FUD defined

The term “FUD” has been around for a long time in IT. It’s IT-specific jargon, and the term can be really helpful in thinking through conversations you have with vendors and even fellow co-workers.

FUD stands for Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. Sometimes you’ll hear the term “FUD cloud,” which means an atmosphere of fear, uncertainty, and doubt. Here are a couple of examples:

“Linux cannot do this the way Microsoft can–Windows is more secure.”

“IT cannot have access to bank account information–it could cause a lawsuit.”

“git is better than Subversion.”

I’m not saying any of these are incorrect statements–just that they are not scientifically testable statements. Here are the same statements, modified to remove the FUD:

“Linux cannot do this the way Microsoft can–Windows is more secure because Windows has IPv6 firewalling turned on by default.” [note: I’m not saying this is true]

“If IT has access to bank account information, it could cause a lawsuit if someone believes that IT is sharing data it ought not to be sharing.”

“git is better than Subversion because it comes with git-bisect, which greatly reduces the time to find bugs.”

In other words, once the statements are converted to be testable/refutable, then there is ground to review each statement.

FUD tends to drive technical people crazy, because it doesn’t provide any ground for rational decision-making. Addressing why something is better/more secure/more reliable takes more time, but ought to result in better solutions.