Linus Torvalds Steps Back to Improve His Communication

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mlee 2500

Oct 20, 2014
Yeah that's a bad look, but Linus was RIGHT when he dressed down the Kernel Developer in his Christmas email and I would even go so far as to say it was one of the few times where such communication is/was appropriate.


Mar 30, 2011
Linux wouldn't have prospered without strong discipline.

No reason for Torvalds to totally acquiesce. Resounding success requires some hurt feelings along the way.
I think his point is that there can be strong discipline without insults and personal attacks - the 2012 Christmas dressing down may have been warranted, but it's casual insults and harshness that seem to worry Linus Torvalds about himself, and what he's trying to fix.

Even the best developer has to step back sometimes to reconsider his methods. Once a decade for a big personal review isn't much.


One of the peculiar traits of intelligent people is that hubris gets the best of them. It's self-reinforcing in that their arrogance is often vindicated, but can also cut them hard when things go wrong. People like that don't take failure very well; that of themselves and especially of others. It's the later that can make them so difficult to work with!

Through age comes wisdom. It's refreshing to hear Linus becoming more humble about is own personal shortcomings (we all have them), and with clarity of that, a mission to resolve them rather then leave it to be ignored for others to deal with.
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