Pressure

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The main reason for my lack of blogging since August last year has been starting a new job. I have been very busy and the new role has many challenges that have occupied a lot of my thinking time, however I am not sure that this has been the only factor at work. Having not written – for public consumption at least – for some time, I suppose I felt that it would be good to mark my blogging “comeback” with a signature article on a topic of interest and importance. Perhaps this led to a slight, unconscious build-up of pressure somewhere in my mind. Several people have been very kind about my work on this site and maybe I felt that I should live up to their encouraging comments.

Several months down the line, I have decided that the best way to kill this particular demon is to simply put fingertip to keyboard and write something. Sadly this is not going to be the signature piece that I had hoped for, but my current case of writer’s block is such that if I don’t write something then my concern about not being able to write another engaging and insightful piece will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

As ever, maybe there is a learning here for the business world and IT in particular. IT people are, by definition, analytical, logical and have a great attention to detail. This can lead to a desire to create the perfect piece of code via endless polishing of the same 5-line “rock”, or to understand every nuance of a business requirement before beginning to scope out a solution. Without wanting to leap on the agile bandwagon, sometimes a good way to get to a solution is to start to write one. Create something, test whether it works and meets user expectations and adapt it if not. Also consider discarding initial attempts that are wide of the mark, so long as you learn something from them.

Back when I wrote Perseverance, I quoted Beckett’s adage about failing better. This is not a bad way of looking at IT work. Jumping in with no real understanding of an area is a major mistake, to be avoided at all costs, but holding back until you form a perfect understanding (or have a perfect article to write in the context of this piece) is almost as serious a problem. As with most things in life, what is required is some balance, a willingness to tolerate some false steps initially and a desire to make sure that these lead to improvement.

With this thought in mind, and in the hope that my creative flow can hereby be unblocked, I’ll close this short piece and trust that the next one follows on fairly shortly from it.
 

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