One thing I’ve noticed over my career as a developer is that I’m generally way more concerned about the ‘why’ than the 'how’.
Don’t get me wrong, figuring out the 'how’ is always a fun part of any project…but it’s never where my brain starts. At the start, I am always way more concerned with understanding the problem or the idea itself than I am thinking about how I’m actually going to do something (I have a big enough ego to assume I’ll figure out a reasonably great 'how’ once I’ve got a true understanding of the 'why’).
I think this focus on the 'why’ first is part of the reason I end up with so many different project ideas and things I’m interested in working on. I also think it’s crucial to helping me focus my actual development energies on 'real’ projects…that is, I’m generally able to determine pretty quickly if something is even worth me figuring a 'how’ out for or not (often times, the real 'why’ behind a request reveals that a 'good enough’ tool/solution already exists).
I also feel like this obsession with the 'why’ extends way beyond my life as a developer. Long before I ever touched a computer I was fascinated by the 'why’ behind things in life…2 + 2 = 4, but why? The girl I like doesn’t like me, but why? That kid just lied for no reason, why? This remote control has 68 screws holding it together…why?
The answers to these 'why’ type questions has formed the base of my entire life philosophy…and it’s driven the 'why’ behind the majority of my own actions and beliefs.
So, what question are you obsessed with? And more importantly, to me, why? ;-)
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Kevin has a day job as CTO of Veritonic and is spending nights & weekends hacking on Share Game Tape. You can also check out some of his open source code on GitHub or connect with him on Twitter @falicon or via email at kevin at falicon.com.
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