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50 Things Every
OSS Professional Knows

We wouldn’t be able to operate without this essential knowledge…

50 Things Every OSS Pro Knows
  1. The difference between MBps and Mbps

  2. How to not sound pedantic when correcting someone’s use of B or b

  3. How a landline telephone works with just two wires and no protocol stack

  4. Where not to eat in Nice

  5. You don’t put your phone on the table when in town for MWC

  6. The great stuff you can do with your data if it’s relational

  7. The great stuff you can do with your data if it’s columnar

  8. IP is deeply flawed

  9. When to host locally

  10. When to host in the cloud

  11. One good bitmap editor


  13. The sales team can only open PPT files

  14. The Erlang

  15. Dijkstra routing

  16. An STM-16 frame used to sound *really big*

  17. STS-48 and STM-16 are basically the same, depending where you come from

  18. The difference between a serial port, a VGA port, and a 1980s joystick port

  19. Your users want the solution to look good on their CV, or help them go home on time, or both

  20. How to explain it takes another six months of R&D, even though you just showed them the PoC working

  21. The OSS software industry started as a way to replace TIRKS. It failed

  22. Why your developers don’t want to use Oracle anymore

  23. What Oracle got right

  24. The measurable RoI benefit of new OSS is to business, not operations

  25. The biggest impact new BSS has on your IT is in operations

  26. The cost of free software

  27. The value of a commercial license

  28. You can have more compute resources on your desk today than British Telecom had to run their OSS twenty years ago

  29. The theoretical optimal solution rarely works IRL

  30. Undoing a change on the network is 1000x harder than undoing a design in a database

  31. Microsoft Office is probably the #1 OSS platform

  32. Why you can’t ‘just do it in Excel?’

  33. Enough about VBA to know why it’s evil for anything other than a bit of document formatting

  34. Never attend a meeting on an empty stomach

  35. Never hoard technical expertise

  36. Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas

  37. Automated systems working with poor data…. don’t work

  38. But poor data is not an excuse for a failed project

  39. If available data is poor, your highest value project is making something out of it

  40. Parallelising tasks

  41. Whether you process is compute, I/O, or memory bound

  42. When to use synchronous or asynchronous interfaces

  43. The pros and cons of every decade’s fashionable API technology: CORBA to SOA to RESTful

  44. How to prototype a system integration over email

  45. The Mythical Man Month

  46. Joel On Software

  47. When to use Trello. When to go full-Project

  48. The best service stations west of London

  49. The fastest way to transfer through DFW, CDG and DXB

  50. For everything else, there’s The Guide to Modern OSS

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