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Red Hat Software Businesses

Alan Cox Leaves Red Hat 163

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the bet-wherever-he's-going-he'll-have-electricity-and-heat dept.
ruphus13 writes "Alan Cox — one of the lead Linux kernel developers at Red Hat — is leaving the company after 10 years and is heading to Intel, where he can focus on more low-level development tasks. Some are speculating whether this is indicative of a shift to a more 'application-centric' vision at Red Hat. From the article: 'Red Hat is integrating more application related, user- and enterprise-centric tools into its well-established "low-level," "core" development and support tools. It'd be more worrisome if Red Hat neglected to strike out in this direction. Cox was with Red Hat for ten years, and regardless of any suspected change of course within the company, that's a fair amount of time.'"
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Alan Cox Leaves Red Hat

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  • The best of luck! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by popoutman (189497) * on Tuesday December 30, 2008 @12:13PM (#26268493) Journal
    I wish Alan the best in his new position. Redhat have lost a great developer, and Intel have gained a fantastic resource. It's also great to see that the leaving was very amicable as well. This should be a win-win for Linux as a whole.
  • by Chris_Jefferson (581445) on Tuesday December 30, 2008 @12:22PM (#26268553) Homepage
    Where does there always have to be speculation, from completely uninformed people? From my little knowledge of Alan Cox, from mailing lists, he always seems like the kind of guy who likes the lower-level details, and I imagine that few companies will be more interested in tweaking and improving the low levels than Intel. If they saw his obvious talent, and offered him a better job at better pay, then why not move? Alan Cox leaving Redhat doesn't have to say anything bad about them, maybe it says something good about Intel, and the things they are getting more involved in?
  • by Spoke (6112) on Tuesday December 30, 2008 @12:53PM (#26268849)

    Yep, that's exactly what I was thinking.

    For as long as I've been following (and been ever so slightly involved in) Linux development, oh, say from the mid-late 90s, Alan Cox has nearly always been there hacking primarily on device drivers.

    Intel has steadily picked up more Linux kernel hackers over the past 5 years or so who seem to focus on device drivers (e1000 NIC drivers) but also employ others who have very broad-based and deep knowledge of the kernel. Alan Cox seems to be a good fit with his long history of kernel development and focus on low-level drivers.

    So good for Alan for changing things up a bit, and good for Intel for hiring another full-time Linux developer! Hopefully this leaves room for Red Hat to pick up another developer in his place.

  • Re:Hmm. (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 30, 2008 @12:58PM (#26268887)

    I talked to Alan about a year ago. At the time, he seemed disillusioned and sick of some parts of the linux/foss community. It wouldn't surprise me if his new work is a complete break from linux.

  • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Tuesday December 30, 2008 @01:02PM (#26268939)
    It may not be entirely uninformed speculation; Red Hat has been picking up a lot of higher level projects and companies over the past few years, and the focus of the Fedora project (which is Red Hat's official desktop strategy) is mostly on improving the userland. The acquisition of JBOSS and Metamatrix are key steps in the direction of a more application-centric focus; as a case in point, roughly half of the supported JBOSS installations worldwide are running on Windows.

    This is not to say that Red Hat is not interested in the Linux kernel. All the work on virtualization requires a decent kernel team, as does a lot of the security/SELinux work, and the support for RHEL. However, the main focus of Red Hat will probably continue to shift toward applications, which is where the money really is (you can only make so much money supporting a kernel and basic GNU userland).
  • by bogaboga (793279) on Tuesday December 30, 2008 @01:08PM (#26268985)

    Could anyone speculate about what his compensation was like?

    I always wondered how much folks like Allan Cox are paid.

    I mean...they do low level coding that I will never be able to do.

    So what is the salary like in jobs like these?

  • by Sponge Bath (413667) on Tuesday December 30, 2008 @01:12PM (#26269035)

    What I have observed about Alan Cox in the lkml:
    1. Does not buy into hero worship of kernel developers no matter how senior.
    2. Does not get nasty when outsiders address him in the mailing list.
    3. Is a champion of 'perfect is the enemy of the good' principle.
    4. Does not froth at the mouth when someone mentions business reasons for needing a particular addition or change.

    There are many on that list with big names that stumble on one or more of the above.

  • by timeOday (582209) on Tuesday December 30, 2008 @01:17PM (#26269071)
    My guess is, a bit north of $100K. The top of the engineering ladder is not all that high, and gurus don't make all that much more than bumblers with equal years of experience. (I'm not talking about RedHat in particular, just my observations of engineering in general.)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 30, 2008 @01:39PM (#26269291)

    Yes he does, in Wales. He also hates US laws and won't be coming here unless he has had a change of heart.

  • by heroine (1220) on Tuesday December 30, 2008 @02:13PM (#26269593) Homepage

    He was writing his diary as a redhat employee since 1997. Too bad he got caught up with that welsh fad & then the business school fad of the early 2000's. Hopefully he realizes the value of low level programming again.

  • Hehe (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Sits (117492) on Tuesday December 30, 2008 @02:43PM (#26269903) Homepage Journal

    Don't worry, Alan knows the value of programming. One can see the motives behind his obtaining an MBA as an example of learning more about the business environment [thinkexist.com] (and do you know what the topic for his MBA thesis was?)

  • by Marcus Green (34723) on Tuesday December 30, 2008 @03:58PM (#26270787) Homepage

    He is also very polite when hero worshippers (me) come up to him in public (The Green Man Music Festival), just to say hello.

  • Re:Alan Cox? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Tet (2721) * <[slashdot] [at] [astradyne.co.uk]> on Tuesday December 30, 2008 @07:16PM (#26273485) Homepage Journal
    I once met a girl at a party who said that her limited claim to fame in the geeky world was that she went to University with Alan Cox, the guy that wrote AberMUD. She was completely unaware of his fame in the Linux world...

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