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"Three little sentences will get you through life. Number 1: Cover for me. Number 2: Oh, good idea, Boss! Number 3: It was like that when I got here." Homer Simpson
December 29, 2011 9:23 AM   Subscribe

Does your profession or hobby have a pithy saying that encapsulates the work or its ethics? For example, "Make no little plans" (Daniel Burnham) resonates with city planners. Perhaps "First do no harm" (or Primum non nocere) might be an example related to physicians and other health care workers... or is it just outsiders who think so? What about "Serve and protect" for law enforcement? The quotes can be funny, ironic or sincere... it doesn't matter so long as they are short (think something that could be engraved on a charm) and people in the profession recognize the phrase as somehow emblematic of their work. Thanks in advance!
posted by carmicha to Work & Money (136 answers total) 52 users marked this as a favorite
 
"There's no business like show business."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:27 AM on December 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


Kevin Smith's "This job would be great if it wasn't for the fucking customers" line from Clerks was almost universally recognized by everyone with whom I worked retail selling things we actually enjoyed selling (punk rock gear, erotic goods, etc.)
posted by griphus at 9:27 AM on December 29, 2011 [17 favorites]


Actually, another good one that those working in theater may also recognize -- but may not be as well-known outside theater -- is something Jack Lemmon apparently used to say to all his co-stars just as they were about to walk out on stage:

"It's magic time."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:29 AM on December 29, 2011


This is less of a saying and more of an exchange I overheard, but during the application testing period:

A: If it ain't broke...
B: Break it!
A: Break it hard.
posted by troika at 9:29 AM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Software engineering has DRY : Don't Repeat Yourself

Also see The Two Things :
http://www.csun.edu/~dgw61315/thetwothings.html
posted by Afroblanco at 9:30 AM on December 29, 2011


Librarianship has Ranganathan's 5 laws:
1. Books are for use.
2. Every reader his [or her] book.
3. Every book its reader.
4. Save the time of the reader.
5. The library is a growing organism.
posted by cosmicbandito at 9:30 AM on December 29, 2011 [12 favorites]


In embedded software development: "to a first approximation, no software is ever rewritten."

I.e., do it right the first time. Even if you can bootload new software, most users won't/can't upgrade. Do it right before it leaves the door.
posted by introp at 9:31 AM on December 29, 2011


carpentry: measure twice. cut once.
posted by Postroad at 9:32 AM on December 29, 2011 [9 favorites]


"In law as in baseball, a tie goes to the runner."

(What that's true or what it actually means, in the context of a given case or practice area, may be subject to debate.)
posted by jayder at 9:35 AM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Arghh ... "Whether that's true ..."
posted by jayder at 9:36 AM on December 29, 2011


"Measure twice, cut once." for pretty much every hands-on trade.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 9:36 AM on December 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


Web design: I tend to go by the Webpages That Suck maxim:
1) The only reason my website exists is to solve my customers' problems.
2) What problems does the page I'm looking at solve?
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 9:37 AM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mountaineering:

Getting up is optional, getting down is mandatory.
Eat before you get hungry, drink before you get thirsty (this is mostly a winter thing)


Flying:

Keep the glass up and the rubber down.
Three useless things: Runway behind you, altitude above you, fuel on the ground.
posted by bondcliff at 9:38 AM on December 29, 2011


My history professor said that all historians had a saying: "Thou shalt not commit sociology".
posted by Melismata at 9:39 AM on December 29, 2011 [18 favorites]


Alan J. Perlis has a set of useful Epigrams in Programming. I've always been fond of "In the long run every program becomes rococo - then rubble."

Bomb disposal: "If you see me running, try to keep up."
posted by blob at 9:40 AM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


journalism: 'seek truth and report it' (from the spj code of ethics)

or, maybe more commonly: 'who, what, when, where, and why'
posted by kerning at 9:40 AM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


From the flight deck: Head on a swivel.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 9:41 AM on December 29, 2011


From a friend who used to work at Radio Shack: "Selling shit to idiots."
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:41 AM on December 29, 2011


"keep the pointy end going forward" Commander Pam, shuttle c o
posted by JohnR at 9:44 AM on December 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


Psychologists have the rule of 3s: every research study will require 3 times more subjects, time, and money than you expect.
posted by WorkingMyWayHome at 9:45 AM on December 29, 2011


Journalism also has: "Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable." (though this is ironic considering the original context.)

