Every time I look back at the middle of a project, without exception, I feel that I started working (coding) too soon. Whether employed or freelance, there’s always a pressure to deliver. Managers or clients want to see results - and taking the time ton understand how data is structured is not visible.

Nowadays I learned that, talking to engineers and operators on the shop floor is the most important part of the project. It lays the foundation on which the rest of the project is built - if the foundation is crooked, the project will take off in a pointless direction and resources bill be wasted.

With modern video-call tools like Teams or Zoom, important discussions can be recorded as long as all attendees agree. After re-watching a recording, I always discover minute but important details that I didn’t pick up during the actual meeting.

Here’s the thing:

Even if your stakeholders don’t value the time you spend “learning about the problem”, you have to see it as your professional responsibility to take that time anyway. And the end of the day, this work contributes to the success of a project and that what it’s all about.