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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Legacy vs Lateral (1): Google is here to help

Did you ever experience the typical scenario like this before?

The phone rings.
Engineer 1: Yes?
Engineer 2: Hi, it's me. Look, I have a problem here with my <insert-your-favorite-CAD-application>. Can you help me?
E1: Fine, I'll come over.

Few minutes later.
E1: So, what kind of problem do you have?
E2: I'm trying to run this-and-that. And out of sudden, what I've got is the following error message: bla...bla..bla..
E1: Hmm, that's strange (thinking for a minute or two).
E2: Yeah, that's not supposed to happen, isn't it?
E1: Did you google already?
E2: Google..what? Ah, I see. No, I didn't try googling for that problem...
E1: Well, let's try it now.

And after 5 minutes of googling and flipping web pages, the problem was easily solved. As a matter of fact, it could have been solved earlier.

Although it looks simple, the above scene happens quite a lot. Those who grow up in the late nineties and take for granted that Internet exists for their conveniences often quickly open whenever they find a problem (even as far as replacing the pocket calculator) and most of the time just mechanically and without too much thinking. Whether it's about using Google or other search engines, searching for some support articles, or even reading discussion archives, the idea is the same: let's tap into the vast amount of knowledge available out there. Given enough brains, likely one of them solved the problem already. However, the previous generations (granted, not all of them of course) sometimes struggle with this concept of "information at your fingertip".

Ever witnessed something similar?


Anonymous said...

been there,
done that :)

Anonymous said...

well, it works because both are engineer, but don't ever try it if you are a CS :)

Anonymous said...

believe it or not: (1) we are getting more stupid every day since internet spoiled us too much (2) our survival mode is getting less and less if we depend solely on this maya world.

Anonymous said...

A two days unsolved problem was solved by googling it.

The problem is finding the correct query.

Unknown said...

thing is, some of us - even if being the "new generation" - just want to work, while being at work, getting things done, for deadlines, and just don't have the time to google for solutions

and besides, support people are paid to do support work, so if I had the time to solve my support problems, why the heck should we pay them in the first place ?

Ariya Hidayat said...

Some of the concerns miss the point: there are two things which are highly correlated for some people, namely "problem" and "googling". But for some others, these things are weakly or even not correlated.