The byte order mark, or BOM for short, is a special Unicode character that can be used to indicate that a file’s contents is Unicode. Visual Studio is one of those editors that like to use the BOM when saving UTF-8 files. There are a few problems with the BOM. It can break shell scripts, as it precedes the shebang. It can cause unnecessary diff noise in git history, just like any other invisible character mismatch (spaces vs tabs, different line endings, lack of EOL at EOF). In short, I don’t like it and I’d like to get rid of it.
An information dashboard is a way to visualize and share information within a team about things that are important. You can setup a big monitor showing live updates about build statuses, open jira issues, a sprint burndown graph, the health of your applications on production, and so on. Having this information visible is a way to keep it on the back of your head (out of sight, out of mind). It also shows to people outside your team what matters to you.