For show business, "The show must go on."
posted by Jahaza at 9:45 AM on December 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


"The customer is always right" works for many occupations, but I've seen mostly in the context of retail sales and restaurants.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 9:48 AM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


In a retail job I had, my manager used to say -- often to customers -- "We're not happy 'til you're not happy."
posted by gauche at 9:50 AM on December 29, 2011


A contractor once told me that all you need to know about plumbing is "Hot water left, cold water right, shit flows downhill, and payday is Friday"
posted by qldaddy at 9:50 AM on December 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


From river-running:

Look downstream.

Rig to flip.

Make the river work for you.

Look where you want to go - (as opposed to staring at the rock you're trying to avoid, because you inevitably end up going towards the things you're looking at).
posted by colfax at 9:52 AM on December 29, 2011


In the world of insurance claims loss adjusting:

"If in doubt, throw it out!"

Applies to cookery too.
posted by Chorus at 9:54 AM on December 29, 2011


My SIL has a sign up in her retail shop. "The customer is not always right, and is sometimes stupid." She has it out where customers can see, she is not a people person though surprisingly good at sales because she will tell customers they are wrong and will only sell them what they need.
posted by wwax at 9:55 AM on December 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


Knitting: Just wait till I finish this row.
posted by rikschell at 10:04 AM on December 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


Something I've always heard said in surfing and swimming in waves, but was shocked when I learned other people had neither heard it or understood it from the get-go:

"Never turn your back on the ocean."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:07 AM on December 29, 2011


I don't know if "Pubish or Perish" counts for academia.
posted by redlines at 10:13 AM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't know if "Pubish or Perish" counts for academia.

How about "Proofread or Poofeed"?
posted by Sys Rq at 10:14 AM on December 29, 2011 [11 favorites]


"Past performance does not guarantee future returns."
posted by malocchio at 10:15 AM on December 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Trust, but verify."

One of the software tester's mottos. Holds up well for just about any endeavor.
posted by Currer Belfry at 10:16 AM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


For movers and roadies:
Never lift what you can drag, never drag what you can roll, never roll what you can leave be.
posted by tommyD at 10:17 AM on December 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


From sailing: "One hand for yourself, one for the ship".
posted by mhum at 10:19 AM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Don't reinvent the wheel comes up a lot in law.
posted by freshwater at 10:19 AM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, for big-client advertising, it's: Never enough time or money to do it right, always enough time and money to do it over.

Not quite a motto, but there's also the fast/cheap/good triangle for all creative endeavors (including if not especially related to home renovations): Think of a triangle with "fast," "cheap," and "good" as the three points. For any project, you get to pick two. Your choice. But all three is impossible.
posted by Mchelly at 10:22 AM on December 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Always remember they're not done yet." For teachers, with reference to students.
posted by bardophile at 10:24 AM on December 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


Radio: remember the listener.
posted by Mo Nickels at 10:27 AM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Art: "If you can't make it good, make it big."
posted by Sys Rq at 10:31 AM on December 29, 2011


From the rulebook of plumbing: "Hot on the left, shit runs downhill, and payday's Friday."
posted by jade east at 10:32 AM on December 29, 2011


It may not be the best advice, but it'll be recognized by teachers: "Don't smile 'til Christmas."
posted by 23skidoo at 10:39 AM on December 29, 2011


A variation on Adam Smith from a public policy (i.e., government) professor: "There are certain realms in which the best outcomes arise from every individual acting independently and in his own interest. All we have to do is deal with the rest of the world."
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 10:41 AM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Copy editing: It's not my book. (Very useful when you're working on something awful.)

Fact checking: If your mother says she loves you, check it out.
posted by vickyverky at 10:43 AM on December 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


From river-running:

...

