The Beauty of Iteration

Target delivery: Sunday. Today: Tuesday. Ah, ADHD, we meet again. But last time I ended up a full week late. Now just a couple days. Eventually will be on a schedule that works.

One of the best parts of being a software engineer is learning how to iterate over solutions. ADHD forces me to do that in my everyday life as well.

I saw someone on Twitter talking about how novelty is a key to solutions when you have ADHD. Things will work because they are new and shiny to us. But as the shine wears off, we end up struggling again. The cycle begins anew and it’s time to find a new solution.

This can actually be a powerful tool for us in a time when things are changing constantly. That’s what attracted me to programming in the first place. I knew it would be an area in which I was learning all the time. The constant novelty appealed to me.

In reality, I didn’t get to switch tech as often as I would like in Corporate America. But I was usually working on some side project that would get pulled into use at some point by the rest of the team. I wasn’t getting enough novelty in my daily work so I had to create my own.

Iteration does need some guardrails though. That’s where I am not always great. When I had a team, they kept me on task for the most part. Agile development practices focus on breaking tasks into the smallest possible units and working on those. That is a big help to the ADHD brain. When I went out on my own, I definitely spent more time than I should have cycling through various technologies instead of focusing on building a product. That said, I now have a broader understanding of the ecosystem I am working in, so hopefully, I can turn that into some increased development speed going forward.

We just need to remember that it’s a process. Get a little better each time. See what works for you and what doesn’t. And then iterate from there.

Until next time. Hopefully Sunday. Still shooting for that target.