Now I can’t lie to you, I’m not an insanely practical man….. When it comes to home repairs and the like I’d prefer to pay a man (or woman) who knows what they are doing to do the job; They won’t swear half as much, will generally get the job done without resort to every ill fitting tool in my toolbox, without the use of a calendar and they’ll also have an understanding of the problems that are likely to be encountered on the way. More importantly they’ll plan to avoid the potential issues. (in)Famously I once tweeted that ‘there are only so many ways that 15 pieces of wood can be put together to make a wardrobe, I know because I’ve tried all the others!’
I once knew a guy who was immensely practical, being a general builder for much of his life I asked, and he agreed, to assist me with repairing some windows as I wanted to learn; maybe I could become self sufficient in all my windowing needs and move onto doors and the like… possibly take over the world, I don’t know what I was thinking. Anyway we first needed some strips of wood to replace the pieces that we were going to have to break in repairing the window. How hard could this be? I mean it’s just a piece of wood right, so long as the dimensions are fine and it looks clean…. However I was aware of time passing as we stood in the local ‘shed’ looking at various seemingly identical pieces of strip wood. After he had discarded what seemed like the 7th identical piece I asked what he was doing… I don’t remember his exact response but I do remember that he was particularly keen to ensure that the grain of the wood was absolutely as he needed for a good deal many reasons. It was at this point that my practical life in windows was curtailed as there was clearly way more to think about that I had previously imagined.
I know what you re thinking….. no code snippets in a developer blog? The answer this week is a resounding No! Before one line of code can be written the problem MUST be understood in it’s entirety, you can’t code for a problem until you understand the problem and you can’t code a solution unless you understand how your chosen platform allows you to best solve a problem, well you could but like with the window if we’d used just any piece of wood it would likely have just broken midway through the job.
I guess you can sum this post up in one word ‘Experience.’
Written by: Conrad Rowlands, Senior Systems Architect and Developer, DSCallards