Hey Nixers, what do you do when you are stuck on a programming/tech problem? - Off topic

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gmk
Long time nixers
I've been stuck on the same programming problem for the past week, and I'm starting to think about calling quits. What do you do in such situations when it comes to programming/*nix/tech/life Et cetera?
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[ oh yeah ]
Tmplt
Long time nixers
Whenever I'm stuck it's usually because of exhaustion or a mental block. Postponing the problem for later, or doing something else (e.g. going on a walk) always help. There have been many occasions where I figure out a solution while not being in front of the computer. The rubber duck technique is also useful.
jkl
Long time nixers
I usually just put it away for a while.
thuban
Members
I go running, read a book, or do anything else for a while.
Then, I try to think on a sheet of paper.
Halfwit
Members
Rubber ducking and paper programming are fundamental tools, though indeed getting out and burning off energy is key to all manner if productivity.
venam
Administrators
When I get stuck on an issue, whatever it is, what I usually do is brainstorm the hell out of the topic until I feel confused about it. I then let it sit down for some time. Finally, I try to come up with a summary of the information and explain it to others to get their opinions. Usually during the process of explanation things slowly start to come together.
zge
Long time nixers
If you've been working on it for more than a week, then you've probably already taken a break. Usually that helps, but otherwise I like 1. trying to explain the issue (both the problem I'm solving as well as the solution) to an imaginary listener (or possibly even a real one, if I'm lucky) 2. try rewriting parts of the code, at least to get a minimally working version, ideally with a different approach. 3. try to draw/sketch what you're trying to do/actually doing

Life on the other hand, is a bit of a different issue. There's no real algorithm for that ^^
Wildefyr
Long time nixers
walk away and go to the gym or have a swim.
Saos
Long time nixers
Going on a walk is good. Also, scotch.
grah
Members
If possible, create an analogy from the problem. This will give you a fresh way to view the problem (whilst thinking about it) and also make it accessible to people that know little about programming or tech.
xero
Long time nixers
i whole heartedly believe in exploiting the observer effect. it seems like as soon as i give up and ask for help on a problem i discover the answer myself. the statistics on my self answered stackoverflow questions speaks for itself.

seriously though. ask for help when you get frustrated.