Is searching your first step?

polycounter lvl 13
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Jeff Parrott polycounter lvl 13
I wrote a small post on my blog about searching in a web search engine before you ask for help or get too far into a project.

http://blog.environmentartist.com/?p=923

Is searching something that you do? Or do you skip this step? Just kind of curious other peoples thought process on getting started in something.

I just talk to a decent amount of people that just take a small step (I want to make x) and immediately ask for help. It seems lazy and not helpful for the future. This is sort of a simplistic version of Kevin's too much help stunting your growth thread I suppose.

http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=80735

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  • biofrost
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    biofrost polycounter lvl 5
    When I first started to do game art back in may I was asking everyone I knew for help and honestly looking back it was such a waste. It made myself look noobish and kind of like someone who just did not want to do my own work. I got my shit together and started doing things on my own and if I did need help I googled first.

    It has honestly helped me more than anything else to become a better artist. You can't depend on other people to do everything for you or else you never learn. Crits are useful but holding their hand the whole way is not.
  • glynnsmith
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    glynnsmith polycounter lvl 11
    Good post.

    There are a couple of members on the boards that seem to go straight to *new topic* before trying the handful of things you can do to figure your problem out.

    If I'm stumped, I'll:

    1. Try Google first. It's the quickest way to get any return.

    2. RTFM! Amazing how many people don't go into the software manual/help file. They can sometimes be cumbersome to get through, but get used to using your software's manual and you'll benefit from it.

    3. Experiment, analyse and brainstorm - Just the act of messing around with something will usually yield a good direction to go in. I also find that if I figure something out on my own, I tend to learn it and understand it better than if I'm following someone's solution.

    4. Ask friends/colleagues - IM, social networking.

    5. Post in favourite forum, grovelling for help, written in as short a way as possible whilst trying to include all of the details pertinent to the problem I'm going through. Other people do not want to have to ask me questions to help solve the problem I'm stuck with.
  • Lamont
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    Lamont polycounter lvl 8
    I search/start smashing on buttons till I get the result.

    The agony of suffering through something helps me remember, so I hardly ask questions and just research.
  • Lamont
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    Lamont polycounter lvl 8
    Sometimes I run into this:
    wisdom_of_the_ancients.png
  • MadnessImport
    I accidentally pushed F1

    All the help i needed was there
    Until the complex crap like Uving started to come into play
    No one ever wants to use the documentation these days
    Now i just find mix and mash other's techniques

    I like when people ask for help and want to enjoy the learning process but not when someone asks for a specific tutorial and want to rage when they cant get what they want or cant see past SIMPLE problems or take advice like turning on Mayas command line IT TELLS YOU WHYYY something is going wrong!
    Being told exactly what to do is like tracing it can lead to you giving up most of the time
  • cholden
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    cholden polycounter lvl 13
    Sleep on it.

    I always feel silly asking something then finding it out a few hours later myself.
  • Kwramm
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    Kwramm greentooth
    Lamont wrote: »
    Sometimes I run into this:
    wisdom_of_the_ancients.png

    haha. I hate when this happens
  • gsokol
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    gsokol Polycount Sponsor
    Are you referring to in life in general or with art?

    As far as art goes, I spend days just looking at references, tutorials, techniques, etc. For example...the jet bike that I'm working on...I had to know how everything on a bike works before I could start on a part.

    Anytime something goes wrong, I pretty much always scour the internet for a solution. At my old job there was a guy that sat next to me that would always ask stupid questions that he could have easily looked up. It got on my nerves a lot, especially when I was really busy and didn't have time for hand-holding.

    Outside of art, I do it all the time as well. If my back starts hurting, the cat starts puking on the floor...I'm planning to visit a new city...I end up looking it up and reading all about it.

    Also..my family thinks I'm the resident computer expert because, when they mess up their computers, I google the problem and fix it.
  • R3D
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    R3D polycounter lvl 7
    If I'm around people that may know the answer, I will ask. If I am alone or there is no one there that has the answer ill search it.
  • Nitewalkr
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    Nitewalkr polycounter lvl 7
    When people say ‘I can’t find out how to do x’. My first response is did you google it?

    Made me delete the entire post in regards to this thread's contribution... after I read this line and stopped reading everything on this blog...

    Seriously?
  • Jeff Parrott
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    Jeff Parrott polycounter lvl 13
    @biofrost @Lamont I usually am in the same boat. The journey ends up being the most valuable part of where I want to go.

    @glynnsmith That's a pretty good checklist. I might have to work something like that in.

    @MadnessImport I constantly mashed F1 when I started learning 3d programs too. Reading the manual/docs is a big help.

