This post was originally published on September 1, 2020 on my blog.
The thing about perfectionism - in coding, or really anything - is that it doesn't leave any room for creativity, spontaneity, or messy inspiration. Instead, it stifles all of these wonderful things.
Essentially, it creates a lot of unnecessary pressure when really we should be wanting to enjoy the juiciness of a tough problem or simply the sharp ambiguity of not knowing how to do something as we take step after step to figure it out and gradually close the gap between what we know and what we don't.
If I really stop to think about it, my favorite moments are when I figure something out that's been puzzling me for some time.
But when that feeling of wanting something to be perfect (even before I start in on it) stops me in my tracks because 'I don't know how to do it, so I'm not even going to try' - that inevitable future moment of discovery dissolves into nothing.
I don't know. It just feels like we've been brought up to be afraid to make mistakes, but I've always said that mistakes, especially in coding and learning something new, are the fast track to cementing any lesson in and ultimately getting there faster.
If you catch yourself wanting something to be perfect, take a step back and an objective look at what you have on your hands. If you were looking at this for the first time, what would you think of it? Is it good enough? Good. Ship it and move on the next thing.
P.S. Did you know I have a podcast with new episodes each Wednesday? Go listen right over here >>