When beginning this class, I had a pretty decent understanding of computers and how to trouble-shoot. I was not extremely confident in my abilities, though. This class has most definitely taught me the art form of patience as well as how to be confident in trouble shooting. A lot of issues tend to be due to updates or glitches in code. If you have an idea what to look for, it is less difficult to find a solution. Now, I am confident in my ability to narrow down if not completely identify certain issues.

VirtualBox is a tool that has helped my growth in computer confidence. It has been a wonderful little world to experiment and start understanding how a computer system works. Initially, I didn’t really use it because I was nervous about what might happen if I did something wrong. The first issue I had to solve, however, gave me more confidence. My shared folder wasn’t really sharing with the VirtualBox and when it did, I had trouble accessing it through the terminal. And even then, it wouldn’t show the contents of the folder. While I never figured out the actual issue (at least knowingly), I continued to toy with the code in the terminal. I deleted the folder and re-shared it. I tried different avenues of code and searched google to figure out what I should do. Eventually I realized I was using the correct code, but I was not imputing the correct username to gain access to the folder. Even though I couldn’t completely figure it out by myself, I was able to realize that with a little more time I probably would have gotten it. And so in the future, I will take more time to figure out the issue, rather than allowing myself to be frazzled and give up.

A big reason I have more confidence as well is learning how to use a terminal. The terminal has given me a new perspective to understanding how a computer is put together and how all the data is filed. Now that I am confident in using a terminal and confident in using resources to find the right code; I am confident that I can troubleshoot pretty much any issue I have. It also has given me more passion for finding a career related to computer sciences. I love research and now that I have a more confident understanding of the inter-workings of computer software, I am excited to find a way to do both (which I know is completely possible thanks to the data-mining project I am working on).

Taking Small Steps

I have never been overly proficient in computers or technology of really any kind. I, however, have never run into any serious problems with computer or technology to challenge my knowledge. This class, while not a serious problem, has me doing things with my computer that I have never really done nor thought could be done. I always understood what coding was and that there are different ways to do so–I knew there was HTML and I had heard of python and mathematica, but I had never truly used these systems before. In fact, I had mostly been afraid of them. The ideas of algebra seemed complicated to me and so how was I supposed to figure out the language of computers? Since computers stem from mathematics and algorithms, I did not think I would have been capable of understanding them. Then, I started my internship.

In the Fall semester of 2018, I started a library instruction internship where I began to learn how to be a research librarian. While most of librarianship is understanding how to use databases, there is also a whole sector of creating webpages, websites, databases, and more. While most of the moderators make it easy to use the site, sometimes I had to go into the HTML to make things look exactly how I want and so I had to stop being afraid of coding. I realized a lot of coding is less knowing the specific parts of the language itself, but knowing how those parts work together. The more I played around with HTML, the more comfortable I got with it–I am no master of coding, but I do have a strong confidence in being able to learn how to use certain methods.

I decided to take this class to learn a little more about how to control a computer as I want to go into the field of librarianship and research–and as we know, humanities is becoming more and more digital, and as an English major I want to be able to keep up with different forms of presenting, analyzing, and creating literature and/or texts. What this class has taught me the most so far: how to follow steps.

There have been some classes that I have fallen so behind in that I start becoming frazzled and annoyed. Instead of letting myself spiral, I would start from the beginning and just slowly work my way through each step until I got to the problem area. Sometimes, there would just be no problem anymore. Other times, I would have to fish around different parts of my computer to find a setting or button to change. While the confusion is aggravating, it also has allowed me to become more and more familiar with what is on my computer and in my system settings. I think another part to feeling comfortable in any discipline is knowing the foundation–and the foundation here would be just understanding the basics of a computer. The more I get to understand the anatomy of my device, the more confident I am in handling any issues that may come up and therefore the more confident I am in my computer skills.