Don’t come around here no more

It’s quite striking how different life is working for an Open Source foundation, compared to a conventional commercial organisation. One difference is what happens when people leave.

In a commercial organisation, there is a very clear point at which you stop being “One of Us”: you give back your badge and your laptop, and then you are out on the street, with the door slammed shut behind you. Your accounts are closed, your existence terminated, and salt is scattered on the ashes.

Here at Symbian, it seems to be very different. Several people have left in the 7 months we’ve been going, and some of them continue to show up in our offices from time to time, working on stuff for us. Back in the commercial world it’s almost impossible to do contribute once you’ve left, but the Open Source world involves lots of volunteers and so people can switch easily from paid full-time work to occasional contribution.

X is no longer with us, except in spirit. And occasionally in body as well…

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