If you have spoken with me… ever… you know that I like to use analogies to clarify a complicated situation. Sometimes, I need to use the analogy to process the issue myself and sometimes it’s for the benefit of the person I am chatting with. Either way, I enjoy a good analogy.
Lately I have been explaining how a website can seem to be broken much of the time while it is being built, which can be frustrating, but things can still be going great.
Building websites is like raising kids
Much like raising a child, it’s not (always) the parents who are doing something wrong to “break” the kid, but rather that the kid is growing in new and groundbreaking ways which challenge the parents.
As a parent, you are faced with challenges at every step of the way:
Can’t sleep through the night?
– Consult one of 1000 books which give you schemes and plans to train you and the child how to leap this hurdle.
– Again, websites, friends, strangers all have thoughts on how to overcome this issue. After about 8 years of struggle and various schemes, we have successfully transformed our “quesadillas and grilled cheese only” eating child into one who will go to an Indian restaurant willingly.
What always remains true is that as soon as you, as a parent, feel like you have mastered an issue, a new one comes up right behind it to show that you aren’t done. Did you do a bad job teaching them how to sleep through the night so now they are picky eaters because of it?
What is happening is that the child can DO MORE and can stretch to meet new challenges, thereby finding new issues for you to deal with.
With a website, if we were only building single page splash sites, we’d never have an issue because the site has no boundaries to push. Because we ask our websites to grow and stretch everyday into new, more mature beings, we run into new and interesting problems that need to be “fixed”.
So, when a feature is added and a new problem arises, it’s easy to say that “it’s broken,” when in fact it’s just growing in a new way. We are all working together to bring this baby up to be the best it can be, after a few missteps along the way. It’s better off for the mistakes that are made because that’s how the boundaries are tested and it has a chance to shine.
I have a few toddlers in the works I am very excited to let loose on the world soon, let’s hope we’ve taught them enough to do well on their own.