Tuesday, September 9, 2008

How Far Don't We Know

It's common in our line of work to not know things. Don't know test results, don't know how many bugs we'll find, don't know root cause of a problem we're working on, etc.

There are, however, multiple kinds of not knowing. The three major types are:
  • I don't know, but I have a path to the answer.
  • I don't know, but I know how to start looking for the answer.
  • I don't know, and I have no idea how to start.
What divides the types of not knowing is simply how far down the path you can see.

So concentrate not on what you don't know, but on the goal and how far you're can see to get there. Your goal is not to magically find an answer. Your goal is to see farther and farther down the path - until your answer appears.

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