Finding Relevant Information

There are over 6 billion people on this planet. Over 1 billion of those can be classed as belonging countries developped enough to have (limited) access to modern computer technology. Approximately 1% of them can be considered to have an active interest in research, whether in academia or in industry. So you need to face the facts: someone has undoubtedly tackled a problem similar to yours before. This of course applies directly to Artificial Intelligence, but also many other areas of active interest.

A such, the ability to find such information is a key skill. Obviously, this is especially important if you have just started within your field, but also if you are at the forefront of technological research. You’d be surprised how many researchers have independently researched the exact same theory. In this area of information and communication, it is not only in your advantage to look into background work, but it should be your duty as a computer scientist not to waste precious thinking time. If you are aware of existing solutions, then and only then should you feel free to re-invent the wheel if it needs doing.

The first part of this essay will discuss why the ability to find information is a valuable asset for hobby programmers, researchers and professional coders. The next part will then discuss how to do it! We’ll talk about the web, communities, and other forms of static media that are just begging to be found

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