure ( probably other clouds as well, but being public sector we’re in Azure and AWS ).
I think this will be absolutely terrible for redhat, and we’re already making exit strategies for the two jboss setups we have for when it becomes necessary in a few years.
IBM lays off employees by the thousands every year, paying only statutory minimum severance packages. This has been extensively covered by the trade press, e.g. El Reg. It is anything but a guarantee of stability, infact it is the opposite!