As developers and analysts, we spend a lot of time asking “what if?”.
What if the user enters too many characters into this data entry field?
What if the network hiccups during a database save?
What if users are allowed to delete the record for this consecutively numbered item and then another user worries about a missing item #?
The longer we have been coding or working with domain owners to plan software, the more problems we can anticipate and ask “what if” about. It’s a good thing.
But this “talent” has had an adverse impact on my personal life. I can’t turn off the “what-if” brain.
What if I gain too much speed on this icy ski slope and can’t stop and … and … . (This one freezes me at the top of the slope while my friends stand waiting for me lower down wondering WTF is wrong with me.)
What if the dog sees someone across the road and runs to greet them and there’s a car coming up the road but they don’t see him heading down the driveway? (Been there, done that. I watched one of my dogs get hit and killed by a car years ago.)
What if we did something wrong with the woodstove before we left the house?
What if I order this menu item but change my mind by the time it arrives at the table?
Most of the people in my life who aren’t part of my developer-friends circle just don’t understand this.
My husband just thinks I’m a ridiculous worrier.
I’m afraid that my friend’s children will learn to be afraid of more things because of me.
My neighbors think I’m a complete lunatic about Sampson or any of their dogs in the road.
I don’t have an answer for this. I’m not about to let my guard down in my software development or in my life. But I do tend to explain my little problem as a job hazard– that I just can’t turn off the “what-if” brain just because I’m not in front of the computer.
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