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IT and You: Sometimes You Need A Pro

IT and You: Sometimes You Need A Pro

by Jessica Jones

Here at Slamdot, your friendly neighborhood web developers and hosts are glad to help you with any number of projects, challenges and issues – but there are times we may refer you to an IT professional. So what can an IT professional help you with that we can’t, and why is it so important to have a good one that you can turn to?

If you need help with your website, we're here for you. If you need help with these, we know a guy.
If you need help with your website, we’re here for you. If you need help with these, we know a guy.

At Slamdot, our focus is on your website and your online presence. Helping you with your computer – your actual physical equipment – isn’t our expertise. We know our way around computers and so there are many questions we can help out with in this area, but if the issue goes beyond our knowledge – or beyond what we’re capable of fixing without being present physically or logging in to your system remotely – we’ll refer you to someone better suited to give you the help you need.

If your Outlook configuration is proving particularly troublesome, if your computer has a virus, if you just purchased a computer that you need help setting up, if you’re trying to get your home or office devices all sharing a network – these are all issues where you’d want the expertise of an IT professional.

But what if your neighbor’s cousin is a computer genius?

When you’re choosing an IT professional, please keep in mind the word professional. While a savvy friend or relative might be able to give you the help you need, be cautious about this. If technology isn’t your strong suit it may be difficult for you to gauge the experience level of someone who knows a bit more than you. Someone may seem to be a computer genius if they’re at a higher level than you, but are you sure they have the appropriate amount of experience to handle what you’re asking?

Plenty of messes have resulted from someone entrusting “my friend who knows a lot about computers” to handle something that turns out to be beyond them. If your issue isn’t mission critical and you don’t expect that your friend could do much damage by failing then there may be no harm in letting them give it a try, but if you feel any trepidation at all – or you’re in need of a swift, decisive resolution to your problem – then it’s time to go pro.

How do I know who to hire?

Finding an IT professional to work with may seem confusing or intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Consider the process you’d go through if you were looking for a skilled plumber or electrician. You might talk to your friends and coworkers to see if they’ve worked with someone that they strongly recommend. You might search Google for people in that field and then read the reviews that have been posted about them. If you’ve worked with someone in a similar field, you might call them and see if they have a referral. My husband and I frequently find ourselves repeating this phrase about our favorite general contractor – “If Craig can’t do it, he knows a guy.”

Here at Slamdot, we know a guy too. We know several, actually – and if we can ever help refer you to someone for a job or project that’s outside our scope, we’d be more than happy to do so. We know it can be a bit baffling trying to find the right professional for the job, and we’re always glad to point you in the right direction when we can!