Is Gosling Just Being the Typical Disgruntled Employee?

Discussions

News: Is Gosling Just Being the Typical Disgruntled Employee?

  1. So in this latest eWeek interview, Gosling bares all in regards to the series of issues he encountered at Oracle that ultimately let him quit.

    The things he mentions give a telling indicator as to how Oracle runs its shop, and why some talented liberal minded, free spirited technology folks would rather not work at Oracle.

    However, in fairness, you have to ask yourself if Goslings' claims about his treatment at Oracle was a deliberate attempt by Oracle to maintain a "hive mind work force" in getting rid of those free thinkers, or is Gosling just being the typical disgrunteled empoyee who couldn't adapt to the management changes Oralce imposed?

    From my perspective, the interviews I have been reading about James Gosling and his departure from Oracle mostly seem to outline more issues with Oracle, rather than trying to go back in time to quiz Gosling on what were the series of mistakes that led to Sun being put up for auction, and the resulting uncertainty surrounding the Java ecosystem.  I would really like to see such an interview.

    Either way, the picture of the inner workings of Oracle that Gosling paints in his interviews, if true, might be a cause for concern in that for one, Java's stewardship by Oracle, if done in too rigid a corporate manner, rather than maintining a fresh air and balance of wide collobaration as is the norm, overseen by a skilled, open minded, and gentle leadership of sorts, might be a big turn off to the Java community which has grown accustomed to the latter approach.

    With all that said, here's the details on the eWeek interview with Gosling on why he quit Oracle: eWeek Interview with James Gosling

    Here are a few key quotes from the interview Gosling did with basementcoders.com

  2. Douglas -

    It's obvious that James Gosling did not feel at home inside Oracle. I'd rather avoid terms like "disgruntled", because there is some merit to many of the problems that he highlights, even if (IMHO) he misunderstands the underlying reasons for those issues. Please keep in mind that James was instrumental in creating and building both Java and Sun Microsystems itself, and thus he cared deeply for both the cultural values of that organization and for the people he worked with there, so having to see and deal with any of these issues would have been particularly painful for him.

    Things have improved significantly since the acquisition. I met with a number of the managers of the Sun Java team this week, and all were up-beat about where we are and where we're headed. That doesn't mean that we have fixed all of the issues that came up in the acquisition, and Sun did lose some great talent (both before and after the acquisition) that we all wish we still had, but we are moving in the right direction, and are working to both continue and accellerate that.

    Regardless of any of this, James' contributions are timeless, and Java is thriving.

    Peace,

    Cameron Purdy | Oracle Coherence

    http://coherence.oracle.com/

     

  3. Douglas -

    It's obvious that James Gosling did not feel at home inside Oracle. I'd rather avoid terms like "disgruntled", because there is some merit to many of the problems that he highlights, even if (IMHO) he misunderstands the underlying reasons for those issues. Please keep in mind that James was instrumental in creating and building both Java and Sun Microsystems itself, and thus he cared deeply for both the cultural values of that organization and for the people he worked with there, so having to see and deal with any of these issues would have been particularly painful for him.

    Things have improved significantly since the acquisition. I met with a number of the managers of the Sun Java team this week, and all were up-beat about where we are and where we're headed. That doesn't mean that we have fixed all of the issues that came up in the acquisition, and Sun did lose some great talent (both before and after the acquisition) that we all wish we still had, but we are moving in the right direction, and are working to both continue and accellerate that.

    Regardless of any of this, James' contributions are timeless, and Java is thriving.

    Peace,

    Cameron Purdy | Oracle Coherence

    http://coherence.oracle.com/

    Thanks Cameron for the insider info on the Java happenings over at Oracle.

    Don't get me wrong, James Gosling is a legend in my eyes, and deserves all the necessary acclaims for his contributions to computing that can be conferred upon him.

    Also, please note that I am in no way trying to belittle and disrespect James.  I'm just putting the question out there based on all these things he's been saying that's happening over at Oracle which I am wondering if it's either true or is he just upset at the position he was thrust into via the Sun acquisition.

    I've always thought that there would be culture clashes encountered with some Sun employees now placed in a position to work for Oracle and to toe the line in Oracle's business managment way of life.  For example, things like the dress code (please note that I am just assuming), in regards to the old days of seeing Sun engineers at conferences decked out in their Jeans and T-shirts, compared to the nice, clean, and well tailored business suits worn by the Oracle guys.  Then there's the environment in which some Sun folks seem to be used to working in, which seemed to be more inclusive of the engineers and their opinions, and which maybe allowed them more space in which to think and work without feeling the presence of management watching their every move with an immediate profit motive in mind.

    In other words, it seemed as if the engineers were the primary leaders of the organization over at Sun in terms of the vision and direction in which technology was to be developed with management providing a supporting role.  Over at Oracle, James seems to be implying based on my interpretation, that things are the other way around - where business folks lead and the engineers are supposed to follow/support.  I can see where this would frustrate the heck out of a distinguished engineer such as James who is not used to this situation and who may not want to adapt.

    Remember, Oracle already had its business culture in place that was always working for them and that they see no reason in changing as long as it keeps them profitable.

    In regards to the pay issue James mentioned, I can see where that would bite, but Oracle could have done worse and not keep him from the onset.

    Also, the lackof a "senior engineer" title/position that James mentioned, as he said, was not present over at Oracle, and again, I can see where that would bite as well. But the fact is, Oracle didn't have that position in the first place.

