Ups and Downs

While I’m still convinced that starting over was a good (great even) idea, it’s definitely causing it’s own ups and downs – even if it’s only been a few days.

Ups:

  • When I find an error (even one I had before), I feel like I have a much more manageable code base that I’m working in to try and solve it. Because there’s a lot less code, I can actually test out multiple solutions and thinking of better ways to proceed (before just proceeding).
  • My project is just looking better overall – I showed one person (who has seen a lot of the work up to now) and the first comment was “wow, I like this one better.” It felt like confirmation that I was on the right track.
  • I’m finally getting a chance to go through and comment my code. I’m making an effort to make the code simpler and thus easier to follow. I may end up thanking myself one day when I have to look back on this. 🙂
  • It means thinking about my project from a whole different perspective – and perspective changes are usually always good.
  • It’s been motivating (check out my pomodoro graph). I’ve done 32 since I started Tuesday evening (in 3 days). That’s more than I was aiming for a week!
  • It means discovering and learning new things about my programming environment that would’ve been very helpful to know before.

Downs:

  • It means re-doing a lot of work. Yes, I could copy over a bunch of code that I used before. But that defeats the whole purpose of starting over. But, it’s definitely been tempting.
  • It meant telling my supervisor that I was starting over – to which the reply was, “Well, I guess it’s an okay time to refactor but it’s going to delay things even more.” (I actually think this progress is going to speed things up, because solving problems in this setting are easier than in my old one.
  • It means re-fighting bugs and problems I had fought before.
  • Trying not to get discouraged when an old solution no longer works.
  • Trying to test and solve problems when you can’t figure out what is causing them in the first place and they seem random.

For the most part, the ups and downs are the same that come with most programming/writing/research start overs. Some things go better. Some seem to go worse. And some just stay the same.

And, even if my supervisor wasn’t completely thrilled with the idea, I’m still convinced it’s a better use of my time then trying to dig through the old code and figure out what is going on. So, I’ll use the comments as motivation to push harder. I’m aiming to have my project very close to where it was by my next meeting early next week. And I think I can do it.

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