Why is finishing something so hard. I am the kind of person when left to their own devices does not finish their own projects. I think it comes from the fact that its always a lot of fun to have a new idea, scope it out, understand the principles involved. When it comes to the meat of the project after a while you start to think of all the other things you want to do instead. This is particularly important to me at the moment.
I started a list of 100 programming challenges to help me improve my understanding of programming. So far its going fairly well I think all things considered, sure I only have 13 out of the 100 done but most of these were done before “feature creep” set in. To the uninitiated feature creep is where you do a project and it works, but it is basic and then you decide you need to add some features to it. For me this came in the guise of adding GUI to all of these projects and for a while this was fine, it is very time consuming but it means that maybe someone is more likely to use it.
But this has held my attention for only so long and suddenly I want to do a bigger and much more complicated project. To be fair it is something I have thought about for a long time but day one and the all to familiar thoughts are setting in. It is highly likely that I wont finish this project just like all the others. However I don’t think this is enough to stop me this time.
Consider that the challenges were designed for me to learn programming a little better and the project I’m thinking of will push that envelope to the limits and involves merging different technologies together. If I manage to pull it off it is a program that I would actually use myself and may even know of a demographic who is interested in using the program thus hopefully my interest will be sustained for longer.
The problem still remains that most of my projects go unfinished after a significant in development time. All of this makes me think of some very wise words given to me by a physics lecturer once. “all things are dictated by the eighty twenty rule, it takes twenty percent of the time to get eighty percent of the work done. The remaining twenty percent of a project will occupy eighty percent of your time.” the trick he said was to palm it off to someone else after the first twenty percent of time and then get them to apply their own eighty twenty rule to the problem and thus speeding the whole thing up. I honestly believe this rule works for a lot of people a lot of the time.
Now to try to grind and see where it gets me.