Simple steps to solve technical problems yourself

Before you call the developer

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Simple steps to solve technical problems yourself
IT Outsourcing

Technology plays a key role in our daily lives, which means that encountering technical problems is inevitable. The purpose of this article is to show what basic steps you can take on your own to solve technical problems, before turning to a technical person.

Introduction to typical technical problems

Many of us encounter a variety of technical problems on a daily basis. Whether you're an office worker, student or remote worker, technology is an integral part of everyday life. These problems can lead to frustration, decreased productivity and unnecessary stress. Some of the most common technology problems include:

Problems with internet connection

Lack of Internet access, slow network performance and Wi-Fi problems are some of the most annoying obstacles. They can result from a number of causes, such as router problems, a weak Wi-Fi signal, network congestion or failures on the part of the ISP. At a time when many tasks rely on constant Internet access, these problems can significantly affect our efficiency.

Software bugs

Application crashes, system hangs and error messages are problems that can occur at various times when using computers and other devices. These errors can be caused by software incompatibility, lack of updates, conflicts between applications, or viruses and malware. For critical applications, such as project management or financial applications, these types of problems can have serious consequences.

Problems with peripheral devices

Problems with the printer, mouse, keyboard or other external devices are also common. They can result from hardware problems, such as damaged cables or worn-out components, as well as software problems, such as lack of proper drivers or incorrect settings. In the world of remote work, where remote communication and document printing are the order of the day, smoothly functioning peripherals are crucial. There may also be a situation where a problem with peripherals such as a router can have an indirect effect on an unstable Internet connection.

Understanding what problems we most often encounter is the first step to solving them effectively. This allows us to quickly identify the cause of the problem and take the appropriate corrective steps. In many cases, simple actions such as checking cable connections, restarting the device or updating the software can effectively solve the problem, saving time and nerves.

Basic steps to solve technical problems

  • Restarting the device: Pierwszym i najprostszym krokiem, który warto podjąć, jest ponowne uruchomienie urządzenia. Często pomaga to w rozwiązaniu tymczasowych problemów i przywróceniu systemu do normalnego działania. Ponowne uruchomienie komputera, smartfona czy innego urządzenia pozwala na odświeżenie systemu operacyjnego, zwolnienie pamięci RAM i zamknięcie wszystkich otwartych procesów. Nierzadko restart pomaga również w rozwiązaniu problemów z aplikacjami, które zawiesiły się lub przestały odpowiadać.
  • Checking cable connections: Make sure all cables are properly connected. Many problems with peripherals are due to loose or improperly connected cables. Check that cables are well placed in USB, HDMI, Ethernet and other ports. If you have problems with your printer, monitor or mouse, checking and reconnecting the cables can quickly fix the problem. Remember to also check for damaged or rubbed cables, which could affect their function.
  • Software update: Updating your operating system and applications regularly can prevent many problems. Make sure you have the latest versions of software installed. Updates often include bug fixes, new features and security enhancements that can prevent crashes and compatibility issues. On Windows, macOS or Linux, automatic updates are usually enabled by default, but it's a good idea to regularly check for updates and install them on a regular basis.
  • Checking system settings: Make sure the system settings are correct. Sometimes the problem may be due to an accidental change in settings. For example, sound problems may be due to a muted system or changing the default audio device. Network problems may be due to incorrect network or proxy settings. Review the settings in the control panel or system settings to make sure everything is configured correctly.
  • Use of diagnostic tools: Many operating systems and applications offer diagnostic tools that can help identify and fix problems. For example, tools such as "Network Diagnostics" in Windows can help troubleshoot Internet connection problems. Diagnostic systems can scan devices and software for problems, automatically fixing them or providing detailed reports that can be useful for further troubleshooting. It's also a good idea to use the built-in tools in antivirus programs, which can detect and remove malware affecting system performance.

Using these basic steps can significantly increase your effectiveness in solving technical problems yourself. They will ensure that you have used all available options for fixing the problem on your own before you decide to call a developer.

Use of online resources and communities

The Internet is a treasure trove of knowledge that can be extremely helpful in solving technical problems. Regardless of the problem you are facing, there is a good chance that someone has encountered a similar problem before and found a solution. Here are some sources you might want to use:

Discussion forums - Sites such as Stack Overflow, Reddit, and local technology forums are places where you can find answers to many technical questions. On Stack Overflow, programmers from all over the world share their knowledge and experience, answering questions related to programming and technical problems. Reddit offers many subreddits (e.g., r/techsupport, r/sysadmin) where users can exchange tips and solutions to problems. The discussion forums are a great place to ask questions and find ready answers, as well as to connect with others with similar problems.

