Opinions seem to change once you’re hired by a large company

Everyone are entitled to their own opinion. Everyone’s opinion is worth just as much as anyone else’s. However, sometimes opinions change…

I’m all for evolvement and for growing. Things I’ve written in this web site or stands I’ve had in previous projects might very well have changed. Humbly, I’ve gotten better and/or have started seeing things from another perspective, and I’m all for admitting it. Very few, if any, opinions are written in stone throughout life.

Experiencing the 180

But, and this is what gets me: with some people (this applies to a minority) who start working for large companies and web browser manufacturers you can suddenly experience them doing a 180 degree turn with their opinions. Things they thought were some of the most important things in life and in the universe before has now become irrelevant, and at times outright wrong.

And sure, the might come to that conclusion. But it’s when they try downplay, or even deny, their own old opinion instead of standing up for the fact that they once thought it, I find offending and disrespectful.

One angle is enough

Other people, in the same situation, might have been fairly liberated from strong opinions before, but start working for any of the above-mentioned companies. Seemingly out of nowhere they become some sort of opinion dictator, or some kind of cult leader/evangelist, racking down on everyone else. They propagate a myriad of opinions that they automatically expect everyone else to share with them. If not, you’re a retard and aren’t entitled to a discussion.

Perspective

I would sincerely like to give these people an advice: Step back. Get some perspective. Try to see it from another person’s or company’s opinion. Another angle. Get some distance.

If you don’t, your credibility and the value of your work will soon diminish. So, are you with us “ordinary” people or against us?

14 Comments

  • The interesting part is why they took the position in a company that violates their own ideal. Is it just money?

  • Robert, it sounds very much like you have one specific person in mind 😉

    I could offer a few suggestions, but I'd rather not, since I might be right, and in any case it'd make me look like a twat.

    I do, however, agree that it's most peculiar that some people just abandon all their opinions and readily adopt the corporate opinions.

    I could never do that, I guess I am just too opinionated to begin with 😉

  • Jrf says:

    Ahum… just nitpicking: I presume you mean 'entitled' where you wrote 'in title' ?

  • Robert Nyman says:

    Joachim,

    It's hard to say, really. In some cases, maybe it's money. In other cases, maybe they weren't fully aware of the company's stance and gradually feel compelled to completely adopt it.

    Morgan,

    Actually, there's more than one person that I have in mind, but I didn't want to turn this into name-calling or an attack on some people, and I appreciate you not doing the same.

    Jrf,

    Absolutely right, thanks. I was a bit tired when I wrote it…

  • Tommy Olsson says:

    I suppose it could be the case that they do see the other person's side when they become employees. They may have believe one thing before, and then, being exposed to the practicalities of actually implementing that, they might see it differently.

    Most likely, though, they simply sold out. 🙂

  • Robert Nyman says:

    Tommy,

    Oh, absolutely, people do evolve. But if/when that happens, I wish they were more humble and honest about their past self and opinions.

  • So you reckon "thirty pieces of silver" is the going rate to change certain people's directions. Well, as long as they can live with themselves that is fine by me…

  • Robert Nyman says:

    Robert Wellock,

    In some cases, yes.

  • Robert Nyman says:

    Guilherme,

    Some others don’t bother to analize and just accept a whole doctrine that in the average is closer to them.

    Without a doubt, this is very true sometimes.

  • Well, I guess that some people that act like this had a very one-sided opinion on the first place.

    It is very easy to do it so, when you are not part of the process and then discover how wrong you were, up to a point when you don't see any reason in your previous thoughts.

    I think that after all, it is the natural way of leaning, you see one point, then you fall in love for a completely different one. Smart people learn to preserve parts of all of them and build a more solid and multi-sided opinion as they grow. Some others don't bother to analize and just accept a whole doctrine that in the average is closer to them.

  • Personally I do not see it as a change of mind but rather their personal beliefs being driven out of them.

    It is very hard (from experience) to go into an organisation were they do NOT follow standards/ css style layouts etc and change it all at once. The people who are generally the worse are your bosses and it takes A LOT to change their mind, even with all the stats/ research etc.

    In my example it has taken one year of hard work and while the organisation has vastly improved, it still has a long way and I have had to weaken my stances in some situations to keep the peace.

    Also time is a factor as some people just want it out there and not the extra hour or so spent to clean up the code and get it working on FF2, IE6 etc

  • Robert Nyman says:

    Jermayn,

    Absolutely, it's hard to come into such an organization, many of us have faced it. In my examples, though, I'm thinking of people in other situations than that, where it's not as understandable.

  • Dave says:

    Why do people start working for a company with different ideals?

    Well, why would a web developer start working for an org. with a poor website? To improve it!

  • Robert Nyman says:

    Dave,

    If that's the case, that's just great! The people I talk about here, though, have changed their own ideals instead.

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