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Ever thought of giving up???

Been working for the past three weeks to solve a simple problem was really simple when I finally managed to solve it..but I just could not figure it out for such a long time..there were moments where I really felt like giving up..

Have you ever felt like that while facing a problem or bug that seems unsolveable or drives you nuts..the solutions is just there but you cannot see it..

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Yes but nothing beats the elation felt when you finally to find the solution.

Aussie Chick
Tuesday, October 21, 2003

No.  Everything I do just comes out perfectly the very first time with no effort at all.

Was that a rhetorical question?

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

God, try putting a little effort into it the next time please.  Just think of the perfection you could have with a little concentration.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

After a while, I start to hate the problem, and then the hatred drives me forward.

But I'm a bitter old man...

H. Lally Singh
Tuesday, October 21, 2003

There's never a shortage of hypotheses to test. so no I've not thought of giving up.  From time to time though I've changed an entire approach, rewritten a different design or implementation to avoid something which had become a road block.

Simon Lucy
Tuesday, October 21, 2003

I can usually find the answer on Google, or at least something that will get me started.

John Topley (
Tuesday, October 21, 2003

I meant to write Google Groups.

John Topley (
Tuesday, October 21, 2003

I meant to write Microsoft Windows but someone beat me to it.

Simon Lucy
Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Of course...and usually in those cases I do give up and move on to some other programming problem, or another app entirely.  And then in a couple days in a random moment I'll have a flash of insight that solves the problem, insight I never would have had if I hadn't stepped away for a while.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

I'm amazed at the number of times I've given up for the night on a bug that's eating my lunch, only to have my brain suddenly reveal the problem with stunning clarity in the middle of the night, in the shower, etc.  I never underestimate the value of time spent away from the keyboard.

Mike Garrett
Tuesday, October 21, 2003

>And then in a couple days in a random moment I'll have a flash of insight that solves the problem, insight I never would have had if I hadn't stepped away for a while. <

"Programmer's myopia" :-P

Coding Cog
Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Here are some internal memos that were leaked from gods last project...

Jason Watts
Tuesday, October 21, 2003

I've been astonished by the number of times a simple and effective solution has presented itself after I've declared the problem a pain in the arse to solve.  Or sometimes while I'm in the middle of declaring it an annoying problem with not a particularly easy solution.

It also works to sleep on it and/or put it off for a few hours, if declaring it a hard problem doesn't work.

It sucks, however, when the solution comes to you while dozing off and you spend the entire night dreaming of fixing the problem.  I must have fixed the problem 3 or 4 times that night in my sleep.

I blame it all on the subconscious mind.

Flamebait Sr.
Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Not more than twice a day.

Jim Rankin
Tuesday, October 21, 2003

I remember hearing/reading somewhere that sometimes just explaining the problem to someone else (or even to yourself out loud, if no one else is available) can actually help you determine a solution. Has this approach ever worked for anyone?

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Code-Poet - heh yep and it's funny, because you almost finish explaining this huge concept to another person and you go "BINGO!" and run away to fix it.

the other person is left just sitting there going wtf?!

but at least you solved your problem :P

Dan G
Tuesday, October 21, 2003

From :

"According to legend, the TA office next to the Stanford computer science lab is guarded by a teddy bear. Before a student is allowed to consume valuable time asking a question of the TA, they must first explain it to the teddy bear. Apparently the bear is able to answer 80% of the questions that students ask, saving time for the TAs to play Unreal Tournament. "

I've done this (though not at Stanford). It works. Weird, huh?

Chris Tavares
Wednesday, October 22, 2003

The most common form of despair is when a problem appears to stem from a third party component that I don't have control over fixing.

As mentioned above though, a lot of the time the solution manifests itself whilst explaining the problem to somebody else.

In fact, on only one occasion have I seen a project doomed because of the failure of a third party component, and that was because it was "unsupported".

Better Than Being Unemployed...
Thursday, October 23, 2003

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