    @cholden Yeah that definitely seems like you are very proactive in searching. Resting on it/taking a few minutes off is smart too. (Think before you act type thing)

    @gsokol Sounds like in art and life you go to the search engine first. That was part of my point with this. Do something in both areas of you life.

    @Ryswick Just make sure the people you're around with the answers have the right ones. I've seen that backfire just because someone is around a loud mouth.

    @Nitewalkr Jeez sorry there. Didn't mean to upset anyone with this. I was just wondering if I was in the norm or off on my own on this thinking. I think the important thing is to not just focus on the end result as fast as possible, but also focus on how you get there. Again sorry to hit a nerve. :(
  • Stromberg90
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    Stromberg90 polycounter lvl 7
    Nitewalkr wrote: »
    Made me delete the entire post in regards to this thread's contribution... after I read this line and stopped reading everything on this blog...

    Seriously?

    Care to give us a good reason for this?

    I always google things, many time you can even stumble upon other things you did not know, a nice way to gather some information.
  • Andreas
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    Andreas polycounter lvl 8
    Lamont wrote: »
    Sometimes I run into this:
    wisdom_of_the_ancients.png

    Haha wow... poignant.
  • Nitewalkr
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    Nitewalkr polycounter lvl 7
    jeffro wrote: »
    @biofrost @Lamont I usually am in the same boat. The journey ends up being the most valuable part of where I want to go.

    @glynnsmith That's a pretty good checklist. I might have to work something like that in.

    @MadnessImport I constantly mashed F1 when I started learning 3d programs too. Reading the manual/docs is a big help.

    @cholden Yeah that definitely seems like you are very proactive in searching. Resting on it/taking a few minutes off is smart too. (Think before you act type thing)

    @gsokol Sounds like in art and life you go to the search engine first. That was part of my point with this. Do something in both areas of you life.

    @Ryswick Just make sure the people you're around with the answers have the right ones. I've seen that backfire just because someone is around a loud mouth.

    @Nitewalkr Jeez sorry there. Didn't mean to upset anyone with this. I was just wondering if I was in the norm or off on my own on this thinking. I think the important thing is to not just focus on the end result as fast as possible, but also focus on how you get there. Again sorry to hit a nerve. :(

    Well, first of all, you did not offend me, so relax. My contradiction occurred when I realized that I should ask this question instead of posting a long ars post complementing on your blog. The question is:

    Based on today's research methods for anything (Assuming as you are talking about that when you say "Is searching your first step,") others mentally think "Google.ca/.com," is the way to go.

    Almost everyone, who is tech savvy knows how to use google to search a fix for their problem(s), but there are times, when somethings too complex that you will find the right links via Google, leading you to the discussions of other people asking the same question as you, but not getting the right answer or no answer. In that case if the person gets to hear "if he Googled the issue," thats 50% discouragement and it puts a thought in the person's mind that maybe there is no right answer or a right way to do that thing. Ofcourse, you can always say that "Yes I have," and expect the person help you.

    But that depends on the situation and dire need of help.

    There is also a method called "let me google it for you." that hurts less. I know its a joke, but if anyone asks me something that I have been through and found a right solution, I would google it for him and link him the page I got the help from. Its a bit work on my part but a little curtsy and a little want to guide someone to the right direction attitude, goes a long way.

    Its one of the main purpose of this very website, is it not?

    Care to give us a good reason for this?

    I just did. :)

    If I google something and do not find what I am looking for, ofcourse I am going to ask in the technical talk a best to search for it or if someone have done it. You think people at technical talk will tell me to just google the shit? Seriously? xD

    If they start doing that, than seriously there is no PC's Technical talk anymore, they might as well link it back to google...lol
  • Stromberg90
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    Stromberg90 polycounter lvl 7
    Nitewalkr: I would state on my post if I had googled it first, just like any other question it can be smart to provide some info to get the right answers.

    I also don't mind finding links for others and helping them, but if I see the same person over and over again not bothering to search, he don't deserve any help and might be the same way when it comes to doing art.
  • Nitewalkr
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    Nitewalkr polycounter lvl 7
    If you see the same person over and over, thats another issue. Than yes you can kindly ask the person to just go to google, or direct him to the beginners' tutorial.

    I wasnt talking about that.
  • Stromberg90
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    Stromberg90 polycounter lvl 7
    Nitewalkr wrote: »
    I wasnt talking about that.

