Dipping a toe

This morning I needed to make a fairly substantial change to the code that I will be demo-ing at the Siggraph computer graphics conference in two weeks. It was a large enough change that I wasn’t even sure it would work.

So I started out by dipping my toe in the water: I made a much smaller change to the code that functioned only as a feasibility study.

Should that turn out not to work, then I would know that there was no point in making the effort to implement the more massive change.

As it turned out, the first feasibility test showed that I would have been heading into a brick wall. So I regrouped and tried a different approach, which meant devising a new feasibility test for that.

The second test worked just fine, so I knew I could go ahead and start making the bigger changes to the code. Problem solved, crisis averted.

I like this idea of “dipping a toe” into the waters of potential change. I suspect that if I were to apply this principle more often to other parts of my life, I would have a lot less stress. 🙂

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