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DrAlexanderTobacco
Jun 11, 2012

Help me find my true dharma


Might as well start this off with some bragging!

Got a new job. 5k raise, mostly the same sort of stuff I'm doing now. Not exactly the upward movement I was looking for, but my old company was acquired recently and they're shifting direction a tad.

I was asked in the interview if I had any experience with Linux servers. I said no, but I at least know not to run rm -rf * - which got a few laughs, and I got to feel all

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DrAlexanderTobacco
Jun 11, 2012

Help me find my true dharma


Sarcasmatron posted:

Farting is always funny.

My favorite is the "elevator pitch".

Can't go wrong with the Gau-8, man!

DrAlexanderTobacco
Jun 11, 2012

Help me find my true dharma


psydude posted:

Well I mean, recruiting is technically an HR function, but a lot of places have their own dedicated recruiting staff that either have a technical background or work closely with the hiring managers to write the job description and posting. Others however, just leave it up to the HR specialist, which is about as good of an idea as leaving the accounting up to the IT department.

I don't see why the hiring/IT manager can't just say "Hey HR, here's an exact job spec for what I'm looking for. Do not change these sections [Technical stuff, qualifications, experience] but feel free to add on HR bullshit at the top/bottom."


Edit: Forgot how larger companies in the US have insane requirements for H1B purposes, so

DrAlexanderTobacco
Jun 11, 2012

Help me find my true dharma


Do they have a website with a "meet the team" section? What are those team members wearing? Wear that.

DrAlexanderTobacco
Jun 11, 2012

Help me find my true dharma


Apologies DarkHelmut. Everything you said makes perfect sense - I've just had good experience doing that. Completely anecdotal of course.

DrAlexanderTobacco fucked around with this message at 23:58 on Aug 7, 2014

DrAlexanderTobacco
Jun 11, 2012

Help me find my true dharma


Kazinsal posted:

Time to get lost on the bus system, or maybe figure out what's behind the door with a radiation warning on it...

Tie cupboard.

DrAlexanderTobacco
Jun 11, 2012

Help me find my true dharma


dogstile posted:

80 of food a week

Do you have red bull and caviar in an IV hooked up to you, or something?

DrAlexanderTobacco
Jun 11, 2012

Help me find my true dharma


CLAM DOWN posted:

It's funny when Americans get shocked at how expensive food can be elsewhere
A good thing I'm British then!

My post was of course hyperbole. But considering Dogstile's post concerning the bare minimum, 80 a week is far from it. Foreign supermarkets such as Aldi and Lidl have caused the bigger, more established shops such as Tesco, Asda etc to engage in a massive price cut war. It's entirely possible to live on 20 a week. You won't enjoy it though.

DrAlexanderTobacco
Jun 11, 2012

Help me find my true dharma


awesomebrah posted:

I got my first long term IT job

Starting Monday I am going to be doing desktop support for a hospital for at least 2 months (Will most likely be extended.). Any tips on how not to embarrass my self? Also how long before my excitement is replaced with bitterness and self-loathing?

Hmm, three tips that probably fall more on the "soft skills" side of things but I wish I was told them when I started.

1. Customer service can be just as important as fixing the problem. Obviously you don't have to kiss the ground end users walk on, but at the same time don't let the "end users are so stupid" attitude affect how you deal with people. Staying calm, and explaining to a user why you need to do something can be incredibly useful for calming down a situation - and improve the customer <-> IT relationship. I was never rude but I definitely got a bit jaded at some point, sounded unenthusiastic etc. which affected the customer opinion of me and can reflect badly on your team/company.

2. Manage expectations. There's a good book that's been mentioned a few times called "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" - A children's book that essentially lays out how demands, requirements etc can quickly spiral out of control as the sense of entitlement from the customer grows. In the book's case, the mouse was given a cookie. Of course, that means he needs some milk to drink. But once he's eaten the cookie, he still has half a glass of milk. So he gets another cookie and finishes off the milk. But then he's got half a cookie...

In your case let's say a customer's called in with a problem; their EMR software isn't connecting to the server, and the error message you're receiving is gibberish. You don't support the software, a vendor/different team does.