    I did not say you where, but I was ;)
  • Jeff Parrott
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    Jeff Parrott polycounter lvl 13
    Sorry there @Nitewalkr I think this was meant more for beginners (or lazy people) not really for techies like you talk about. With anything there is that percentage of people in the know that understand how things work and just 'get it'. For advanced things I think you're right. You have to go to the source. When things get so obscure that google alludes you then yeah you have to do that. I didn't mean this for that. It was more for what I tell people is to just 'google it' when they are getting going in something. I was wondering what other peoples approach to this is. I sorta felt like I was being a dick by saying this. But after seeing most peoples responses I think it's probably the norm to head to a search engine. Thanks for clearing all that!

    @Stromberg90 You bring up a good point about stumbling on things you weren't even aware about.
  • Nitewalkr
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    Nitewalkr polycounter lvl 7
    You guys dont have to apologize for anything. I am just making a discussion here, and it makes sense, that if you have directed this thread towards those who are absolute beginners and just randomly ask on the forums where to start, or they are lazy and cant search for the answers their-selves. Otherwize, most of the people here, sir. Jeffro, do not do that.

    And I wouldnt do ask anyone to just go and google, unless he is asking me obvious questions for like 5th time.

    You should revise your statement in the blog because it is misleading.
    Just a suggestion,

    good luck and have fun. :)

    NOTE: It is indeed being a dick when you tell someone to 'google it' right off the bat, when you have no clue where that person is coming from, or if he found what he was looking for.
  • kaptainkernals
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    kaptainkernals polycounter lvl 8
    +1 on F1 being a great resource. 90% of the time, if I run into something I'm not sure how to use, or do, first port of call - the programs help function.

    Is there a particular effect I want to achieve, that I've seen around, 2nd port of call if I can't find the answer in the help, is to use google, and find a guide, or a breakdown, or a tutorial.

    Sometimes neither the help or google search help much - there will always be information, but sometimes not enough to achieve what I want - then I ask someone.
  • Gestalt
    The nice thing about asking an actual person is that you can get so much more than a simple answer. There are many different ways to do many different things, and often times they are highly situation dependent, so having a thread with commentary can help a lot. When you ask someone with a wider perspective on your specific situation you can often avoid certain pitfalls and learn things that you weren't initially intending/aware of. Not to mention a simple google search may give outdated information.
  • Dudestein
    I have the distinct impression that a lot of people who aren't physically near other developers tend to ask rather than sleuth for the social aspect of it. It scratches that itch, that need to connect with other developers. You get direct and custom replies to YOUR questions rather than reading a long tech doc or the responses someone else got three years ago.

    I get it. That said, I still wish more people would be a bit more self-reliant.
  • Jeff Parrott
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    Jeff Parrott polycounter lvl 13
    @Nitewalkr yeah I think I'll go back and rework the post some. That's why I post things like this on here. Sounds good in my head and works till I write it all out.

    @kaptainkernals help docs seems like a popular choice.

    @Gestalt even with google searches you have to sort by date, etc. But I really believe that it helps you to learn to do your own legwork.

    Ah good point @dustinbrown. I never thought of it as a get your foot in the door step. Guess it kinda works.
  • Tigerfeet
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    Tigerfeet Polycount Sponsor
    I always always always try to find the answer myself first. Maybe it's being self-important, but I take pride in being able to find my own solutions. This isn't to say I won't accept help, just that I will exhaust my own avenues for research before I bother somebody else.
  • cptSwing
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    cptSwing polycounter lvl 6
    That said, I still wish more people would be a bit more self-reliant.

    yes.
  • R3D
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    R3D polycounter lvl 7
    Now imagine a world without Google.
  • Alberto Rdrgz
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    Alberto Rdrgz polycounter lvl 8
    Lamont wrote: »
    Sometimes I run into this:
    wisdom_of_the_ancients.png

    true story :D
  • Justin Meisse
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    Justin Meisse polycounter lvl 13
    Ryswick wrote: »
    Now imagine a world without Google.

    pre-1998? That's when I learned how to paint textures & UV unwrap.
  • pinkbox
    I try to figure it out myself by reading the help and searching forums/google or just trying different things. by doing that i usually end up finding answers to other problems aswell or get distracted trying things out and not producing actual work lol.
    but i also understand why i had the problem better when i fix it myself instead of just asking for an answer.

    If im still stuck then i head to the forums and ask.

    also pre-1998 lol i think i may have gone to the library as books were faster than 56k modems
  • Nitewalkr
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    Nitewalkr polycounter lvl 7
    pre-1998? That's when I learned how to paint textures & UV unwrap.

    Indeed. Back than it was Yahoo, or AOL, but not many resources.

    The only way I learned how to make the texture and UVs for Maya is via Maya tutorial on making a cereal box, and some of Digital Tutors DVDs...
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