Brian Foster wrote:
> | From: Kae Verens <kae at verens.com>
> | Date: Thu, 04 May 2006 11:53:12 +0100
> |[ ... ]
> | I remember fuming about one graduate of a computer
> | science degree that asked me for help starting her
> | computer. Turned out she'd left a floppy disk in,
> | and the computer couldn't get past that to the OS
> | on the hard drive.
>> what, please, is the connection between the person having
> a degree and not diagnosing the problem? I totally fail
> to see the connection here .... no ;-)'s
>Rory has already answered this question very well.
I think I could further explain with an observation - most classroom
environments are sterile by design - the computers are usually set up
already for whatever task is needed, and any possible hiccups have
either been planned, or have been documented. In the real world,
however, this is never the case - you are asked to perform tasks which
involve you setting up the environment yourself and overcoming obstacles
which you may not have any training for.
The boot-up case just pointed out to me that that particular
degree-earner had rarely had to boot up a machine for herself - she
simply arrived at class, to find her computer already set up and ready
to log in, learned what was required to pass her test, and left, as Kuda
said, with enough knowledge to pass a test, but not enough to operate
efficiently in the real world.
In my experience, in order to really understand a problem, you have to
learn not just how to solve it, but also how not to solve it. This takes
up a lot of time, but ends up with the knowledge ingrained. The
difference here is that a tutored person might be given tuition in the
"proper" way to solve a particular problem, but an untutored person
would have to figure it out for themselves, marching down many blind
alleys before finding the right one.
A disadvantage to this is that an untutored person will spend much more
time learning what a tutored person might learn in a fraction of the time.
An advantage, though, is that an untutored person will then learn /why/
a problem is solved in a particular way, and will instinctively avoid
the wrong ways when approaching a similar problem.
Of course, I'm biased, in that I'm one of the self-taught crowd, but I
think that it can be shown that of two people that can solve any
particular problem, the untutored person will appear to be more
knowledgeable about the problem itself, as he/she will have had to
approach it in many more ways than the tutored one.
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