The Problem Space · Jens Rantil

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2024-07-06 16:30:03

As engineers, we are great at solving problems and working in the “solution space”. But, unfortunately, many engineers are quite bad at defining the problem(s) we are trying to solve in the “problem space”. Let me explain!

Working in the solution space involves things such as designing, coding, drawing, improving performance, or refactoring. It’s usually what many engineers would describe as “work”.

The problem space, on the other hand, involves things like defining the objective of a task, what the requirements are, what is in scope, what is out of scope, and attending workshops. It also includes prioritizing what is the most important thing to solve now, and which things can be done later. The problem domain also includes understanding your customers and the problems they are facing.

At certain workplaces, there is an expectation that someone else than engineers should work in the problem space; Engineers are supposed to get well-defined tickets such that they can implement a solution. I don’t believe in this for a couple of reasons:

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