Find what’s really broken before fixing it

I enjoy coding.

While I have a long way to go as a programmer, coding does put me in a zen kind of a state. The mix of learning and building something new, is almost magical.

It does fuel and inspire the problem solver in me. And it is a great teacher too.

I just learnt that ….

Finding out what is really broken, usually takes more time than fixing it !

Last week, I was trying to fix a bug on a piece of code that was first written few years back. The software itself has undergone multiple iterations and grown in its features and inherent complexity.

I spent almost the whole day digging deeper, going step by step to identify where the error was coming from. This meant tracing the code flow and checking the data integrity at each stage.

Once the exact source of the error was identified, the solution itself was just 2 minutes of code-writing. And then came the critical step of testing the updated code for all the test-cases, before moving it into production.

And as I ended my day and looked back on how my time was spent, it was an eye-opener to problem-solving.

Same is true for medicine also. The doc will suggest a few tests and look at the results to ascertain what really is wrong before suggesting any line of treatment.

SlashEMI’s debt reduction plan infact generates a detailed EMI fitness report, before starting any recommendations.

Note to self – Invest the time to be very sure about what needs fixing. (Problem framing is critical). Focus on fixing what is broken.

Sounds logical and intuitive right?

But do ask yourself how many times have we jumped into the solutioning mode without being sure about the real cause of the problem.

My guess is a little too many times.



, ,



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *