gargoyle image This is an extension of my memory. I remember whether I've written about something better than remembering how to do things.

O(1) habits

I wonder how this idea might impact your daily routine?
An incomplete idea I working on related to how people navigate code and other such things that seem to relate to DevOps thinking.


Lately I’ve been mobbing or coaching mobbing with several people, sticking with a team for several weeks to months before moving on.

I notice one particular habit and I wonder if you’ve noticed it, or if you do it, what is the underlying mental model.

To understand the habit let’s use first pair programming. There’s a style of pair programming where the person at the keyboard, the driver, is doing, while the other person, the navigator, is giving direction.

So imagine we’re working on a problem and you are the navigator. You want me switch to the production code failing a test, and update the code to get the test green. You tell me to go to the particular class. How do I get there?

Examples I’ve noticed:

How I Work

When trying to get to a particular class/file, assuming I don’t have its location memorized (and even if I do), I’ll use a direct access approach.

For example, if I’m using an IDE, I’ll use its shortcut:

Tool Windows/Unix Mac OS
Idea ctrl-shift n command-shift n
Eclipse ctrl-shift t command-shift t
Visual Studio Code ctrl p command p
Command Line vi `find . -name '*Name*.*'  

These all work the same way. Go directly to a file, letting the tool figure out where it is. I do not search tabs to see if a file is open. I do not search the project structure.

I work this way probaby because while my memory in the days timespan is generally pretty good, over time I forget where things are, or they could move (refactored into another package). So I happened across a habit that allows me to memorize less, get to a thing quickly, and relying on the computer to do things computers do well, find stuff.

It might stem from working at the command line for years before I had an IDE.


12 March 2019

What do you think?

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