Coder's Block

What do you do to help combat coders block, or that momentary lack of
creativity, when you have a good design in your head, but you just
can’t get it down on paper, so to speak?

Do you:
-Write in run-on sentences? (like the above?)
-Write things down on -actual- paper? (I do that often.)
-Mock up screens/views in mspaint?

Just curious.

-Tom

Thomas Sullivan wrote:

What do you do to help combat coders block, or that momentary lack of
creativity, when you have a good design in your head, but you just
can’t get it down on paper, so to speak?

Do you:
-Write in run-on sentences? (like the above?)
-Write things down on -actual- paper? (I do that often.)
-Mock up screens/views in mspaint?

Just curious.

-Tom

A Whiteboard works for me, or if I’m too lazy to turn around and use
that, paper.

A picture is worth a thousand words… I took one of those online IQ
tests a while back, and it classified me as a Visual Mathematician,
which in retrospect, was pretty accurate. Visualize first, code second.

On Fri, May 16, 2008 at 05:51:00AM -0700, sullivan.t wrote:

What do you do to help combat coders block, or that momentary lack of
creativity, when you have a good design in your head, but you just
can’t get it down on paper, so to speak?

Do you:
-Write in run-on sentences? (like the above?)
-Write things down on -actual- paper? (I do that often.)
-Mock up screens/views in mspaint?

Talk to another developer, ideally in front of a whiteboard. Nothing
makes
things flow better than trying to explain them to someone else. If no
other
developer is available (this is why I dislike telecommute-only jobs), a
family member, household pet, or bartender may be substituted.

Just curious.
-Tom
–Greg

play a few rounds of tf2.

taking a break, no matter how short, helps me out a lot… you usually
come back with a fresh perspective… even working on an unrelated
project can help…

What do you do to help combat coders block, or that momentary lack of
creativity, when you have a good design in your head, but you just
can’t get it down on paper, so to speak?

Do you:
-Write in run-on sentences? (like the above?)
-Write things down on -actual- paper? (I do that often.)
-Mock up screens/views in mspaint?

Write unit tests.

Gee! I have an answer for /everything/, huh?

AndyV wrote:

I go along with Ar Chron and Gregory. I have a nice whiteboard next
to my desk and use it all the time to clarify my thinking on a
design. Often visualizing helps me a lot and I find that I’m more
inclined to use the board than paper (always feel guilty about
producing a sheet that I intend on throwing away).

I… I… I…??

Whea use Pair Programming!

There is no I in PAIR!!!

Ironically, I’m from Boston. :slight_smile:

I go along with Ar Chron and Gregory. I have a nice whiteboard next
to my desk and use it all the time to clarify my thinking on a
design. Often visualizing helps me a lot and I find that I’m more
inclined to use the board than paper (always feel guilty about
producing a sheet that I intend on throwing away).

Talking it through with someone else helps a lot, too. I’d disagree
that it has to be a developer, though. Often times trying to describe
things to a non-developer can be much more illuminating. The very
language that you use to describe it can take you in entirely
different directions and help break through that last barrier to
getting it on paper.

On May 16, 3:51 pm, “sullivan.t” [email protected] wrote:

-Tom

Smoke a cigarette.
Just try not to get addicted to coders block.

o_O wrote:

Smoke a cigarette.

Of what?

You do what suits you and how you will translate your ramblings at a later date. Some people like pictures (me) others work better from text.

But, I would never, ever, ever us anything that begins with MS for development (mspaint). Surely that'd be a new form of oxymoron ;)

Use Gimp or a simpler Open Source graphics package ;) hehehehe (off soap box)

Disclaimer: Technically speaking, I'm always wrong!

--- On Fri, 16/5/08, sullivan.t <[email protected]> wrote:
From: sullivan.t <[email protected]>
Subject: [Rails] Coder's Block
To: "Ruby on Rails: Talk" <[email protected]>
Date: Friday, 16 May, 2008, 1:51 PM

What do you do to help combat 
coders block, or that momentary lack
 of
creativity, when you have a good design in your head, but you just
can't get it down on paper, so to speak?

Do you:
-Write in run-on sentences? (like the above?)
-Write things down on -actual- paper? (I do that often.)
-Mock up screens/views in mspaint?

Just curious.

-Tom

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When I worked at home I would talk problems through with my dog, who
would
often end up running away to get his toy. Now that I work at a Real Job

we have a ping pong table which gives a nice break. Sometimes we just
bounce
ideas off each other.


Appreciated my help?
Reccommend me on Working With Rails
http://workingwithrails.com/person/11030-ryan-bigg

:slight_smile:

Ryan, I use my wife for the same thing (bouncing ideas off). She’s
gotten really good at feigning interest and understanding. But eye
contact plus a nodding head is easier to talk things through to than a
wall or a mirror or a stuffed monkey (Go Ximian!).

-Danimal

On May 19, 4:08 pm, “Ryan B. (Radar)” [email protected]

In my head, I used to just explain it to my sister.

But I’ve found it’s better to write an email to somebody and then not
send it. Later, I can read the email and maybe get some value from
it. Nowadays I use a simple note-taking system. There is post-it
note software from 3M (who makes the paper post-it notes) that
suffices. many others. I sometimes find I’ve written more text than I
care to read. So my plan isn’t perfect.

F

It’s strange, but often I start to write a post for this forum, and
generally by the time I’ve finished explaining the problem, I either
realize I’m being dumb or I have the way to go. And of course as
often as not, once I have written down the problem, I then have the
best keywords to do a search on the forum and find that someone else
has already done something similar.

Otherwise, a walk round the park and doing something different or just
sleeping on it seems the best way for creative thinking. I am doing a
jigsaw puzzle at the moment, and it is very noticeable that frequently
I look for a specific piece, but cant find it. But when I move on and
look for another piece, the previous piece I previously wanted just
jumps out at me. The subconscious mind is an amazing thing. (Getting
frustrated is definitely not the way to go he reminds himself!!)

Tonypm

Tonypm,

This isn’t strange at all. In fact, I bet it’s fairly common. Just
recently this happened to me, but I went ahead and submitted the post
anyway. I was trying to do some complex pagination… turns out that
just posting the description helped me to see some good search terms
and I found some examples of exactly what I needed.

So it’s all good! In fact, I’ll go a step further. If you have a
problem that you write a post about… then end up solving it…
consider still making the post (and the solution!) if it might be of
value to others. The whole “rails community” deal and all. :slight_smile:

-Danimal

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