2 years ago for day 122, 2019 with 424 words.

Puzzles on puzzles on puzzles

Puzzles. I wasn’t ever that big into them as a kid. At least not of the jig-saw variety.

They were alright but in hindsight I guess they seemed quite boring. Quite flat.

Not much has changed in that regard. I still don’t get much joy out of jig-saw puzzles. They don’t capture my attention for long.

So it may seem strange that my job is to solve puzzles all day long, five days a week. The difference being, I love solving these puzzles.

These puzzles are different. They’re not boring. They’re not flat. They’re not static. They’re not made of wood.

They’re digital. They take up no physical space. They’re dynamic. They can be solved in many different ways.

Today has been a day if intensive puzzle solving. Trying to solve these puzzles requires carrying a large interconnected map in your head, a map with different parts that do different things.

These puzzles are machines. They take inputs and pass through many layers to provide outputs. Each part of the machine should be reusable, so that it cares not where in this specific machine it’s used, simply that it consistently produces the desired outcome.

Unlike in the physics world, these puzzles can be in multiple places at once. Change one part of the machine and it’ll affect another part. Careful where you tread.

As the machine grows, complexity increases and carrying a map of it all in your head requires more and more energy. Remembering how it all works together takes time. Repeatedly working over and spotting patterns reinforces itself until things start to click.

Today was one of those days. One of those days where you have to load the whole system into your brain, and fix multiple points before you can achieve your outcome.

It’s strange that. The system seemed fine yesterday. But today, knowing what it needs to do now, we realise all the flaws it has. When viewed in a new perspective we see how it lacks, and we investigate how it can improve.

It’s been a tiring day today. But satisfying. With half an hour left we had multiple issues still to be solved. But thankfully, they all fell into place with one last push, so I can leave for a long weekend with my mind at rest.

I don’t have to solve that puzzle anymore. That ones complete. Until next week.

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By Fred Rivett

Developer 👨‍💻 • Hobbyist designer 🎨 • Maker 🛠 • Runner 🏃‍♂️• Explorer 🌍

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