Andrew Walpole

Principal Web
Developer &
Engineering Manager

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June 14, 2022

Do Hard Things Again

One of my longer-lived side projects has been mfm.rocks. And while the explanation for what's going on there deserves its own post, let's save that for another day.

I was recently doing some development on what is now the 2.0 version of the platform there, and for a bit I had been putting off reimplementing a particular element called SwapWorm, that I severely struggled through putting together on version 1.0.

Scared isn't quite the the right feeling I had about it; perhaps dread is slightly more fitting. I vividly remember fighting nasty bugs with SwapWorm for weeks, unsure why it wasn't quite doing what I needed it to do. Ultimately, I did find the issue and conquer the bugs, and it felt really great to finally overcome the challenge.

Well, I dove in on it a few days ago, and what a different experience it was. SwapWorm 2.0 came together in an hour or two, and sure there were bugs to work through, but nothing like it had been before. I was left a bit stunned. The code flowed, it all seemed so much more simple, I had clarity for the task at hand, and so much more experience programming in this type of environment since the first go-around.

And so, that's this post's message. It's great to tackle a hard problem and overcome it. But also make a point to tackle the hard problems again, especially the ones that really stick in your mind. I think you'll find, as I did, that it will be an entirely new experience that can show you how much you've progressed and reward you with a new kind of satisfaction.


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