A puzzle, a question

This topic was created by BlueGreen .

  1. BlueGreen

    A puzzle, a question

    As I often say, times are hard and they will only get harder. So I've offered various of my mates free help with getting skills. I tell them, "anything I know I'll teach you if you want it. It won't be easy but you can do it and what you learn will make you much more employable. In time, even decent money". I'm a pretty good teacher and I'm very patient. On the few occasions the conversation has turned to work/IT in the pub - almost never my doing, yakking shop is so crap - it's been recognised I know my stuff.

    Everyone who knows me will know this is an unconditional offer, I do it because they're my mates. One was even doing a networking course, offered to help (networking not my strong point but I knew more than enough for his exams). Never got back to me. Even offered help to #his# mate who I'd never met before because he mentioned he was doing an IT course and actually started asking me questions. Never got back to me.

    No-one's taken me up on it.

    Skills are about the most valuable thing you can get IME but no-one seems to be interested.

    I don't get it. I'd have killed for this kind of help years ago, but nobody around me will take it off a silver plate.

    So, why?

    In anticipation: I don't push it, I've made the offer clearly a few times & left it at that. Others I've taught (mate's kid, some university work etc.) have said I'm good; it's not just my opinion.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: A puzzle, a question

      The problem is that those born of TheNintendoGeneration[tm] want a magic pill. They want it now, and don't want to work at it.

      I speak as a some-time College/Uni teacher.

      1. BlueGreen

        Re: A puzzle, a question

        I'll not argue with you on that, Jake, but my mates are variously in their 30s, 40s, indeed some 50s. Like I said, a puzzle.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: A puzzle, a question

          They are users who aren't interested in becoming technically inclined, even at a low level. They don't care, they just want to use it. For perspective, see:

          http://forums.theregister.co.uk/post/759082

          Not bad-mouthing anybody here, just pointing out close to 40 years of observation. Personally, I've given up on trying to help folks like this ... and I have a couple fanboi flunkies who I pay to deal with problems on Redmond & Cupertino based gear ;-)

  2. Dominic Connor, Quant Headhunter

    Re: A puzzle, a question

    Since I don't know you, one possibility is that although you know your stuff, people don't realise it when they talk to you.

    You seem to be offering tutorial, which as you say is the best way of getting your head around tricky topics, but a lot of people are used to "broadcast" learning, ie a teacher or a video tells them stuff, they write it down and hope this turns into understanding.

    They feel a bit uncomfortable in tutorial situations, possibly made worse by the fact that they know you.

    If you want to push this I see two options, change what you offer or offer it to people who want what you have.

    1: Do it as a lecture, say to some small bunch of people "I've got some Powerpoints on SMB, come to this pub on this day and I'll demo them". There's many pubs have rooms you can have on a slow night.

    2: Help with Young Rewired State http://youngrewiredstate.org/

    A bunch of kids who want to learn. You don't say where your expertise lies, but given that schools hardly teach any useful IT , you will make a difference.

  3. BlueGreen

    > Since I don't know you, one possibility is that although you know your stuff, people don't realise it when they talk to you.

    On the very rare occasions I talk IT out of work, it's clear I know my stuff. Possibly enough to scare some off, I wonder. Not considered that....

    > They feel a bit uncomfortable in tutorial situations, possibly made worse by the fact that they know you.

    Yes, that's a good point.

    > If you want to push this I see two options, change what you offer or offer it to people who want what you have.

    I don't want to take it further as I'm satisfied re. horses to water. As jake said, many people just can't be arsed (I paraphrase). Just cos they're people I know and like doesn't change that <sad shrug>. If I try harder it'll just annoy them and I've been very careful not to do that.

    > 1: Do it as a lecture, say to some small bunch of people "I've got some Powerpoints on SMB, come to this pub on this day and I'll demo them". There's many pubs have rooms you can have on a slow night.

    Ah interesting that, as I am seriously considering doing something similar at work for the assorted companies there (lots of small independent biz in a building), could be a good way of raising the lamentable level of UK IT, and getting my name round won't do any harm.

    I'm also ramrodding training through at work. Had to fight the boss for that but he's not so bad.

    > 2: Help with Young Rewired State http://youngrewiredstate.org/

    Thanks! Will look into it.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Go online

    I'd been looking into those fancy free online courses. Did a few, passed a few, flunked a few due to overload and some are seriously tough. Been thinking of offering to record a course myself, but nothing's come of that so far. There's also the khan academy approach, of course.

    Another approach is "forums", which I personally dislike*, or good ol' usenet, or mailinglists on your favourite thing. One of the "secret tips" here is irc. I happen to hang out in a couple channels, some of which are technical, and sometimes people who need help seek out such channels. Just now someone came in with a C++ problem and left with an understood solution.

    The point is probably that in-person tutoring is too easily seen as imposing, whereas more detached methods are much more hands-off. Even irc, where it is understood that you just hang around for a while, maybe a couple hours or a day or so, before moving on. Of course you first need to know where to find that sort of thing. But more than leading the horse to water, you cannot do, as you already found.

    * This one not excepted, though it gets a pass for good behaviour... for now.

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