frankdenneman Frank Denneman is a Chief Technologist at VMware, primarily focusing on Machine Learning technology. He is an author of the vSphere host and clustering deep dive series, podcast host for the Unexplored Territory podcast, and you can follow him on Twitter @frankdenneman.

Best practices

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Last week at VMworld and the VCDX defense panels I heard the term “Best Practices” a lot. The term best practice makes me feel happy, shudder and laugh at the same time. Now when it comes to applying best practice I always use the analogy of crossing the road:

I am born and raised in the Netherlands and best practice is to look left first, then to the right and finally check left again before crossing the road. This best practice served me well and it helped me avoid being hit by a car/truck/crazy people on bikes and even trams and trolleys. But I ask you does this best practice still apply when I try to cross the street in London?
Don’t get me wrong, best practice are useful and very valuable, but to apply a best practice blindly won’t be as lethal as my analogy but it can get you into a lot of trouble.

frankdenneman Frank Denneman is a Chief Technologist at VMware, primarily focusing on Machine Learning technology. He is an author of the vSphere host and clustering deep dive series, podcast host for the Unexplored Territory podcast, and you can follow him on Twitter @frankdenneman.

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14 Replies to “Best practices”

  1. I was having a conversation about this with Tom Howarth just yesterday whilst at IP Expo. He prefers to use the term “Recommended Procedures” instead because it sounds less prescriptive.
    On a lighter note, people in the Netherlands drive on the wrong side of the road 😉

  2. Same with ITIL: nothing more then a collection of best practices. It’s made so companies have a guideline to base their own processes on. Some follow it like it is the holy grail though. I think the first option is the better one. it’s always good to read in on best practices but one always needs to check if those ways are also the best ways for their own needs.

  3. Totally agree!
    In Norway we are also born and raised to look left first, then to the right and finally check left again before crossing the road.
    Any best practice recommendations in particullar you would think over twice before implementing?
    -Jarle-

  4. That’s not a best practice. It wouldn’t help me in the UK, would it? In fact, in the UK what you describe is most definitely an anti-pattern: something that will hurt me.
    But even if you claim it’s a locally-scoped best practice (much like a local variable vs. a global in programming) it might not be best. It might be best practice to use a crossing: you didn’t mention that, did you?
    Let’s just face it: there are no best practices. Period.
    Move on, everyone! Nothing to see here.
    Luv ya Frank 😉

  5. This will become my reference article everytime someone quotes “Best Practice” to me as a reason to do something a certain way ….

  6. The “Best Practice” is to make the right decision for your circumstances by taking the time to understand the #&*$% issues.

  7. But surely, you should not be crossing the road this way, as m1cro$0ft just made uk zebra crossings an industry standard.
    Sorry, I’ll get my coat!.

  8. Well said – as a German working in Australia I hear these words just too often. People here love Best Practises … some treat it like a religion!
    In a way, I am glad that VMware does not post Best Practise documentation on too many things – it keeps us alive and puts money in your account.

  9. This doesn’t make a difference if you realize the way, but the best important most likely could be the approach to carry out with nominal effort and practically in most helpful and appropriate way.

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