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April 23, 2015



Having worked on both the end user and vendor side I'm more curious about how the customers themselves perceive these public spats that arise periodically. As others had commented on Twitter, I think Cult might be a tad strong in respect to those of us who work for specific vendors being passionate. I think its human nature to identify with your job, perhaps it just doesnt come out from most of the people we interact with because most of us who will read this, or even comment on it, are the ones who are highly active in social media, blogging, public speaking etc. We seek out the discussion, and many times in that discussion it can get heated.

I think as long as the information being presented is accurate and not vitriolic, that the discussion is good. Customers and partners alike can benefit from the conversation.

But, when it turns personal, when the attacks become personal, when you can't separate the person from the company itself and when the comments are fully ad hominem, then thats where I want to draw the line for acceptable behavior. I've seen that happen a bit too frequently as of late, and it's not always the small handful of bad actors who are participants. Certain corporate cultures promote this kind of activity (or at least don't necessarily frown upon in), and in the end it becomes an ugly part of the business we are involved in. Calling out a competitor and showing your differences, and being passionate about that is not cultish behavior, but character assassination, and the like certainly is.

Personally, I'd like to see that part stop.

Chuck Hollis

Nothing wrong with being passionate and having pride. It's how you treat other people that might not agree with you that really matters.

-- Chuck

Nick Howell (@datacenterdude)


We deal with this constantly as vendors, don't we? And calling it out and addressing it is needed. It's this weird combination of cultism and bullying. Not too much of either but a mix of both.

Glenn Sizemore wrote up an awesome piece a couple of months ago that is definitely worth a read, so long as the reader has an open mind and is willing to accept that what they believe could possibly be incorrect.


Nick Howell

Greg Ferro

I have found that highlighting over-zealous behaviour by vendor employees most often leads to bullying behaviour, especially over social media. And the employers are often reluctant to address the problem in public for fear of personal responsibility within their companies.

I would like to see the end "evangelism" for product marketing. Confusing religion and work doesn't appear to be a good mix.


James Power

This is so true. Get a bunch of Unix and Windows administrators together and start discussing the pros and cons of Windows vs Linux vs Mac. Before you know it, an almost religious debate starts up and the mud starts flying.
Probably the worst are the Linux "penguinheads". Now I was a Unix admin long ago and have used Linux since it came out and like it. However these folks have a total cult like mindset and will reflexively attack anything that isn't Linux and any comments on Linux's shortcomings are seen as personal attacks.

Like I've said before "these are just Operating Systems -- not religions".


It's really good that people get into groups for better innovation and mindstorming. Then again, if the community gets really closed and looks down other developers, that just sucks.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Chuck Hollis

  • Chuck Hollis
    SVP, Oracle Converged Infrastructure Systems

    Chuck now works for Oracle, and is now deeply embroiled in IT infrastructure.

    Previously, he was with VMware for 2 years, and EMC for 18 years before that, most of them great.

    He enjoys speaking to customer and industry audiences about a variety of technology topics, and -- of course -- enjoys blogging.

    Chuck lives in Vero Beach, FL with his wife and four dogs when he's not traveling. In his spare time, Chuck is working on his second career as an aging rock musician.

    Warning: do not ever buy him a drink when there is a piano nearby.

    Note: these are my personal views, and aren't reviewed or approved by my employer.
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