On the openess of the problem space

On the openess of the problem space

For maybe a decade I was under the impression that finding and solving a major interesting problem is not possible any more these days.

I don't exactly know why it seemed to me that way. Maybe because I was only occupied by, and was occuping myself within the same problem space.

My old insight that it's actually work and more generally friction with the wider outer space that is inspiring seems once again to have revealed itself to be true under different circumstances and a different perspective.

The result of the absence of interesting problems was that I was feeling that the technology and environment I was working with were only mildly interesting. It was not particularily mentally challenging and offered no refreshment either.

This perspective has been changing a lot during the last half a dozen months. One factor might be that I switched jobs from my old home ground "systems administration and scripting" to Ruby on Rails programming.

The more I'm getting into the Rails ecosystem the more the landscape I'm perceiving seems to be opening up and yielding to a broader sight of a wide range of common unsolved problems waiting for a feasible and thankful solution.

Maybe it's the old scientific saying that "every problem solved will only give way to two new ones" that makes looking for new challenges so rewarding: the world only keeps on widening.

The other, related factor might have been my work coleague Beat Seeliger who challenged me of being a kind of a static bum not learning enough.

I was percieving myself starving of time, just barely able to handle the ever filling stack of my many duties - taking care of children, making money to care for them and fullfilling the demands of my employers.

However, since taking up the challenge of learning a lot more about Rails, Web design and browsers my pile of stuff to do seems to be slowly but steadily shaving off.

It's not just passive awe but on the contrary sustained effort by my side of more forcefully chopping off the sprouting weeds and cleaning out the corners of my celars and attics.

It's amazing that by taking on a lot more material that the pressure has actually retracted and I feel myself much more free and light and that the horizon has become a lot clearer.

But maybe it's all just circumstantial good luck :)

Tomáš Pospíšek, 2011-01-25