Emptied of expectation. Relax. (tinyjo) wrote in support_sharks,
Emptied of expectation. Relax.
tinyjo
support_sharks

Working in web

So, right up until recently I hardly ever worked in web. I got courtesy I2s back when they were a thing from my other SH's and I did just enough cache requests plus moving that I held on to them. I was really intimidated by web - it seemed like any request which wasn't a straight-forward clear your cache request was really hard and so I avoided it.

Then recently, I was looking for a new challenge. I got into support and stay here because I want to learn stuff and to feel like I'm improving. So I was looking around and I thought "Yikes! Web only has as many SH's as syn!". Despite my fears of it, I felt like web was a category where I could make a difference and be useful so I decided to have another go.

Now we come to the point of this post. As soon as I made that decision and decided to really start working in web I found that it's not nearly as hard as it looks and it's immensely satisfying at times. If you've got a bit of time to give it, then web is a really fun category and you should try it.

a) There are very few bunnehs in web so while you're going through that stage of learning how to answer the various requests, you can spend time doing your research and not find that something has been approved by the time you get back. I found this really encouraging because it made me feel useful.

b) Once you get used to it, you realise that lots of questions are as simple as the cache ones, you just have to learn to recognize them. Looking through the yellow requests, I learned a lot about how to answer some of the common questions that look really hard.

c) If you've got 10 or 15 mins to play around, diagnosis can be fun. Sometimes you don't get very far. Sometimes you find a bunch of things which aren't the problem. Sometimes you actually solve the whole thing (and that can be a real buzz). Sometimes you just end up with a bunch of ideas you can't quite prove because you're not sitting at the user's PC. Once upon a time, I used to give up on a request if I got that result but don't do that!

If you just couldn't reproduce it and didn't end up with any ideas for the user to test, even then you can still help. Leave an IC on the request saying what you did and what results you got. You'll be saving someone else time and perhaps you'll give them a few ideas as well.

If you ended up with a few ideas but can't test them any more then it's OK to get other volunteers or even the user to test things. It's actually often necessary in web to start with an answer which will say to the user "Try this (often this is clearing your cache :) ). If that works, great, if not come back to us". Sometimes they'll just go away, problem solved, and if they don't well you've ruled that and you can go onto the next thing.

And of course, once you've had your grubby mitts on a request, it'll be in your You Replied filter and you can check in on it every now and then to see what's happened. Sometimes you'll get an idea based on the work someone else does on it, sometimes you'll just watch and learn from the steps that other volunteers try but it's always useful.

d) Web looks all strange and new but once you get used to it you realise that a lot of your skills from other categories carry over. Writing matters everywhere of course but there's other stuff. Anyone who's done work on slightly odd requests further down the board will have picked up a few diagnosis skills, even if it's just a facility with searching Zilla. It goes both ways as well and the skills you pick up in Web will come in handy in the strangest places.

So if you've got a bit of time to play with or fancy branching out into something new, I really recommend giving web a try. You might just find that after a week or so you're wondering why it ever seemed so hard.

Please bear in mind that I'm not a web support help. This is just my thoughts on answering in web, and why it's not as hard as it looks to make a contribution there.
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