IBM To Kernel Maintainer: "You Are An IBM Employee 100% Of The Time"
An IBM employee was listed as one of the maintainers to the IBM Power SR-IOV Virtual NIC driver for the upstream Linux kernel alongside several other IBM engineers. Except in this case the employee was listed as a maintainer with his Gmail address.
That led to this commit hitting the networking subsystem's Git tree last night and on its way to mainline:
I am making this change again since I received the following instruction.
"As an IBM employee, you are not allowed to use your gmail account to work in any way on VNIC. You are not allowed to use your personal email account as a "hobby". You are an IBM employee 100% of the time. Please remove yourself completely from the maintainers file. I grant you a 1 time exception on contributions to VNIC to make this change."
The "you are an IBM employee 100% of the time" is surely a bit awkward and seemingly denying what a developer can work on in his off-hours, especially when it comes to just improving the company's own open-source driver... It seems in this case it may be a manager over reacting or so. It will be interesting to see how this plays out... Pretty strange considering IBM now owns Red Hat and how IBM has with time spent billions of dollars on Linux.
Update (22 April): IBM Clarifies Stance On Developers Working On Open-Source Projects In Off-Hours