Brandon’s Tips To Surviving LabVIEW

1) Engage Vietnam
It’s the middle of one of the most senseless wars in history. You are hiding in a place in which you’d never go camping. Boom! A bomb blows your buddy’s leg off and he’s not making much sense when you talk to him. Your buddy’s name is LabVIEW. He doesn’t have the mental or physical capabilities you counted on just a few minutes ago. You now have to put LabVIEW on your shoulder and carry him 10 miles to the helicopter pickup point. The helicopter in this story is your professor who lets better heads prevail and cancels the project. The helicopter HAS to be your professor. Your boss would never use LabVIEW in the first place.

If a person is used to programming in any standard computer language, you will see that LabVIEW fights with almost every mouse click. It’s not just that LabVIEW is a different way of thinking, it’s that LabVIEW throws out almost every convention and requires that a person learn all sorts of goofy workarounds. Regardless, you’ve got a job to do. You may not have known what Vietnam was like when you signed up, but here you are. Put yourself in the mindset to rise above the challenges. You can whine and cry that your buddy is missing a leg and a few brain cells. Guess what. That’s your buddy’s job. Your job is to suck it up and carry him to safety.

It’s not your job to nitpick the 350,000,000 things wrong with LabVIEW. It’s your job to get the project completed (and teach your kids of the horrors of LabVIEW and Vietnam). So be tough, ignore the almost unbearable pain, and get the damn project complete.

2) You Are Out of Water….So What!!!
You’re carrying your buddy on your back, it’s 120 degrees outside, and you are out of water. You have enough work to do, but it’s easy to let your mind put too much energy into that lack-of-water problem. Your brain – if left unchecked – will obsess over your lack of water. It will waste intolerable amounts of energy stressing out over the lack of water. LabVIEW puts your brain into a similar state when it doesn’t show the wire connection tool when it should or when you can’t see the arrows because no one at National Instruments thought zooming was necessary on a VISUAL editor.

The secret to working with LabVIEW is to use your meditation skills and not let your brain wander down the stressful path. Focus on the solution and not the problem. Yes, it may take 2-3 minutes to connect a wire in LabVIEW. Find a way to achieve this while conserving energy. Don’t question the designers of LabVIEW. Instead, focus on finding the quickest way out of hell so you can close the LabVIEW program and never open it again.

3) Don’t Let LabVIEW Steal Your Fundamentals
There are fundamental procedures that have to be followed in LabVIEW like all “programming languages”. That’s a given. LabVIEW is so incredibly uninviting that it may seem like nothing had any thought put into it. That’s not the case. I suspect at least one person in the LabVIEW team has common sense and applied that to the tool. Of course, that person is drowned out by countless others who do not. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that 100% of LabVIEW is bad when only 99% of it is. It will lead you to make mistakes that your own fault.

4) It Could Be Worse
Imagine your parents are dying. Imagine you are being eaten by a bear. By taking a few moments and pretending that a true atrocity is occurring, you may realize that LabVIEW is still an atrocity but a manageable one. The only hard part is that there only like 5 things on Earth that worse than LabVIEW. Once you scratch off the Holocaust, 911, etc it becomes challenging to think of activities worse than programming in LabVIEW.

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