Greetings y'all! 3 weeks in, and I'm finally back in the grind. Along with blogging, I decided to take up a proctor position for a class, Object Oriented Programming (OOP), which is sometimes considered the 2nd hardest CS class next to Operating Systems (OS). It's really amazing to see the perspective that a proctor has while looking over students. Being able to see the student community gather and ask questions encountered with software errors, as well as take time to discuss and answer questions has been very insightful. Unfortunately, one thing I've noticed is that some students have a tendency to ask a question without doing much research, and this frustrates me.
Now don't get me wrong, asking questions is a great thing. In fact, previously I wrote a blog post about the benefits of asking questions; my experience in not being able to ask for help in my previous internship. However, when it comes to asking questions that are basic; problems you could do a Google search on, delve deeper into project specs, or further read into community posts, it frustrates me to see how little effort people spend on it. It frustrates me since I used to have that same mentality.
Till my Sophomore year in college, I didn't find much speciality in my studies in computer science. I took for granted the major I was given and became lazy at times, putting little effort/thought into the tasks I was given. When I arrived at my OS semester though, I was completely overwhelmed by the limited amount of knowledge I had over basic CS concepts. I was challenged to question the things I did with my code, how I learned, time management, etc... That semester, I suffered a lot, and realized my lack of intelligence and care. During that time, I learned a lot of technical skills and was forced to develop a greater passion for learning and searching for answers.
And that's why I'm frustrated when I see how little people care about the problems they face; because it reminds me of me. I wish I could've told myself then to really spend time nurturing my ability to learn and take responsibility over what I didn't know. The ability to take responsibility in schoolwork not only has short-term, but long-term effects. This responsibility can be reflected later in the future, when you have a job, live by yourself and have noone else to take care of you. When you come face to face with a C++ bug at 4am in the morning that's crashed a crucial system and everyone is frantically downing 5-hour energy drinks in order to fix it before the company loses millions if not billions of dollars, it's not the engineer who sits around asking questions for help on start up, build time, or integration that solves the problem, but it's the engineer that can put their head into their work and spend those caffeinated nights searching through documentation and tech-dev posts in order to survive and find the line of code that caused the whole calamity.
So take heart! It's not too late to change how you ask questions and develop a habit to learn. It is truly joyful to be the one who understands what you need to do in order to solve a problem. Because yes, relying on others is good, if not in fact, necessary. But to be able to be free from the wait after asking a question, and to have your own level of satisfaction in understanding a problem, is something worth striving and living for.