One of the most unexpected things that I picked up while pairing with Ashok for a few days in August/September is his ability to pick the simplest solution when confronted with a problem.
On numerous occasions we’d be trying to do something and I’d end up on a yak shaving mission trying to get a complicated approach to work while he watched on with bemusement.
I thought I’d actually learnt this lesson from working with Ashok but on a couple of occasions over the last week I’ve caught myself doing the same thing again!
A couple of days ago I wanted to send a photo taken on my phone to someone but the photo was about 2MB in size, I couldn’t get the wireless network in the office to work and attempting to send it via 3G was totally failing.
I somehow found myself trying to debug the problem with the wireless network when Shodhan pointed out that I could just transfer the file via USB to my machine and then email it from there.
To add to my shame, earlier this evening I was trying to help my mum get a song from a CD onto the hard drive and somehow found myself trying to compile ffmeg so that I could convert an AIFF file into an MP3 on my Mac.
In retrospect I can’t believe I actually believed that what I was doing was a good solution to the problem but some part of my brain clearly though it was!
Although both this examples are on the periphery of software development I think it’s very easy to fall into the same trap there – we want to use things that we’ve learned to come up with clever solutions but that cleverness isn’t always useful!