Before you start work, explain to the client that you don't support the software however you'll check the computer to make sure there aren't any "vanilla" reasons why it's not working (no network connection to the PC, program needs to be updated etc.) - but if necessary, you'll need to escalate to the team who does support the product. It stops dead the customer/client making unreasonable demands (Fix the entire thing now!!!!one) and means you won't get bogged down.

3. Dress well. Not that I was a complete slob (or you are) but... just don't be goonish and do the bare minimum.

DrAlexanderTobacco fucked around with this message at 06:55 on Sep 10, 2014

DrAlexanderTobacco
Jun 11, 2012

Help me find my true dharma


Earlier I mentioned soft-skills. Technical skills now:

The first phone call to the client after they've reported the problem is in my view the most important phone call of the entire ticket. Clients/users will frequently say "X is broken. It wasn't broken yesterday." and leave it at that, with the onus on you to fix. However they could have a lot more information that would help resolve their problem. So if possible make sure you ask as many questions as you can so you're not going in blind.

Areas to consider:

- Has the customer made any changes recently? (Upgraded software, changed password, moved computer across the office)
- Can the user replicate the problem? If they can, make them replicate it in front of you and note down the steps.
- How many users is this affecting? Is this affecting users at multiple offices/sites?
- Is there a workaround they can use in the meantime whilst you work on the ticket?

Sometimes you might not be able to solve a particular ticket, and need to escalate it to 2nd line. This is of course fine, but a lot of 1st line technicians will put the bare minimum of effort in before escalating to 2nd line. They might try one thing, and then just hand it over, as if it's no longer a problem if it's out of your queue. What you should be doing is ensuring you've exhausted all possible 1st line approaches before sending to 2nd line. When you do, consider:

- What have I tried so far? What errors did I get?
- What haven't I tried? Why not?
- What does 2nd line need to be aware of? (Changes made, multiple users affected etc).

This'll help your guys out, they'll like you a lot more. Make sure you follow up with them for any tickets you escalate, too, or even sit in on them working on it. It'll help you to grow technically and prove to them you're eager to work hard. Can really help if there's a spot on 2nd line free and you want to move up

DrAlexanderTobacco
Jun 11, 2012

Help me find my true dharma


FISHMANPET posted:

I have no doubt they would love it. They'd also love it if their meal was free, but that doesn't mean they should do it. That doesn't mean it's a good idea. And I'm sure at least one person would say "hey why aren't you cooking my meal instead of telling me it's going to take longer?"

My god, just suck it up! Do it a few times, make your boss happy. Smile and nod. Break out of the stereotype.

Make sure to wash first

DrAlexanderTobacco
Jun 11, 2012

Help me find my true dharma


FISHMANPET posted:

We don't have any "help desks" because departmental help desks are heavily discouraged by central IT, but we have 3 rooms where IT people sit and answer calls and help people that walk in. My current role is "employee" and we're loath to describe it any farther than that, but I'm probably closest to some kind of senior Windows admin. I've been told that when our current lead Windows admin retires I'm a lock for his job. He retires in 8 years.

Really everything is hosed and I'm in a department of people who, for the most part, would be unemployable if they didn't work here. I need to get out before my skills atrophy and I end up stuck as well.

If you don't get up from your throne and speak to that person who's ticket you're working on, your muscles will prob. atrophy too

DrAlexanderTobacco
Jun 11, 2012

Help me find my true dharma


To build on that, do you have any example tickets that caused a lot of moaning within the company?

It could be something as small as Outlook 2010 not loading additional mailboxes correctly (requiring a service pack for Office). The alternative was to disable automapping for each mailbox (Specific to the user, too); when you add up the time it could take to do that, and offset it against how simple it is to roll out updates, the beancounters might get behind you as well.

DrAlexanderTobacco
Jun 11, 2012

Help me find my true dharma


Tab8715 posted:

Make it double-wide?

I want to know what's running on my workstation or what isn't running. It's not like display real estate is at a high-cost with HD Monitors.

Then tick the button.

