Monday, April 30, 2012

An Exercise for the Reader

I think the various mathematics courses I took while in grade school and college may have permanently warped me. In particular, I think the various "advanced" mathematics did it. If you've never experience the joys of trigonometry, calculus and the like, they you may have never heard the phrase "the rest is left as an exercise to the reader". Each and every math teacher I had that was teaching a discipline that required doing "proofs" or running large calculations loved to hit us with variations on that one. Oh... And "you must show all work".

These days, I earn my living in the IT field. While much of what I do is designed to support the smooth running of Operations, I am not - nor have I actively been - part of Operations in nearly a decade. While Operations has its challenges, its challenges quickly fall into the category of "been there - done that". For me, once I've solved a problem once, the closest I want to come to solving that problem a second time is figuring out how to make it so I never have to see that problem again. For me, the joy isn't so much in executing the solution to a problem as it is identifying what's causing the problem and figuring out how to solve the problem for now and forever. I much prefer to come up with the solution and allow others to execute that solution (so I can go on to finding other problems' solutions). In essence, I like to give people the tools/paths to the solution of the problem but otherwise leave the fixing of the problem ans "an exercise to the reader".