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May 10, 2019 14:13:45

Explaining Your Code

by @jacklyons PATRON | 382 words | 🐣 | 129💌

Jack Lyons

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Coding a piece of software takes a lot of trial and error. To a non-technical founder this must be incredibly frustrating. It's easy enough to say what you want but it's another thing to a developer to put it into code. Programming languages try their darnedest to mimic simple statements and logical equations. However it's incredibly difficult to perceive how each piece fits in together once a program grows.

What was once a simple if / else statement is now a entangled nest of logic. 

It's not like we want things to get hairy, but it's just the nature of how us humans try to tell a computer what to do. Our logic isn't bulletproof and we all make mistakes. The computer just reads what you wrote and spits out a result.

Most outsiders don't understand just how complex things are. But if you are working with developers and don't have any technical expertise, I highly recommend you just sit down with them and ask them to explain what's going on.

Talking through a problem as a developer helps us tremendously as we will see the program from a higher perspective. For one, it's easy to spot flaws when you have to explain your logic in plain English. And secondly, it gives us a chance to come up for air and reevaluation our decision making. If it's not making sense once it's been voiced aloud, then something's probably wrong.

I wish more developers were open to pair-programming, and talking through their code. But in a professional environment we are all just so damn busy and it's hard to peel someone away from their own work. Coding is extremely brainpower intensive so I get it; distractions are not ideal.

But if you need a job done and just don't understand why it's taking so long, then it's certainly time to have a chat with your developer/s. It will help you understand the bigger picture, and it may well help them get unstuck once they see their logic for what it is. Best of all, you may actually be able to provide a fresh light on the problem and help them pivot towards a new solution.

As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts! Feel free to add any suggestions or feedback you have!

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