Developers’ Weak Spot

The Internet and code sharing has made the developers who get stuck in Analysis Paralysis potentially worse. Searching the Internet for a solution to prevent reinventing the wheel (or to be diligent to ensure that you do not get it wrong) can end up wasting more time than it saves.

If there are things a good developer knows how to do, often it is worthwhile just doing them without seeing if you can get it already done. There does need to be a balance. But I would argue that the search for an existing solution should be much shorter than typically expected. I’m talking no more than 5% of the estimated time to do it from scratch, with a hard limit of a day for a really big project.

You need to make sure what you are trying to do is not supported by existing code. I remember way back at University in Java 1.3 other students trying to do manually what was provided by the framework with string.EndsWith. All they had to do was check the documentation. IntelliSense makes this much easier these days, but the frameworks, extension methods, available libraries and packages (e.g. NuGet) make the search for ‘does it already exist’ so much harder. When you do not find what you want fairly quickly, do not hesitate to abandon the search and create it yourself.

Consult the Internet, but do not lean on it so that you spend more time looking than you do doing. The Internet certainly is a great resource; we just need to make sure it is used as a resource and not as procrastinator or a crutch.

I wanted to highlight this, because in posts coming up with my development on PlaygroundCommunity I failed in this and also succeeded. It is a delicate balance.

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