    So after the acquisition, some Sun employees stayed, and some left.  Maybe the ones that stayed adapted to Oracle's business culture, or maybe they were offered better compensation packages - we don't know for sure except that they stayed.

    Now we are here and Oracle having bought Sun, which by right means that they should at least have some say in how things should be run.  Whether those decisions eventually turn out to be good ones or bad ones, the fact is that they paid billions for Sun, which should give them some say.

    As I have mentioned before, some big fans of Sun, including me, were almost instantaneously thrust into the Oracle camp, and it was basically without our approval. So we feel the pain that is being expressed by James, but the reality is, history may judge Sun a little more harshly than Oracle, and as mentioned earlier, I would love James or some former senior member at Sun to provide some details, in some interview as to where Sun fell down in them ending up being bought for a "paltry" 7+ Bil.

    I guess the only thing that the former Sun fans can do like myself, is to try and voice our concerns about some moves Oracle might be making that would seem to vivisect some of promising techs that Sun was developing. But I fear that voicing our support/concern is all we can do, while we watch Oracle play in their sanbox of acquired Sun tech, Java included.

    I really hope it works out for us Java folks in the end.  If Oracle puts a wrong foot, the backlash may be unforgiving from the Java community - as for example, I sure wouldn't want to see what happened to Open Solaris happen to other important, open/collaborative Java projects/initiaves out there.

    What I am trying to take comfort in is that Oracle has lots of cash to keep Java strong, and futuristic.  But I hope that they somehow aquire and foster a mindset of promoting an open, and colloborative Java community/environment that the participating groups/members can feel fairly safe in.

    For James, I wish him the best and that he somehow moves on and settles down in working for a company that has projects that are compatible with his current technology passions/areas of interest.

    Peace.

     

  4. its funny that TSS seemed to have completely removed the previous thread on what Gosling said.

    And Mr. Cameron Peace Purdy - I have seen you always paint oracle in a positive light no matter what the truth is. i know you  are on of "them" now, but come on. the whole community is worried about java and for a good reason, you know it.  Be it "my way or highway" Larry or be it the wonderful sales tactics of oracle. 

    We all have heard all big words like "synergy", "collaboration" etc in the past... and we all know what they mean on this side of the fence.

     

    There is a concern in the community and please let us speak our mind. Infact you dont need to even reply to this post of mine. ( most probably this post will be taken off by the editor as well.) Just stop defending "everything oracle". I just have moved a big time client which used weblogic  onto to Geronimo and  money was not the reason..... it will be fun to see you defend weblogic now :).     

     

     

     

  5. Grassy Knoll[ Go to top ]

    Shawn -

    > its funny that TSS seemed to have completely removed the previous thread on what Gosling said.

    I assume that you mean this one:

    http://www.theserverside.com/news/thread.tss?thread_id=60965

    > I have seen you always paint oracle in a positive light no matter what the truth is.

    I work for Oracle. I've been honest about the problems that we've faced in the transition after the acquisition, but I'm not going to wallow in self-pity or misery, and neither should you. We have important work to get done, and I'd rather focus on that (positively).

    > I just have moved a big time client which used weblogic  onto to Geronimo and  money was not the reason..... it will be fun to see you defend weblogic now :)

    Obviously money was not the reason, since they paid you to move them to Geronimo. It's quite a curious choice, though ..

    Peace,

    Cameron Purdy | Oracle Coherence

    http://coherence.oracle.com/

  6. Grassy Knoll[ Go to top ]

    > I have seen you always paint oracle in a positive light no matter what the truth is.

    I work for Oracle. I've been honest about the problems that we've faced in the transition after the acquisition, but I'm not going to wallow in self-pity or misery, and neither should you. We have important work to get done, and I'd rather focus on that (positively).

    Pre-JBoss I've been acquired just to survive (like Sun by Oracle), while the Red Hat acquisition of JBoss was obviously a nice liquidation event for me (like Tangesol and Oracle).  The fact is, getting acquired is very very stressful no matter what kind of event it is.  In my experience and acquisition will produce a lot of disgruntled employees as cultures and egos clash.  We came very close to getting acquired by Oracle (within hours), and let me say that they had put together some nice retention packages for those employees they wanted to retain.  I'm sure Cameron can attest to that too.  Either Gosling's ego was bigger than the retention package, or Oracle just didn't care so much to retain him.  IMO, and experience, sometimes there is never enough money to satiate a huge ego.  Whether Gosling falls into that camp I couldn't say as I've never worked with him before.

  7. I would really appreciate if people refrain attacking people personally on this forum. I know Cameron virtually via this forum since long long time and alwasy find him professional and passionate about Java and Java community. We all could have opinions/concerns about Oracle and Java acquasition, and so do I, but it doesn't mean that we go and attack people personally.

     

    Regards,

    RJ.

  8. Hi Cameeroon purdy,

     

    your justification reminds me one story.

     

    When cat is NOT comfortable, any mouse sitting at a better place, can comment on cat's potency.

    Peace

     

     

     

  9. What makes me wonder is that Gosling or others at Sun were only concerned about their main playing toy, but nobody ever expressed any concerns that with Sun's given revenue situation the company is bound to close down in the foreseeable future. Now Oracle is just the ugly guy the is destroying Sun's company culture. But what did these guys do to prevent Sun from breaking down? Oh, this is a management issue. This is not their problem ... This is somewhat the picture I see. Maybe I'm wrong. I don't have any insight there.

    /Olli