When you start a new job, enter a new career, or just continue to work in this fun but crazy industry we call software, you are going to be asked to do things you have never done before.
You aren’t going to have all the facts.
You aren’t going to have the necessary experience.
And you Google isn’t always going to give you the perfect answer.
When faced with this kind of a challenge sometimes the best thing you can do is fake it – just make it up.
Just say ‘Here are the assumptions I am making, here’s is what I think is going to happen, this is what I believe we should do.’
This is the dirty little secret about becoming a professional, or even an adult.
We don’t have all the answers because with most problems we face in the world there is no right answer. You just need to decide what’s best for the situation you are in.
All through our lives we are taught to follow the rules, give the right answer, and echo back to our teachers what they want to hear in order to get the mark or the grade. That’s fine for elementary education and even most of university, but the real world doesn’t work that way.
You will never have all the information.
You are going to have to make guesses, and base decision on assumptions.
This is why I would like my kids to either form their own companies, or work in some kind of startup environment before embarking on their professional careers. I want them to get used to thinking on their feet, getting work done with imperfect information, and getting used to ‘winging it’.
So don’t be afraid to ‘fake it till you make it.’
Do this long enough, and eventually you won’t have to fake it any more, You’ll know exactly what to do. At which point you will be ready for a new challenge.