DrAlexanderTobacco
Jun 11, 2012

Help me find my true dharma


Money/lack thereof is viewed as most important because historically, that's what informants/spies fall for. If you have a weakness it's important to demonstrate how you're actively working to resolve that weakness.

Here's a list of judgements from 2012. Industrial, but other categories are listed on the site as well.

http://www.dod.mil/dodgc/doha/industrial/2012.html

DrAlexanderTobacco
Jun 11, 2012

Help me find my true dharma


Desktop support, be it in-person or remote, is what it says on the tin - desktop support. Troubleshooting desktop-level hardware and software problems, Microsoft Office, problems with accessing mapped drives, stuff like that. Desktop support guys don't often tinker around with back-end stuff such as AD or Exchange.

DrAlexanderTobacco
Jun 11, 2012

Help me find my true dharma


spiny posted:

There are about 50 rooms, not all in use at the moment, but could be at some point in the future.
One host/company per room
They don't neccesarily need a public IP, but many of them have asked about port forwarding so they can RDP into their work PCs while away, and we get statics for ADSL servives for free, so have advised customers that they get an IP of their own.
They need some sort of router as each office is, well, an office, with printers, laptops NAS boxes etc that need to talk to each other, but not be seen by the office next door, or down the hall.

I don't know enough about layer2/3 stuff to know why this is a bad thing ?

if each router has a firewall and a separate IP, then surely they won't be able to see devices on other networks ?

Jumping in quickly - One thing that's ringing alarm bells in my head is scope creep. What I haven't seen mentioned already is that you're moving from just letting customers sort out their own hardware, to supporting the entire infrastructure. Have you accounted for that? What happens when the user needs you to make 10 million config changes for a lovely piece of software they want? Etc. etc. it doesn't answer your direct questions but it's something to consider.

DrAlexanderTobacco
Jun 11, 2012

Help me find my true dharma


Oh, so he shouldn't move on then. Ok.

Edit: That was snippy, apologies - regardless of your semantics though, he *is* getting hosed. From his posts it's clear no new opportunities are going to come in anytime soon; they might not even give him a raise. So why not spread his wings?

DrAlexanderTobacco
Jun 11, 2012

Help me find my true dharma


jaegerx posted:

Seriously? This guy is bragging about his 6 figure income on placing people into jobs when his only real role is reciting the questions the techs wrote down for him and then transcribing them for the techs to review.

your only role is rebooting computers right

DrAlexanderTobacco
Jun 11, 2012

Help me find my true dharma


Dark Helmut posted:

Best of luck in your search.

DrAlexanderTobacco
Jun 11, 2012

Help me find my true dharma


FISHMANPET posted:

So reach for the stars when applying for jobs etc etc, but if a job asks for a specific cert, but I don't have that cert (but am willing to get that cert and it's on my mental road map anyway), how should I spin that?

Tell them what you told us.

DrAlexanderTobacco
Jun 11, 2012

Help me find my true dharma


The only problem that's making me reconsider buying one this year, is that the retention/locking method the stick seemed to have broke off after a month or two of normal, light-handed use. This meant that you'd have to hold the protruding connector down to actually get it in.

DrAlexanderTobacco
Jun 11, 2012

Help me find my true dharma


If it's truly an entry-level IT job, the two most important things to show (in my opinion) are customer service skills, and your eagerness to learn. Being on the first line is about providing a good customer-facing side of your business/dept just as much as it is solving the problems.

Whenever they ask you about something you might not know, DO NOT BULLSHIT. Instead, get as far as you can without reaching/guessing, and then explain that's where your knowledge ends - but then explain what you'd do next. Talk to a colleague, look it up on Google, whatever.

DrAlexanderTobacco
Jun 11, 2012

Help me find my true dharma


CaptainJuan posted:

I've never assembled a pc from parts, no. I've replaced hard drives and RAM in laptops and desktops.
Applied for my first helpdesk job yesterday, but I had to check that probably fatal "no actual experience" box... unless anyone knows someone who works for Hyatt? haha.

Never tick that box. With job applications that have screeners such as that, it's always just to cut the wheat from the chaff - you need to get past the gatekeepers, past HR.

