You may or may not have heard of a man named Daniel Robbins. There might be more than one Daniel Robbins, but the one I’m talking about is the founder of Gentoo Linux. There was quite a stir around 8 months ago when he announced he was leaving Gentoo to work at Microsoft in their Linux lab. There was quite another stir just the other day when he quit Microsoft.When he quit Gentoo for MS it was fairly understandable. He didn’t have a lot of money since he had been working for a non-profit for so long, so working for the man seemed like just the thing he needed at that point in his life. It all worked out nicely because he managed to transfer all the rights to Gentoo Linux to the Gentoo Foundation. Microsoft wouldn’t be getting any of that good stuff just because they hired the founder.
So even more surprising than his move to Microsoft was his recent departure. But he wasn’t even fired, he quit! When this story first broke there was lots of confusion and speculation as to the reason for his resignation. Many people including myself were waiting to hear a story about the bad things going on in Microsoft’s Linux laboratory.
But this was not the case. Daniel came out and said that the reason he left (and I paraphrase) was that he was not able to fully utilize all of his skills at his position at Microsoft. That’s a fairly boring and generic reason to quit for most people to hear. Whether it is true or not I do not know. But what I can tell you is that I feel the exact same way.
I don’t know if you’ve read my about page on this site, but I have an entire lifetime of technological skills at my disposal. I learned Logo in Kindergarten for crying out loud. Yet at my job right now I only use a very small subset of those skills. Not only that, but I’m not really learning anything new. I think this has been a large part of the reason why I am not 100% satisfied with my current employment situation.
Every day I go into work and I don’t really do much. I have a project to work on, but I’m waiting for the full specifications. I’ve got a few features to add or bugs to fix to existing projects, but if I really wanted I could do all of that in one day. I refrain from doing so simply to maintain something to do if I really wanted to. If I did them all I would literally have no work to do and no reason to leave my house.
Some days the only reason I get out of bed is because I might do this little bit of inane work I have yet to do. Daniel Robbins, I understand why you quit Microsoft. Hopefully by the time I finish the project I’m working on I will be able to find some more exciting work. More than money, more than fame I just want to do something fulfilling and challenging every day of my life. Maybe I should get off my ass and start a company despite my large debt.