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Paying Attention to Details

26 Jul 2012

This week, I am finding an emergent theme. I need to pay attention to details.

Does this sound familiar? You are sitting at your desk and you are becoming furious. You know that your code is right. Why are you getting an error? You have tried everything that you can think of to solve this problem. You have even googled every possible topic that could touch the one you are trying to solve. Then you ask someone else to take a look.

Your fellow developer makes their way over. You explain to them what you want this code to be doing and then show them your error screen. After you finish they look closer at the code and say simply, 'You forgot a period.' This week, for me, you can substitute 'You forgot a period.' with 'Initialize is spelled wrong.' or 'You said human_player instead of HumanPlayer.'

AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! It was right there in front of my face. As soon as this theme was emerging, I knew I had to something about it. To the interwebs! I looked around for some suggestions for how to pay closer attention to detail. I have to tell you, the results were not compelling. Most of the suggestions are along the lines of 'look at something for 15 seconds and then write down everything you can about it. Then check yourself. I will try this. I am skeptical because it seems like a low return for the time you would need to invest. I hope I am wrong. My personal favorite suggestion(said with true Chicagoan sarcasm) is that you should hide your keys in a different spot every night and then challenge yourself to remember them. No thanks.

Luckily, I have come up with my own suggestions. :)

1. Improve my typing accuracy. Lately, I have been so focused on getting faster that I have clearly sacrificed accuracy. I guess I should listen well to Mavis Beacon. She's been around for a while.

2. Pay more attention to detail. The computer does not know what I mean to say. I need to type what I mean. If I mean :let I need to say :let not :iet. (Yeah, that one happened too.)

3.I will try the writing things down exercise.

4. Allow others to make suggestions to me. If you have any techniques that have helped you along the way, please share them with me.

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