> I want to be clear that this decision is not about contract value — it is about maintaining a consistent and fair business approach in these volatile times.
Doublespeak for, this decision is 100% about contract value.
I am interested more in the former employee that removed the ruby gem though. Cool form of protest IMO.
Personally I don't agree with Chef's decision and sure as hell don't agree with ICE. Seriously, f*ck ICE. I'm descended from immigrants. It's a free country and anyone who thinks I shouldn't be here or any other immigrant for that matter is free to kiss my Irish ass. I just don't agree this is the way to change things. We should be fighting for what's right ourselves rather then admonishing someone else for not doing it for us but if we are going to admonish corporations for their associations with ICE, it should be all of them.
This is entirely about money.
> former employee that removed the ruby gem
I hadn’t heard of this, do you have a link to that by chance?
Note this is the same developer who left Chef in 2014 because he received death threats from their open source community.
Lets look at this from another perspective (couldn't hurt, right?). I am a company that sells paper.
Some companies might use this paper for very bad things (printing out patents?).
Do I comb through all my clients and determine what they are using the paper for? Doesn't seem to make sense, and worse yet, it seems like an entirely subjective process. Who says which companies are "good" and which are "bad" ?
When I stop selling paper to an entity, they will just find another paper provider. I have not really done anything meaningful aside from signalled my intentions, which I could do more effectively in other ways (lobbying, etc).
Furthermore, there's a difference between "someone bought this commodity from a distributor" and "we have a contract specifically with this entity".
"XYZ is doing bad things but it'd be even worse if they did bad things less efficiently" is not an argument to keep selling to XYZ, unless you already agree with (or are indifferent to) XYZ and their activities.
Making an organization less efficient, or otherwise slowing an organization down, is not going to single-handedly stop it, but that doesn't make it pointless or counterproductive.
For the concrete example here, you haven't provided evidence that "less efficient" or "slower" applies only (or disproportionately) to activities that stop hurting people rather than activities that hurt people.
Also, you've created a false dichotomy, dismissing the existence of people who agree with portions of a branch of law but disagree with how that law is enforced.
I also think it's reasonable, given an entity you don't want to do business with, to say "we don't enter into contracts (even our standard contracts) with these entities, and we don't provide any kind of support to these entities".
Also, lets say you are the CEO who proposes that you should NOT work with ICE, but all of your employees believe you should. In that case, it is obviously not as simple as just listening to what your employees want.
"I simply have all the ability and none of the desire to do anything about it"
It's bullshit though. That isn't how life works, it's not a humane standard to hold people to, and no one does it.
You make judgements. The squeaky wheel gets noticed. And just because you notice one squeaky wheel doesn't mean you are required to inspect every wheel for potential squeaks every time you are aware there may be wheels somewhere in the future.
If you want to claim that Chef should cease business with ICE explicitly on the moral grounds that no company should have any business with the agency, that is a valid claim. But to say that Chef had any influence, let alone "all the ability" as the root commenter wrote, to affect ICE's conduct is not a statement I find to be honest.
> > to be clear: I also find policies such as separating families and detaining children wrong and contrary to the best interests of our country.
> "I simply have all the ability and none of the desire to do anything about it"
The root commenter seems to be saying that the CEO of chef has "all the ability" to change this situation.
He could have said this. He could have taken a stand and set an example. He chose to take the easy way out, and I think there are too many people in this thread willing to make excuses for his moral cowardice.
He may have done the right thing as a CEO, but he has failed miserably as a human being and an American citizen.
I’ve heard that people disagree with the immigrants current treatment, but I expect there’s a spectrum of accommodations which people would consider acceptable.
I haven’t considered the logistics and legalities of housing adults with minors who may or not be their actual parents. Do they need to be separated? I suspect there’s a complexity which I don’t appreciate.
What probably happens often is that these folks don’t show up to their court date, because they never planned to. By then they’ve already assimilated into the local economy with no papers.
Some middle ground seems in order here. So yeah I’d say we don’t separate the families and find other ways to track them, either keeping them in a refugee camp (together) if the numbers are hard to manage, OR using some kind of technology to track them while you release them until their court dates.
The key here is that we are a civilized nation of laws, and it is simply cruel to separate families, especially when the kids have done nothing wrong but tag along with their parents. They’re given essentially a life sentence through trauma that they may never shake. And that’s just cruel and unusual punishment in any circumstance, let alone given to an innocent sort of accomplice.
How is removing a library for a DevOps program going to do that? Isn't it just useless virtue signaling that won't actually have any effect?
Like that 13 year kid (can’t rememer name) alone in front of parliament on school strike with a sign. Then more kids joined. Now entire cities are like Melbourne have massive protests for school strikes.
Suppose developers of Google, Microsoft and Amazon all protest against ICE and refuse to work for a project their involved, it’s a big signal.
But reality is money can buy most people’s souls.
Kudos to the guy.
Chef did the right thing. It's not up to individual employees to sabotage company assets because of their own political viewpoints. I hope that employee is thrown in jail.
Suppose I am a CEO of a consulting firm. I have a client who pays us a lot of money and have had a good relationship with for years.
Now suppose I've hired and brought another person to meet this client for several months.
The meetings seem to go well but (let's say 9 months later), Another employee brings to my attention that the client had been consistently harassing the person I hired to manage the account.
I now have two choices, re-assign the person I just hired or "fire" the client, permanently ending the relationship. What are the values of my company? That's the question that needs to be asked. What's the right thing to do?
