"What do you do when you're troubleshooting and you can't solve a problem?"

  • 1
    So how did you answer?
  • 13
    @100110111 Turned out my answer really annoyed the interviewer.

    Nothing happens by magic. If there isn't enough time or resources to find a true solution, find a workaround. Otherwise, troubleshoot, fix. Use whatever resources are available and suitable.

    "But what if you can't figure it out?"

    No big deal. I need to learn something new to fix it. Learn, fix, move on.

    The 'right' answer was to ask for help. I get that. But the vast majority of the time when I've gotten stumped in my specialty, there's nobody else in the organization who can figure it out either. That's why I get handed those problems in the first place with a hearty handshake and "Good luck!".

    Worked out well enough. Ended up calling him when I needed to sub out some of my work a few years later.
  • 3
    Well. Sure.
    "But I'm the Guy they call for help...."
  • 6
    I’m always the person people come to for help. So.

    Keep researching. Give it a break. Try again. If I can, search for someone who might know, but this has almost never worked in my career. Instead: cry, scream, flail noodle arms. Try again. And either finally solve it or find some way around the problem.
  • 2
    yeah, I hate that question. I fell for it, too. Nowadays I would answer: Wait, am I stomped by the question or am I, my colleagues and Stack Overflow at a loss.

    but back then I naïvely thought I cannot solve it means after asking my colleagues and receiving blank stares, hearing the rustling of the wind and removing the tumble weed that blew threw the office for no apparent reason.
  • 0
    With the type of work we do, I won't be "troubleshooting". I will either do my job, or I will mull about some disastrous idea coming from some intern designer that breaks one or two laws of logic.

    I then formulate the exact problem, and inform the guy one station higher then the dude that designed it of said problem. Never had an instance where that guy didn't accept the idea was shit in the first place.

    Then some other, superior idea of our own design is then implemented without the original designers involvement. 'Cause those guys ARE the trouble and we can't actually shoot them...
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