re: Optimize Your Programming Decisions for the 95%, Not the 5% VIEW POST


The other day, while working on someone else's machine, I found myself not being able to remember a basic shell command that I had been aliasing. I Googled it and found the answer. I felt a bit silly that I couldn't remember something basic I used to know, but it was easy to remedy. Aliasing hadn't decayed my ability to think through the problem itself.

I think there are some who over-optimize, and that is to be avoided. There's a sensible stopping point, but if you over-anything you're going to have problems.

Great post.



Aliasing hadn't decayed my ability to think through the problem itself.

Yeah and thinking through is the most important part. Now you get the best of both worlds. For the 95% you can use your aliases and be productive, and in the 5%, you knew what went wrong and it was a quick Google search away.

I think it all boils down to just doing things and letting the "doing" guide your actions. Instead of thinking about "I need 100 aliases set by 10am SHARP!", just pay attention to your own patterns. If you find yourself Googling the same command a few times, make an alias for it then.


Couldn't agree more. When you notice a pattern of searching for the same things over and over, then you should do something about it and create aliases (if that's a simple command), shell aliases (if it's a series of commands) or even boilerplate code or modules, if you reuse the same components/functionality over and over.

Over the years I've realized that keeping 'work notes' has increased my productivity. Having a bunch of text files in a folder that I can grep has saved me countless hours googling for solutions that I've already googled before.

I'm not saying googling is bad. But sometimes it can be a time sink. You know "replace all instances of word x with y" --> "grep cookbook" --> "my cool vim macros for finding/replacing text" --> "my better emacs macros for finding/replacing text" --> "how I manage my vim plugins" --> "look at my cool .vimrc" --> "Why I moved from vim to VSCode" --> .....................................


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