Do you remember back to your school days of writing a paper, giving it a once over, and turning it in only to be surprised on return of bad editing marks? After all, I reviewed it; how did I miss so many mistakes?
When we start actively writing, our brains devote more processing resources to higher-order thinking. In other words, the brain filters out low-level mundane items like spelling and grammar in favor of conveying meaning. This is a well known phenomenon that has often been written about 1, so you’re likely already aware.
“OK, so you’ve made me take the painful trip back to high school term papers, what’s your point?”
This isn’t just limited to writing papers and articles. It exists in all creative processes. As a software engineer, this happens to us all the time. We’re thinking about a problem at a high level, we write code to solve the problem, then the dreaded bugs come. Even worse, things downstream from our changes may be affected. How do we combat this?
Ruminate. Let it stew.
Often, we push ourselves to be so productive that we rarely give ourselves time to sit back and think about what we’ve done. We’ve grown accustomed to doing one task and fixing three bugs. If we were to just slow down and contemplate our solution, we can catch what our brain was helping us gloss over in the first place. Maybe even allow for a holistic solution!
So before you push to production, pause and let the code percolate.
- This is why you should never interrupt a programmer - Archived Link
- Featured image by Tachina Lee
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