9 Problem-Solving Strategies of 10x Developers

  • 15 March 2022
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As a software engineer, you face challenges on a daily basis you are theoretically paid to solve. Here are 9 strategies you can pull into your repertoire. 10x developers use them, and you’re CLEARLY not one, so why aren’t you?

  • 📴 Turn everything off and back on again.

    Oldie but a goodie.

  • 🗣️ Ask around until someone else solves the problem for you.

    Delaying tactics come in handy here. If they give a high-level answer, keep bothering the until they give you instructions even a monkey could do.

  • 🔁 Keep changing things until it works.

    Don’t bother investigating the problem or reading the docs, that path leads only to madness. Bonus points if you try random answers from Stack Overflow until it works.

  • Delete the problem.

    Go one level of abstraction up and change whatever contains the problem. For example, switch to a different library, blow away the entire VM, start a new company in a different market, etc.

  • 📜 Change the spec.

    If you change the requirements, you can always be right. We have always been at war with Eastasia.

  • 🤮 Make a heinous commit someone else will feel forced to fix.

    The quickest way to a solution is to post the wrong answer on the internet and wait for people to come angrily correct you.

  • 🧙‍♂️ Ask Stack Overflow.

    Do your best to phrase it so it sounds like a homework assignment.

  • 🙈 Ignore it and hope it goes away.

    This approach is not unique to software engineering — feel free to try it in your daily life.

  • 🌳🧔🪓 Move to the woods, become a hermit, forget English.

    If you can’t read the ticket, you can’t be in charge of completing it.

You may be expecting a profound conclusion to this list, but remember ‘Change the spec.’ There is no need for a conclusion.

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