Because I said so...


There have been numerous occasions in my life where I have been frustrated and the reason is something that is avoidable or rectifiable, if only people can get over the feeling of “Because I said so…”

Let me explain,

Recently we started with a plan of tuning our API and the search queries for for our product. We are using Elastic Search as our backend. None of our Data Scientistshas any prior experience with Elastic Search so anything we propose, we do it with the idea of experimenting. Some of the ideas were very rudimentary and other were destined to fail, we had no way of knowing, but we had to try as we were quite inexperience. Here comes the problem, we have a Data Engineer who has some experience with Elastic Search. Now when we started proposing ideas to tune in the queries we were met with a bombardment of question and wrapped around them were suggestion (pretty strong ones as well). The suggestions were welcomed but these suggestions were without any bases, no proof nothing. It was getting getting pretty difficult to get things done. This created a lot of friction between people on the team and there were long conversations going around which became unbearable.

But before I conclude I want to write what I felt and from my perspective why this situations was, what it was. Firstly, to me it felt like the data engineer knows about ES so let’s implement it see what we get. If it works well and good but if the solution does not work, its good as well. One can do this for only so many times. Then one starts learning and suddenly we don’t see eye to eye on a certain topic. The same suggestions which were followed before without proof or a hit of evidence if it works, start feeling like a futile or for lack of better words “Because I said so…”. This is the problem. The suggestions coming in whichever form it was coming earlier. They came in without evidence or any proof if it works and they are coming without them now. The difference now however is that you have started learning and you want to experiment and see and explore.

In conclusion, I think this situation could have been avoided, basically, what I think is when you start proposing something, be it any idea, make it concrete by putting weight on it. What do I mean by putting weight is, start by researching a little, add some numbers. Most problems these days are divided into small chunks, so that makes it easy to run few tests and provide concrete answers and that way others don’t feel “Because I said so…” about your suggestion.