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Fri, 29 May 2009

Returning to Auntie Beeb

I no longer work for BUPA / Outcome Technologies, having been made redundant. But no commiserating please! It's great, it's the kick up the arse I needed to actually go and look for other work, because while the last year or so there had been rather boring with not much work to do, actually looking for work is Hard Work and involves talking to recruiters and other annoying flesh-things, and I put it off and put it off so often. Being told that my job was "at risk" of redundancy, and with plenty of notice that it would happen, prompted me to look around for something more interesting.

I got two offers, and accepted the one I got from the BBC, despite them offering less cash. I start there on the 24th of June, as a software geek working on iPlayer. This is my second stint with Auntie, my first being with Internet Services before they got into borged BBC Technology and then sold to Siemens.

And just like last time, the contract contained a "we own everything copyrightable that you produce, including letters to your granny" clause. And just like last time, I crossed it out before returning it to the HR department. I know that in practice they wouldn't be evil and claim to own my personal letters, or indeed to own any photographs I take or magazine articles I write in my own time while employed by them, but there's a principle at stake. If we're going to do business with a contract instead of a gentlemanly handshake, the contract should be made to reflect good practice and gentlemanly dealings.

Posted at 21:16 by David Cantrell
keywords: bbc | work
Permalink | 2 Comments
Wed, 25 Jun 2008

Why you should release your company's code

Geeks often want to release some of the code they write at work as open source. But often they don't really have any good idea why they should do it, other than that it feels like the right thing to do. Well, here's a damned good reason for you, and what's more, it's one that your boss will like.

Just under two weeks ago, I released some of my code. I didn't really expect anyone else to be particularly interested in it, but releasing it couldn't do any harm. But a few days later, someone submitted a bug report. What's more, he included a patch, and regression tests.

If I hadn't released my code, it would still have bugs in it, which would no doubt bite me in the arse later and figuring out what was going wrong would waste a lot of my time. By releasing my code, I got someone else to test and fix my code for free.

So now, when your boss asks you to justify releasing the code you've written for him, point him at this post, and tell him "open source bugs get fixed by other people, for free".

The most recent version of the code in question, including the bugfix, can be found here.

Posted at 20:01 by David Cantrell
keywords: geeky | work
Permalink | 2 Comments