Go Left to Go Right

There’s an interesting phenomena I just learned the name for, even though I’ve experienced it dozens of times in my career (probably more), called “right-half-plane zero”.

Basically, right-half-plane zero is the idea that in order to correct an issue, sometimes you’re required to go the opposite direction first. The author uses a bicycle turning right from a stop, you have to turn ever so slightly to the left first. This can be confusing and nerve wracking, but without going in the wrong direction first, you won’t be able to succeed.

The idea and its implications are fascinating, and I encourage you to read more about it, but for this moment today, what are some situations in software development where executing a half right plane zero makes sense?

Here’s a few I’ve thought of. Hit reply and tell me yours.

  • Refactoring a codebase
  • Implementing TDD
  • Tightening Hockey Skates (not about Software, but something I had to do just this morning)
  • Diagnosing hard to find production issues

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