When to Call it Quits on a Project: Stepping Back and Taking a Break

Published Date: March 29 2018

I was trying to make a Pomodoro timer for the Scotch.io Challenge #6 using a framework I had just started learning, Angular. It was going pretty well at first. I had replicated the desired design look. I'd setup the components and just needed to create the javascript to make the timer actually countdown from a given time. This is where it took a sharp downturn.

Problem Strikes

I just couldn't get the timer to countdown no matter what I tried, I felt I had a good game plan. I thought I knew the steps to make this work and it would be no problem. It did not work out that way at all. I spent a few hours trying to lookup any examples of people who'd done something similar, to no avail. None of the examples where using the setup I had of using Angular CLI. They were all using a setup that relied on $scope and I didn't know anything about that or how it related to my setup.

I'm a pretty determined person so I spent a good part of my night trying to break this "problem hump". Thinking if I just pushed enough everything would click into place and it would all make sense. That's usually how it works for me, I do research and trial & error and then things works. I kind of figure out what I needed to do and then it's something I've learned.

Calling it Quits

It was getting close to 3am. I was super tired and very angry, at myself. I wanted so badly to do this, I thought that I'm better than this I can make it work. That wasn't actually fair or true. It had nothing to do with my abilities in the sense of I'm a failure but more that I'm really new at this. Why should I be expected to know everything about a framework I just started using not even a month ago. Once I realized that I thought it was silly to push myself to learn everything about Angular in the wee hours of the morning.

I didn't want to but I put this project, making a Pomodoro Timer with Angular, on the backburner. I made it in Vue and don't regret that. That's a framework I've had a few more months experience with and I feel really comfortable in. Took about two days but I got it working and fleshed it out into a full functional Pomodoro Timer.

End Result

I would have never gotten that far if I was too upset about my Angular project and called it quits. I know when I have more experience in using Angular and have a better handle of how it works I will come back and finish that project. There is not doubt in my mind.

Sometimes you need to give up and come back later. If you don't know why it's not working or you feel your missing something, step back and get a different perspective. There is no shame in not having enough experience. Just don't give up and you can always come back later.