“Everyone has a plan ’till they get punched in the mouth.”
The great thing about Engineers is the solution is always black and white. It has to be perfect or it’s not complete.
Well, I’m a qualified Engineer, but I’m not qualified to be an Engineer by these generalisations. You’re probably sick of hearing me talk about the Pareto Principle in OSS – where 80% of the impact is delivered by 20% of the effort and the other 20% of the impact takes up 80% of the effort.
I’m a big believer in tackling the 80 for 20, then moving on to the next 80 for 20 opportunity, then the next*. That may sound half-baked to many of the Engineers in the audience but I have three pieces of evidence with which I hope to sway you:
- There are so many challenges still remaining in OSS that getting stuck on the asymptote of negligible gain is a waste;
- There are so many variants in OSS, particularly where legacy environments prevail, that you’ll never be able to build the perfect OSS solution or control every variable; but most importantly
- The cleverest solutions don’t seek perfection, but resiliency… engineering the solution to have the ability to cope with any unexpected or unusual situations… having the ability to revise your plan after you’ve been punched in the mouth
* Of course there are situations where it’s important to commit to the 20 for 80 opportunities sometimes too, but these situations tend to be rarer.Read the Passionate About OSS blog for more.