Look where you want to go - (as opposed to staring at the rock you're trying to avoid, because you inevitably end up going towards the things you're looking at).
colfax

This is also if you find yourself on a horse. They get very confused when the rider is facing (whatever) with his entire body, but keeps pulling the damn reins wayyyyy to the left. The rider (wrongly) thinks the obvious cue is in the reins. But really, the reins are like reinforcement of gesture and positioning, or in this case, total contradiction.
posted by bilabial at 10:44 AM on December 29, 2011


Programming: "Always code as if the person who ends up maintaining your code is a violent psychopath who knows where you live."
posted by zengargoyle at 10:46 AM on December 29, 2011 [13 favorites]


My structural engineer friend says, "F=ma, and you can't push a rope."
He means, "Calculate the forces, and pay attention to the direction in which they are directed."

My electronics engineer friend says, "Every wire is an antenna."
He means that every length of conductor is capable of broadcasting electromagnetic flux, and receiving electromagnetic flux from other conductors. This may or may not have an effect on the device, or other devices around it.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 10:46 AM on December 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


shit runs downhill

Which works in civil engineering, too.
posted by hwyengr at 10:47 AM on December 29, 2011


Economics: "There's no such thing as a free lunch."
posted by sashapearl at 10:51 AM on December 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


A couple more flying ones:
-Speed is life, altitude is life insurance.
-There are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but there are no old, bold pilots.

Engine design:
-Suck, Squeeze, Bang, Blow (the four stages of an internal combustion engine)

General engineering/design:
-For a one hour task, promise it in four hours and complete it in two hours and everyone's happy.
posted by backseatpilot at 10:51 AM on December 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


winter outdoor stuff:

Hydrate or die. Applies to all outdoor stuff. not just winter, but it's much easier to forget to drink when you're outside in the cold.

Denim is Venom, Cotton is Rotten. Both won't hold heat when wet. Sweat, snow, ice, all of these will result in freezing your ass off (best case) or death (worst case).

Always carry a shovel.
posted by larthegreat at 10:53 AM on December 29, 2011


For a one hour task, promise it in four hours and complete it in two hours and everyone's happy.

We call this the Scotty Principle.
posted by muddgirl at 10:56 AM on December 29, 2011 [6 favorites]


Wow! I headed out for lunch and errands and returned to this terrific list; thanks folks, and keep 'em coming!

Um, thanks to this thead, "Keep 'em coming!" sounds like a credo for the porn industry...
posted by carmicha at 10:58 AM on December 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


Archaeology: "Split in the field, lump in the lab".

Also, when digging: "Work from the known to the unknown." (i.e., don't jump ahead with the trowel. I suspect this applies more broadly to almost any research though.)
posted by Rumple at 10:58 AM on December 29, 2011


The best I've heard for philosophy: when backed into a corner, qualify.
posted by resiny at 11:17 AM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Finance: "Put clients first"

It's instructive that this even needs to be said...
posted by ccl6yl at 11:24 AM on December 29, 2011


Government/politics: "No one wants to see the sausage get made"
= Voters don't understand the inner workings and squabbles, nor really want to; it disenchants them and it should be hidden from view like the dirty laundry it is.
posted by pineapple at 11:27 AM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


A million dollars for maintenance, not a penny for new equipment.

Mostly in reference to the government procurement system.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 11:27 AM on December 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


Every physicist I know has at some point used the old punch-line while making an estimate: "Assume a spherical cow".
posted by aimedwander at 11:30 AM on December 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


My partner, who is a rock climber and used to work at a climbing gym, instructs people to "double-back or die", meaning double-back their harness straps, or they could fall out of their harness.
posted by just_ducky at 11:31 AM on December 29, 2011


From William Burroughs, about being a judge: "Be just and if you can't be just, be arbitrary."
posted by contraption at 11:31 AM on December 29, 2011


all engineering basically boils down to "retire knowing that nothing you designed ever killed anyone unintentionally".
posted by elizardbits at 11:32 AM on December 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


More from journalism:

"If it bleeds, it leads."

"Good news is no news."
posted by Occula at 11:40 AM on December 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


TV News:
Feed the pig. Meaning you constantly have to be finding content.
On preview already said:
If your mother says she loves you, check it out.

