Integrity and technology consulting

A Team Foundation Server MVP blogged about the good aspects of TFS, removed a comment with alternative views and brought about some interesting discussion. Read it all here.

The key question: Should an acknowledged technology consultant – and I’ll admit the MVP programs indicates some sort of acknowledgement – be fair and balanced in his actions? This was also recently discussed in a podcast, when Aaron Erickson pointed out in a .NET Rocks! interview that you don’t really expect your Microsoft consultants to judge Oracle databases fairly. Would you expect an Microsoft MVP, then?

It’s a tricky question. MVPs are not representatives of Microsoft, but they are representatives of their own enthusiasm, which obviously is weighted in the Microsoft direction. But since almost everybody has a preferred platform, who can you turn to when choosing between technologies? And truth be told, I don’t really know the answer.

That said, I challenge everyone publishing information to do the following:

  1. Do not write on subjects you don’t know about, and do not compare products you don’t understand.
  2. When you do make a mistake in point 1, admit it openly. Make your level of confidence explicitly understood.
  3. Work on expanding your knowledge. If you want to think competitively, “know thy enemy” is your phrase.

Nobody is free from their preferences and biases, and Free Software enthusiasts do not differ much from the Microsoft zealots here. It’s only natural to write about subjects close to you, but the world needs more generalists with the ability to compare.

For me, it’s a personal shame that my LAMP stack experience is aging, that my Perl isn’t as fluent as it once was and that really estimating the long-term impact of the NoSQL movement will require more knowledge that I have. But that’s it, I’m off the soapbox to fill my gaps – there will always be plenty of them.

Meanwhile, if you abide by the preceding rules and provide balanced technology views in your blog, drop a comment and I’ll start reading you. I’ll repeat it in a more personal tone: _I_ need more generalists with the ability to compare.

July 27, 2009 · Jouni Heikniemi · No Comments
Tags:  · Posted in: General

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