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Re: Work at RSI!

David Fanning wrote:
I feel vaguely disturbed by this letter, and I am having
difficulty putting my finger on exactly why I feel that way.
I think because it implies a sort of malicious intentionality
to RSI's collective behavior that I don't think is justified.

Lord knows, I've had my differences of opinion with people at
RSI. And I've chided them publicly on numerous occasions on
matters, such as informing their customers of bugs and
improvements, that I think they can do much better than they
are now. But this letter seems to imply that they don't give a damn
about their customers. And I know for a fact that is simply
not true.

It seems that I've failed to accurately convey my point this time.
Use of the phrase "moral dilemma" was inappropriate.  I did try
(later) in my message to characterize RSI's behavior as that of
reasonable people who have priorities I don't agree with.  I regret
that the impression left in the reader (you at least) included the
concept of "malicious intentionality".

There is no reason to think that the folks at RSI are malicious.   I
do however think reasonable people can hold the opinion that RSI
has a policy of not revealing to its customers information about
currently known bugs, and of not supplying existing fixes for those
bugs in any sort of proactive way.  I think RSI can and should do

I know that the years I spent there are among the most
satisfying and rewarding of any of my professional life.
Mostly because I was given the opportunity to do what I
thought was right for both the customer *and* the company.
Although the culture has changed some in the years since
I left and as the company has grown, I still think it is
a place where individuals with vision and purpose can
make a difference.
Your insight into the culture of RSI should be valued by those
seeking employment there, probably more valued than my
criticism.  I'm glad to hear that you think so highly of the organization.
I suspect my level of tolerance for the shortcomings of my employer
is unreasonably low.
Perhaps, compared to the population of other employment options,
RSI really is a great place.  I leave that to reader to decide.


Patrick S. Broos, Systems Analyst/Programmer    patb@astro.psu.edu  

Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics  My office   814-863-5505
Penn State University
525 Davey Lab                             FAX         814-863-8686
University Park, PA  16802-6305           
http://www.astro.psu.edu                  Group office    863-9550