> So wheres the fine line between newbie and expert?
That's a grey area. I know people who have been doing this stuff for 37+ years, and have only a topical knowledge of the subject. From repetition and taking what someone else told them and never giving it a second thought. Just rote. You can get really good like that, as long as the problems stay simple.
To get a deeper knowledge, it's more than simply doing rebuilds for a long time. There are things you will never see as, say, a dealer mechanic in that timeframe, where the guys who work for the OEM in the engineering department find on a regular basis, and then have to come up with an answer for...
One 'expert' will be confounded. Will scratch his head and say "I did everything right, I don't know why it's doing that."
The other will be able to apply engineering principles gleaned from years of experience solving these types of problems from a knowledge base of theoretical and practical applications.
When you get someone with the theoretical background, who CHOOSES to work in the practical realm, many times they are resented because answers come 'too easily' to them, where others struggle from their own ignorance, or lack of understanding of basic principles.
There is no fine-line between noob and expert. There is a find line between experts, though.
A noob, working in his garage as a hobby, unless intensely intelligent and diligent in study and application rarely will become as proficient as someone who does this day in and day out for years. So if you are a 'shadetree mechanic' give it up short term, you have 40 or 50 years before you get any credibility towards deep subject knowledge.
Working at a distribution level, dealerships... give it 15 or 20 years and you will be **** good. If you are dilligent and intelligent you will posess special insights the other dealership mechanics may resent because you seem to get answers to new problems easily.
On an OEM level, in 5 years working in a field engineering capacity you will see things guys at a dealership will never see in 20 years. Failures on a scale that will boggle their mind. And when you get a field engineer that has been doing it for 20 years (or more) the level of mistakes they have made simply allows them to catagorically tell someone 'don't do that, you will fu*k it up!' Why? Because they did it and know the results. unfortunately, people on this board resent people who say stuff like that. So you let them f-up the thing, and then buy the chassis for a song and fix it right yourself.
But there is no 'fine line' between expert and noob. There are no 20-something 'experts' and there are no 20 something 'masters'. There may be 30-something 'experts' and 40-something masters. But simply put until you SEE it and EXPERIENCE it, you won't know it.
I once got into it with a 40-something guy who thought he knew it all, and was a golden gift to the company. Really, he was a slacker with topical thought. He only knew what others had told him, took it as gospel, and never put a thought as to 'why' even ONCE. We did not get along because I was only 24, and how the **** could I know ANYTHING? Well, it was simple, I DID 'ask why' five times for everything I did. When someone taught me something I asked THEM why five times for each step. If they couldn't answer me, I knew they didn't know either, and I would have to find out for myself why...
At that point I made a comment about 'experience': In 5 years of guided and competent apprenticeship you will find about 85% of what will go wrong with any process. In the next 10 years, you will find another 5%. In the next 15 years, the next 5%, and in the next 20, the next 4.5%. You will never see it all, but by the time you're in the business 5 years you will have a working knowledge that will take you through most of the daily problems any process is likely to have. For the remaining 15%, you have a boss, and he has a boss. When those two can't do it or figure it out, they call some guy who lives out in the desert, all wrinkly and who has been working for the company since it was another name, and who started in another state, and who will listen to the symptoms, lay his head back a little bit, scratch the back of his head, maybe take off his glasses and breathe on them to clean them before starting his answer with the following words: "Well, you might want to check this, because one time at..."
For all the money in the world, at that point, the ONLY thing that will solve some problems is a guy who has BEEN AROUND and SEEN IT. It won't fit a logical profile of things to check. It may not fit within test parameters. It will sound like some off the wall totally stupid thing to do....but when you do it, IT WORKS!
And when you ask him why, he'll be honest and say "I don't know, I just remembered it happened once, and that's what we did to solve it."
The thing is, there are some people where that is the ONLY basis they have for knowledge, and that's not real knowledge, just retention.
An expert can formulate the answer, never having seen the problem before.
An expert has SEEN IT ALL BEFORE.
Either way, likely is you won't be an 'expert' in anything substantiative in less than 5 years, and more likely 10 or 20.
When people start complaining to corporate headquarters that you regretfully inform them that due to emergency situations beyond your control, you will not be able to keep the schedule and attend their commissioning... You might be considered an expert.
One thing I notice, though. It's usually other people who call someone that. Most 'experts' in fields I deal in don't consider themselves that. And in one case an MBA type put 'Service Expert' on the company business cards. The young guys loved it. It was the guys who had been in the business 25+ years that complained and refused to use the cards. Or scratched the 'expert' off and wrote in 'engineer' or 'technician'. At that point, the people that did that unanimously had the same response "I don't want the title of expert, that means I have all the answers. And I know goddamned good an well I DON'T have all the answers!"
