Ok, so how can I put the next sentence of mine in a way that you don’t give up all your hope and turn away disgusted without reading to the end.
I am a .NET developer, I use Windows and I love Microsoft. If you think that it is an anomaly that I am also passionate about privacy and open source (rather about free software) then you may want to revisit your personal biases. There is a rapidly growing open source and cross platform movement at Microsoft, that today got to the point that the single biggest open source contributor on GitHub is MS, hence the acquisition.
Why do you think I am so productive compared to other Bitcoin developers? Or how do you think Nicolas Dorier wrote a Bitcoin library, a Bitcoin block explorer, Bitcoin’s core protocol itself, NTumbleBit and BTCPay within just 4 years? One man basically recreated the whole Bitcoin ecosystem by himself: consensus, p2p communication, mining, exchange, apis, wallet. Is it because he is a lifeless geek with the fastest code/second ratio I’ve ever seen? Well, yes, but it’s also because he’s a .NET developer. It is because Microsoft provided us the tools, like Visual Studio and .NET Core that enables us to be many times more productive in what we are doing compared to other developers. But, that has little to do with open source and free software, does it?
I was a Debian user for 10 years. I started it, because I wanted to be one of the cool kids. During that decade the technology of virtual machines went from useless to “almost feels like native.” At about the 5th year of my Linux using obsession I put up a Windows VM, because I got a .NET developer job. There were no Visual Studio Code, nor .NET Core at the time. So soon I found myself excited about every single update to VirtualBox, they always solved something. But I didn’t give up just yet, I kept sticking with Debian as my Windows usage slowly took over 80% of my workflow. At that point, I made a rational decision and changed, yet I kept using an Ubuntu VM and were experimenting with Whonix privacy setup. But soon after Microsoft gifted me with the Linux Subsystem for Windows. This means, I can fire up a native Linux kernel within Windows, even just for one line of bash script, using command line. Better: it is instant. There is no load time. This results in a cross platform development environment that no other kind of developer have. What do you think how much time do I save by not firing up a new Linux VM every time I want to test something? Sure, I have now over 6 different VMs with different operating systems on it for testing, but that’s just the result of me getting better at cross platform development. So do hundreds of thousands of .NET Core developers worldwide.
But, this is just one example….
The question arises: do I want to spit in the face Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer for their aggressive and unethical actions those created the Microsoft empire just as much as the next guy here?
Hell yeah, that’s why I used Debian for 10 years. But will I give credit when and where credit is due? Will I give credit for them consistently embracing developers? Will I give credit for Satya Nadella for bringing Linux inside Windows, embracing an open source and cross platform culture inside Microsoft and turning around the big company trend, that, while Google and Apple are more and more about building walled gardens, Microsoft is increasingly about destroying them?
I wrote and didn’t publish countless stories like this, because I was so afraid. However, Microsoft is constantly taking steps in the right direction and after writing this piece and not publishing it, I heard the news that today is such a day, too. This gave me some confidence.
The way I see it is this: Linux wizards and .NET geeks are in the same boat fighting against the walled gardens of Apple, Google, and Microsoft! Microsoft needs more developers with passion for free software and Linux wizards need to keep bashing the remaining bad side of Microsoft. That’s the easy part of it. But they also need to embrace the new, rapidly growing good side of it, or at least not shit on something like the above tweet.
Let’s build a new tech era together, based on the principles of freedom, open source and privacy. Developers, developers, developers!