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Ask HN: What's the Future of Red Hat Developer Post IBM Acquisition? (redhat.com)
17 points by friendscallmejw 3 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 13 comments

I’m Brad Micklea and I lead Red Hat’s Developer Business Unit, which covers developer evangelism, our developer program at developers.redhat.com, and our developer tools. All these facets of our business, as with Red Hat more generally, will remain independent from IBM. This means that…

- You’ll still bump into our fantastic Red Hat developer relations team at events, meetups and keynotes.

- The Red Hat developer program—including the site, blog, and our social media channels—will remain independent and continue to focus on great open source software and culture.

- If you’re a member of the developer program, you’ll continue to enjoy free access to Red Hat software downloads, eBooks, events and great content.

I’m sure there is some nervousness in the developer community with this announcement. I welcome your questions and will be monitoring this thread and replying to as many as I can over the coming day or so.

Thanks for offering to answer questions.

Does IBM have any plan to move any of Red Hat's workers offshore?

What exactly, from your perspective, is IBM's expectation of this investment? Surely, IBM plans to have greater integration between IBM products/services and Red Hat products/services?

I can't really speak to business or HR questions. My role is focused on our relationship with developers. What I can say...We are a distinct entity in IBM and the only person reporting to an IBMer is Jim (our CEO) who now reports to Ginny (IBM CEO). We retain control over our associates. That said, the actions taken in the coming months and years will provide the real proof.

Speaking to integration. In terms of the Red Hat developer tools portfolio (which is ~15 tools and plugins), and a mix of Red Hat supported products and upstream open source projects - there is no change to our roadmap.

We are committed to continuing to invest deeply in open source as we have from Red Hat's inception.

We are going to continue to publish and support IDE plugins for VS Code [1], JetBrains [2] and Eclipse [3] - even if they compete with IBM plugins.

We will also continue to offer CodeReady Workspaces for the OpenShift Kubernetes platform [4]. I expect this will be of increasing interest to IBM customers as they adopt OpenShift more aggressively. The open source upstream project for this offering (Eclipse Che [5]) is also an area that has seen increasing IBM participation over the past year.

In open source communities there continues to be collaboration around the Eclipse Foundation's Cloud Development portfolio [6]. Be on the lookout for some announcements here in the coming months.

Similarly there's interest from IBM in continuing to create open source language servers that adhere to the Language Server Protocol [7] that the Red Hat tools could consume.

[1] https://marketplace.visualstudio.com/publishers/redhat [2] https://plugins.jetbrains.com/plugin/12030-openshift-connect... [3] https://marketplace.eclipse.org/user/jtools/listings [4] https://developers.redhat.com/products/codeready-workspaces/... [5] https://github.com/eclipse/che [6] https://www.eclipse.org/ecd/ [7] https://microsoft.github.io/language-server-protocol/impleme...

I've been through an acquisition in the past where the purchasing company told us that we'd remain independent and that "we like what you're doing, that's why we purchased the company, we don't want to change anything". This was true for roughly 6 months, then sweeping business and cultural changes happened.

Do you have any assurances that what you've been told, regarding independence will remain true? If so, are those assurances any more concrete than the initial promise of independence?

Not trying to be negative, but telling a company that's been acquired that things will stay the same, seems to be one of the oldest corporate lies in the book.

Thoughts? Thanks for your post.

There are no guarantees in life and I'm in technology because I like change...but when the announcement came across my email in October I was nervous for some of the same reasons.

The assurances I have come from several angles. The public statements from both Jim (our CEO), Ginny (IBM CEO) and Arvind (SVP Cloud Products @IBM). You can see those here: CEO: https://www.redhat.com/en/blog/jim-whitehurst-email-red-hatt... Arvind: https://www.redhat.com/en/blog/qa-ibms-landmark-acquisition-...

But I always put more trust in my own interactions and I've had an opportunity now to work with quite a few of my new colleagues in IBM on both the engineering and business side. What I have seen from them is humility and curiosity about our business - there has been no arrogance. This has been true of their words and their actions so far. To me this is important because I think it's as a result of arrogance on the part of the acquirer that many deals go bad post-close.

Hope springs eternal in the hearts of men. Here's the thing: We have a LOT of evidence that those corporate promises mean nothing. There is a vast history inside and out of IBM of exactly this pattern of everyone saying nothing will change and then everything changes.

What you are saying to us is that the only reason you think nothing will change is that you really, really believe the IBM people. (Just like Palmer Luckey:https://thenextweb.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2014/03/...) But that's even less than what other companies have been able to offer skeptics. But we know

"Seventy percent of U.S. acquisitions in the United States negatively impact the acquiring company’s results, sometimes immediately, and often continuing many years after purchase. Approximately 40 percent of the acquisitions of the last 10 years brought devastating business results. In about 80 percent of such cases, product or service, market share, and cultural impact are far below the goals anticipated in the beginning." https://media.terry.uga.edu/socrates/publications/2011/07/bi...

YOU might be convinced, but you haven't given anyone a reason to believe it.

From my experience the only real proof that will convince people comes from the actions that are taken from now forward. I'd ask that if you believe these actions are harmful to developers or open source communities let me know @bradmicklea on Twitter.

Public statements are garbage and just sales pitches to reassure investors. Unless Red Hat's deal legally mandated things stay a certain way in actual words written in a contract, then it's literally nothing and IBM can gut the place tomorrow if they wanted to. This happens all the time with acquisitions. Most notable is TravisCI firing what, most of their senior staff 6 months after acquisition?

Proof will come in the actions that follow. If you see changes in how Red Hat behaves in the community feel free to let me know - @bradmicklea on Twitter.

RIP RedHat, and probably CentOS and Fedora too... eventually.

This isn't a question, but this may stil help with your doubts: https://developers.redhat.com/blog/2019/07/09/preserving-the...

TL;DR: Nothing changes!

Not a question, but just a suggestion. You should probably have an AMA on reddit. They seem to be more vocal on this deal.


We will. Keep an eye out for one in a few weeks.

HN hits a bit faster than Reddit does and it's where a lot of our members hang out.

Thanks for the suggestion - Always valued.

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