Star Trek fans far and wide adore Patrick Stewart's character, Jean-Luc Picard. They trust his ability as captain and would follow much of his advice. So much so that over 100,000 people follow the novelty Twitter account @PicardTips. It features daily tips that, while often humourous and relate to Star Trek, nearly always provides valuable advice on management, personal development, technology and other topics. We scrolled through and, as expected, @PicardTips has plenty of one-liners suitable for the IT contractor. Here are our favourite 25 from the past year...
Picard programming tip: A computer is like a mischievous genie. It will give you exactly what you ask for, but not always what you want.
Picard engineering tip: Even if computers can talk now, remember how deeply stupid they are.
Picard management tip: Data is easier to manage than humans.
Picard management tip: Break a complex, urgent problem into subcomponents, one for each of your lieutenants to solve.
Picard devops tip: No, you are not allowed to connect your brain to the computer. Learn to type like everyone else.
Picard diplomacy tip: When communication is breaking down, try to speak the other person's language.
Picard ethics tip: The fact that a conflict has many sides does not imply that every side has merit.
Picard management tip: Tell your employees when they do well, even if you believe they are empathic and can read your mind.
Picard social tip: A Vulcan can laugh. A Klingon can soothe. A Ferengi can give. Your preconceptions are not facts.
Picard resistance tip: Occasionally there are times when you must draw a line and refuse to budge.
Picard management tip: Everyone's a critic, but some criticisms are more correct than others.
Picard management tip: In a strange new environment, be wary of making changes until you understand more about what's going on.
Picard management tip: Put your experts in a conference room, tell them the problem, then shut up and watch the magic happen.
Picard programming tip: When the holodeck malfunctions, stay in character. Don't piss off the computer.
Picard management tip: Give your crew the best technology available and you'll be amazed what they can do for your enterprise.
Picard programming tip: The first version of any software will be buggy. That's why so many holodeck programs try to kill you.
Picard technology tip: An advanced system isn't always easy to use. Improve the interface, or try pushing buttons at random.
Picard management tip: Adopt the latest technologies right away, even if they're in beta.
Picard management tip: Don't negotiate absurd schedules with engineers. Encourage truth telling and reasonable time estimates.
Picard engineering tip: Don't allow the computer to push you around. Let it know who's boss.
Picard management tip: Be willing to ask for help, even from people you dislike.
Picard technology tip: Sometimes your chief engineer can build new systems that are better than your existing enterprise software.
Picard programming tip: Don't be fooled. Machines have feelings.
Picard management tip: If they know their jobs, leave them alone. If they don't, help them learn.
Picard management tip: Know when to put on a happy face. It's part of adulthood, and essential for command