Around 2016 I ran a little experiment– every time I ran into an especially clever solution to a complex problem, I saved it on my computer. In a few months I had about a dozen of these, and I noticed that the solutions repeat a small set of techniques. So I categorized each solution by technique, and gave every technique a name. At the time of this writing I have a few hundred solutions saved, categorized into 23 techniques.
Many of these techniques can be mixed and matched. When I run into a tricky problem, I go through the list of techniques and see if I can apply any to my problem. Since many of the techniques can be combined, I do this repeatedly until I can’t. More often than not this process results in an elegant solution to the problem, or at least a promising start.
When I share my approaches to these problems, people often say “that’s clever! How did you possibly think of that?” Simple! I just go through my list of techniques.
Over the next few months I’ll write up the techniques and link to them here, so this page can act as an index. Subscribe via rss or twitter to see the techniques as I post them, or just check back to this page.