Working in a Linux shop owned by a Windows shop



You’ll have to forgive this if it comes off as ‘ranty’. It is something I’ve dealt with for a few years here. Longer if you take the overarching neglect & apply it to other places I’ve worked.

A Bit of History

Currently, I am a Software Engineer working for a company where most of our engineering folks (both production & development) work on & with Linux based machines. Some of us, myself included were Windows user at one point. However, in order to get work done we over had to employ VMs & other workarounds. While not impossible to deal with it adds many layers of abstraction to complete the most trivial of tasks. Almost all of us (again myself included) have since migrated to Linux based work stations. It has been an amazing experience for the most part. I myself started with Debian, moved to Ubuntu & many of its ports, as of late I have settled on Pop!_OS by System76. While still an Ubuntu port, it takes a lot of the setup hurdles most users face & takes care of them for you, without blocking you from making any changes if you really would like too. I’d really recommend checking them/it out if you are new to Linux & looking for something easy or a Linux pro. Even gamers looking for something different, Linux gaming has overcome insurmountable odds in a remarkably short time. But… I’m not here to talk about gaming (today).

The Situation

As I said we are primarily a Linux based company, however, we are owned by a company (we are owned by a company) that is a Windows-based shop. This presents a few major issues. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate Windows. In fact as far as Windows goes Windows 10 has been pretty good & getting progressively better. The problem lay when the overarching company/ies make decisions like requiring all employees to use the same office/communications software, then migrate that to something like Microsoft Office. This wouldn’t be horrible as Office 365 at least has most of its application available as web apps for users who are not on Windows. The one bit of software that isn’t that is seemingly required is Skype of Business (it is a chat software). They (Microsoft) do have a system set up in Office 365 that would be perfect called “Teams”, which is great in that it acts like personal chat and large group chat rooms. Alas, that is a bit of software the aforementioned parent company didn’t purchase. While they have said they can enable it. They will only do it on an employee by employee basis. Which we as the employee need to request because they don’t have an active list of who are employed by our company.

Thoughts

It seems bizarre to me that a company would own another company, not give it sovereignty yet also not keep enough tabs on it to know when they are making breaking decisions. It as almost as hysterical as when I used to work for the Department of Defense. They would require all web work be fully functional & tested for all browser support while only allowing you to develop & test again IE6 because of “security concerns”. Cripple development because on reasons of security while requiring the least secure toolbox to try to get the job done. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate my job or my employer or our parent company/ies. But when you own a money making asset don’t cripple it with bad decisions.

If my employer is reading this… I love you don’t fire me… also can we get a fix?