The 365 Commitment

Day 155 – Life Design Flaw – Hard Coding

Software development is rich with design patterns, guiding teams on what to adopt or avoid based on their goals. A prominent principle is to eschew hard-coding values, thresholds, and credentials directly into the code. This is crucial because when software operates in different environments, hard-coded references necessitate manual adjustments. Given today’s accelerated development cycles, this guidance might seem obvious. However, I recall a time when this wasn’t the norm. Developers, taking shortcuts, would embed countless static references in their code, creating a troubleshooting nightmare. This practice, jokingly referred to as “job security,” highlighted a problematic approach to coding.

Yet, my intention isn’t to delve into the peculiar habits of past coders but to reflect on my own behaviors that mirror this outdated practice. This realization struck me following a simple inquiry from my wife about accessing a service we subscribe to. Instead of explaining the process, I opted to handle it myself, only to later scramble for the service details and credentials I had misplaced. Like the developers of yesteryears, I had effectively ‘hard-coded’ this information into a personal file, forgetting its location.

This incident led me to ponder the frequency with which I ‘hard-code’ information and tasks in my life, disregarding the future’s unpredictability. Upon reviewing my habits, I noticed a tendency to rely heavily on memory for tasks I had already solved, sometimes even duplicating efforts. I had crafted a system that only I could navigate, dependent on my recollection and processes.

This sparked an intriguing thought: What if I designed my life as if it were to be outsourced? We regularly delegate tasks in our professional lives, so why not apply a similar approach personally? I began by assessing my daily and weekly tasks, evaluating how reliant they were on my direct involvement. Despite an initial resistance, fueled by a sense of irreplaceability, I recognized that most tasks could be outsourced with minimal impact, provided I relinquished some control. While I wouldn’t outsource intimate moments, like conversations with my daughter, there were certainly routine tasks, like bill payments, that could be managed by others.

Although I’m unlikely to outsource these tasks in reality, the exercise of contemplating such a shift has remarkably streamlined my processes. By reevaluating and simplifying these tasks, I’ve managed to reduce the burden of manual efforts. This reflection encourages a reassessment of how we manage our personal tasks, urging a move towards simplicity and efficiency that might just make our lives a bit easier.

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