Linus Torvalds is known for his "peppery" language and his take-no-prisoners approach to Linux developers. If you do something wrong, he will not be afraid to let you know that you are an idiot.
His behavior can bring results, but it also drives away many talented programmers. It also leads to a culture of development where such harsh attacks are tolerated, and apparently endorsed by some.
But Linus Torvalds realized that he was hurting both the development process and his fellow developers. So he announced that he was moving away from the Linux developer community to change his personal behavior.
Torvalds, as we mentioned yesterday, also approved a new "code of conduct" for Linux kernel developers. Of course, no one expected to experience such changes.
There have been two notable developments in recent days: Torvalds realized he was hurting his colleagues, made it public, and is trying to find ways to deal with it.
It's rare; Just think of your family, friends and colleagues. How often do they admit their mistakes, apologize and try to change? It is also rare that someone from the technology industry apologized.
No one knows if Linus Torvalds is a good guy. We know what he says because everything he says about Linux is listed in the mailing list Kernel Mailing List (LKML) of Linux.
But none of us see what is going on behind closed doors of technology companies. We know that there are / have been great tech leaders like Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison, Gary Kildall and John Carmack (creator of Doom) whose arrogance and rude behavior was not unknown in their daily lives.
Of course, this is no excuse for Torvalds' behavior. No one can do everything perfectly. Code bugs are everywhere and it is the job of the developers to fix them. As with mistakes in one's behavior, no one is perfect. We are all different, but how many of us realize that our behavior hurts and we try to change it?
On the other hand we might think that this particular Torvalds crisis of conscience is too good to be true. So we will have to wait and see how it goes.
Like Jono Bacon, a leading community strategy consultant, He wrote:
It is easy to forget that Linux was started by a quiet kid at his university in Finland. It is important to remember that because Linux has escalated, Linus is unable to support it. A code has errors that are difficult to detect and restore to humans. Of course you can not just develop a solution right away, it takes some time to identify the problem to promote and develop a change. Let us support the people who want to change and let us not repeat the mistakes of the past: it will get us nowhere
Will Torvalds be able to do it? I hope so. But even if he did not succeed, he taught a lesson to the arrogant leaders of technology.