StackOverflow Podcast #81 Notes from the Underground

So I’ve been listening to several podcasts on my commute these days and one that I religiously listen to is StackOverflow’s. Unlike other excellent podcasts like Boagworld and Herding Code, StackOverflow’s regularly makes me yell at my radio. I think I listen to this podcast for the same reasons I used to hang out in the AOL Christian chatrooms way back when I found the internet, i.e. the need to feel superior. How I can feel superior to people who have a very successful business and reputation in the tech world when I have a blog that averages 3 visitors a day is probably a discussion best left to my psychiatrist.

That said, on this week’s podcast (which I haven’t listened to fully thus supremely qualifying me to talk about it on the internet), Jeff Atwood starts off the podcast trying to explain away his GitHub comments. His main argument seems to boil down to him being a more command-and-control project manager. However, not 15 minutes later in the podcast, he essentially scolds Joel for running his business with a brick wall around it and not being open to outside information. Hello Pot, I’m Kettle. Seriously, if you’re so freaked out by the fact that you stuck some code up on GitHub, essentially abandoned it and then came back to find out other people had cloned it, you shouldn’t be calling someone out in public about their desire to build brick walls around anything. Further making this worse, Joel runs his own damn business and should have every right to build a brick wall around it if he wants to. But expecting to have a command-and-control approach to an open source site hosted on GitHub whose tagline is “Social Coding” is so illogical it boggles the mind.

The real problem here is that Jeff just doesn’t understand GitHub and went ahead and negatively commented on it on a very public, very popular podcast. And now he’s trying to say that he didn’t mean to piss anyone off, all the time sounding horribly condescending when he complains about features of GitHub THAT ARE INTENTIONAL.

Sigh. I’m going to have to start listening to this podcast on Mondays. The reaction I find myself having is much more suited to that day than Friday.