Saturday, November 22, 2014

Think simple and Look within as a way to solve problems

There are so many times in life that we think we look outside for the solution of certain challenges we come across or certain things that we may encounter in day to day life. Looking outside helps, but not always.

Solution of many problems is within. Recently, I came across two experiences that makes me echo this thought and which make realize how much I got to improve on this way of doing things as well.

Experience 1 -

Problem/Concern - I always found it difficult to keep track of so many tweets from the different folks I follow on twitter on a day to day basis, I was wondering how to get around this.

What I used to do -
1) To some extent after some amount of exploration, I figured out the way of doing this is using the 'lists' feature in Twitter. That helped to some extent.
2) Not satisfied, I still was experiencing the problem so I used to keep thinking 'outside' for a better way of doing this.

A better solution - Although I don't have a complete solution yet, but the below point has helped me tackle this problem better at least to some extent.
1) Often one might be tempted to follow new folks on twitter, it's also equally important to regularly 'unfollow' those tweeple whom you think aren't adding that much value. I know this might be 'common sense' as one would call it, but it's just the way I at least thought of it initially was - may be I need to use some external service(some third party website) or similar stuff on those lines to manage my tweets better. 

Moral - The solution was within Twitter itself. Think Simple :). Think Within..

Experience 2 -

Problem/Concern -  To set a context, I'm a web developer who uses Ruby on Rails, a framework that's used to make websites. I find it sometimes difficult to keep a track the development log in the terminal for any new action I perform as a end user through the web interface of the application whenever there is a background process running within the application which may be for instance is constantly polling something for real time updates that would eventually be displayed on the UI(User Interface) .

What I used to do -
1) So I use an editor called Sublime Text for day to day development. Their search functionality is pretty powerful, so I used to go into the development log and find may through the log to find the things executed as part of the most recent action executed on my part from the UI.
2) I used to do a 'rake log:clear' to clear the log often so that my search can retrieve faster results.
3) Sometimes, in the past I used to even comment out that piece of code that runs a command which triggers the functionality to regularly check for updates. I was doing this in the local box so  I took this approach. I do realize now, it's not the ideal way of doing things especially when you have automated tests in place which might probably link your background process related functionality with what you'd be newly implementing.

A better solution -
1) Simply do a 'Ctrl + C' to stop tailing the dev log soon after you've executed your action from the UI and you'll have the most recent set of actions to explore from the terminal itself. This prevents you from digging out the solution from elsewhere. Isn't that a faster way of doing things? I didn't think of it at least.

Moral - Don't look for something outside(looking into the editor) which involves more effort(searching, cleaning up) when things can be simply achieved within the same terminal itself.

Overall Moral - Think Simple. The solution is within, not without :). 

Credits for the better solutions go to suggestions by Avinasha Shastry.

P.S:- Pardon me for the technical jargon if you don't understand much from this feel free to give me a shout or use google to help you understand the problem 2 better. I've made an attempt to make problem 2 to be understandable by any lay man.

Also, I'd be really happy to hear from folks who have been able to find a better solution to Problem 1, if any better solution exists.


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