The Apple Curtain
I’m always happy for a friend when they start a job at Apple — but I’m also sad when it means they have to stop their community activities: no more podcasting and blogging, developer meetup organizing, presenting at conferences, writing side-project apps, contributing to open source things.
Another friend of mine at Apple, who worked in an area relevant to some trouble we were having with NetNewsWire, wanted to look at the source code – and they had to go ask permission before they could even look.
I understand! I understand why Apple PR and legal departments are the way they are. But I still feel a loss to the community every time somebody I know goes to work at Apple.
There’s a curtain between us and them. Colorful, well-designed, made by lasers — but still a curtain.
PS This would even prevent me from ever working there. I have a great job, and I intend to stay at this job till I retire, but if I were unemployed and saw the openings in Apple developer publications based here in Seattle, I totally would have applied. Except that working there would have meant the end of NetNewsWire and, effectively, the end of this blog. I would have had to give up the two biggest pillars of my career. It’s flat-out not worth it.
PPS I don’t write this to make any of my friends feel guilty! Working at Apple is a wonderful thing. But it’s bittersweet, and I do wish Apple would do more to take out the bitter part.