Solving Technical Problems

But they should be treated as a single tool in your toolbox, not the start and end of the problem-solving process. Think about the kind of information you’re looking for: If I’ve been using one of these methods for a while and I don’t seem to be making progress, I’ll often switch to another. If you see anything change as a result, that’s a success. Then keep trying things until you've made substantial progress on the problem.

With this sort of system in place, and knowledge learned working through previous computer problems, you’ll be able to knock out computer problems more efficiently as you gain more experience. Gain access to millions of IT pros already using Spiceworks, all for free!

And to be proactive in avoiding future crises, perhaps you can document issues so they can be referred to by anyone who encounters similar challenges down the line.

For issues that are tougher, if your own experimentation and Google searches don’t result in a satisfactory result, browsing discussions on IT forums such as Spiceworks can be extremely helpful for fixing PC issues.

If nothing turns up there, you can always ask the community of millions of IT pros in Spiceworks.

until you solve the problem (or at least get closer). You can always restore the machine back to a point when everything was working fine.

That is, if someone took the all-important step of backing up data or system state before the problem happened so you can go back to a simpler time… While every issue is like a unique snowflake, a significant number of issues can be resolved through common troubleshooting steps like rebooting the problematic machine, checking for DNS and DHCP issues, checking the device manager for driver issues, cleaning up a machine, or checking firewall or proxy settings, etc.

Programming instructors and anyone who mentors new programmers should make sure their students or mentees have a firm grasp of this process along with any specific technical skills they may need.

Note that when I talk about a software development problem, I mean a problem of any size and scope: This is easier in some cases than in others.

Many classic (and controversial) parts of technical interviews, like whiteboard exercises and "brainteaser" questions, are attempts to test these skills.

That's why, whenever I'm helping beginners learn to code, I try to walk them through the process of solving problems in the same way I would at my job.

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