Unless they said something like "1 year of experience required in a HelpDesk environment" or something similarly specific, I'd count replacing RAM/HDDs as valid experience. Maybe even just customer service,,too.

Also, start on your certs.

DrAlexanderTobacco
Jun 11, 2012

Help me find my true dharma


Brayden posted:

Holy poo poo CBT Nuggets!

Is James Conrad still doing the videos?

At work we're doing MCSA training and the James Conrad videos are really the worst part of the experience. He's so hilariously bad, the worst is the way he pronounces 'while'.

SLOW DOWN SON

I love James Conrad. 90% of his jokes fall flat with him going "Uh-heh-heh" for 20 seconds afterwards, but it engages me a lot more. I'm doing the MCSA videos and finding them quite useful - Whilst he's certainly quirky, he covers all the important information.

Different strokes for different folks I guess.

DrAlexanderTobacco
Jun 11, 2012

Help me find my true dharma


CaptainJuan posted:

Can I get away with that? Like, will the actual hiring manager not immediately disqualify me for providing false info? Well, that probably depends on the company. Thanks.

Even if they do, you would have gotten further than when you admitted to "I don't know anything about computers" - which is what that tickbox always boils down to.

Besides:

quote:

"install windows, boot into safe mode to scan for viruses or fix driver issues, swap hard drives/RAM, simple stuff really."

Sounds like experience to me! Remember that the majority of users have NO clue about how their computer works, or even how to think independently when it comes to problems. They just throw their hands up and scream for IT. If you're eager to learn and you're a "power user", you should be able to get an entry level job if you impress in the interview. There's another chap in here I've given advice to but it basically boils down to customer service being just as important as solving the problems, and being eager to learn.

DrAlexanderTobacco fucked around with this message at 14:36 on Nov 14, 2014

DrAlexanderTobacco
Jun 11, 2012

Help me find my true dharma


Fiendish Dr. Wu posted:

Working from home chat: 2 days and I'm ready to go back to the office. I feel like a bum despite getting work done.

It's the worst feeling, isn't it? My work output remains mostly the same but you've always got this nagging feeling that you're just slacking off.

DrAlexanderTobacco
Jun 11, 2012

Help me find my true dharma


Good morning to you too, manchildren

DrAlexanderTobacco
Jun 11, 2012

Help me find my true dharma


4 3-month long contracts is a year's experience, which should be more than enough for a permanent position (depending on the local job market). Have you been updating your CV regularly? Not just your work history, but technologies you feel proficient with, software etc.

DrAlexanderTobacco
Jun 11, 2012

Help me find my true dharma


Intune's AV component is a steaming pile of poo poo and you shouldn't rely on it for active protection.

DrAlexanderTobacco
Jun 11, 2012

Help me find my true dharma


high six posted:

So, I just got my first help desk/sysadmin job a few months ago. I am really enjoying it and doing my best to do a good job at it. I'm having a problem I've found vexing, though.

A few days ago, one of our clients calls and says his computer is running really slowly. We provide remote support to various companies, so, I VNC onto his computer. About 100% of the CPU and most of the memory, shown in task manager, are used by a process called wmiprvse.exe. Last night, I found a fix which involved restarting the services connected with it, it seemed like the problem was solved. He used the computer last night and was happy with it. I come in this morning and he calls, and apparently it is doing the same thing again, except now the processes taking up most of the CPU and memory are dllhost.exe *32 (several instances of this one), regsvr32.exe, dpnsvr.exe, and fxmapi.exe. I'm not sure what's going on now. I've tried running some virus/malware scans with no luck. Researching the specific processes hasn't turnedup much. I feel that I am rather at a loss at the moment. Could anyone point me in the right direction possibly?

Building on what others have said, what do you see in Event Viewer? Event viewer's a cool tool you can navigate to (Start -> Right click Computer, click "manage" -> It's on the left) which catalogues any errors the operating system detects. For program/process related problems, check the Application section. Filter that for Critical, Error and Warning in the past 30 days and see what comes up.

