We all work our asses out trying to do our job well, to carry out our responsibilities, to make sure we are moving forward, to develop ourselves to face the world one day. Each one of us is inspired in some way. One friend of mine wants to cook and run a hotel which he owns himself. Another friend wants to develop something which will change the world (and of course earn him billions.) But, there are times when everything ‘seems’ fine but things still aren’t working out or progress is slow. Now, my experience comes with coding, loads of it cocktailed with numerous mistakes throughout the years. The following points are purely metaphorical, but I am sure they will fit in many aspects of your life.
What do you do when everything seems in place and yet, you cannot work your way out of it?
1. Remember who wrote the code. (Remember who created the situation)
You wrote those lines, you know what belongs where, how it got there and why it got there. Don’t be overwhelmed after hours of pondering and re-thinking what can be wrong. The answer is just playing hide and seek in your head.
Have you done this already? Oh well, the problem seems a bit persistent. How about we try some more? This time with a different approach. Quoting Harvey Specter from the remarkable TV show Suits –
“What are your choices when someone puts a gun to your head? What are you talking about? You do what they say or they shoot you. WRONG. You take the gun, or you pull out a bigger one. Or, you call their bluff. Or, you do any one of a hundred and forty six other things.”
Don’t take NO for an answer, even from computer code.
3. Go back to 1st grade
Ask yourself elementary questions. Get as stupid as you can, do it loudly. People think what they want any ways, so why not let them think you are crazy? Everyone is (including me.) These elementary questions will make sure you are completely aware of the situation at hand. And in this case, your code. If you can answer these questions then let me tell you that you are already half way through. If you cannot, then it’s probably time to go back to the forum from where you blindly “Ctrl + C”ed it.
4. Visit the site which has all answers.
You guessed it right. http://www.google.com. I have a mentor who doesn’t entertain silly questions. If we are being a bit ignorant, he will just dismissively ask us to Google it. And he is right in doing so. Research about your problem before you seek external help. There is a 99% chance that someone else might have faced the same ‘silly’ issue.
Many a times it is just a minor typo or a missing semi-colon. And if you are lucky enough, you might have found a bug in the framework. (Time to shout in forums!)
5. F R I E N D S.
You will not be disappointed with this one. We probably tend to overlook certain details after hours of staring at the same piece of code. We take certain aspects as granted and under our nose, those are the trouble makers.
A new set of eyes will lock on to the issue probably better than you can (after 5 hours of continuous work). You also have someone to bounce ideas with and your chances of solving the problem are doubled. Some advice and a bit of humour will set you on the right path. That’s what friends are for.
6. Take a break soldier
You need it now. Take your mind off the problem for a while. Have some coffee. Go and talk to the cute girl you like on the next desk. (Distractions are not advisable unless you know it is only temporary). After a nice walk in the park, you are recharged for the battle again. Yes, you have to get back and solve the god damn error.
7. Don’t effing give up
You are not allowed to give up. You are probably working on the project of your lifetime. You take responsibility for what is launched and what is not. Make sure that you are sweating blood before you go and tell your Boss that it cannot be done. You are not alone in this, people around you, your colleagues depend on you for that jQuery feature. You do not hold the rights to disappoint them.
Imagine what it will feel like after you have crossed this desert. Do you like that feeling? Well, you have to work for it. Keep driving yourself forward, keep motivating yourself and others around you. Eventually (after you found the missing semicolon), the code will run and you have my permission to dance around the office.