Complex thinking on a simple problem, that had a simple solution

Complex thinking on a simple problem, that had a simple solution

Frustrations abound in the world of IT, and to be successful in this industry you must have a high tolerance or a bit of love/hate for it.

My old manager loved to remind us that if you do not get frustrated while bug hunting or troubleshooting, you just weren’t thinking hard enough.  At times I agree with him, and at times the hard thinking is the crux of the problem.

If the principles of “KISS” (Keep It Simple Stupid) are forgotten, it could cost you a Saturday or something much more important, like a bit of pride.

My not-so incredible powers of observation tell me that as we advance in our technical ability and years of experience, we like to make mountains out of mole hills. I do not know if it is ego or what, but we just cannot admit that we could possibly be hindered by minor “issues”, they must all be complex demons.

After we exhaust all of the complex and rare causes of problems, we will finally, albeit reluctantly, check for basic causes out of sheer desperation. As we go through the process, we silently pray that the basic possible causes do not prove to be the source, just for the sense of vindication.  I am sorry, we work in IT and are just not that lucky.

My KISS reminder was this weekend.

Waves of emotions come over me as I confirmed that a two dollar piece of failed cable was the source of my grief.  Anger, frustration, relief and irritation all washed over me at the “Ah Ha” moment. I spent an entire Saturday looking for a complex problem that did not exist, because I failed to look for simple causes.

The embarrassment I felt was magnified during my drive home by the simple fact that I would have admonished anyone on my team for not checking the basic causes of a problem before looking for elegant or complex sources.  This is a bit of a humbling experience for me, and now a source of mirth for others.

   Crime:    Supreeme Ego
Verdict:    Convicted by my own actions
Sentence:    One Saturday spent doing pointless research
Analysis:    Lesson reinforced: Keep It Simple Stupid


We live, we learn, and we move forward.

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