DEV Community

loading...
Cover image for What Helps You Get Unstuck When Coding?

What Helps You Get Unstuck When Coding?

Dan Goslen
Software engineer. Code review advocate. Coffee consumer. Outdoor enthusiast. I write about how to build software as part of a team
・1 min read

Getting stuck on a problem is inevitable as developers. Whether it's an algorithm or trying to re-produce a difficult error it can feel like you are never making progress.

What tools or tips do you use to get "un-stuck" in moments like these?


Cover photo by Aubrey Rose Odom on Unsplash

Discussion (10)

Collapse
scrabill profile image
Shannon Crabill

Walk away! Take a break. Do anything else.

Chances are, the solution will come to you in time.

Collapse
ahferroin7 profile image
Austin S. Hemmelgarn

Entirely agreed. I typically take two short (about 1.2km) walks each work day, and quite often I either come up with a solution to an issue I've been working on during the walk or right after getting back from it.

Collapse
messerli90 profile image
Michael Messerli

This. "Unfortunately" I quite smoking, but I used to constantly solve problems I was banging my head against when I stepped out for a smoke. Now it takes more discipline to take regular breaks 😅

Collapse
scrabill profile image
Shannon Crabill

A "hack" that I use is always having a glass of water at my desk. Not a huge thermos or water bottle, just a class. I'll have to refill it on occasion or use the restroom, which forces/reminds me to get up at least every few hours.

Your body and brain will thank you.

Collapse
____marcell profile image
Marcell Cruz

I would argue that there's is only one way to get unstuck, and that is to make your problem simpler, focus on each individual part and what this part should do, then move to the next part, don't try to do anything fancy that make it work. You can improve your implementation afterwards.

Collapse
dangoslen profile image
Dan Goslen Author

Yes! Focusing on a simpler problem first almost always helps us solve the larger problem too.

Collapse
rukiaasm profile image
Rukia

Hi Dan. I actually just did a talk about this at codeland check it out dev.to/rukiaasm/working-smarter-5-... hope that helps.

Collapse
dangoslen profile image
Dan Goslen Author

No way! Thanks for sharing. :)

Collapse
rukiaasm profile image
Rukia

You’re welcome 😊

Collapse
anubra266 profile image
Abraham Anuoluwapo

I leave the code, and do something to clear my head. Maybe take a walk, sometimes just sit into some loud music. Anything to clear your head does the job for you.