My overplanning nature and how it help me

Although I try my best to not fall in the conformist's trap, there is always a force lurking right beneath the conscious which want me to fit in. I remember my obsession for control and planning from quite early childhood. It used to be a major source of frustration; not that I was obsessive about planning things, but that everyone else was not.

Over time I figured it was me who was the odd one; so I subconsciously started suppressing this (over?)planning nature of mine.

And supressed it was, until I started writing software. I found that properly planning things out before writing the software was immensely helpful. Writing every unique use case, all the nuances, things to do and things not to do; all of them helped when writing actual code. Proper planning would make writing software so much more smoother.

But it didn't put me on the path to undo the supression I had done for years; it merely put a doubt. I was still in doubt if I was the odd one here, may be I am just wasting time writing every detail down up front. May be it helped me only because it would satisfy my over planning nature which would then let me code in peace. So I wouldn't do it every time. Even though the results were obvious as daylight, the doubt would have me not write specs in so many cases. Laziness didn't help either; it's far more fun to just start writing code then it is to write specs. As a matter of fact, thinking and writing all the small details become painful on times.

To my great surprise, all it took was a single blog post (well, actually 5 blog posts from a single series) to pull this doubt out of me, to take away all the confusion and bring the clarity that I knew the right thing to do all along. There are still things to learn, "where to draw the line?" for instance. But that is the fun part. Hard part will be to write specs for every software I write, defeating the laziness; which unfortunatley has become a big part of me.

I wish more programmers would blog about thier learnings and experiences and struggles. That blog post I linked about was written in 2000, and it came to my attention following another post on the same blog which someone linked in a chat group. May be I am the odd one here; I don't exactly have a team of developers working together, learning together. But I am certain I am not alone. I hope my posts help someone realise they're not alone if they have struggles similar as mine.