Video tutorials - Platforms such as YouTube offer a plethora of instructional videos that show you step-by-step how to solve specific problems. Video tutorials are especially helpful when you need to see the troubleshooting process for yourself. You can find videos on almost every aspect of technology - from simple hardware repairs, to software configuration, to more advanced programming topics. Many technology channels offer high-quality, detailed instructions that can make the troubleshooting process much easier.

Technical documentation - Most software and hardware manufacturers offer detailed documentation that can help diagnose problems. Technical documentation typically includes installation instructions, user guides, FAQs and troubleshooting sections. It is a valuable resource that provides detailed and accurate instructions, directly from the product developers. Examples include documentation for operating systems (e.g. Windows, macOS), development tools (e.g. Visual Studio, PyCharm) or hardware devices (e.g. printers, routers).

Support sites - It's worth visiting official support sites, where you can often find knowledge bases and tutorials. Most major technology companies, such as Microsoft, Apple, Google or hardware manufacturers such as HP or Dell, have dedicated support pages. These sites offer articles, videos, step-by-step instructions and diagnostic tools that can help with troubleshooting. These sites also often offer community forums where users can share their experiences and help each other.

When is the use of specialists necessary?

Despite best efforts, some problems may require the intervention of a professional developer. Although independent attempts at repair can be successful in many cases, there are situations that require specialized knowledge and experience. It is worth seeking help in the following situations:

Security problems
When you suspect a system has been infected with malware or a data breach has occurred, immediate expert intervention is essential. Malware can lead to data theft, loss of important information or even block access to the system. An example is the story of one company that unknowingly opened an email attachment containing malware. After the malicious code ran, the system was encrypted and access to files became impossible, which paralyzed the work of the entire team. It was only with the intervention of an IT security specialist that the threat was quickly identified, the malware removed and the system restored to operation.

Advanced software errors
When the problem is complex and could not be solved with basic steps, developer assistance may be required. Such problems can include system crashes, critical bugs, compatibility issues or specific application bugs that require in-depth analysis of the source code.
An example might be when, after implementing a new feature in the software, the system crashes, data is displayed incorrectly, negatively affecting service and generating chaos in daily operations. When, despite attempts to restart and update, the problem persists, it is best to contact technical support. Only the intervention of an experienced developer, who has the ability to analyze the application's source code, is able to identify the error in the newly implemented module.
Professional developers have the tools and knowledge to diagnose and fix complex technical problems that may be beyond the reach of the average user.

Specialized business needs
When you need dedicated software to meet your company's specific requirements, custom software development is worth considering. Developers can design and create applications tailored to your unique business processes, which can significantly increase efficiency and productivity. Dedicated solutions can include project management systems, data analysis tools, mobile applications or e-commerce platforms.

System migrations and upgrades
Migrating data to a new system or updating existing applications can be a complicated process that requires precision and experience. Developers can help with a smooth migration, minimizing the risk of data loss and ensuring that new systems run smoothly. System upgrades often require code modifications and compatibility testing, a task for experienced developers.

Systems integration
As a company grows, there is often a need to integrate different systems and applications to make them work as a cohesive whole. Developers can help, for example, create APIs and system integrations to enable seamless data exchange between different platforms and applications. This, in turn, can improve workflows and provide better data management.

IT outsourcing and custom software development
IT outsourcing and custom software development are effective solutions that can significantly improve business operations. With outsourcing, a company can focus on its core tasks, leaving IT management to specialists. Custom software development allows you to get exactly the tools you need to achieve your business goals, without having to adapt to off-the-shelf solutions that may not meet all your requirements.
Professional assistance from a developer not only solves current technical problems, but also helps in the long-term development and security of the IT infrastructure. Investing in developer services can bring significant benefits, both in terms of efficiency and security of business operations.

Solving technical problems yourself can be simple and rewarding, as long as you know how to go about it. By following the basic steps, using online resources and knowing when to ask for help from professionals, we can save time, money and reduce the stress associated with technical problems. However, it's worth remembering that for more serious problems and during custom software, it's worth taking advantage of the knowledge and experience of professionals.

About The Author
Izabela Węgrecka

Izabela is a Project Manager and Scrum Master with 6 years of experience in the IT industry. She has experience in leading diverse projects and effectively managing teams. She's a leader with the ability to create cohesive and efficient teams based on Scrum values. Regardless of the project's scale, she's able to establish a dynamic environment where collaboration, innovation, and delivering valuable products take precedence.