You didn’t know that?! But that’s so obvious!

Rant-mode activated

Today I noticed a tweet from Andrew Prewski (@DBAFromTheCold)

Loving all the passive aggressive comments about my article on SQL on linux, keep ’em coming!

Andrew’s tweet piqued my interest and I went to look at his blog-post “Killing databases in SQL Server on Linux“. In the post, Andrew investigates how files are handled inside Linux, in particular how database files are handled. Go and read it, it is really interesting and a possible eye-opener for anyone who has no experience with Linux.

Now, the reason for this rant is the comments that came through from people who do have experience with Linux/Unix (go and read those too). Many of them boil down to basically scoffing at how Andrew didn’t know that Linux handles files differently to Windows and has done for years/decades. The tone of these comments were aimed to belittle Andrew for not knowing about this behaviour.

This pisses me off!

Maybe I’m just having a bad day or something, but it seems wrong to me that someone who is trying to learn should be made to feel in any way stupid for exploring something. It seems even wronger for this sort of behaviour to come from an area of the IT world which generally prides itself with the idea of “hacking”. The whole premise of taking a technology that you don’t understand and prodding, poking, dissembling and rebuilding – that is the “way of the hacker”, or at least how I have always understood it.

I for one hope that Andrew won’t be deterred by this shitty behaviour and also would hope that anyone reading this would think twice about how they respond to a similar situation. Everyone starts out at zero, not even Linus Torvalds was born being able to code.

Please remember: Don’t be condescending. Offer tips, advice or references to help, not ridicule.

7 thoughts on “You didn’t know that?! But that’s so obvious!

  1. Gianluca Sartori

    Surprised? That’s how the Oracle + Linux world has been managing things since forever. (see what I did here?)
    RTFM is the standard answer on those forums. I’ve always totally hated their way of running forums, especially towards noobs.
    This should give you a more precise idea of how awesome the sqlfamily is.

    1. williamdurkin Post author

      Yeah, I know. I had to let this out though…. it is so childish and at the same time many in the Linux crowd wonder why they have such a bad name….

      I agree that the sqlfamily movement is fantastic, I can only hope that it rubs off on the linuxfamily (if that is even a thing)

    2. jsonaashJason A

      The whole “RTFM” mindset of far too many Linux people is what drove me away from trying to use Linux many years ago.

      Now I’ll try it, but if I can’t sort out my problems with straight Google, I’m more inclined to dump the attempt.

      I’ve stood up a Linux VM to load SQL 2016 on, which went rather well, but I am using Ubuntu which seems to be fairly, if you’ll pardon the term, “idiot proof” (and yes, I’m lumping myself into that category)

      1. williamdurkin Post author

        I used to do Linux sysadmin work when I dropped out of school back in the day. I know your pain 🙂

        I think that maybe we will all need to grow a thicker skin, but the Linux crowd also needs to grow up and provide constructive support/criticism rather than their current elitism.

        Thanks for joining in the discussion here!

  2. Carlos Chacon

    I agree we should be a bit more supportive of those trying to learn–especially when learning in the public arena. Andrew is a class act and has some good articles on his blog.

    While comments have their place, it make me wonder if we should have comments on by default on blogs. Perhaps a topic for a separate post. lol

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