1. 19

  2. 17

    This title rubs me the wrong way. You can be a successful IT person (what even is that?) without knowing any of this. You can even use OpenBSD without caring about any of the history. It is mildly interesting, but not something anyone must know.

    I am comparing it to the famous unicode article and that one has a ton of information everyone should have at least heard about https://www.joelonsoftware.com/2003/10/08/the-absolute-minimum-every-software-developer-absolutely-positively-must-know-about-unicode-and-character-sets-no-excuses/

    1. 8

      There seems to be a lot of wishful thinking in the BSD communities. In many ways I wish that (a) BSD was the free Unix everyone uses, but Linux is, for better or worse, and is the only Unix that “every IT person” needs to know something about.

      1. 3

        I think it depends on the BSD; I’ve found NetBSD people to be very relaxed about it, but OpenBSD to be almost cult like. FreeBSD is somewhere in between; a legacy that never hit its full potential, but the zealotry tempered by corporate success.

      2. 6

        You can be a successful IT person without even knowing about OpenBSD’s existence. Not to knock OpenBSD, but it’s not widely relevant.

        That’s not to say it’s not being used – but if I go to Indeed.com and type in OpenBSD + my city, I get zero results. Expanded to my entire state, still zero results. More than 1700 results for Linux. 2,650 for Windows, but I expect some of those are false positives – like the Sales Rep job for Champion Window… (NetBSD also 0, FreeBSD gets 6.)

        If I search all of California, I get 8 jobs that match with OpenBSD. Eight.(Nearly 15,800 with Linux.)

        1. 2

          FWIW, I’ve hired about a half dozen people who wound up working with OpenBSD for some non-trivial portion of their job. I never saw fit to specify that in a job listing. I just listed UNIX. (OpenBSD was not the only UNIX they were dealing with by any stretch.)

          1. 2

            Am I right to guess that prior OpenBSD experience was not considered an important hiring criterion and they picked it up on the job?

            1. 2

              Something like that. We wanted people who had learned a couple of (*BSD, Solaris, AIX, Irix, HP-UX) because we had all of these in our environment. And new weird stuff came in all the time. Being able to pick stuff up on the job was perhaps the most important hiring criterion.

              Listing UNIX turned out to be a better filter for that than enumerating all of the things we were interested in.

              1. 2

                I am curious: what environment has such a Unix zoo? My first job was in a Sun shop, so we had Solaris 8/9 on sparc and Linux (Suse) was getting rolled out to x86 workstations too. We had no other unix though.

                1. 2

                  We were a medium sized shop that wrote bespoke software in addition to making sure our niche products ran at customer sites.

                  This was before many customers could readily get you long-term, low-friction access to their environments, so we’d replicate them in-house. And letting us host a service was out of the question :)

                  We dealt with a lot of banks (or credit card issuers, which were often but not always banks), several insurance companies (traditional and medical), one lottery operator, a couple of governments, a couple of retail companies, a few advertising companies, and several ISPs. The common thread was that each had their entrenched UNIX systems, we needed to fit in, and many needed to use oddball peripherals (especially for managing cryptographic keys or for accelerating cryptographic operations) that we knew how to integrate.

                  It’s funny that you called it a zoo. We used to call it that too… and I had about 4 racks of equipment for it where I posted lovingly crafted replicas of these signs.

          2. 1

            You can be a successful IT person without even knowing about OpenBSD’s existence. Not to knock OpenBSD, but it’s not widely relevant.

            As an OpenBSD user I’ve come to realise this. I used to mention it on my resume. But not anymore. Quite frankly I don’t think many of the people who see my resume give a shit about it :)

            1. 1

              You can be a successful IT person without even knowing about OpenBSD’s existence. Not to knock OpenBSD, but it’s not widely relevant.

              To be fair though you could say that about anything though. You can be a successful IT person without even knowing about HTML/JavaScript/HTTP/Assembler/Floating Point Numbers/Compiler/Character Encodings/Unicode/C/Java/Git/Linux/macOS/…

              I have certainly seen successful IT people not knowing one or more of them. Sure, some jobs require knowledge about those, but so some jobs require knowledge about OpenBSD.

              So I agree that the title is silly. However I’d argue the whole phrase isn’t much better.

              But then some people use that phrase, because it’s silly or at least famous. Just like “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” and others is common. But at least that one is usually less wrong.

          3. 2

            ssh alone is enough to warrant the title of the blog post.

            1. 4

              except ssh was not invented by openbsd, they have a very popular implementation sure, but let’s keep things honest https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secure_Shell