Reflection on Problem Solving

I had my last day of XSLT/XPath training. I learned quite a bit and a few new techniques, which got me to thinking about problem solving. (Being a techie person this involves solving problems by writing software.)

It seems that there are many ways to approach a problem and how to solve it. Often this involves reflecting on the problem, identifying tools and outlining a way to solve the problem. Now this sounds easy enough, but what I find myself doing is trying to solve the problem without really reflecting on it. So I waste a lot of time doing stuff, only to find out that what I was doing didn't really solve the problem.

Also, by reflecting on the problem and on the tools I have to use to solve the problem and how they work. Believe it or not, how to solve a problem is very dependent on the tools you have to use, how they work and creative ways to use the tools in order to solve a problem.

In short, take the time to reflect on the problem, make sure you've identified the problem, outline a course of action, pick up your tools and start to work on the problem. During the solution phase you'll need to periodically run back through the whole process to ensure you are on track.

Hopefully, this makes some sense. I'll come back and edit it.

Yeah, this post was not as exciting as the previous, but you can't always be sunshine and cheer!

1 comment:

Mark in DC said...

I think you're exactly right about the need to reflect on a problem (without trying to solve it immediately) so that you can select the right tools. Now, I'm no techie like yourself (far from it, truthfully) but I can tell that concept is sound, and I will try to implement it the next time I encounter a problem. Oh, wait... here's a problem: the faucet is dripping.....