The Shape of Everything
A website mostly about Mac stuff, written by Gus Mueller
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July 22, 2002
(This post is from my old, old, super old site. My views have changed over the years, hopefully my writing has improved, and there is now more than a handful of folks reading my site. Enjoy.)

It's rare that I ever talk about work on my website (I just don't think blogs and work always mix right) so this is a rarity and you'll just have to get over it for the next couple of minutes.

When I got back last Saturday night from my Colorade/Wyoming extravaganza, one of the first things I did was check my email- 2 weeks away can build up a bunch of messages to read. Anyway, one of the first items I noticed in my inbox was from my boss's boss. He had the quote about my evil job security plot (see below) in the email he sent to me. He said that he wanted to talk about it.

Neato, maybe he didn't understand it was a joke.

So Monday when I went in, I chatted with him about it. He understood it was a joke, but apparently some other folks (a portion of my peers) didn't and he had to go into "Damage Control" while I was gone. It was sort of hard to believe- because I'm exactly the last person to expect to do what I outlined below- I'm a freaken Eagle Scout for %#@! sake. Company code is company code, and it stays that way- at least in my mind.

So for future reference, here's how I handle all the intellectual property that's wrapped up in what I type all day long at work and home:

Anything that was made with the use of any company purchased product is the property of that company. The only exception is when a prior agreement has already been worked out. As far as I'm concerned with my current job situation, if the monitor I'm using belongs to them, then the code I write with it is theirs. If I use their net connection- it's theirs. If I'm using a compiler that I bought on their hardware- the code is theirs. And I'm perfectly happy with all of that. We talked about this when I was hired. If I didn't like the rules, I would have gone elsewhere for a job.

I just don't like to mess around with this stuff. I had the same rules (some self imposed) when I worked at MU and MarchFirst. It's just common sense. (And man did I write some cool-ass code at MU.)

Sometimes I'll take work code home and continue to work on it on my own machine- I still consider anything that I do with that code the property of the company.

Sometimes, like in the case of quvert, I'll do the research and implementation on my own time, while knowing I'll be using the code or binary at work. In such instances (at least up to now) I'll make the license extremely work friendly (like releasing it under a BSD-like license without with advertising clause) and then use it like that. In other cases like my xml plugin I'll just generate a free key for us to use at work- it makes my life alot easier. In other cases I'll just donate the whole code to work without the expectation that I'll ever be able to use that branch of code again for anything else ( like the bug tracking system & database pooling classes I wrote).

My "evil plot" would have screwed me every which way, and I would have lost my job had I actually done it- which is why I thought it was totally obvious it was a joke. I like my job, I do really interesting Mac OS X and java programming. Besides, when would I ever forget my iPod at home? That should have been the obvious tipoff :)

So to summarize, there was never an encrypted cvs tree of super-secret code, nor any plot by me to try and get a raise out of work by holding something hostage.

Breathe. Relax. I'm not out to screw anyone over- and I'm sorry if you thought I was.