I recently had an issue with my patio doors where I wanted to keep them open and avoid them swinging in the wind. I mulled it over for many weeks and considered attaching hooks to the back of the doors, but this would require drilling in to them. I thought of attaching clamps to the wall that would slide over each door when fully opened and lock them in place. I looked at mounting a latch at the top similar to the pneumatic door closers you find in offices.

What I did in the end was to use a leftover piece of softwood, cut it to size and rest it across the top between the two doors. They were gently held at their limit so they didn’t move and weren’t under any strain. A perfect one-handed solution that took five minutes and cost me nothing.

It reminded me of a meeting in which tech-heads were discussing what amounted to little more than how to keep two databases in sync (it was a bit more complicated, but for the sake of brevity we’ll leave it there). The meeting went on for far too long and it was decided that more techs needed to get involved. Several meetings later a super-complicated process was devised which involved many people, a development time of several weeks and a cost that ran into the tens of thousands.

I just happened to be in the approval meeting and asked the project lead what seemed to be quite obvious questions. How often does the content change? How big are the changes in the database? How long do you need to keep doing this for? Because the nerds just wanted to talk about the technology, they missed the most important details. The final solution was a weekly cut and paste job that took less than five minutes, was covered as part of an existing process and only needed to be in place for a couple of months.