I almost forgot to send a thank you email
I had a job interview today for systems operator/help desk position at a small, local community bank. I have a friend who's a Network Systems Manager who's been after me for several years to apply there. I didn't feel I had the background necessary to work in IT, at the time. After spending the last 3 semesters at the local community college taking core computer technology classes, I realized that I was under-valuing the experience I've already accrued after spending the last 20 years building and maintaining my own, friend's and family's computer systems. I just didn't have the documentation stating that I knew what I was doing...hence the computer technology program.
After an hour and a half interview with the Assistant Vice President, Core Systems and Support Services, the Systems admin manager and the CIO, going over my resume and my experience in the IT field, a tour of the IT operations area and data center, meeting the other IT managers, and help desk personnel...I was told that initially they want someone who fits into their corporate culture, which is very similar to LLBean's. Very nice people, customer and community focused. To that end, they are offering a temp position, working around my school schedule and won't make a final offer for another 4 weeks, which coincides with the start of the Summer semester. They would like me to get the A+ cert as soon as possible I'll do it, just because it won't cost me anything or much, since I can get vouchers from the school. I'm hopeful, it looks good. we'll see where it leads.
Well, I didn't get the job, but not a big deal. Apparently I was a victim/pawn of corporate politics I talked to my friend and he said their refusal to hire me was the straw that broke the camel's back and now he's actively looking for another place to work. The CIO will only hire people she wants in the company who are stooges and will not actively seek to resolve problems or improve their skills. The helpdesk there has become a glorified receptionist desk and all problems are kicked up to the next level. His group is spending most of their time running down support tickets that should have been resolved at the first level. The CIO didn't like the turnover at the helpdesk and her way of resolving it is to hire clueless people who have no motivation to learn or improve their skills.
It was a long commute, anyway.
Sorry to hear that for both you and the company. I work for a small IT shop (small is an understatement). We have 2 techs...actually, I'm the tech, and then my boss will figure out things if I can't. I pride myself on a 99% completion rate for tickets. Granted, I still ask my boss questions, but I can only think of 2-3 tickets in the past year that I escalated, and I think the only reason I escalated them was because it was managerial/information sensitive, or more consulting related. I think I would be fired if I let a lot of tickets get past me.
Anyway, enough of my boasting! I see your posts in the Computer subforum and you come off as very knowledgeable. I'm sure you'll find a good IT position soon, and like the poster above said, it's all about getting a foot in the door. Experience is what employers are really looking for.
Corporate politics are always in play and an employer going through an interview essentially just for show isn't all that rare. Sucks when you're a part of it but getting interview experience is a huge bonus that a lot of people seem to pass up.
For the interview experience alone, it was valuable. I realized that I need to work on my interviewing skills It's been a long time since I had to interview for a job. It's not like it's the end of the world.
Have you looked into education? School districts have IT departments, are typically pretty well funded (the 3 I have worked for were), and move at a slower pace then the business world. It's where I plan on spending my career.
Check out what's local to you. They are often easier to get work in because the pay is slightly less than the private sector (but I get 3 weeks in Dec off, a week for Thanksgiving, spring break, and don't work Fridays in the summer)
It's a good gig, and not many people even think to apply to IT in a school district.
Team 30k Jetta - Frat Boys
I got my "in" to It when I was in college. My university used students for all the IT support positions. Helpdesk, tech shop etc with full-timers (usually graduates) in the networking and enterprise positions.
My school only hired students, and worked around their class schedule.
It might be worth looking into what type of tech shop your school has, and if they do a similar system. I know the big colleges in Texas do it that way. It's a good way to give students work experience - and they hire from within for full times once students graduate and are no longer eligible to work as student workers.
If you could get in there it's something to put on a resume. Plus, it's all about who you know. I was a student worker in college - and then went to the same town's school district. From there I got my job now, a district in Houston. You could make connections pretty quick and have something waiting for when you graduate like I did.
With as high-demand as tech jobs are, it's not impossible.
Team 30k Jetta - Frat Boys
-brief technical phone screening
-in-person interview with me
-wait 5-10 minutes for VP to "get out of a meeting", in that time I make small talk which gives me a pretty decent overview of what they're like and how they'll fit in
-interview with VP
That s**t cray, ain't it jay?
What she order, fish filet?
Most IT bosses just manage attendance and sit through product seminars and have no clue or sense where technology is really heading.
Majority of IT problems are self inflicted by poor decision making and loyalty to a poorly designed platform. I remember when I was the 1st iPhone user at the firm and every mgr flashes their BB and said my iPhone was just a toy. I still giggled a little inside at every meeting now all these goons are sporting iPhones and I'm sporting an Android.. /rant.
