Stuck Solving a Problem

I’ve always loved solving problems. As a kid, I would get books of Logic Puzzles to solve. My favorite video game was Minesweeper. In the beginning of my career, I would get stuck on a problem one night and wake up in the morning with a possible solution. Things seemed to be easy. I had been warned by friends that this wouldn’t always be the case, but I still wasn’t ready for when everything changed.

A couple of years ago, I started presenting on the concept of tSQLt ( for database unit testing. It can from a place of need. My team needed a way to test their code, and I wanted to help them. I was also starting to embrace automation for all things database. I decided that the best way to buy-in for unit testing was to automate the process. The next step was to figure out how.

That started me on a multi-year journey to solve this riddle. What I ignored at the time was that not only was I trying to solve this riddle, but I also had all sorts of things changing in my life at the same time. I had some health issues pop-up and some of them caused a deep level of self-doubt in my ability to think through problems. I also spent the better part of a year writing a book. Unfortunately, that led me to only focus on how much time had passed without a solution.

As I started 2020, I was growing increasingly frustrated that I could not solve this problem. I had even presented on tSQLt at PASS Summit and most likely heard the answer from Sebastian Meine (w|t) during the Q&A portion of my session. But it still wasn’t clicking for me. As the frustration grew, the imposter syndrome started to spike. Reaching out on Twitter, I got some advice from SQLGrrl (t|b) reminding me to work on solving one small step at a time.

Within two weeks of implementing this advice, I had the solution I needed. I still remained frustrated at how long it took me to solve the problem. I ended up sharing my frustration with myself to another IT professional and was reassured that this is fairly common. Being on the other side of this situation, I wanted to share with others that there’s hope if you’re in the same situation. And I hope I find this article myself if I end up in the same situation again.

2 thoughts on “Stuck Solving a Problem”

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