Steven Harman

Maker and Breaker of Things

Why Don't We Ask Why?

Have you ever thought about just how much time we software folk spend focused on the technologies we’re using, on implementation minutia, and on all of the shiny new solutions we should be using?

Now contrast that with how often we stop to think about the Whys?

Why are we being asked to solve fizz-buzz-thing; do we understand the motivation and context behind the problem, or are we fixated on how we’ll build the solution? Are we asking why a problem occurred, or are we merely focused on how we fixed it, this time?

Why don’t we ask “Why?”

Frankly, because we’d rather spend our time in the comfortable arena of how than venture into the sometimes uneasy realm of why.

She didn't want to know how a thing was done, but why. That can be
embarrassing. You ask *Why* to a lot of things and you wind up
very unhappy indeed, if you keep at it.
- Captain Beatty

Asking why often forces us to face the truth, and that truth can be uncomfortable. We need to have the courage to face those truths and coninue to ask why; we must have the courage to pop the why stack.

It’s only by asking why that we’ll gain the understanding, insight, and context necessary to effectively solve the problems we’re faced with, to grow, and to improve.

So, why are you reading this post? :)