Related lobsters question: What’s your current yak shaving depth?
Reminds me of how, as a kid, I tried to solve Fermat’s Last Theorem. I didn’t have a chance in hell, of course, but my attempts enabled me to learn a ton of advanced math and even finding out some results that turned out to be already well known (e.g., Euler’s formula).
I just put together a Secret Santa system, and it was quite a bit trickier that I’d anticipated. Not rocket science, but it took more than 10 minutes!
It’s easy to match up a group of people.
It’s easy to group them into sub-groups to avoid clashes with spouses, etc.
Things get tricky when you need one-way relationships. So Jim can give a gift to Sally, but Sally cannot give to Jim.
Learned a lot about directional graphs, constraints, building sanity checks, and doing things without melting CPUs.
In my view this is how true tech learning takes place. You are focused on solving a specific problem, so are concentrating hard on the details as you go along. And there is a dopamine reward for working it out.
Which of course is exactly what the article says. Consider this vehement agreement.