In a recent weblog entry, Miguel comments on how he handles looming problems on the horizon. He tells the story of Gnunmeric's comuptation engine and summarizes it this way:

What I like about this story, is that I could have given up at any point since there was a large problem ahead of me: a problem I had no answers to. And I see this with many free software developers, students and even in normal social situations: people stop doing things because they see a big problem ahead of them that they can not possibly conceive working around. My advise to every young programmer is to start writing code and delay addressing imaginary problems until they become real.

There's a lesson that for folks in lots of areas, not just software development. Even life in general.

Too many people try to solve everything in advance or devise the perfect solution.

Posted by jzawodn at May 20, 2004 11:31 AM

Reader Comments
# TDavid said:

Translated to be the Nike slogan: Just do it!

My advise to every young programmer is to start writing code and delay addressing imaginary problems until they become real.

on May 20, 2004 01:06 PM
# TeaFiend said:

Some call it good enough engineering!

on May 20, 2004 03:14 PM
# david said:

I followed that philosophy for awhile when programming, until I found out that what I wrote had to be completely overhauled when I found out I dug myself into a very nice hole..

I suppose it depends on the type of problem being referred to as well..

on May 20, 2004 04:04 PM
# Chris said:

People spend way too much time trying to build the perfect product. Getting a product OUT & FUNCTIONAL is a great practice (the key word is functional) Get it done! Get ahead of your compitition! Make some money then tweak!

Damn I spend a lot of time on here! Maybe one day I get a response from one of my comments

on May 20, 2004 04:33 PM
# Derek Scruggs said:

Another technique is to reduce the Big Hairy Problem into the next physical action to tackling it. Usually it's something really mundane and trivial like making a phone call, sending an email, scheduling a memo etc. Think in terms of very specific actions, not abstractions. The book Getting Things Done has a lot of great stuff to say about this.

on May 20, 2004 07:45 PM
# Anonymous said:

Why is it that no one on this earth can spell "advice" correctly?

on May 21, 2004 11:03 AM
# said:

Same reason people confuse "loose" with "lose."

on May 21, 2004 11:54 AM
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone. My current, past, or previous employers are not responsible for what I write here, the comments left by others, or the photos I may share. If you have questions, please contact me. Also, I am not a journalist or reporter. Don't "pitch" me.


Privacy: I do not share or publish the email addresses or IP addresses of anyone posting a comment here without consent. However, I do reserve the right to remove comments that are spammy, off-topic, or otherwise unsuitable based on my comment policy. In a few cases, I may leave spammy comments but remove any URLs they contain.