I have previously posted here before about the need to avoid being biased towards or against certain technologies such as browsers, and I would like to now expand upon my thoughts about technology agnosticism.
What brought this about is that now that I am looking for work again I have recently had several people tell me that I should get rid of my GMail account if I am thinking about applying at Microsoft, and in the past I have had recruiters tell me that I shouldn't list my UNIX or Linux experience on my resume if I want to work at Microsoft.
I find this kind of amusing since the people telling me to ditch GMail don't even work at Microsoft, and I know quite a few people working at Microsoft who use GMail, Yahoo email, or other non-Microsoft email services. Some people at Microsoft have told me that they could care less if I have UNIX or Linux experience listed on my resume. As a matter of fact, depending on the work, listing my UNIX and Linux experience may even help me find a job there.
I think a lot of this has to do with the mythology and misinformation that has been built up around Microsoft culture, and while I haven't had anyone tell me to ditch my Hotmail account if I plan to apply at Google, I am certain there are people out there telling potential Google applicants to do just that. Personally I don't plan to make any drastic changes either way.
To be honest I think it is in the nature of every good geek to try different technologies, and it's always a good idea to check out the competition. Focusing exclusively on one type or brand of technology can only limit ones experience. Broadening your horizons can only help, not hurt you.
It's like the ridiculous OS wars, or Vi vs. Emacs debate. Getting all worked up over which technology is best is a waste of time. Technology is a tool, nothing more, and people should use what tool works for them.
Hey, if I could afford it and if I had the time, I would be playing with every OS out there. I still work with Windows 98 for some legacy projects, and I will continue to do so. As a matter of fact I have plans to put Windows 95 on an older system (when I have time :) Eventually I will have a NAS using FreeNAS, and possibly a Open BSD firewall on my network too. As for what distro of Linux is best, again it's a matter of what works for each person, and I plan to play with several.
In the prevoius post on browsers, I admitted that I was biased and that I needed to work with IE, as well as other browsers. While people may not alway have the time, energy, or finances, to play around with different technologies, they should at least be willing to try new technologies should the opportunity present itself, so take the opportunity when you can.