Drew BarontiniProduct Director at Differential

Understand First

Published

April 28, 2020

Reading Time

1 min.

A common mistake I see in junior software developers is prescribing a solution before understanding the problem. You need to ensure you're solving the right problem with the right solution, which starts with understanding.

If you don't understand, ask questions.

There is no harm starting by asking more questions. Questions are the best way to learn more about anything. Even the act of thinking up questions will help you understand the domain of the problem.

With a clear problem-definition, we can then discover the right solution.

This is something that happens when we do Discovery Meetings with potential client partners at Differential. We don't say "Okay, thanks for telling us the problem. We'll figure out a solution and get back to ya." We ask a lot of questions to affirm our understanding of the problem. And through that exercise, we often uncover missing components of the problem — pieces that even the client didn't fully see before we asked.

The best solutions come from clearly defined (and narrow) problem definitions. But sometimes it takes work and time to get there.

Take the time to ask questions to gain a better understanding.