Duke University Libraries Drop Basecamp

I was glad to see Duke University Libraries in-depth explanation of why they’re dropping Basecamp for managing projects. It reminded me of previous blog posts of my own from 2017 regarding the ideology and worldview that seemed prevalent at that time in tech, and a post from last year that drew a line from James Damore, through Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, to Elon Musk.

The Libraries took the time to revisit their discussion of 2021 to continue using Basecamp and updated themselves regarding the posts and rhetoric of Hansson regarding DEI, and his public glee in the mass layoffs of tech workers last year (which have by no means abated in 2023). They also did not shy away from talking about their own shortcomings as an organization when it comes their own workplace:

We also know the harms that our own workplace practices and culture have caused over the years. We know about it because we listen to each other, both informally and formally, via climate surveys, workshops, and other practices: 

The point is not that we’re perfect, or a model to emulate. The point is that we are not naive. We have seen (and done) some stuff.

Duke University Libraries Blog, November 30, 2023

The Libraries set a thoughtful, public example of consciously choosing temporary inconvenience over continuing to reward the mendacity and cruelty of the leader of a third-party vendor. I salute them.