Linked by David Adams on Wed 6th Aug 2008 15:28 UTC, submitted by estherschindler
General Development In an "as told to" article for, Linus Torvalds explains how he keeps the Linux people and software on-track. Arguably the most surprising facet of Linus' management style is that he's perfectly willing to flame people when he thinks they're wrong--though he's also happy to be corrected himself. "Part of that, by the way, is not feeling shy about saying impolite things or showing some emotion. So I'd rather flame people for doing stupid things and call them stupid, rather than try to be too polite to the point where people didn't understand how strongly I felt about something." That's particularly interesting in light of several OSCON presenters who believe that the way to grow the open source community is to make projects more welcoming to would-be contributors. Do these attitudes actually contradict one another?
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I Agree
by galvanash on Wed 6th Aug 2008 17:08 UTC
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Maybe I'm getting older and grumpier, but I have to say I agree with Linus on this one. I personally don't think intelligent self-motivated people, especially the typical developer, respond well to the way most managers handle them.

The majority of managers I have worked with seem to try to go out of there way to be polite and friendly, but it is painfully obvious most of the time that they are full of shit and are just going through the motions. If it isn't genuine, it usually shows...

I would much rather someone say "thats stupid - here's why - fix it" than the usual "this is great! but I think you could improve it by doing this, changing this, etc.", which when read with all the ego stroking removed says "thats stupid - here's why - fix it"...

I wouldn't say it is a good idea to be that brutal with inexperienced people, but when you reach a certain level of expertise imo you should be thankful if you work for someone who appreciates your talents enough to drop all the PC crap and just tell it to you straight.

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