So I kind of lost it for a while.
My annoyance with Microsoft over its .NET and Silverlight policy pushed me to the point where I just couldn’t write blog posts. Because every one of them would turn into a screed against Microsoft. But I’m better now.
That said I couldn’t let this one go. So one more screed and I’m done with this…
I used to like Tim Heuer. Mr. Heuer is an Evangelist for Microsoft Silverlight and I credit him for convincing me to go with Silverlight over Flash. So obviously when this whole Windows 8 incident blew up I looked to his blog. What I found was an advertisement for Microsoft’s Developer Conference in September. Looking a little deeper I found developers essentially begging him for answers and getting nothing. The one response he did give was to this comment…
Why is Microsoft evidently abandoning its own technologies that millions of its own developers have been using for over a decade now? As of today, there is no unique advantage for developing for Windows 8 platform vs. Andriod or iPhone/iPad.
What happened to all the things you and John Papa convinced to developers few months ago regarding Silverlight?
His response was…
Jo Doe: The assumption that lack of information means bad news is upsetting. The announcement for the preview for Windows 8 mentions that "There’s much more to the platform, capabilities and tools than we showed today."
How snide is that? HE’S UPSET? Gee Tim I’m sorry people’s concern for their career upsets you. Maybe you should close your comments so as not to be bothered by all the people you led down a dead end path.
I mean the guy’s an evangelist. His JOB is to convince people to use this technology. Now Microsoft is sending signals that they might be abandoning that technology (after less than three years) and he plays coy. Refusing to give information to the very people he led down this path.
Actually I shouldn’t say that. The refusing to give information is almost certainly Microsoft policy. The issue is his tone. It wasn’t “I’m sorry I can’t tell you anything right now and I understand why you’re concerned but everything will be alright”. It was “Your concerns have upset me so shut up and wait until September when we’ll allow you to pay $2,000 to find out if you’ll still have a career in 2012”.
And then he just stopped paying attention to his comments at all.
Yes I’m being hyperbolic and Yes I think Silverlight will continue to exist past September. The point isn’t that I think Silverlight is going to disappear. The point is Microsoft’s so far from a “customer is always right” mentality that evangelists are actually admonishing developers for upsetting them.
Could you ever see David Heinemeir Hansson doing something like this? Hansson is a self-described arrogant man and I can’t see him ever coming close to this. Because above all else he CARES about his platforms continued survival. He cares whether developers think it is dying or not.
Which leads me to the point of this post. I’m a Microsoft Developer. I like the community, I like the tools and I think the solutions you can build with those tools are superior from a cost/benefit perspective. So I’m going to stick with it until it is no longer feasible to do so (at least professionally). But I will never recommend anyone else use closed source tools again. You just can’t trust companies with the ability to flush your skills down the toilet on a whim. The sheer callousness with which Mr. Heuer treats people who put their trust in him should prove that point. In the end large companies and their employees have to look out for themselves and you as a developer are, at best, a secondary concern. Your concerns, Your career, Your projects and all the rest mean nothing to them.
Which is exactly why you have to insulate yourself by using solutions that can’t be easily tossed away.