I think this is for 12 step programs or Vegas ads but I think it's funny in various contexts:
What goes in ________ stays in _________.
posted by hot_monster at 11:49 AM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


From enzymology: Don't waste clean thoughts on dirty enzymes. (Contaminants are likely to throw a monkey wrench in the system and experimental results will be screwy. Chase artifacts at your own peril.)
posted by Quietgal at 11:51 AM on December 29, 2011


Math and Natural Science: "We must know — we will know!"
posted by Arethusa at 11:53 AM on December 29, 2011


Mechanics (mostly military): Righty-tighty, lefty-loosey.

Engineering of all kinds: Murphy was an optimist.
Engineering of all kinds: Never appear on the front page of the New York Times.

Mechanical engineering: Mechanical engineers make weapons, civil engineers make targets.

Software Engineering: Every program has one bug and one extra line.
Software Engineering: The code will be ready RSN.
Software Engineering: The code *is* the documentation.
Software Engineering: Assuming infinite memory and infinite CPU...
Software Engineering: It compiles, let's ship it.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 11:55 AM on December 29, 2011


I'm shocked it hasn't been mentioned yet, but for any kind of computer work: Garbage In, Garbage Out.
posted by contraption at 11:57 AM on December 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


Game design: "Find the fun."

(the phrase is deceptively simple, and very difficult to follow)
posted by subject_verb_remainder at 12:17 PM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


From a bygone era in the communications field: "For advertising, you pay. For publicity, you pray."
posted by fiery.hogue at 12:39 PM on December 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


One of my favorite pithy phrases from sex education: Don't yuck my yum! Often used at the beginning of presentations to set up safe-space ground rules.
posted by rhiannonstone at 12:51 PM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


History (or scholarship in general): "You will find it a very good practice always to verify your references, sir", usually shortened to: "Always verify your references."
posted by verstegan at 1:02 PM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


3 golden rules of criminal defense:
1. Get paid up front.
2. If someone goes to jail, make sure it's not you.
3. Get paid up front.
posted by bepe at 1:09 PM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mathematics: "in mathematics there is no ignoramibus" (Hilbert) and "there is no permanent place in the world for ugly mathematics" (Hardy).
posted by madcaptenor at 1:09 PM on December 29, 2011


ART
I'll add to Sys Rq's "If you can't make it good, make it big" :
"If it's still not good, paint it red."

And another one, appropriate for two-dimensional visual art and all manner of film and video:
"You are my host in that rectangle. You mustn't bore me." -Edgar Whitney
posted by D.Billy at 1:28 PM on December 29, 2011


McDonald's: "If you've got time to lean, you've got time to clean." Hated that job. Was only allowed 6 McNuggets per shift.
posted by funkiwan at 1:28 PM on December 29, 2011


Radiation protection has ALARA. As Low As Reasonably Achievable. This is actually the law and reasonable is defined in terms of justification, optimization, and limitation.
posted by pseudonick at 1:32 PM on December 29, 2011


Prehospital medicine: Air goes in and out, blood goes round and round. If not, fix it.
posted by skyl1n3 at 1:34 PM on December 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


A few different professions use "Warning: Do Not Look Into Laser With Remaining Eye"
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 1:59 PM on December 29, 2011 [5 favorites]


Advertising: Never care more than your client does.

Web design/software: Signoff is scripture, silence is compliance.

British military: If it's not raining, it's not training.
posted by Happy Dave at 2:00 PM on December 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


Software Development: Good, Fast, Cheap. Pick any two.
posted by cmdnc0 at 2:00 PM on December 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


Agenting and PR: "What have you done for me lately?"

As in, make sure you get repayed promptly for a favor, because once something's in the past it stays there.
posted by emilycardigan at 2:04 PM on December 29, 2011


NASA's motto for a time was "better, faster, cheaper." I knew someone who worked there who would add "... pick any two."
posted by media_itoku at 2:07 PM on December 29, 2011


Household life: If mama ain't happy, ain't NO ONE happy.

Show biz: Always leave them wanting more.

Maritime trades: A ship in the harbor is safe -- but that's not what ships are for.

- aj
posted by Alaska Jack at 2:14 PM on December 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


I.T.

The difference between state of the art and obsolete is that obsolete works.
posted by bricksNmortar at 2:16 PM on December 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


Bicycle components...

Strong; light; cheap. Pick any two.

