Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I Love it When Things Come Together!

I get really excited when I've been able to figure out the answer (or an answer) to a problem that's been bugging me.  When it comes to technology, figuring out those answers usually means I've learned the tool at a deeper level of understanding than I had before -- and that's a good thing. 

So I was really excited this morning when I made one change to a website I've been working on and the "fix" did exactly what I hoped it would do.  I had figured out the answer a few days ago but didn't have time until today to actually test it out.  Now I can tell the client to take a look and we can move on from here.

I've been using the Joomla! web development tool for a while now, but don't get to work with it all the time.  I have to do it early in the morning (before my day job) and on the weekend.  But I've gradually grown to understand it at a much deeper level and can often figure something out fairly quickly.  I'm not a coder, but know enough html, and now even a bit of css, to work with it and set things up to work the way I want. 

But every once in a while I get stumped.  And I was stumped for about a week with this last problem.  I use the same template on another site, so started to look at the css files of both, comparing what was different between and found the "offending" plugin that was stumping me.  Turning that off cleared up my problem and I have decided I don't want/need that plugin.  Next step is to uninstall it so my site stays clean and only has features and plugins installed that I want or need. 

I think that my many years of fixing computers (hardware and software) have helped me be a good troubleshooter.  And this skill transfers to non-technology projects and problems.  I find I can look at the problem fairly dispassionately and review the surrounding environment (circumstances, issues, players involved, etc.) and localize the source.  That's essential in good problem-solving.  Too many people put band-aides on problems rather than taking the time to figure out the source.  Problem is -- the problem keeps coming back if you don't get to the source and eliminate it!

That's my thought for this morning.  I think it's a great way to start my day.

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