Jumping into a new system

When working with unfamiliar systems, judging scope to complete a task when you don’t understand all the moving parts is especially challenging. The best approach is always to pull in someone more knowledgeable, whether that’s to pair with them or just to ask context-building questions–but what if that’s not available right now?

The best move is to just start, but with the specific intention of actually completing a small unit of work despite the unfamiliarity of the system. Trying to complete everything in your project almost certainly will find a brick wall or a misunderstanding along the way, while “just poking around” will, contradictorily, lead to greater confusion around the system in question.

Do the smallest thing. Check that it’s not horribly wrong. Take a walk.

Did that make your day a little better?

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