What is the problem you’re trying to solve?

This is about the most useful question in engineering. I ask it a lot.
“how do I get to this private method?”
“hmm, you shouldn’t really do that. What is the problem you’re trying to solve?”
“I’m trying to find the tweet id”
“oh that’s easy, we have a method for that…”

I think it’s a common question at Apple too.
Their UI design is full of it.

Sometimes for the good:
“how do I get rid of this virus?”
“virus? why do you have a virus?”
“I downloaded this software…”
“ah, let me build you an app store”

Sometimes for the bad:
“why doesn’t this green button work?”
“what is the problem you’re trying to solve?”
“I want to maximise the window”
“ah, let me build you Spaces, a whole new way to…”
“just make the fucking button work”