Skip to content

Clarifying the problem is 99% of the solution

When I’m writing a new application or program for my website or a project, I spend a lot of time troubleshooting and debugging. For the non-programmers, that means something isn’t working right with your program and you have to dig into the details to see why it’s not working. It’s kind of like something not working on your car and having to test a bunch of things before you know what’s going on.With how complicated computers are getting these days and how much code we put together in various arrangements, things get big and hairy real fast. When data flows from one system to another to another to another and somewhere in that whole flow is one little piece that doesn’t work, it can be tough to work it all the way through.One of the most important pieces of advice that I think Einstein had something to do with is that clarifying the problem is 99% of the solution. I’m not sure if that percentage is right but 99% feels right.The idea is that if you don’t know the problem inside and out, top to bottom, left to right, then it’s going to be harder to find a solution. Solutions to problems that aren’t thought through often make the situation works or just don’t work. Trial and error can sometimes work as a solution-finding method. Often, though, it’s just because you don’t know the problem well know.So the next time you find yourself with some problem to tackle and you are stuck for solutions, ask yourself, “Do I know the problem inside and out?”