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My Subconscious is a Better Developer Than I Am

Occasionally I flatter myself that I'm alright at this development lark. Such egotistical talk is foolish. What makes me pause even more when I consider the proposition is this: my subconscious is a better developer than I am.

What's this fellow talking about?

There's 2 of me. Not identical twins; masquerading as a single man (spoiler: I am not a Christopher Nolan movie). No. There's me, the chap who's tapping away at his keyboard and solving a problem. And there's the other chap too.

I have days when I'm working away at something and I'll hit a brick wall. I produce solutions that work but are not elegant. I'm not proud of them. Or worse, I fail to come up with something that solves the problem I'm facing. So I go home. I see my family, I have some food, I do something else. I context switch. I go to sleep.

When I awake, sometimes (not always) I'll have waiting in my head a better solution. I can see the solution in my head. I can turn it over and compare it to what, if anything, I currently have and see the reasons the new approach is better. Great, right? Up to a point.

What concerns me is this: I didn't work this out from first principles. The idea arrived sight unseen in my head. It totally works but whose work actually is it? I feel like I'm taking credit for someone else's graft. This is probably why I'm so keen on the MIT License. Don't want to be caught out.

I think I'd like it better if I was a better developer than my subconscious. I'd come up with the gold and mock the half baked ideas he shows me in the morning. Alas it is not to be.

I draw some comfort from the knowledge that I'm not alone in my experience. I've chatted to other devs in the same boat. There's probably 2 of you as well. Amarite? There's probably 3 of Jon Skeet; each more brilliant than the last...

PS I posted this to Hacker News and the comments left by people are pretty fascinating.