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The Best Question is the One Never Asked

A natural part of being a developer is working through those tough times when you are really stumped and no matter what you do, you cannot solve the problem.  StackOverflow is a great resource for these times and has saved my bacon on numerous occasions, especially on some really tricky issues.  

Although I began to notice a trend in my workflow, I would get stuck on an issue, try a few things and then head over to StackOverflow to starting writing my question, but as I would put my problem into words, a light would come on. I would get a whole new perspective on the problem.  The exercise of framing the problem in a way that someone else could understand it, forced me to simplify the issue and break it down into digestible components.  By mentally working through the problem it also helped me better retain that solution than if I had simply found the answer through Google.

The next time you get stuck on a tough issue, take a moment and write down exactly whats going wrong as if you were going to explain it to someone else, you may just notice exactly where you are going wrong and even if you dont, at least you have a question all ready for submission to StackOverflow...

Reader Comments (1)

I do the same thing! Well, almost. I often figure out the answer to a problem by telling someone about it. As I'm speaking the answer hits me and I stop in mid-sentence. I feel ya.

February 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlan

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