at Hewlett-Packard Co. in order to
go to work for Novell, effective
Allison had been with HP since 2002, joining the firm
about the same time Bruce Perens was leaving. In Allison's own words,
he was hired by HP to develop Samba and evangelize its open
source and free software efforts -- "kind of a 'kinder-gentler' Bruce
Perens." Allison says is not leaving HP because of unhappiness, but
rather because he sees more opportunities to do what he wants to do at
Speaking confidentially days before his move, Allison explained
to NewsForge the reason for the change. "I'm not going to say anything
nasty about HP. I loved working at HP. It's taken me since [BrainShare 2004] to now to actually decide to go ahead and [leave]. I
mean, HP is just a great place to work; they are doing a lot of real good
stuff. But it is just this opportunity to work, essentially to help
people, who want to migrate to Linux."
Allison says he wants to help "the entire NetWare user base. Obviously,
they are going to maintain it forever, but ... the people who want to
move with them to Linux, we'll be able to basically migrate them on to
Samba, and make it work for them. It's too good an opportunity."
Allison told us how impressed he was with Novell's
turnaround as a result of BrainShare. He said, "Nobody knew this, but
even the badge readers were running on Linux. There was no Windows in
the place, it was more like, this was a company that finally understood.
They got it, they really, really got it. At that point, to be honest, I
started thinking maybe I should think about a move."
Allison's new role at Novell will not be a lot different from his
position at HP, where he was basically paid to continue Samba
development. "I am going to be
making Samba work really well on top of the NetWare file system, running
on SUSE Linux. And also making it work with eDirectory, and basically
improving it in ways that our customers want.
"Mostly what I'm going to be doing -- the first few
months at least -- is learning stuff. Because these people, they've forgotten more about file serving than we ever knew. I'm in a
group of the NetWare people that are transitioning to Linux, so I'm in
exactly the right place to learn a bunch of stuff."