Zen Development

One thing that I’ve found helped me out a lot with development snags is perspective. I know it sounds a little hippy and existential, but it really helps. It always used to frustrate the hell out of me when I’d encounter a bug in my code, but I realized that it was only frustrating me because I was taking it personally – “why the heck isn’t this working! I know I programmed it right!”. Once I realized that this was happening I began taking a different perspective – learning.

I know that I’m going to write some code that will break. I know that something might break because I made changes elsewhere. Knowing this, I take every bug now as an opportunity to learn. So, instead of getting frustrated and pissed at my IDE (Aptana) or my PHP because it isn’t doing what I told it to, I just start from nothing. I assume nothing, and start building up what I can know for sure. I begin throwing a bunch of debug,  exits and echos all over the place and starting from the very beginning I try to discover where it might have gone wrong, establishing a base for what I can be sure of. From that base I can discover what went wrong and learn from it because I’m not distracted by my frustration.

Treat every bug like a puzzle to unravel and a chance to learn something new. In becoming a learning opportunity, it looses its power to piss you off 🙂