No truer words have never been spoken. Sure, it’s never fun to learn that two highly respected professionals have been let go from a company. It especially hurts a smaller company like REAL Software. However, the world isn’t going to end.
Like any business, RS employs people to make money for the owners and shareholders, if any (RS is a privately held company). Publicly RS said that last year was one of their best ever so I must surmise that sales have not been as robust this year.
During normal slow times it’s not uncommon for businesses to take short term loans to make payroll. In the current economy it wouldn’t surprise me that a lot of companies are seeing a slowdown in sales and a rise in expenses. Add into the credit crunch, I’m sure more than a few companies have had issues with payroll.
Nowhere in RS’ announcement did they say that they were having problems making payroll. I’m simply illustrating how this problem isn’t unique to RS.
What they DID say was that they have other staff members that will pick up the work that Aaron and Nathan were doing. With the compiler humming along (mostly) with Aaron’s and Mars’ hard work over the years we should all feel pretty good about it. A majority of the near-term work needed in RB is in the frameworks (Cocoa anyone?) and in the IDE. So it doesn’t surprise me that the compiler person was let go.
Aaron is a great guy and someone that I consider to be a friend and colleague. I have no doubt that he’ll land on his feat and be successful in whatever he does. I hope that he remains a part of the RB community for many years to come.
What will be hard to replace is his experience and knowledge. I have no doubt that the remaining staff at RS can handle any compiler issues that come up but will they be done as quickly and efficiently that Aaron could have handled them? Probably not.
The other thing that I will miss greatly is his Ramblings blog. Even though it was HIS blog and not an official RS blog, it still gave us a window into the mind of REAL Software and some of the thoughts that went into any particular decision or direction.
I recommend that REAL Software strongly encourage their engineers to blog. It gives us mere mortal users an insight to what’s going on. It lets us feel like we know there are rational and intelligent decisions being made.
I applaud REAL Software for telling us what was happening rather than waiting for users to discover it on our own.
Finally, Nathan and Aaron, thank you for your hard work. I look forward to seeing where you land.