Check out this article by Adrian Chadd, known for his WiFI work in FreeBSD, on why attention to details matter as a kernel developer.
When I started with this Atheros MIPS 11n stuff a few years ago, my first test board was a Routerstation Pro with a pair of AR9160 NICs. I could get ~ 150mbit/sec bridging performance out of it, and I thought I was doing pretty good.
Fast forward to now, and I’ve been bringing FreeBSD up on each of the subsequent boards. But the performance never improved. Now, I never bothered to look into it because I was always too busy with my day job, but finally someone trolled me correctly on the FreeBSD embedded IRC channel and I took a look.
It turns out that.. things could’ve benefited from a lot of improvement…
Full blog here: http://bsdmag.org/qca9558/