I shudder when I hear these words. I chide, I try to joke them out of their misconception. But there is a segment of the people I interact with regularly who, when it comes to computers, software, the Internet, and sometimes anything at all that plugs into a wall or uses a lithium battery, will always say or think:
It always works when you are here!
I have probably always been at least a little “ahead” of most of my friends and family when it comes to solving technical problems – I just never noticed it very much. Others, at times, seem to think there is something almost magical going on.
But I have two things going for me technically, which help to create the “magic”:
- Over ten years of strong experience in a wide variety of technical environments
- A stronger than average interest in technology of all sorts (i.e., I try new stuff all the time)
At that moment – the moment of recognition of a familiar technical problem – I have not “figured out” the answer. One of my favorite bloggers (Rands In Repose) explained how years of experience helps in his article, Taking Time to Think:
It’s that experience I’m using when you walk into my office and tell me the sky is falling. I’m not actually doing anything new, I’m just telling you the story of how I propped the sky up last time.
And so it goes. To the inexperienced or overwhelmed friend or relative this experience of mine, occasionally, seems like magic. At other times, I hear the suggestive, “It always works when you are here.”
Being a good Geek-in-Law means always being supportive, so I shudder and nod, “Yes – it always works when I am here. And I will always be here.” 🙂