Touring Red Hat

by Matthew Cunningham

Having lived in Redmond all of my life, I have felt (although certainly not understood) the esteem people get from working at Microsoft. In this area, that is the place where everybody wants to be. My visit to North Carolina gave me that same impression, but with a much more redeeming company, Red Hat Software. For those who live there, Red Hat is akin to the “holy grail” of the Linux community.

Located in a sprawling office park not far from Research Triangle, the new Red Hat building (not yet a “campus”) felt big-time. Only two-thirds occupied at 120 employees, they are clearly planning ahead for further growth. Divided into marketing, tech support, training and development, there are no private offices at Red Hat—everybody, including CEO Bob Young, works in their own personal cubicle. This is designed to foster a feeling of communication and creativity within the organization, something Linux gurus tend to be a natural at.

Surrounded by IKEA furniture, Nerf toys, unlimited Mountain Dew and a Sony Playstation, walking around Red Hat reminded me of my visits inside Microsoft. Well, if it works in Redmond...