Don't overthink things

Confusing title huh?

I want to explore the scenario that comes up when you both have an idea, and know how to implement it, and how knowing the how prevents you from focusing on the what. I find this happens while programming a lot more frequently then I’d like to admit. And it’s not just me, we experience it a lot dealing with the Seed Philly directory project we are working on.

I find that I have a unique ability to visualize how a process should work, or the interaction amongst multiple moving pieces, and from there, because of my programming background, I can start to build a structure around these visualization. But then, something happens. I end up wasting 2,4,8,12 hours (Facebook integration sucked 172 hours of my life!) on some fundamentally simple bug that does nothing more then suck the energy and enthusiasm out of my work. The reasons behind this are varied, new technology, outside of the scope of my skill set, or just simply some incompatibility that couldn’t be foreseen (Azure databases, I’m looking at you).

The point I am trying to make is, while I’m stuck banging my head against the wall, the What of the project, doesn’t see any forward progress at all. I’m stuck in the weeds, unable to move forward both from a functionality stand point, as well as a business standpoint. I supposed this is where it helps to have a team. While the developers are stuck, the leader has to continue moving the What forward. By doing both, you are going to drop the ball on one, or both, items.

I’m going to go out on a ledge here and quote a TV sitcom on this one…

“Don’t half ass two things, whole ass one thing”

– Ron Swanson, Parks and Rec

But there really is truth in this. You can either do one thing really well, or do lots of things OK. Problem is, unless you can wrangle up the resources, you are usually the one holding all the balls. But that’s another story.

If you have any tips or tricks to dealing with this phenomenon, please share, it’ll be good to know.

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