Angus: Are you a leader, or a follower?

The members of the IBM i community are a mixed bag. A proportion are stuck in their AS/400 religion, unable and unwilling to move into the future. Some have moved forward a little, but have chosen another name for the platform, stubbornly sticking to their favorite old name.

I always wonder why this is the case, because it appeals to my desire to study human nature. I even started a discussion group which asked the question why people indulge in this kind of behavior – calling something the name ~they~ want, rather than the actual name. I quickly removed that discussion, knowing it would just turn into a blame game, and a bunch of name-calling.

Certainly, IBM’s renaming antics have caused confusion. Their current web sites add to that confusion. Their support adds to that confusion. Their employees add to that confusion. Their IBM Interactive division calling themselves IBMi adds to the confusion.

Possibly, you may have a server or OS of an earlier generation. You may be upset at IBM for changing the name of the platform. You may have your own ideas about branding – which you think is better than the owner and manufacturer of that platform. You may have your own marketing ideas about how IBM should market the platform – which you think are better than the owner and manufacturer of that platform. Maybe you are just stuck in your old habits, and habits are hard to change when you have been coding as long as you have.

But, none of these are an excuse to call it the wrong name. IBM i on Power has been out for over 2 years, and there is plenty of press that mentions this. If you are commenting on discussion groups, surely you are reading those discussion groups, surely you are reading other news stories, surely you are reading emails from news sources, surely you KNOW the current name of our platform.

I think that is a decent theory, but this morning I learned differently. On a discussion group, I was told “Unless someone else refers to it as something other than System i, I call it System i. But like I have said, at work it is still called the iSeries.” I laughed and laughed. The author told me two completely separate things: 1. I do what everyone else does. 2. I don’t do what everyone else does. I felt saddened and amused all at the same time. And then the light came on. Whatever the author is, they are simply just not willing to extend the limits of their knowledge and learn the truth. They are willing to sit on their behind and do what everyone else is doing.

I realized, with much sadness at the state of the human condition, that all these complainers, all these whiners, all these so-called platform bigots, are simply just followers. Not a single one of them wants to be a leader. Each one is quite happy to make noise and complain about something, but they won’t lead. They won’t take action. They won’t press for change with any real effort. They are quite happy to stick with the pack and maintain the status quo – no matter how moldy it is becoming. Not a single one of them is willing to step up and forge a new trail.

How about you?

Are you a follower?

Or, will you be a leader?

i i i i

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