I’m dreaming of the finish line. Suddenly, my alarm went off, at 6 AM, just like the day before. As usual, I snooze the alarm for 30 minutes. It usually takes me 20 minutes to get ready and there was the knock just on time. I opened the door and Walid was ready for our morning run. As you run, the pressure built, the key is to remember to keep your pace. Of course, the pivot of slowing down is alway in your mind, but your running partner reminds you that you can do it.
That is the feeling you get when you are trying to solve a problem and you cannot solve it. As I develop On-Call Ma, there is always one problem after another like everlasting runs that never finish. Every software cycle I finish or every lap I finish running, there is another lap ahead. For example, On-call Ma uses chat bot technology to confirm if a call is cancelled, but getting answers we are looking for in a chat is not straightforward. For instance, if we ask for the last name, the user may respond as “my last name is Jackson” or “it’s Jackson”. It would be nice if the user just say “Jackson”.
Finish Line Not in Sight. Pivot or Persist
We are trying to solve this problem by having a database that stores all the last names in the world and realized that people love to have unique last names. It was a bad idea and we can never complete the list of last names. Then we tried to use AI just to identify the name itself just like humans would do, which has some success, but the accuracy is not great. The same feeling of wanting to stop running comes back. My partner reminded me again to keep my pace or persist. The fact is we do not know when to Pivot until we have some data to guide us. Sometime we give up on the solution before even giving it a chance. Persistency is the key to making it to the finish line, not just dreaming.