August 30, 2014

Haters Gonna Hate

NOTE: This article is a total opinion piece from the author, Ray Walters.

“seems like #teamdouche was VERY appropriately named. go code for steve jobs or bill gates. this is android. we are a community #fail”

“Team douche are exactly that douches. They are responsible for driving other good developers out of xda. They want a monopoly on opensource software that they didn’t write. They are the main reason I dropped Android.”

“I hate to say it, but everyday i’m becoming less and less a fan of CM & the entire TeamDouche attitude..”im better than u…””

If there is anything that I have learned from helping to run the Big Android BBQ, is that people are nothing like I thought they were from my interactions with them online.

I went into the event with preconceived notions about everyone that I knew was going to be there.  I follow most of them on twitter, or have seen or heard their opinions about Android and the community in general.  I am pleased to say that for the most part, people were nothing like their online personas.  There were a few that confirmed my feelings for sure, (and I am sure that I confirmed a lot for people as well), but for the most part I was dead wrong about what people were really like.

I found myself very ashamed that I had made assumptions based on 140 character statements.  A twitter feed does not a person make.  When I look at the above quotes about Team Douche in particular, I cringe a bit, because they helped to form my opinion of the group without even having met them in person.  Oh sure, I use CM a ton on my G1 and am waiting for it to come on the Vibrant, but my opinion of the group as a whole was low.  I had decided that I would take the product they create and thank them for it, but simply consign myself to the fact that the people in Team Douche were, well, douchey.

I was wrong.

And while the people who said the above quotes may have some legitimate beef in their minds, they are too.

A disclaimer is appropriate here, since I know it is going to come up and I am going to get flamed for it.  In the face of full disclosure, yes, I was recently made a member of Team Douche.  An honorary member to be exact.  I am not a coder, developer or anything like that, nor do I claim to be.  I was brought in for other reasons (cooking food), and honestly I am glad I was because I have met some outstanding people who are part of this group, that I think get largely misunderstood.

Let’s lay this out there and get it done.  Team Douche is a front.  Plain and simple.  It is a front that started out as an ironic joke, and has become a necessity to allow the group to continue to work in a high mode of productivity in light of the attention the team gets.  It is a front that the team plays quite well, sometimes a bit too well, as I am sure some of you would agree.  But a front nonetheless.

I am sure many of you are totally screaming at me through you computer screens right now, wondering how in the world can I say that.  Very simply put, I have spent time within this group, have talked with many of them one on one, and have seen their passion for Android and the community as a whole through the hard work that they are constantly doing to make CM the best it can be.

Let’s talk about that work now for a minute.  This team of people who are “douches”, have a mentality of “we’re better than you”, and are “not about community” work on ROMS that get released to people for absolutely no compensation. They put hours upon hours into developing and building ROMS and while they do receive donations, this is not their full time job.  I know one of the guys in the team works two full time jobs, has a family with kids and still drops hours willingly on the CM project because he believes in it, and believes in helping the community move forward.  Sound like someone who is not about the community to you?

Let’s put ourselves in the shoes of Team Douche for a minute, not for a pity party, but for a real thought provoking exercise.  This is a good illustration because I hit this in my day job all the time.  Say you are making a free meal for a group of people, and you work HARD on it, working to make it just right and awesome for everyone.  You work day and night for a week planning, prepping and working.  The big day finally comes and you serve your meal.  You are excited to see what people are going to say, how much they are going to like it and appreciate what you did.  But instead, you have people coming up to complain that you forgot the salt and pepper, that it was not cooked they way they like, that you were missing ketchup or mustard, or the fact that someone got a larger portion.

Would that steal your joy and make you a bit grumpy?

Or, what if you were a bit behind on your times, and people had to wait an extra 30 minutes to get their free food, and let you know about it through complaints and gripes.  Even though the meal is free, people feel entitled.

This is what it honestly is like for the team behind CM6 sometimes.  Now there are a LOT of people who “get it”.  They get that this is a something they are getting for free, that a lot of work goes into it – work that they cannot do themselves.  They GET it.  But from the quotes above you can see that some people don’t get it, they don’t get the idea of CM6 and Team Douche.  What they want is what THEY want right now, and be damned to those who are going to stand in their way.

Is Team Douche perfect, and nicey nice?  Absolutely not.  Sometimes, on a PERSONAL level they deserve the Douche tag.  But as a group for what they are providing for the community, I don’t think there is any time that we can say that Team Douche is harmful to the Android family.  They are a group of people that will legitimately listen to someone’s idea or review their code suggestions, but simply do not have time to answer every question thrown at them.

Haters are always going to hate.  This is a fact of life.  There will always be people who dislike Team Douche, they will have some story about how one of the members hurt their feelings or did something to them in the electronic realm.  But here is the fact of the matter.

Team Douche produces one of the best Android ROMS out there.  They work hard for the community not because they are getting paid, not because they are looking to climb the corporate ladder somewhere, but because they see what the Android platform could be, and want to get it there.  They open doors that were previously closed by carriers and manufacturers, they raise G1’s from the grave.  All for NOTHING.

Perhaps it is time to lay off the comments folks.  If you got personal gripes with the people on the team, by all means, pursue them all you want.  But it is time to stop bashing the whole team because you were not allowed in, or they called you out for something you did.  Yep, they can be douches, but those douches work hard for the Android Community.

I have found that out first hand, and had my attitude changed about the group as a whole after the BBQ, much like the people behind the quotes below;

“I am calling you all out… #teamdouche is a front they are really all great people, much love for you all and can’t wait to see you again”

“It was AWESOME to meet the#teamDouche crew.. was awesome getting pwned by you guys, @Cyanogen was awesome to speak with, cool guy”

#TeamDouche is a lie!!!”

The mystique of Team Douche may be a lie, but the people behind it are not. They are a hardworking crew, bent on perfection for the Android platform.   If you have a chance to meet these guys someday, take it.  I can guarantee that you will have your mind changed.