To My Friends at Canonical

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@rickspencer3Rick Spencer

This post is for you if you think or know that your job at Canonical is at risk.

Everything Will Be OK

It’s probably not surprising that people from Canonical have been in touch with me, and that the level of stress that people are experiencing is very high. I want to assure everyone there, everything will be ok. In fact, better than ok.

If you don’t know me, I won’t bore you with my life story, but, I know what I am talking about. I left Canonical 1 year ago, after spending 8 years in Canonical putting everything I had into making Ubuntu succeed.

It’s Not Personal

If you are feeling bitter now because Canonical, or specifically Mark, seems to be cavalier or cold about the financial impact these decisions will have on you or family, let go of that bitterness. It’s a waste of energy, and also misplaced. I knew Mark as well as any person like me could know a person like him. I know first hand that he took his responsibilities to the financial well-being of others extremely seriously. This was true for every conversation that we had about people both inside and outside of Canonical.

To my friends who are complaining that Canonical as a company is handling the situation badly, don’t take this personally. Of course they are handling it badly, it’s the first time they have ever had to do this! I hope that they don’t get better with practice. Also, remember Kiko’s Law: “nothing works the first time.” It might be hard to do, but you will sleep better if you cut them some slack.

What I am trying to say about this is, don’t make your situation worse by ascribing thoughts and motivations to people who are just trying to do their best in a tough situation. That is just a mental tax that you are giving yourself. In fairness, we all knew that we were making big bets; some might even say, gambles. It had to end either with a big win, or a big loss. At least we had a lot of fun and the chance to write some great code along the way.

It’s Fun Out Here!

Here’s my main point, though: It’s fun out here! There are loads of great jobs doing interesting and important things. People will honor and respect the contributions you made to Canonical and Ubuntu. You will also find that there is a universe of Open Source Software for you to explore, and that Canonical and Ubuntu are just a small part of that universe. Since joining Bitnami 1 year ago, I am having so much fun at work and in life. I am even working with some great old friends while making a whole set of new friends inside and outside Bitnami. I am working on amazing software that I never even dreamed of a year ago. You have to believe that you will all look back after a year and be able to say the same thing for yourselves.

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