Mike, who works for Amazon, defends Amazon but I don't like his spin. First, he denigrates the value of the source code and elevates the value of Amazon's web services and data they provide.
Well, I'm very sorry if what I wrote sounded like a negative judgement of the value of software itself, I just believe that the source code that we work with really wouldn't be of any value to an outside party. This is not true of all software in general, just the work that my group at Amazon does to collect and unify product information across all sellers. I think the software written at Amazon is well done, professional and very educational (to me anyway). However, when I imagine handing over this software based system to some other organization, I really don't see that it would be successful. The value come from large volumes of data. Perhaps some mundane aspects like hooking into CORBA portable object adapters for performance profiling and logging purposes might be of benefit - but who in the open source community really is using CORBA? It's too standardized and stable to attract the run of the mill coding cowboy nowadays anyway. (okay, that was a little flamebait, but it's New Years, why not have a little fun?)