Create an application, not a magnum opus

Have you built any of your own Ruby applications yet? Or only the apps you find in tutorials? If you haven’t built anything of your own yet, why not? Have you tried, but just keep getting stuck? Are you just completely unable to figure out the next step to take?

The truth is, you’re probably just working on something that’s too big. You don’t need to create a magnum opus here. This doesn’t need to be the biggest and best application you can think of. In fact, that’s only going to make you more stuck.

The bigger they are, the harder they fall

It’s a perfect saying when it comes to creating your own Rails applications. Even your dream application. Especially your dream application.

It’s totally cool to have a dream application to work on, and to work towards. But you have to take a step back from it and see what it is today. If you judge your application by what you want it to be, it’ll always be a failure. There will always be something you want to change about it. It will never be done.

The only question is, is it good enough… for you… for today?

Is it the best work you were able to do today?

Did you do your best, today?

Big, complex applications don’t just happen overnight – you know that. But if you set out to create a big, complex application, you’re only setting yourself up for failure.

Set out to solve a specific problem

The best thing about specific problems? They can always be broken down into smaller, even more specific problems.

So if you don’t know how to solve the problem you want to (yet), don’t sweat it. Break it down into a smaller problem and try again. Continue this process of breaking down the problem into smaller problems until you end up with a problem that you can solve. And just keep doing that. Eventually, you’ll solve your original problem… and it’ll be time to work on something bigger and better.

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