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Possible to learn enough about computers to deny professional help?
EDIT: Ooops, cut 'n paste mishap... forgot what my first paragraph was XD
It is totally possible to become sufficiently knowledgeable in whatever field you apply yourself towards. As you study and learn, you will become more familiar with the ins and outs and thus more independent. If you think about it, the only difference between a well versed layman and a professional is the pro makes a living from it.
Take the car example as mentioned above... it was mentioned that cars are too complicated for everyday people to try and handle their own problems, I believe that's a bit of an oversimplification. I think your average Joe (or Jane) is more than capable of changing their oil if they so choose (I do it myself) but yeah diagnosing an air/fuel mixture problem might be over their head. However if you study up and maybe invest in an ECU interface (a very handy purchase IMHO) you could at least know where the problem lies and have that much more of an informed advantage when you take it to the mechanic. Granted everyday folks probably don't have access to the kinds of equipment professional mechanics do but even so, a little knowledge can go a long way to save you some (or even a lot) cash.
Same thing goes for computers. Myself, I've been playing with PCs now for almost 25 years now and haven't had to get outside assistance for any problems for quite some time now... and I'm sure many of you guys (and gals, where applicable) are in the same position of being the family's/friends' resident "expert", professional of not. I'd go so far to say it's probably easier to become computer savvy in this day and age as you have the Internet as a resource. Back when I was learning we only had user to user interaction, periodicals, and BBSes, all with mixed results due to relatively small sample sizes. Also, with PCs you generally don't need any relatively expensive equipment to fix things or get stuff done... besides the actual PC of course. Knowledge is your single greatest asset in tackling whatever might come your way.
TL;DR... you get out of it what you put into it, study up enough and you can be as skilled (and thus independent) as you want to be.
...this is a serious topic? Technicians aren't some specialised subspecies of human that are genetically predisposed at birth and otherwise from an impenetrable group. Anyone can learn how to use/service/repair/maintain a computer. Just like anyone can learn to maintain a car, or a jackhammer, or a jet airplane. It's just a matter of how much time and attention you're willing to spend on it.
As for this...
For example, Accounting is a complicated field where you may want a certified CPA to manage your books before you ever think about it, but is it the same for computers?
Yes, you need a CPA if you want to manage other people's businesses or have a very large business of your own that you want to take care of. You can bet that you need some kind of Information Technology certification before you can walk into a office building and start taking apart computers as well. If you want to teach yourself some basic accounting and manage your own personal books — or even do it for a few friends or a small business that you own — you can go right ahead.
"I think the gene pool needs some chlorine..."
From: Xjph | #022
You can bet that you need some kind of Information Technology certification before you can walk into a office building and start taking apart computers as well.
I beg to differ good sir! Certifications can help get your foot in the door and differentiate you from the faceless masses but they are far from essential. If you have sufficient know-how and can articulate that on your resume and in interviews then not having certifications is far from a handicap.
Case in point (and I know not all cases are the same), I don't have a single certification to my name and I am an office IT guy making close to six figures as a systems analyst... not to toot my own horn, but hey *toot toot*
I know many of my colleagues are of the same persuasion as me so I know I'm not some kind of freakish outlier, for whatever that's worth.
... actually I do have one certification, I am a certified Tandberg TMS/MCU Administrator! Not that it really means anything towards what I do for a living =P
From: Xjph | #022You can bet that you need some kind of Information Technology certification before you can walk into a office building and start taking apart computers as well.
I have no certifications, i just played with computers all my life...and now I'm currently at work IT. I never officially did it before, but its easy.
oh wait! i lied! I'm forklift certified.
I've been using computer since I was 7 (24 now), and I've never had to ask anyone for help in person, ever. As numerous people have said, everything can be found on google, but even then, most problems can be solved by just messing around and experimenting.
"You like that? It's called getting whooped." ~Maxi, Soul Calibur 4