Stand on the shoulders of giants - Deepstash

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Do it like an engineer

Stand on the shoulders of giants

The chance someone else already solved your problem is high. All you have to do is a search in the literature to find out if there is a solution for a problem matching your use case. There is no point in reinventing the wheel.

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Do it like an engineer

Do it like an engineer

https://hackernoon.com/do-it-like-an-engineer-e64ee3722326

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Key Ideas

Understand the requirements

To solve a problem, you have to understand exactly what the problem is

When you start solving a problem, be sure to understand the starting point, the end goal, and the obstacles in between. The worst possible thing is to produce a solution that actually doesn’t do what’s expected. 

Understand the size of the problem

It's important to understand what is how big the problem is.

Use questions like:

  • How many requests the system should satisfy?
  • What is the expected response time?
  • How many resources do we have?
  • What about deadlines?

"Grandma-Driven" Development

Implement your solution trying to make it understandable by your grandma

Avoid fancy and complex implementations. Put them aside in favor of a simple and understandable one. And optimization to the moment they are necessary.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Basic steps to solving any problem
  • Understand the Problem, so you know you're actually focusing on the the real issue at hand.
  • Create a Plan, so you have a series of actionable steps to follow.
  • ...
Understand the Problem

Often the most difficult step, because it's easy to focus on the wrong part of the problem, or look at the problem too broadly.

The first thing you need to do is reduce it to its simplest and purest form so you know exactly what you're dealing with. While you're doing this, you need to ask yourself questions to make sure you're focusing on the right things. 

Create a Plan

You need a plan with actionable steps. Ask yourself what's barring you from moving forward and make step one. Step one will open doors to other steps. 

Consider which steps will open more doors, add them to the plan, and keep doing that until you get to your solution. Things will change as you act on the plan and you'll need to adapt, so it's best to keep your plan somewhat open-ended and try to include steps that involve preparing for trouble you can foresee. 

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Remain objective

Great problem solvers approach each new problem as though it were brand new. 

That way they can apply a specific solution to the problem instead of a fix that may go only partway.

List the obstacles

Great problem solvers take a high-level view of the issues involved and jot down a list of all the potential factors that could get in the way of a solution. 

Identify the opportunity

So many times great opportunities are wrapped up inside simple problems.

The problem at hand may be symptomatic of bigger problems with your systems or perhaps your industry.

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Systematic approach
Most people jump straight from finding a problem to attempting to solve it.

Having a systematic approach to how you deal with problems, as opposed to just going by gut and feelings, ca...

Study the problem first

Detectives and investigators use the process. They ask both obvious and unthinkable questions.

Get close and collect information about how the problem is manifesting.  Understand where the problem does and doesn’t happen, when the problem started, and how often the problem occurs to generate critical insight for the problem-solving effort.

Question for great answers
  • Don’t look for solutions immediately; Keep redefining the problem until you arrive at the root cause.
  • Don’t try to guess the solution; try to understand how the obstacles, or challenges manifest first.
  • Gather data to analyze all potential root causes.
  • Consider all options, regardless of how irrelevant they currently appear.
  • Find a way to connect the dots. Make better analogies. One good analogy is worth three hours of discussion.

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