Rabbit holes and why they are fun

Recently I’ve been exploring different tech stacks and communities. I’ve gone somewhat deeper in to Laravel framework and it’s community / core libraries.

Getting ever the more curious about shiny new things I’ve jumped into backstop.js and exploring visual regression and automated testing.

These things have always been somewhere in the back of my mind but the initial exploration comes from simply being curious.

A rabbit hole often starts with good intentions.. but we need guidelines on how to get out

Visual regression testing came out of a need to manually test some HTML output after a breaking change was implemented. Most times, it’s enough to apply business rules and manually test them, but I thought What happens next time we update the same thing? I’m too lazy too manually test all these unrelated features in the future to make sure they still work.

However, the deep dive into these improvements really netted nowhere near as much profit or improvements as I initially wanted.

All along the process of exploring – I felt, I was on the cusp of solving this issue, bug or problem only to be greeted with 1-2 equally sized ones in return.

Aight so?

Well – after digging in, I’m convinced it was still worth it – but maybe let’s optimise a little more. Time is the only finite part of these equations.

  1. Timeblock dives: be clear what you want and expect after a few hours. If your still stuck, or feeling constantly on the edge of greatness…
  2. Take 5 minutes: Reflecting on the issue is super important. Giving frequent breaks to ponder sets your brain back up to either tackle or run.
  3. Be honest: If you’re thinking this is taking longer or less value than intended – you’re probably right.
  4. Finally, get external validation/advice: others can be more objective than you in the heat of it all. Simply get out of your head and ask anyone nearby for advice.

Ultimately, rabbit holes are great. That’s where the focus lies, but make sure it’s useful focus!