I do agree with I-666 though. It's most likely a virus - I had a very similar problem today. Explorer.exe using 3GB of RAM for some reason. Checked ResMon (built into Windows, resmon.exe) and it showed it was hitting servers in China.

DrAlexanderTobacco
Jun 11, 2012

Help me find my true dharma


I believe it was scotch

DrAlexanderTobacco
Jun 11, 2012

Help me find my true dharma


Just learn it, it's useful and you'll look like a tool in 5 years if you've still only got MCSA: Server 2008 (or whatever) on your resume.

DrAlexanderTobacco
Jun 11, 2012

Help me find my true dharma


syg posted:

I tried that. Sent him an email clarifying the situation and he called, said he knew it wasn't my responsibility and that ultimately he had to answer for the failure. We have a very good long relationship and he is the kind of guy who would fall on a sword for his team, but I feel like I need something solid to put my mind at rest. I'm considering just briefly clarifying the situation to the execs who are questioning but I don't want to go around my CIO at all (he is on vaca which is why they are all coming to me). I have an exemplary reputation in the company, constant praises and commendations so I really don't want my reputation tarnished for a failure outside of my realm of responsibility.

I didn't see an explicit reason from him re: why he didn't email you, so... Get him to email everything you've just said.

DrAlexanderTobacco
Jun 11, 2012

Help me find my true dharma


TeMpLaR posted:

Final 5 days of work at my current job. Documentation is looking pretty good at this point, not much going on to do. How do you all spend your last week?

DrAlexanderTobacco
Jun 11, 2012

Help me find my true dharma


I can't comment on wages, but re: work from home - Try to have one room as your office, that you use for work and as little as possible for personal time. It'll allow you to keep some semblance of separation between work/life.

DrAlexanderTobacco
Jun 11, 2012

Help me find my true dharma


Ahdinko posted:

If you have none of this, then yes, you're gonna have to go up to each machine and go an ipconfig /all

And scroll through all that useless poo poo?

"getmac" filters what you need.

DrAlexanderTobacco
Jun 11, 2012

Help me find my true dharma


Zero VGS posted:

Speaking of going to far out of my way to save this place a buck, we have a new web designer here who wants a copy of Photoshop and Indesign.

Any reason it'd be a particularly bad idea to snag them from Amazon/Ebay if I take the due-diligence of verifying that that copies and serials are genuine with Adobe? Because it seems like the ROI is less than a a year versus signing up for Adobe CC, and the web guy had no objections to going that route. I get that they're phasing out the box copies for good so it seems like snagging a few for $300 a pop would be a nice long term investment.

This is more for anyone reading and might not apply to your situation, but Adobe offer a one day re-seller course that's easy as poo poo to complete, with an open-book exam at the end. Gets you killer discounts on their full suite, both subscription and older boxed copies. Would recommend considering it if you think you'll have to source Adobe products a lot.

DrAlexanderTobacco
Jun 11, 2012

Help me find my true dharma


Dark Helmut posted:

I'm always happy to look at resumes and give an opinion. I'm not a resume writer per se, but I see dozens per day and I have the advantage of seeing what drives interviews and what doesn't.

Mind if I shoot you mine over the weekend? Not looking for any specific critique per se, but more a general "Yep, that's a solidly ok CV"

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DrAlexanderTobacco
Jun 11, 2012

Help me find my true dharma


FaintlyQuaint posted:

I'm still feeling my way around my new job and the limits of what I can really do on my own authority, but the CFO of the bank I work for just dropped a bomb on me today with asking me to just not go over $10k a piece for two new Windows 2012 standard servers for an application our bank uses. I'm not particularly experienced with administration positions like this or anything, but that number seems amazingly high. I have a vendor I know to talk to for ordering new hardware/software and their prices are significantly under that number so I'm just kind of at a loss as to why he's giving me such a huge budget to spend on something that isn't that expensive? Unless I'm really misunderstanding something or something else is going to trip me up later that I'm not aware of?

Why are you inferring he knows how much it'll cost?

Edit: Have you added in all the extras you might need, ILO/DRAC, CALs etc?

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