As a technology expert with over eight years in the industry, having studied with many experts across the globe, and in knowing/having significant amount of troubleshooting; as has been previously demonstrated – I can still say that I find myself sitting in the occasional box of woe.
That’s okay, though. As I may not have previously mentioned, I’m currently volunteering as a teacher with TEALS, a program dedicated to providing young people with access and an education in computer science.
We’re currently undergoing a lesson in problem solving. This is where my box of woe comes in for this weekend.
I keep coming up against problems that are stumping me and they’re rendering me stagnant.
I have a Tableau challenge wherein I want to filter on a user, but provide demographics for the particular user’s affiliates. So, say; for example, I want to learn all about Kalika (an end user). Hypothetically, we’ll say Kalika belongs to one of several knitting league. We can travel back in time and say that she’s a member of the Knitting Olympics guild and she’s on team once upon a time. When I filter for Kalika, I want once upon a time’s stats to show up.
I’m having hard time figuring out how to accomplish that in Tableau this week. Especially considering that the data I’m working with is much larger than the amount of data that I’d have looking at the once upon a time knitting league.
Next up – there’s an api that I want to activate/make work and I cannot figure out how to do it. It’s not a new technology to me, I just – can’t understand, entirely, what I should do to get the chatbot to work.
Finally, I’m teaching problem solving this week. In a fun take on things, our teacher (as in not the volunteer) has presented us with a chance to explain/show the students how to approach these problems – without giving up. I took two lessons on code.org; and found myself looking up the answer with immediacy. If the goal is to teach resilience; how am I going to teach the never give up concept to a classroom full of teens?
The answer to the first two questions lies in what it takes to solve most problems. It’s not a bunch of guessing. It’s recognizing that there’s something missing in my own talents/strengths and realizing that I’ve got to reach out and, in some cases, I’m doing research in other cases, I’ve got to reach out and ask somebody.
What do I do when the solution is not available? How do I proceed when there’s a situation where I cannot find the research paper and there is no one who’s done the deed to compete?
That answer is also simple.
If at first you don’t succeed – redefine the definition of success or try again.
Truth be told – each of my problems requires different solutions. The Tableau situation will probably require a bit of research. The API will require a bit of help from the developer. As far as teaching problem solving, the truth of the matter is – no one has the answer to everything. There’s a time when we can appreciate the power of team work and appreciation for the people that can point out the things we cannot see on our own.
There are many different ways to solve a problem. In most cases we will find that we cannot do it alone. Although, I do have some fun tales of hiding under desks for 3 months because I was too afraid to take the lead . . . that’s a post for another day.