If I choose to re-assign the person I hired, I would not be addressing the problem, not holding the client to the same bar I would have for my own employees. I'm telling the client and my employees that I value the contract more than them and more than the values of my company. The side effect is that it reinforces the bad behavior.
This is essentially what has occurred in this scenario. Except the harassment is not towards Chef's employees it's towards civilian children and their parents.
Having said that, companies don't always get it right the first time but it's our job to inform them of their error. Executive teams often are flooded pools of confirmation bias where dissent rarely occurs.
I don't think "combing" is really necessary but like anything else, when the spotlight shows up. It's usually in the company's best interest to distance itself.
[edit: fix grammar]
Google Cloud may have contracts with ICE. So Seth may want to do something against Google and therefore impact us indirectly.
What does this say about doing business with firms of low moral standards?
There is the matter of degree.
Sounds like you're trying to say "yes" without actually saying "yes", though, in truth.
Are open source projects now at risk? Will phpmyadmin break because an antispecist contributor discovered that McDonalds is using this tool? Will ubuntu break because an anti-vaxxer contributor has discovered that GSK is using this os?
I think it's unprofessional for developers to try and bring down production services just because they disagree with a company move. It's also a bit immature. The thing to do in this case is to quit. Down your tools and quit, but don't destroy the hard work of your teammates and betray the trust of all your investors and customers.
Sometimes you reach a point where the doublethink necessary to seem reasonable and professional leaves you despising yourself.
Sometimes it isn't enough to ask, "What would John Galt do?"
In times like these, sometimes the only reasonable question is, "What would Howard Roark do?"
His answer, when his work was misused in a manner he could no longer bear to tolerate, was to break out the dynamite.
He invokes principle to seem high-minded, but his guiding principle is not patriotism but profit. He is merely hiding behind patriotism.
All I am doing is drawing upon literature (I am using the term loosely, but I suspect it is probable that more HN members have read The Fountainhead than the Iliad) to show that being able to live with yourself and the uses to which your work is put is more important than seeming "professional" or "reasonable".
I might paraphrase Rand to suit my purpose as the Devil quotes Scripture, but I have to say that for such an ardent atheist, Ayn Rand's worship of wealth and those who possess sounds a lot like prosperity gospel.
Then again, if you're trying to get a startup off the ground or hope to work for a rising startup, it probably isn't smart to bite the hand that might feed you.
So if this were 1940, and he lived in germany would he gladly continue doing business w/ the country knowing they're gassing jews?
I mean it's the government they always have our best interests in mind right? We should always support the government we live in no matter what right? Seriously? Without question?
This CEO is obtuse, and probably shouldn't be running a tech company.
There are a lot of people that think PP is immoral (especially given the origins in eugenics). Should employees of those companies rise up and try to harm their employers, too?
For the record, I am against such action. Firmly against. Politics is personal and should not extend beyond your personal rights.
While I understand that many of you and many of our community members would prefer we had no business relationship with the Third Reich, I have made a principled decision, with the support of the IBM executive team, to work with the institutions of our government, regardless of whether or not we personally agree with their various policies.
This is the most accurate and succinct way to show how this looks.
Sure, I'm the dishonest one.
Not to get hyperbolic, but... you don't actually think that the U.S. government is equivalent to the Third Reich, do you?
Internment was not voluntary.
Succumbing to bad advice and popular opinion, President Roosevelt signed an executive order in February 1942 ordering the RELOCATION of all Americans of Japanese ancestry to CONCENTRATION CAMPS in the interior of the United States.
From EO9066 itself:
by virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States, and Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, I hereby authorize and direct the Secretary of War, and the Military Commanders whom he may from time to time designate, whenever he or any designated Commander deems such action necessary or desirable, to prescribe military areas in such places and of such extent as he or the appropriate Military Commander may determine, from which any or all persons may be excluded, and with respect to which, the right of any person to enter, remain in, or leave shall be subject to whatever restrictions the Secretary of War or the appropriate Military Commander may impose in his discretion.
Also cited here, which adds:
Nearly 70,000 of the evacuees were American citizens. The government made no charges against them, nor could they appeal their incarceration. All lost personal liberties; most lost homes and property as well. Although several Japanese Americans challenged the government’s actions in court cases, the Supreme Court upheld their legality. Nisei were nevertheless encouraged to serve in the armed forces, and some were also drafted. Altogether, more than 30,000 Japanese Americans served with distinction during World War II in segregated units.
"[false] Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel." --Samuel Johnson, 1775
Barry Crist thinks he is doing the principled thing, but I see him for what he is: the most despicable of cowards, a man who has the power to help change the world for the better, but chooses instead to uphold a profitable status quo.
Any person of conscience working for Chef should resign in protest immediately.
I know what Crist is saying. And it smells like self-serving bullshit to me. He doesn't want to do the right thing as a human being and as an American citizen because it would cut into Chef's revenues and upset the company's shareholders and investors.
As far as I am concerned, this is unforgivable moral cowardice. As soon as I learned that Accenture was taking ICE blood money, I quit without notice and lived off my savings for three months until I could find another job at a company that didn't profit from human rights abuses at the hands of the Federal government.
I'm just a middle-aged college dropout who doesn't even make six figures, and I still managed to do the right thing as an American and a human being. What's this guy's excuse?
I'm picking on Chef because somebody ought to, and it might as well be me.
There isn't a word I could say that would actually harm Chef, so they do not need your concern.
Do I think everyone should deny ICE contracts? No. Do I believe an employee should have the right to prevent their work being used for acts that they object to? Yes.