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Often, as I describe the problem or the vague plan of attack it seems to solve itself along the way. That was one good thing when (1) I was working in the office, and (2) there actually was (at least) a second developer around.
Oddly, still occurs if I'm typing the same mess into an email trying to describe the plan, the obstacles. and the options to remove/evade them.
Not search words - describing the problem in text (or verbally) somehow condenses it to something that offers options (or eliminates them, also good). If I were to blame it on any particular concept it would be the need to "crystallize" the problem instead of letting it float around as a nebulous adversary. I couldn't say how that improves things - or for that matter, if it's the path from one mode to the other that does it.
I find that having managed to describe the problem, and plucked up the courage to send/post the query, that up re-reading the sent message, in a more relaxed state, some key phrase that I used can be searched for (OK so it's Google, but there are others).
Usually that search then comes up with a lot better answers, or at least clarifiers, for the problem.
Essentially it's a bit of Analysis Paralysis that stops one from 'seeing the woods for the trees' (or is that 'wood for the trees'?) while preparing the description, but once sent, the relaxation allows me to finally see the core part. It's that while the problem has been 'crystallised', it's still buried in the dirt of the broader message. The old 20/20 hindsight!
I think it's that you try to describe precisely, completely, what's - oh no, that's not quite right - ( and correcting yourself ) - and trying to give a clear explanation - and finding you were thinking wrong there or...
Yeah, examining both the overall and the details. And each part of the explanation you think about and correct as you give it.
For a long time I've said that my superpower is that people ask me for help. Then, without me doing anything, the problem is solved. This was awesome when I worked a job doing desktop support via phone.
Now you've made me question if it was my superpower or the other people's.
Keep all things as simple as possible, but no simpler. -said someone, somewhere
The rubber duck is your familiar, mediating between you and the Powers that enable you to program.
At times the S/N ratio on the channel goes too low, so the Powers cannot get through. It is then that giving your duck some attention (and a small sacrifice, e.g. your firstborn...) can really pay off. Get on the wrong side of your duck, and you will program nevermore!
Is that "New Agey" enough, or should I insert some psychobabble as well?
Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.
-- 6079 Smith W.
Okay, I can make some sense of that. I would have pictured a cat though. I have a black one who is slightly cross eyed and whose tail and ears are too big for the rest of him. He is my familiar. What do I tell him?