I don't mean to go off on a rant myself, but the IT field is different from what I had imagined. Hell, half of what I do is vendor management, and requires little to no tech experience whatsoever. I still like what I do, but it's different.
I've been working for a little over 10 years in IT support. The only question I remember from my interview was "how many cells are in an excel spreadsheet?" and my answer was pretty close to 100%. I asked the manager a few months later about the question and he said that some of the other applicants said "I don't know", "like 100" or "lots". Aside from being geek-trivia, I don't know how it related to the job.
Anyway, back to the topic . . . . It's becoming slowly apparent to me that IT support is a dead end. I work on a large network and support several thousand desktops. Years ago we had to troubleshoot IRQ's, plug and pray, registry settings and manually configure network protocols. We had to have a general knowledge about everything. We had to think. Now, you just need to google. If that doesn't work we just replace the PC - and then we log a warranty call when we get back to our desk.
In the future, corporate environments will move towards vistualised desktops so the only thing that will break will be the LCD screens. There won't be the continued need for software installs and patches - or desktop support technicians.
I enjoy having to think, troubleshoot and solve problems. I have no desire to be a manager, so it's depressing to think that the field might become redundant.
Now . . . was that on topic or a bleak rant?
I'm a country member.
I think some of you are just ranting. I've been on the support side of the industry for going on 17 years now and it is all about evolving and moving with the times. When I started I was doing break/fix on PCs and bitching about Novell 4 coming out and blah, blah, blah. Support is always going to be needed and services are one of the only profitable areas for many companies. Open your minds that times have changed and will continue to change, and you won't be left behind. The demand to know the OSI is still always going to be much needed in lower-mid tier positions, but as you grow, it just isn't something you are going to use as much. Troubleshooting skills are always going to be in demand and will be something that will make you stand out in the sea of people that don't know it.
I'd personally recommend you spend as much time working on your communication and people skills as you do being concerned about the technical side. Unless you want to be locked in a basement or call center with no future- learn how to deal with people and to adapt.
Oh, and the idea that companies will be moving to VDI should have been posted 3-4 years ago. Most corps have a huge virtual infrastructure and this will only continue to grow. Software services are much more profitable when done remotely as well.
Last edited by Papa Dras; 06-14-2012 at 09:05 AM.
Absolutely. I'm in support and services myself. While some of the old school troubleshooting issues has fallen off, it doesn't mean they don't ever happen, it's just that the general knowledge has become more pervasive and there are much better management tools in place. IT support is still very much alive since, well, users are stupid (not all) and **** happens. As desktops become virtualized, support may drop off for hardware issues but users will still be ringing off the hook with software issues. Data migrations, hw/sw upgrades, new implementations, there's still a ton of work to be had and a ton of things that generate the need for support.
A lot of former IT support guys moved on to greener positions such as Virtualization, storage, networking, that are more rewarding money wise.
All these vendors selling virtual desktop and cloud based solutions are just selling lucrative services. It’s not sexy for companies to hire underpaid desktop guys to do desktop imaging or fix desktop issues. Go virtual and you have to spend a fortune to upgrade your backend with layers of services and expensive hardware and software to serve cheap desktop sessions.
██████████████████Originally Posted by Jeremy Clarkson
ECSTUNING | GO APR
It reduces lower end support calls because there aren't as many desktop issues to deal with. It raises higher end support calls, but not because of the actual desk top, but because of the infrastructure that has to be in place for it. Namely servers, storage, and the software.
You are helping me make my point- iIf lower-end support calls go down but higher-end support calls go up it's probably a wash.
Unless you have to hire additional 2nd+ level support techs (or more specialized admins) at a higher hourly rate than the 1st level techs.
Wouldn't logic dictate that if the problems are more complex, that you are going to need less lower end Tier 1 support and more Tier 2/3 level? L1 support is usually always going to be needed because you need to weed out the 80%+ of calls that are basic, to get to the more complex ones.
Oh, and I'm not arguing with you, just making comments. Not sure if you got that vibe.
Then the system isn't working like it should. Tier 1 needs to be held accountable and there needs to be some metrics in place to determine when and what calls get passed up to the next level. Tier 2/3 should be specialist roles with expertise in given areas and L1 should operate on a more general level. Nothing says L1 can't have sub groups within it to get a little more specialty based if there are people stronger in one area, but not up to L2 standards.
Here is the thing- if first level support people, desktop support, help desk, etc people don't feel that they have a career path and can move up in a position, then they have no incentive to learn and grow into those higher roles. It's up to his company to have a clear path to desired roles and requirements to get to those roles.