Tim Bray is leaving Google. He is letting it be known in a marvellous example of humility and thoughtfulness of the scientist penning a dissertation. This is a good way to leave a company.
As a follow-up to my posting on people who rant as they quit a job, I stumbled upon a perfect example of how to do it right. And this is the case for Tim Bray’s post on his leaving Google.
If the name doesn’t ring a bell, check out Wikipedia (Note: do read Wikipedia disclaimers, I only know Tim through his great work that large swathes of the IT industry depend upon daily).
In the consumer realm “shock and awe” rules. Problem number one with “shock and awe” is that it doesn’t work when you need developers and other partners to succeed. Microsoft needs to improve customer engagement, dramatically. Microsoft has to make a clear differentiation between platform and product. It turns out that the consumer ecosystem as well as the community of influencers craves direction and interaction with the vendor every bit as much as Enterprise CIOs do. Put simply, the consumer guys are wrong about secrecy. At least at Microsoft. I hope they figure it out soon, because “shut up and ship” is not helping their cause.
This is a good post, from a former Microsoft executive:
Leaving an employment with a bang might be a way to let some steam off, but it also might be limiting a person’s chance of landing the next employment role. Before you post a rant, sleep on it and see if you would still do it the next day.
Every now and then someone departs a job at a well known company then blog about all they’ve seen as evil at now former company. It usually triggers a flurry of commentary. This is just what happened with a former Apple employee blog posting. This is rarely a wise thing to do, but hey, move fast and break things doesn’t mean there would be no consequences.
While such essays might amuse the gallery, gain the author some form of ephemeral fame, they may also have an influence on such person’s employability. For example, whenever I hired someone, I often took what they said about their former employers to be a template of what they would eventually say about me and my company. In most cases I don’t hire a person that slags their former company off, it’s rarely a good sign.
People might have, legitimate or not, reasons to rant about former employment. In many cases, it says more about the person than the job they’ve just left. Obviously I don’t know if there’s any legitimate reason for this person to have ranted the way he did. I am just commenting on the act, as a cautionary tale for the would-be hipsters that might be tempted to copy-cat at each opportunity.
After all, if/when some reprehensible activity should be going on at a company, whistleblowers might help bring to light such misdemeanours. That could be ultimately beneficial to the society. But, in all likelihood, for every whistleblowing action there’s probably dozen of frustrated over-reacting actions.
I wouldn’t go out with a bang if I have hope to land another job somewhere else in the future. There are other ways too. It could be much more productive, while still in employment and actually not fearing of getting fired, to internally vent any frustration one might have. It’s also good to check if the reasons for your frustrations are shared by many or not. If nothing helps then leaving with the good memories is often a better attitude. After all, while at an employment one enjoys some of it and are hoping to help build something up.
If I have a few words for the up and coming professionals: Look for reasons to celebrate something, consider any crap to be the part of unavoidable combustible fuel for moving forward.