Welcome to the Jungle, 2008

Happy New Year, everybody!

As the new year rolls around, I find it to be an introspective moment this time around. Normally, I’m not into the New Years resolutions and all that jazz. However, late in 2007 some crazy stuff went down that forced me to rethink my methods of dealing with people. I’m going to have to work on that this year and get a better grip on my interactions.

Right after that unfolded, Zed Shaw posted one of his infamous rants , this time regarding the Rails community and his status therein. I had read it and a number of people had also independently sent it to me, as well. I thought about this article a lot over the past few days, mostly because of the coincident timing with my own realizations regarding social interactions. While I found this article viscerally funny in places, I find it to be a tragedy overall.

Zed’s rant is essentially a view into his dealings with others since he got into Ruby (and then Rails). Up until he updated it yesterday, it was a pretty poor representation of self-awareness and introspective ability. Now, he partially reflects that his situation is of his own making and he’s to be credited for that. But the vitriol in this post can’t easily be wiped away by a correction and he’s burned some bridges forever with his rant. As someone who’s been known to wield the flamethrower over the rope bridge with glee in the past, I can say with surety that this always comes back to bite you in the ass. Also, his original statements still stand and needlessly hurt and incite anger towards people who essentially disagree(d) with Zed.

Then, the updated post goes on to amend the post with some semblances of self-awareness but is almost comically conflicting in places. He goes on to trash ThoughtWorks and then recommend their software. Huh? But then the update drops back into the original vitriol and just sinks any valid points that Zed has into a sea of raw emotion that makes it very hard for a reader to stay focused on the facts and happenings of the situations he outlines.

Personally, I just wish Zed would have maybe just put this in a drawer after he wrote it like Abe Lincoln used to do. There are many graceful ways in which one can back out of a community and I for one would like to have seen a clearly-talented Zed Shaw choose one of them. Given what he did, I can’t see ever hiring this guy: imagine what he might say or do if I ever disagreed with him?