...meaning you can't get all three.
Likely true of many other things as well.
Attributed to Kieth Bontrager, I believe.
posted by No Shmoobles at 2:36 PM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


photojournalism: f8 and be there.
posted by stuart_s at 2:45 PM on December 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


I can't believe we've got to 80 answers without...

IT Support - 'Have you tried turning it off and on again?'

See IT Crowd for example usage.
posted by cantthinkofagoodname at 2:51 PM on December 29, 2011 [5 favorites]


Journalists refer to "the people's right to know"
posted by jgirl at 3:04 PM on December 29, 2011


This isn't any sort of official slogan but it's been a nice reminder for me:

I'm in social work and I have a sign in my office of Aesop's quote, "No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted."
posted by nuclear_soup at 3:40 PM on December 29, 2011


Animal training: "End* on a positive note." Also known as "Quit while you're ahead" and, in art, "Stop before you ruin it."
*for the day.

I also like, as a GM for role-playing games, "No battle plan ever survived contact with the enemy"
posted by The otter lady at 3:57 PM on December 29, 2011


Oh and another one; from newspaper journalism, but applies to most any writing: "Tomorrow, it's under the puppy." Helps me get over crippling self-doubt in my writing.
posted by The otter lady at 3:58 PM on December 29, 2011


Parenting: Begin as you intend to go on (hard to implement but pays dividends)
IT/IS support: If they want it bad, they'll get it bad
posted by anemone at 4:05 PM on December 29, 2011


US Department of Agriculture Forest Service, since 1905
"The greatest good for the greatest number in the long run"
Currently, "CARING FOR THE LAND AND SERVING PEOPLE"
posted by X4ster at 4:26 PM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


When translators discuss translation problems, the maxim that often gets repeated is "it all depends on the context."
posted by adamrice at 4:33 PM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


The classic bit of advice for writers of all kinds: Murder your darlings.
posted by neroli at 5:10 PM on December 29, 2011


For the Australian Public Service, the ethos 'Effectively, Efficiently, Ethically and Economically' is enshrined in the law.

Less formally, "Does it pass the Today Tonight test?/Picture the Telegraph headline". ie, whenever you make a decision, ask yourself whether the tabloid media could make hay with it.
posted by PercyByssheShelley at 5:58 PM on December 29, 2011


"Good composers borrow, great composers steal."
posted by daisystomper at 7:10 PM on December 29, 2011


Photojournalism

'If it ain't tight it ain't right.'

'f8 and be there'

Also the standard journalism quotes apply as above.
posted by WickedPissah at 7:22 PM on December 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


From investing and speculation:
"The game teaches you the game."
posted by C^3 at 7:27 PM on December 29, 2011


Working with children:

"Never break a promise, never tell a lie."
posted by likeso at 7:35 PM on December 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


Therapists: You have to *want* to change.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 7:37 PM on December 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


for military:

Si vis pacem, para bellum

'If you would seek peace, prepare for war.' Enshrined in the 9mm Parabellum round.

My favorite: 'The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in battle.'

From the submarine service:

'There are two kinds of ships - subs, and targets.'
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:20 PM on December 29, 2011


Downhill skiing: "When it's deep you want steep."
posted by furtive at 8:23 PM on December 29, 2011


Project Management: Face-to-face > Phone > Email
posted by kaizen at 8:48 PM on December 29, 2011


Marine Corps:
* First to Fight
* Semper Fidelis (Always Faithful)
posted by maurreen at 8:51 PM on December 29, 2011


I'm not sure this counts, mainly because I'm not certain how widespread this concise phrasing is, but every biologist I know would agree that nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
posted by mismatched at 9:56 PM on December 29, 2011


From the submarine service:
'There are two kinds of ships - subs, and targets.'


From the bomber guys:
'If you're not attack you must be support.'
posted by Confess, Fletch at 10:03 PM on December 29, 2011


First thing I teach my cinematography/movie-making students: "A camera is a device that captures light". Amazing how easy it is to forget that; leads to a lot of misplaced priorities.... Admittedly I'm not sure it's industry standard.
posted by Shotgun Shakespeare at 4:34 AM on December 30, 2011


Sports time = real time x3.

