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Never give up Expand / Collapse
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Posted Tuesday, July 8, 2014 5:58 AM


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majorbloodnock (7/8/2014)
Gary Varga (7/8/2014)
I thought that it was more of a motivational style then lecturing. Some love it, some don't. Personally, I take from editorials of this style the anecdotal knowledge and like to debate the best practices for such scenarios. I am sure some people don't like my style of response.

To quote a great comedy: "Don't panic Mr Mainwaring!!!" i.e. write what you feel and be damned

I'd agree.

On an international forum, style will never fit all readers, at best being a reasonable compromise. Ben's article was definitely a bit "Ra-Ra" by UK standards (for example), but the message was pertinent and we can all do with a kick up the backside from time to time.


I sometimes reread my own postings and dislike them. There is no pleasing everyone all the time!!!


Gaz

-- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!
Post #1590313
Posted Tuesday, July 8, 2014 6:06 AM


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New ideas are untested and spring from rational models (mind junk). Empirical solutions are simple, robust, and proven. I quickly and confidently implement these simple solutions wherever there is a squeaky wheel needing grease. I approach new designs with caution. Committing to a new paradigm generally weakens future freedom in coding.

My wisdom is in knowing that mother nature tries tiny incremental changes here and there. If the change is evolutionary it propagates. Otherwise it dies out with little loss to the system.

City planners favor large hi-rises, highways, and parks. They like zoning and separating commercial and residential areas. They like punctuated uniformity. All these things are contrary to the nature of an old growth forest. They are also contrary to life thriving in a city. Be careful what you envision as a utopia for your application.

A solution must have usability, flexibility, stability, maintainability, sustainability, adaptability, and most importantly cost-justifiability.
Post #1590317
Posted Tuesday, July 8, 2014 7:34 AM


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I guess I always look at a problem as always having a solution. I may not have the answer but I believe it is out there. Just last week we had some major slowness in our production processing, pulling data from a data repository into our warehouse. One process ran for 8 1/2 hours, another 3 1/2 hours. I was very familiar with the 3 1/2 hour process, since I wrote it. So I focused on the 8 1/2 hour process, I made some coding changes, and it ran in just over an hour the next night. While changing that coding we discovered a process from another team was doing 98 billion reads against this repository. So after it was canceled and the code fixed I thought "well I don't need to look at the job I wrote then." But the next night it still took 3 1/2 hours. So I did some research and found I was not joining two of the tables in the most efficient way. I changed the joins and the next night... 2 minutes. WOW, I couldn't believe it. Now to clarify I had written the original code about a year ago when we first started working with this repository, and there was a lot less data. So, yes there was a solution to the problem and I learned never to assume "it can't be my code".
Post #1590355
Posted Tuesday, July 8, 2014 8:13 AM


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below86 (7/8/2014)
... I learned never to assume "it can't be my code".


Always best when you can find it yourself too. Admitting the possibility of fallibility is important. To openly acknowledge it too is great for team morale as everyone can see that it is most important to resolve issues. Even if that leaves someone looking a little worse in some peoples' eyes.


Gaz

-- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!
Post #1590383
Posted Tuesday, July 8, 2014 8:56 AM


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Approach all problems with the belief they can be solved.

And if you can't, it's time to find a different profession.

We make our living solving mysteries.
Post #1590404
Posted Tuesday, July 8, 2014 9:03 AM
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GoofyGuy (7/8/2014)
Approach all problems with the belief they can be solved.

And if you can't, it's time to find a different profession.

We make our living solving mysteries.
... and preventing them
Post #1590407
Posted Tuesday, July 8, 2014 9:38 AM
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david.wright-948385 (7/8/2014)
GoofyGuy (7/8/2014)
Approach all problems with the belief they can be solved.

And if you can't, it's time to find a different profession.

We make our living solving mysteries.
... and preventing them


I have found that the biggest problem in my work is my work. It is not that the work is poor but the work is an extension of what I then knew with limitations and misunderstandings. The logic of yesterday was predicated by the experiences of the days before, and since that experience was more limited then then now, there were inefficiencies and errors that I would not make today. At least I would hope so.

Finding the errors and inefficiencies in your own logic is one of the more challenging things IT people do. To search your logical pattern which was and still may be prone to commit the same error in the same manor as in the program or object, and then after finding the error, replace that logic with new code or functionality is to rethink, retool, and relearn some of the paradigm we operate under. In short we need to find where we are wrong and fix it, this being one of the most difficult things for us to do, for we really do not want to admit that we were wrong. And learning when we already know it all is hard to understand.

Like others apologies for the preaching.

(And please note that this is not all meant to be serious)


Not all gray hairs are Dinosaurs!
Post #1590415
Posted Tuesday, July 8, 2014 9:45 AM
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I enjoyed the article and didn't take it as preaching. Motivation to keep looking for a solution/better solution - yes, but not preaching. However, there does exist the possibility that there is no current solution. That doesn't mean we should give up or stop, but it may be worth saying "I am not able to do this with the tools/knowledge available to me right now" at some point. At that point, start looking for alternatives to the ways available - maybe a "good enough" solution. My first instinct isn't to say "no", but I'm definitely open to the possibility that that might be the answer and we might need to come at the problem/solution a completely different way.


Post #1590420
Posted Tuesday, July 8, 2014 9:51 AM
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I have found that talking about a problem with someone else helps me to think logically. It usually makes the solution clearer. It helps when the person knows little to nothing about technology. It makes me think about the problem and explain it in great detail. It is through this process where the solution appears.

It also helps to know when you need outside help.

Tom
Post #1590423
Posted Tuesday, July 8, 2014 10:48 AM
Right there with Babe

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Maybe I'm taking this too much from a developer's stand point, but I'd like to add "don't just think about today's problems, think about tomorrow's problems too" By which I mean, once you know the business and your users, you can start to get a feel for what they might ask for. As your solving one problem, try to anticipate some of the things they may ask for in the near future.



The opinions expressed herein are strictly personal and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of my employer.
Post #1590434
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