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February 17, 2020





It is extremely true that walking away from a beating-your-head-against-the-wall coding problem tends to solve it - the trick is to be doing something which is not so engrossing/distracting that when you do get the answer, you hop back to coding rather than wasting a couple of hours on [fill in mindless but addictive activity of choice]. A jigsaw puzzle honestly sounds about perfect: it's not the sometimes-endless rabbit hole of the internet, it's engaging part of your brain, and it's fairly walk-away-able... maybe they should also have Departmental Knitting projects (there could be a bunch of plain-knit blankets-in-progress to be donated to refugee families!)...


Alison - yes there is, and when we finish one it sits there finished for two weeks and then another shows up.
KC - it did me no good today, I walked away twice for half an hour each time and made no progress..


Yeah... that's where the "tends to" comes in. Not all problem can be solved by adequate doorways and/or jigsaw puzzles... Sorry you hit the exceptions yesterday!


KC - I think this is the first time a I’ve given up on a problem in 11 years. It feels so odd. I wish there were someone I could delegate it to.


What type of problem is it? A coding puzzle or something else? (I like coding puzzles.)(not the intentionally-mean fake ones, but otherwise...)


KC - it’s not the code, it’s the data. I’ve tried to duplicate the data in staging from production and I can’t get the error in staging.


Any chance it's a format/encoding difference? (which can be caused by some methods of transfer/copying) Or a scale difference? (for instance, when this bit of data isn't a problem until you have all those other things loading the system down, and then the fact that this one takes a millisecond too long for the system to process, due to weird characteristics, breaks it all?)

But yes, data (or really anything!) that refuses to replicate errors is... obnoxious. Sorry about that.


KC - you gave me an idea. The data’s been split over two assets now, so that might give me a hint. Hm. Which asset has the problem, now they’ve been split.


Good luck! I hope you track it down. :-)

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