Said another way, if a college basketball game plays two 20 minute halves, expect the game to last at least 120 minutes total.
posted by teriyaki_tornado at 6:09 AM on December 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Heard many times from other attorneys (and a few CPAs), and there's rarely a week in my practice when I don't think of (or use) this phrase:

Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered.
posted by seventyfour at 6:55 AM on December 30, 2011


From all of my science classes ever: correlation does not equal causation.
posted by coppermoss at 7:01 AM on December 30, 2011


neroli's reminded me of another bit of advice used a lot in writing classes: "Write in white heat; edit in cold blood."
posted by pimli at 9:18 AM on December 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


neroli's reminded me of another bit of advice used a lot in writing classes: "Write in white heat; edit in cold blood."

Tim Leary once told William Gibson to "write stoned, edit sober, or the other way around."
posted by griphus at 9:21 AM on December 30, 2011


From law: Be the most reasonable person in the room (when negotiating)
posted by Sukey Says at 9:24 AM on December 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


BBC ethos: to inform, educate and entertain (John Reith)
posted by Lanark at 10:01 AM on December 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Tobler's first law of geography:
"Everything is related to everything else, but near things are more related than distant things."
posted by maurreen at 11:33 AM on December 30, 2011


I work as a speech therapist and we (along with PTs and OTs) are drilled with "document, document, document!", "if you didn't write it down, it didn't happen" and "CYA" (cover your ass).
posted by coolsara at 12:46 PM on December 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Acquiring editors are told to "resist all but the irresistible."
posted by cider at 1:01 PM on December 30, 2011


Journalism: Get it first, but first, get it right.
posted by GaelFC at 4:07 PM on December 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Law: Pound the facts. If you don't have the facts, pound the law. If you don't have the law, pound the table.
posted by GaelFC at 4:09 PM on December 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


From Microserfs, re full weekend and evening parking lots at tech companies: If the nerds aren't cranking, the stock is tanking.
posted by GaelFC at 4:10 PM on December 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Accounting: Debits on the left, credits on the right.
posted by tatiana131 at 5:01 PM on December 30, 2011


Systems administration: "All software sucks; all hardware sucks." (Also, "Down, not across".)
posted by genehack at 7:01 PM on December 30, 2011


Respect des fonds for archivists
posted by mostly vowels at 9:16 PM on December 30, 2011


"look where you want to go"

not at whatever's scaring you.

also applies to skateboarding, mountain biking, road biking (e.g. fast, steep descents), parkour / trail running, skiing in trees, and riding fast horses over big fences.
posted by lonefrontranger at 9:22 PM on December 30, 2011


From writing (somewhat related to pimli's): first get it out, then get it right.
posted by rjs at 4:15 AM on December 31, 2011


Software testing: in God we trust, the rest we test.
posted by rjs at 4:16 AM on December 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Software has an awful lot of these.

"Premature optimization is the root of all evil", by Knuth, comes to mind.
posted by talldean at 8:32 AM on January 1, 2012


After the morning I've had, there's another one for software: "The good news about computers is that they do what you tell them to do. The bad news is that they do what you tell them to do."
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 10:22 AM on January 5, 2012


"Measure with a micrometer, mark it with chalk, and cut it with an ax". - DSJ

Slight modification from an earlier poster. from my first boss said that when he found me trying to tell a customer that what he wanted wouldn't work.

"The customer is not always right. The customer is almost always wrong. However, the customer always gets his way." -- Al C.
posted by Man with Lantern at 1:44 PM on January 6, 2012


The Internet Robustness Principle: "Be liberal in what you accept, and conservative in what you send." RFC 1958's version: "Be strict when sending and tolerant when receiving. Implementations must follow specifications precisely when sending to the network, and tolerate faulty input from the network."
posted by morganw at 2:18 AM on January 7, 2012


Design: If you can't make it art, make it shiny.
posted by Mcable at 7:53 AM on January 7, 2012


A very late entry, so no one will see this but: "Don't get high on your own supply."
posted by mhum at 1:37 PM on January 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Corporate Training: The difference between "training" and "development" is the difference between sex and sex education.
posted by Jaybo at 5:50 PM on March 1, 2012


Very late entry
Three principals of road construction - drainage drainage drainage
posted by insomniax at 1:46 PM on October 31, 2012


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