But the young guys, they ate those cards up, and gave them out everywhere they went. I guess it's a young guy thing, wanting to have a title of 'expert'.
All I ever wanted was to be considered 'competent'. Like Hank Hill. Competent.
Yea , I don't know near as much as I want to about my zx. that is why everyday is a learning experience for me. The big difference I see is what Tony said about "why". Everytime I fix something on one of my cars (z's or not) I want to know why that part failed, what caused that condition and how to make it not happen again. I do tons of research before during and after fixing one of my cars. A great example is- The other day my factory radio in my ford pickup went bad. The screen on the front of the radio said " B A D ". I called the dealership, several mechanic shops,and several car stereo shops and everyone said the stereo is shot and has to be replaced. My logic told me if it is lighting up and telling me something is bad then it's functioning properly and I have to find out why it is telling me this.
After several hours of researching ford f150 forums I found a post from 12 years ago with a guy with the same problem. The problem was that the ground cable on the battery was not getting a good enough connection. Now the truck started fine , every electrical part worked great except for the radio. The charge gauge read normal.The cure was to take the cable off and clean the end and the battery post or replace the cable if the first thing didn't work.The cable is wired into the harness and not cheap, so i tried cleaning first. The outside appearance looked fine. Once I cleaned it and put it back on the radio came back on and has worked perfect since. That was three months ago.I'm no expert but I wasn't happy to just replace the radio (fix) I sought out why and that knowledge led me to a correct fix. The cables got dirty because of lack of maintance. I cleaned them just 5 years ago. Go figure! Since getting the zx the pickup has taken a back seat in the upkeep department. It also sits in the garage day after day while the zx becomes more and more of a daily driver.My fault again!
You also won't see me giving tech advice much because I am by know means an expert in the field.I won't give tech advice I don't know for a 110% FACT to be correct.
Ask for my opinion though and thats different!
I am however an old guy with much mechanical background and a surprising amount of the priceless common sense.
If you read most of my responses, I generally give answers that will guide you to where you need to look to find your own answers. You'll be given very solid clues toward your solution but I leave the research part up to you.
This not only leads you to an answer but allows you to study and then learn and then do. Once you go through that process, you've learned and will remember what you've done.
> You also won't see me giving tech advice much
> because I am by know means an expert in the
> field.I won't give tech advice I don't know for a
> 110% FACT to be correct.
> Ask for my opinion though and thats different!
> I am however an old guy with much mechanical
> background and a surprising amount of the
> priceless common sense.
I agree with you on this. I really try not to give advice unless I`ve actually done what is being asked about. Fortunately my Z has been very reliable and I haven`t had to do too many things to it. And I don`t have the money for performance upgrades yet, so I haven`t ventured into that area.
> By looking at the recent tech posts from newbees ,
> I would say that not one of them read this sticky.
> They should have to read all stickys and sign off
> on them when joining before be allowed to post for
> the first time.
> Or we can continue to beat on them.
> We have to get our kicks somehow!!
Bill (ZXtoy), you are thinking along the same lines as I
was. I was trying to think of some control measure that
would minimiZe the "repeat of topic" and the "inane
questions" syndromes. I had in mind for any of the
Administrators to ban the offender from the site as a
"penalty to be served until such time as the 'Message to
Newbies' thread had been read." I admit to possibly hav-
ing been an offender; when I first came on last year
the thread was not yet in place and I knew nothing about
computers, much less stickies.
A couple of months ago I FINALLY NOTICED this thread
(someone advocated illuminating the sticky with capitals,
blinking neon lights, etc.), so perused it out of curiosity.
Thinking that my spelling, punctuation, and grammar were
somewhat acceptable and intelligible, I went on to other
threads. Today I checked back in, again for no apparent
reason other than curiosity. I found that the thread had
expanded radically since my last visit, largely in terms
of degree of knowledge, intelligence, and experience.
I might have been around Z Cars basically since they first
came out, but due to a long hiatus, I have forgotten a lot
of things. Every time I come onto this site I learn some-
thing that I didn't know before, am reminded of something
that I might have known long ago, or am given new perspec-
tives or ideas on how to look at something.
I hope that I didn't make myself look like a jerk during
my first few months, but rather was helpful and informative
at various times and places. Thanks Frank, Bill, Tony, and
others for your efforts in trying to make ZCAR.com a useful
and valuable site for everyone.