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Journaling can help you solve future problems

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

As a programmer I know it is a good practice to write comments to clarify certain parts of my code. It is a good practice because a program is not something you write once and then just forget about it. In most cases you will have to revisit your code and do modifications to it. When that happens you realize that what appeared to be logical and easy to understand at the moment of writing it just does not make any sense after a time has passed. So the next time you come up with the ultimate hack that solves a pretty complex problem in just one line of code have no doubt and write a note about what that magic line does. Do it even if the comment takes up to 10 lines.

Writing comments is a really good practice and it does not have to apply only to computer programs. We all should be documenting our lives. I have always had IT related jobs, and what I have learned from them is that the easiest problem to solve is the one you have solved before but only if the next time you face it you can remember what the solution was.

 Once the mail server of the company I was working for ran into trouble. It was a MS Exchange 2007 and its database got corrupted. It was a real mess and it took me a very long time to get the server up and running again. I tried a lot of things before I got it working. The good thing was that I documented the whole resolution process; including those things that didn't worked out. It was a good thing because a few days later the same problem striked again but after reading what I have done before it took me about 15 minutes to get the server up again.

Since that day I write down every new thing I do. I always put a comment to explain that incredible genius and simple line of code I just wrote on the program I'm working on, that thing I did to restore a server or to describe step by step the plumbing work I did at home last weekend. That way the next time I have to modify my program, get up the server or repair the kitchen sink again I won't be helpless. I will have my own knowledge and experience by my side guiding me at every single step.

You should comment your life. You don't have to be a computer scientist or an IT administrator to do that. You just have to leave a note saying: "Dear future me: If you ever find yourself in this situation these are the steps you must follow to get by." Start documenting your life, just remember to always keep your comments up to date to include the latest hack you have came with.



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