In engineering contexts, one often does not actually implement a design, but rather uses an existing implementation. The process of getting an existing solution to work might require some time and effort, and I'm looking for the verb describing this effort.1

You haven't implemented anything yourself, and you're not integrating anything yet either, but this still may take up a lot of time. So, how do you describe what you're doing?

I was busy ______ing the solution company X gave us.

1. For fellow programmers: As an example, consider getting someone else's library to compile successfully on your system.

  • 1
    Debugging for programmers. Jan 25, 2016 at 16:15
  • So something along the lines of fitting the existing solution to the present situation?
    – ws04
    Jan 25, 2016 at 16:15
  • @BleepBloopOverflow - debugging implies finding bugs which is not the case. Jan 25, 2016 at 16:17
  • Usually "implementation" is the word used (and that often involves substantial debugging). With regard to the specific case of your library, though, it would likely be "installing" or "configuring".
    – Hot Licks
    Jan 25, 2016 at 19:11
  • I might use "hacking-in". But then I'm quite derogatory about my own coding abilities.
    – AndyT
    Jan 27, 2016 at 17:08

5 Answers 5


I was busy activating the solution.

activate: to make active or capable of action CED


If I were given a solution, I might implement it.


Depending on the level of completion of the already existing solution and the amount of work needed:

I was busy fine tuning the solution

I was tuning the solution

I was busy tweaking the solution

I was adjusting the solution

I was integrating the solution (with the existing system)...

I was busy altering the solution (to our specific needs)

I was busy adapting the solution

Personnally I'd go with Tweaking ; Collins.

(informal) to make a minor alteration

  • 1
    None of these words pass on the intention of getting the solution to actually work. Jan 25, 2016 at 18:10
  • The question is not clear. "Getting an existing solution to work" . If it's a solution, by definition it is supposed to work, or it would not be a solution, it'd be a try, a test, a partial answer... whatever but not a solution. A solution is something that solves a problem practically or theoretically : all it needs is to be applied. Or if it's applied to a similar problem we can fine tune or tweak it and still call that a solution, but only because it's very close to solving the problem. What you describe is more akin to recycling.
    – P. O.
    Jan 25, 2016 at 20:28

In the software world, porting is the term usually used for this activity.

I was busy porting the solution company X gave us [to work in our environment and on our hardware].

To use a real-world example:

The IRIX Software Project is an initiative to port open-source software to the IRIX operating system running on Silicon Graphics workstations.

From the definition:

Porting is the process of adapting software in an environment for which it was not originally written or intended to execute in. The term is used interchangeably when referring to the changes made to hardware when it has to be made compatible with other environments.


'Jugaad' is a colloquial Hindi word which is now being extensively used in English in India. It means 'an innovative solution usually frugal, a workaround'.

I was busy thinking of a jugaad for the Company X's problem.

  • 1
    It's not English, but you will find it in many Indian english writings. The popularity of this word, I think, can be attributed to a lack of better word in English. Jan 25, 2016 at 16:58
  • Jugaad is the Indian equivalent of "There, I fixed it" type of innovative workarounds with whatever (minimal) resources available at hand. It's hard to imagine how it would fit OP's context in any possible way...
    – BiscuitBoy
    Jan 25, 2016 at 16:58
  • It sounds like a word English needs. How do you pronounce it? Is it a made-up word in Hindi -- how did it come to be?
    – ab2
    Jan 25, 2016 at 18:31
  • 1
    I think that's a "hack" in the US.
    – Hot Licks
    Jan 25, 2016 at 19:12

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