Just Do It

raph @ 2011-02-14 21:08 <<

This post was migrated from my old blog which used to be hosted on Blogger. As a result, some links might be broken.

Blogs have become really popular several years ago. Now that the hype is over it should be safe for me to create one without risking to be considered surfing on the hype wave. (Note to self for 2015: Have a look at that Twitter-thingy.) But where do I begin? Many topics have been building up in my head, and I often have thought to myself “this would make a neat blog post”. Getting something started can be tough, a phenomenon known to have killed many aspiring (not only) software projects before they even began.

Starting a new project is not so different from me creating this new blog. You are full of ideas, have a pretty good picture of what you want the result to be like, but wonder where to set that very first step to get there. It can be very tempting and alot of fun to research, plan an design for a young and innocent project. It is like a greenfield wonderland where we can dream up anything we would like to do. Go for it. Go nuts. But only a little. Otherwise you will find yourself trapped inside the infamous procrastination loop instead of getting any real work done. Timeboxing your preparations can help.

procrastination loop
src: Joey deVilla

Just do it - this catchy and slightly dingy slogan is something people probably should keep in mind when starting something. To avoid what is known as “startup fatigue” it is important that you stop talking about something and actually start doing it. You will soon find that many things you were dreaming of turn out to be more complicated or even entirely different than you thought they would be. And - assuming that there is a customer somewhere upstream - it gets even worse: all your beautiful little plans will be shattered by changing requirements. It is important to discover these real problems early. You can fix things while you go.

This is what I am now doing with this blog. I am churning out a first post. That makes it far more valuable to you than the mere idea of a blog. You can actually use it, read it. My English might not be perfect, and my plans for this blog are not very detailed. Maybe it’s slightly confusing, badly structured or full of typos. But bear with me. You might not like it now, but I hope to get feedback from you so I can make it better. I will tackle challenges as they come up instead of trying to predict all possible issues that might arise. And who knows, maybe some of you will find one or two useful things in it, too. If there ae no readers and thus no feedback, then at least I did not waste too much time polishing it for a null-audience.

At this point you might think this sounds like a logical and reasonable way to approach a task. That’s because it is. And I am surely not the first one to point that out. Some call it common sense. Others call it pragmatic. Again others call it agile. Brand it what you like, it is just my preferred way of approaching a problem. Not only for blogs, but also in software. That just happens to be what I do for a living. So that is what I intend to write about here. Smart & lazy ways of solving problems. Stuff I come accross, think about, like or dislike. This was the first step, and the subsequent ones will be much easier now that I actually got started.