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Is guessing a good strategy for surviving in the IT business?

by karlgoethebier (Prior)
on Dec 17, 2014 at 11:14 UTC ( #1110616=poll: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

vote on Is guessing a good strategy for surviving in the IT business?

Hell yes!
[bar] 78/32%
Definitely not
[bar] 57/23%
I guess so
[bar] 73/30%
I guess not
[bar] 36/15%
244 total votes
  • Comment on Is guessing a good strategy for surviving in the IT business?
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Re: Is guessing a good strategy for surviving in the IT business?
by GotToBTru (Prior) on Dec 17, 2014 at 14:23 UTC

    Just don't call it 'guessing'; 'Monte Carlo method' sounds so much better.

    1 Peter 4:10
Re: Is guessing a good strategy for surviving in the IT business?
by BrowserUk (Pope) on Dec 17, 2014 at 21:05 UTC

    Define: guess.

    I frequently arrive at a conclusion about something; without being able to justify why. I never deny it.

    • Cop shows call it: going with their gut.
    • Women prefer to call it: their intuition.
    • Athletes, dancers and woodworkers may refer to it as: muscle memory.
    • You may call what I'm describing: an informed guess.
    • A bookmaker might call it: the odds on favorite.
    • A gambler may call it: lady luck.
    • A snooker player: the percentage shot.
    • A scientist: fortuitous.
    • An engineer: the experience call.
    • A statistician: the median outcome.

    I tend to call it the "obvious choice in the absence of more data"; or "the logical choice given what is known".

    Hindsight can be 20/20; but it can also take 20 years; or 20 decades; or 20 centuries.

    No decision may be the wrong decision; but only if there is no more time in which to acquire more data. A premature decision is the worst decision of all.


    With the rise and rise of 'Social' network sites: 'Computers are making people easier to use everyday'
    Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
    "Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority".
    In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice.

      A premature decision is the worst decision of all.

      In my experience, that's wrong: No decision is definetly the worst decision. If you take a wrong decision, or a premature one, you can always fix it ... but many people/managers tend to wait and wait - till the time of decision-making has passed (and then they are surprised that they get nothing - not even an 80%-solution which can be improved).

      Just my (professional) experience - yours may differ!

      Rata

        but many people/managers tend to wait and wait - till the time of decision-making has passed

        I did say (with added emphasis): "but only if there is no more time in which to acquire more data."; and, and I know its a subtle point, but failing to make a decision, isn't really a decision :)

        It's a fine line (and another decision :), between waiting for more information; and deciding that no more useful information will become available in the time that is left.


        With the rise and rise of 'Social' network sites: 'Computers are making people easier to use everyday'
        Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
        "Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority".
        In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice.
Re: Is guessing a good strategy for surviving in the IT business?
by Ratazong (Monsignor) on Dec 17, 2014 at 15:48 UTC

    Dilbert.com has 157 search-results for guessing, so it seems to be a popular strategy (at least for IT-marketing and IT-managers).

    Rata

      To be fair, marketing and product strategy by necessity involves lots of guessing. Ideally those guesses are turned into testable hypotheses, tested, and the results used to make better next guesses.

      Product research and development, even in IT, is often the same but using different data and metrics. There's no one right way that's readily apparent to build a finished project. We build mock-ups, testable units, unit tests, integration tests, and end-user quality tests. We reuse what works and throw other things away.

      Anyone afraid to guess and test is just going to make clones of other products. Anyone who doesn't test is just guessing, which is less successful but may work if you're really good at guessing and really lucky.

Re: Is guessing a good strategy for surviving in the IT business?
by wjw (Priest) on Dec 17, 2014 at 16:34 UTC
    The word 'business' is the deciding factor here. Business is guesswork (though calculated guesswork). If it wasn't, everyone would be doing it.. :-)

    ...the majority is always wrong, and always the last to know about it...

    A solution is nothing more than a clearly stated problem...

Re: Is guessing a good strategy for surviving in the IT business?
by cavac (Deacon) on Dec 17, 2014 at 22:13 UTC

    Uhm, i think the answer to the poll really depends on what part of the IT business you are in. If your duty is to keep some undocumented, crappy, closed source software running, then guessing in your best and often only option.

    On the other hand, nothing good has ever come out of "i guess this encryption scheme i just made up is secure".

    "For me, programming in Perl is like my cooking. The result may not always taste nice, but it's quick, painless and it get's food on the table."
      Your boss would probably prefer a working version of that scheme to a better one "90%" done.
      Bill
Re: Is guessing a good strategy for surviving in the IT business?
by Anonymous Monk on Dec 17, 2014 at 12:06 UTC

    At least for one guy it is (note: some strong language but otherwise text only and SFW) - Part 1: http://imgur.com/a/iJD8f Part 2: http://imgur.com/a/AOz0d (featuring Google Ultron!)

Re: Is guessing a good strategy for surviving in the IT business?
by blue_cowdawg (Monsignor) on Dec 29, 2014 at 15:58 UTC

    When you are in IT.... Google is your friend....


    Peter L. Berghold -- Unix Professional
    Peter -at- Berghold -dot- Net; Blog: http://blog.berghold.net Warning: No political correctness allowed.
Re: Is guessing a good strategy for surviving in the IT business?
by sweetblood (Parson) on Dec 17, 2014 at 23:34 UTC
    Perhaps if you start with a premise(guess) and you try it, and test it and it succeeds. And then you test it some more, then give it to someone else to test and it still succeeds. Then you give it to a small group of people to test and it continues to succeed, you may be onto something. Then you can start developing you premise(guess) in earnest.

    I guess.

    Sweetblood

Re: Is guessing a good strategy for surviving in the IT business?
by choroba (Bishop) on Dec 17, 2014 at 11:35 UTC
    What do you think, what will be the results of the poll?
    لսႽ† ᥲᥒ⚪⟊Ⴙᘓᖇ Ꮅᘓᖇ⎱ Ⴙᥲ𝇋ƙᘓᖇ

      I guess time will tell.

      Regards, Karl

      «The Crux of the Biscuit is the Apostrophe»

      ..."what will be the results..."

      Seems like it ends as i guessed: "Hell yes!".

      But what did you expect?

      Best regards, Karl

      «The Crux of the Biscuit is the Apostrophe»

Re: Is guessing a good strategy for surviving in the IT business?
by chacham (Prior) on Dec 17, 2014 at 15:48 UTC

    What does this poll even mean? What does it mean by "surviving"? And why is IT any different than any other "business"?

    Enquiring minds want to know.

      What does this poll even mean?"

      You may regard it as a desparate joke about a serious thing. This is a common human behaviour.

      What does it mean by "surviving"?

      It means not to get fired in the worst case.

      "And why is IT any different than any other "business"?

      I didn't say that. Feel free to interchange IT with any other "business" of your choice.

      Please see also joke, irony and sarcasm.

      I hope this helps.

      Best regards, Karl

      «The Crux of the Biscuit is the Apostrophe»

Re: Is guessing a good strategy for surviving in the IT business?
by chacham (Prior) on Dec 17, 2014 at 20:28 UTC

    Tried voting for the unseen Cowboy Neal option:

    <form method="post" action="http://perlmonks.org"> <input type="hidden" name="node_id" value="1110616"> <input type="submit" name="vote" value="-1"> </form>

    It got counted as "I guess not"

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