#TechMonday – Could I work without the Internet? (SOLVED)

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Not sure.  Let me just Google that, see what it says.

Let’s just say I’m not sure I could do my job without it.

Here I am, half of the IT department, and the Users expect me to know the intricacies of each and every piece of software on their machine.  Functions in Excel so arcane and convoluted that they’re the only person within 1000 miles who’s actually using them.  ArcGIS?  Yes, I installed it for you but no, I have no idea how to do anything with it!

So when someone phones up with a problem, a “How do I do x in this program?” I’ve got a browser open in front of me and I’m putting to good use something I learned during GCSE English – touch typing.  My English teacher told me that my handwriting was dreadful and I should do something about it.  I did.  I took a night class in touch typing and can now (on a good day) hammer words out at around 60 – 70 words per minute.  I may have mentioned this before.

Almost before they’ve finished their sentence, or reading out the error message on screen, I’ve got a browser full of answers that I can either very quickly give them an answer or give them my standard “Hmmm.  Give me 5 minutes and I’ll come round.”  Worst case scenario I can either assure them that they’re not alone in having this particular issue or compliment them on having a problem/scenario so strange that no-one else in the entire world has encountered it.

My Google-Fu is pretty good, I can solve most stuff pretty quickly.  If I’ve phrased the question right, or if the problem is common enough, the first couple of links can be enough to deliver a complete solution in a box.  Which leads me to believe that others could do this as well.  But they don’t.  It’s easier for them to phone/email me.    If everyone had good enough Google-Fu, a large part of my job would be removed.

Anyway, could I work without the internet?  No.  The wealth of online documentation, the resources available for solving problems and the time wasting power usefulness of Twitter/Facebook/Google+/etc. mean I spend more of my day on the internet than off it, and that’s including time spent at home.

One final tip – when you’re searching for a solution to a problem, add the word “Solved” to the end of the search.  That should filter out all those posts with the same question but no answers.

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