Not to bury, but to praise
By pdiamond on Aug 31, 2009
I have not been a frequent blogger at blogs.sun.com (putting it mildly), but i thought today was an excellent day to write what might be my last entry in this venue. Assuming the proposed acquisition by Oracle goes through as planned, it is not clear if this blog will continue or have to morph elsewhere.
Why blog today? Because someone at Sun did something good today, which reminded me of many things I have appreciated at Sun over the time I have been associated with it. Today's good thing? Enabling the people who have put lots of time into their Sun blogs to agree to share IP rights (my expression) with Sun, so there is no confusion as to how much of their content the authors can move to other media/locations. This is a very reasonable position, IMHO, but no surprise given the very mature attitude Sun has maintained about blogging from day one.
Other things I have liked about Sun? When I was at IBM (for MANY years), the expression "respect for the individual" was widely repeated, but seemed to lose some of its meaning over the years. At Sun I have not heard this phrase, but I have seen quite a bit of that behavior. Sun's benefits have been excellent - anyone who does not realize that probably has not spent lots of time at other companies. There are aspects of the benefits package and approach which have demonstrated Sun's commitment to its employees beyond what some would call "just doing business" - it seems to me there was more behind it.
Also, my experience in being laid off by Sun back in 2007 - I found some issues with the overall process, and sent an email to Bill MacGowan the VP of HR. I felt these were issues which could be addressed to improve the process for the individual, the organization they were a part of and Sun overall. I got a reply within 2 hours of sending the email, and Bill got me in touch with the manager of the layoff process. She spent an hour listening to my suggestions - all this for a then-departed member of Sun. That was a strong reason for me to re-join Sun when the opportunity presented itself.
There are probably several other examples I could give, but you get the point - for all its flaws and foibles, Sun is/was an excellent company to work for and I appreciate the opportunity to spend the last 10 years associated with it. Hopefully this is not a eulogy, but just a comment as Sun moves into its next stages as part of Oracle.