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Problem-solving Strategies


Radial Development Group

January 25 · Issue #47 · View online

Our thoughts on running a company, tech insight, news, and nerd life.

Hi Friends,
How do you solve hard problems? How do you teach others how to do so?
Since a lot of people we hire are new to the tech space, we spend a lot of time thinking about the second question. That means we also have to know our answer to the first. 
After untangling code snarls for a decade, a thoughtful programmer starts to develop a typology of problems, and a set of strategies* for solving them. We want to share those strategies with everyone who works at Radial, and also with you.
  1. Sanity check. Is something dumb or obviously wrong? Is your Internet working? Did you save the file? Is this code configured to only work in a production environment and you are testing it on a local server?
  2. Disintegrate. Is this a problem in the details? Can we pinpoint it to one line of code or something highly specific?
  3. Integrate. Is this a big picture problem? What is the big picture of what we are trying to accomplish, and why is this error occurring?
  4. Binary Tree Search. Can we find the problem location by dividing the problem space in half, and in half again, until we find exactly where it is? 
  5. Reference check. Sometimes the answer is written down somewhere, deep in the documentation or maybe right at the top if you actually read the directions.
Most of the time, solving a hard problem involves a mix-and-match of these. 
And remember, when all else fails, try turning it off. And turning it back on again.
*This strategy list comes from a conversation with Marshall Smith, our principal developer.

An entire Twitter feed of bad survey questions.
How to be a better listener.
Sparking Genius
From our friendly neighborhood nerd Ariana F., at Rosabella Consulting.
The Knowing
Have you ever had a feeling that nudges you to do or stop something seemingly out of nowhere? Listening to it is advantageous but it’s also easy to ignore. And when you ignore it you later feel regret, frustration, or disappointment.
That is the Knowing of your inner genius (AKA intuition). While our intuition is subtle, it has a way of persisting. It’s knocking those nights we are unable to sleep due to worry. Or struggling to experience calm and peace while meditating. It’s as though our bodies are the conduit for our inner genius to prevail and the persistent discomfort is a sign we need to quiet our inner critic and listen more deeply within.
When was the last time you listened for the Knowing of your inner genius?
What if you could call on your inner genius at will? What if you listened to the Knowing of your inner genius to craft meaningful goals for 2022? There’s still time to  join the 2022 Annual Planning Workshop and learn how to listen within to create the change you want to experience this year!
Use coupon Code RadialRocks for $45 off.
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