A long-term client contacted me about a couple issues with their site.  Very common place coding should have been done correctly with my eyes closed – download document (from PHP) and authorize.net recurring payments.

I dreamed up all kinds of reasons that the issues existed.  This has usually been helpful in the past – try to come up with different scenarios before looking at code.  Try to visualize what the code is doing.  Got trained to do that somewhere along the line.

Once I looked at the code it was just wrong.  There was test coding around the edges that hadn’t been removed.  Fixes in place in 10 minutes versus time wasted visualizing.

Maybe I would be better off jumping into code asap?

Similar story with another client.  Should be mostly a re-skinning project.  Mind-numbing change 1000 references to widget x to widget y.  Estimates given are based on common practice – how would someone normally code such a thing?  what kinds of re-use would be involved?  how to account for configuration changes?  Again, the visualization thing.  Finally look into the code and your head explodes.

I should know better.  I have been programming for a long time.  I think people generally do a good job but pressures are always in place to get it done faster.  Hence the name of this blog (See ).

What is your approach?