10 RULES FOR SYSTEM INTEGRATORS
1. Assume everything is going to be hard.
You will be right 95% of the time!
2. Don't make it worse than it already is
This usually happens because rule #1 is ignored and not enough time is budgeted for the "improvement"
3. Paper is cheap compared to fixing it after the build
Iterate, iterate, iterate the design on paper. Get a thorough review from at least one other person who knows what they are doing.
4. Design for the end user not your college professor
In 5 years, the customer's maintenance tech will not be able to troubleshoot your custom recursive Python script that executes an auto-tuned PID loop
5. Test as early as possible and as often as is beneficial
If you have not performed multiple rigorous tests with some time of simulation prior to lighting the system off in the production environment, prepare for a world of pain
6. Order an extra one, or two, or five
When you drop a specialized connector down a drain grate in the factory floor at midnight and didn't order an extra one to save $10 you will become a believer
7. Pick the size you think you need then go up one more
When you would need a hydraulic press to push your wires inside your wireways to get the covers on you will wish you spent an extra $50 for the bigger size
8. Don't plan to start or finish anything major on a Monday or Friday
Monday is a great prep day to start Tuesday morning when everyone has recovered from the weekend. Friday--no explanation needed.
9. Invest in quality tools and replace or repair them when needed
From your laptop to your wire strippers, spend the extra money for good tools. It will pay off in the long run.
10. Keep your word--no exceptions!
Your integrity is the one thing no one can ever take away from you. If you give it away, you've lost it forever.