Technical Decision Making

Solving the wrong problem

Technical decision making isn’t so much about which tool to pick than what problem to solve. Once the problem space has been well defined, then evaluating the possible solutions becomes a lot easier.

Prioritization of tip of the iceberg problems

What’s particularly challenging about deciding what problem to solve is prioritization. At any given time, there is probably a laundry list of things that are “broken” or suboptimal. Prioritization becomes easy when we have a full understanding of all the problems we’re trying to rank in order of priority.

Tip of the iceberg problems

Pattern Matching

The Swiss-Army-Knife Conundrum

What I struggle with often is what I call the “Swiss-Army-Knife Conundrum” — or in other words, failing to pick a solution with a narrow scope.

Collateral increase in overall complexity

Passion projects

Not failing fast enough or failing well

Despite best efforts, sometimes mistakes are inevitable. In such cases it becomes important to be able to fail fast and move on.

Conclusion

Technical decision making is easily one of the most important aspects of engineering. This becomes particularly challenging when presented with an embarrassment of riches in the form of “solutions”. While this post didn’t present any answers on how best to make the right technical decisions, I hope it furnished a list of things to think about or be wary of.

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Cindy Sridharan

Cindy Sridharan

@copyconstruct on Twitter. views expressed on this blog are solely mine, not those of present or past employers.