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Mountain Climbing and Programming Compared

The other day I was working on a complex work project and I saw some similar issues between mountain climbing and Excel programming.

I went rock climbing about 20 years ago at Club Getaway. I remember the feeling as I moved up the rock face. I would reach a point where I seemed to be stuck. No where to go and 20 feet above the ground. I felt nervous. But after looking around, I'd see a rock I could grab and keep climbing. This kept happening. I wouldn't focus on the height of the rocks, just the next step. This kept happening. Feeling stuck. Looking around and then finding a way up. I eventually made it to the top.

Flash forward 20 years. I'm sitting at my desk at work with a difficult and big project to complete in a short deadline with pressure from management.

The entire project seemed daunting, but I dig in. I work on one piece at a time. I skip over things I don't know and send out emails awaiting answers. I continue to make progress. The data is coming together and I'm building confidence that I can get it done. I must focus on the immediate task at hand and not get overwhelmed by the big picture.

So if you want some adventure indoors software programming is like mountain climbing.

What have been your experiences that you can relate to either programming or mountain climbing?
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