While there's certainly some human drama behind this story, what interest me is the loss of intellectual capital. As I've often said, the code is the truth, but it's not the whole truth, and there's considerable architectural knowledge retained in tribal memory. I've seen this happen again and again: just a couple of weeks ago, I was in NYC and DC, and the same issue - IP literally walking out the door - came up in discussions with a major bank, the DoD, and the IRS. This is yet another reason why, from my experience, having a reasonably well-understood, syndicated, and accessible statement of a system's significant design decisions - in short, it's architecture - is important.
I don't know for certain, but the TTY subsystem is not small, and so for someone new to really get that code base under their skin, then continue to evolve it in a fashion that holds fidelity to the existing architecture will be challenging.
Quote of the day:
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