Identifying Problems that Already Have A Historical Lessons Learned

Recently I ran into a problem that I had I had solved before.   This time the solution was being implemented by another developer. As it turns out, he ran into the same traps that I fell into when I solved that problem.  The only problem is that I was not able to identify all the pitfalls before hand.   

How did I fail to identify the traps and pitfalls?  I had been there before, but I failed to pass along these lessons learned.  My danger antenna never went up.

What lead me to buy into the his solution and eat a big piece of the gullible cake was  three things:

  •  Being under extreme pressure to a meet deadline
  •  Believing in the confidence of this very capable programmer "Oh it's easy, I got it, I will have in a couple of hours"
  •  The alternative solution was many times harder so this seemed to be a silver bullet

In the end then solution worked but it was many times more effort than the programmer assured me.  And much of that has to do with being my fault.

I am dissapointed in myself because I did not ask my self what lessons I had learned previously and then therefore did not pass the information on.

So what do you do to when faced with a challenge to ask yourself "Have I been here before?" and if the answer is yes, how do go about identifying the lessons learned in order to pass them on?

Just something to think about.  I am interested in hearing your answer to this question.


Domepeace said…
I guess that would put you in a difficult spot. I know that the mantra can be to "Trust your programmers." But it's not always so cut and dry when a deadline looms. I wish I had the answer. Maybe there is no concrete answer. Maybe you handled it the best way based upon the circumstances.

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