I used to work at Ticketmaster. Well, CitySearch really, but it's the same group of people now. (The companies merged during the time I worked at CitySearch.) At the time, we had horrible management who insisted that we spend tons of money on Java application servers. This was before Java became decent, and it was close to a disaster. It was monstrously unstable and everything took ages compared to how fast we could have done it in Perl. Management there had no clue what open source was other than that they liked the price tag, and they didn't trust anyone on the development team.
So, I left that company and went to eToys, where they would give me the freedom to use the tools I chose. However, some of my friends stayed there. CitySearch went through some hard times and some changes, and there was lots of turnover throughout the company, but these few people I knew (good Perl programmers and open source advocates) stuck around, turning out sites and admin tools with Mason, DBI, etc. Eventually, they had been there long enough keeping things afloat that they started being given more authority. One of my friends from eToys left to go back to CitySearch, and became manager of the development team. Pretty soon, they had an okay to convert all the CitySearch sites to mod_perl. That project was a tremendous success. When eToys went under, they picked up a lot of the best programming talent. Now they've hired Stas.
This story may not be all that interesting to someone who wasn't there, but I'm telling it to show that sometimes if you stick around and put some effort into it you can steer things in the right direction. The important thing is having some other talented developers along for the ride with you.
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