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Jun 18 / kkrizka

Trivial Deifinition of Trivial

TrivialAt the other end of the scale, we have problems that are trivial. This definition can be expressed in far fewer words:

I know how to solve this problem.

To a programmer, a problem is trivial if there is a clear solution, and the only thing that needs to be done is to implement it.

The only caveat is that triviality refers to how hard the problem is to solve, not how hard it is to implement the solution. So there is no necessary relation between a task being trivial, and how long it takes. To the programmer, once the plans for the bridge have been drawn up, the materials chosen properly and the model tested for how it would survive wind, traffic and earthquakes, actually building the bridge is trivial.


It’s funny ’cause it’s true. As a programmer I have fallen victim to this several times. I have bid on projects at the GetAFreelancer website that I knew how to do right away and I though that I can complete them in a few minutes. But in the end they took me one or two hours to finish implementing.

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