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skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


This thread should try to stay focused on working in IT environments, how to get a job in IT, how to move up in IT, and be more career focused. We already have bitching thread, ticket thread, certification thread, and specific discipline threads (Enterprise Windows, Storage, VMware, Exchange, etc).

quote:

Information Technology
The study or use of systems (especially computers and telecommunications) for storing, retrieving, and sending information.

IT is an extremely broad field, and covers a lot of people.

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skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


It'll disintegrate into it sooner or later, so it's pretty pointless.

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


BaseballPCHiker posted:

Thinking of going to Office 365. I'm worried about moving our exchange, sharepoint, and lync hosting off site. Anyone have any experience migrating? Any annoying day to day outages?

O365 has it's outages, but overall I have no regrets moving to the service.

Exchange migration isn't too bad, I highly suggest using Migrationwiz to do it. The native tools are there, but Migrationwiz is worth it. Lync is great, we don't use Sharepoint just yet, it does have some limitations.

O365 has had a few well publicized outages, overall though it's been nice.

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


FISHMANPET posted:

So just for the hell of it, the wife and I are pondering fleeing the US for Canada or somewhere in Europe. Anyone have any experience with something like that, specifically in IT? I know there are lots of IT jobs in New Zealand, but how does it look in other countries?

Do you have any 'in' on getting into the counties you want to work in? It's beyond difficult to move to a foreign country and start working there.

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


Most major cities have plenty of IT jobs, depends on where you want to live. Seattle, California, Texas, DC/NoVA. What part of the country do you want to be in?

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


Anyone ever use DigiCert? Our ManagedPKI from Verisign is getting way too expensive.

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


Tab8715 posted:

Next question, when they ask about expected salary should I give a number? My first thought is to say something along the lines of "negotiable but my target is X."

Note, this is pre-interview.

My go to line is "I like to consider the entire compensation package including cash, benefits, time off, and bonus opportunities".... if that doesn't work I give them a really high number that I would want if the job had lovely benefits, lovely PTO schedule, and no bonus opportunity.

Maybe I'm strange but at this point in my life my overall cash compensation is less important than the other parts of the compensation package. I much rather work a 70K a year job where I get 3 or 4 weeks of vacation and have a really nice low deductible PPO than make 80K a year with 1 week vacation and lovely insurance.

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


I swear these threads make me wonder if I work for some mythical perfect company or some poo poo. I'm celebrating my 10 year anniversary here soon. Started working in one of our call centers while finishing community college and have been promoted multiple times since then. In my current position of Sr. Systems Administrator I'm making a very nice base wage in line with the local market while enjoying such things 22 paid days off, 8 sick days, 90/10 PPO with 500 dollar deductible, paid training, cell phone, hot spot and annual performance bonus (that actually pays out). We're even well funded as a department and get nice equipment. I really don't have anything bad to say about the company at all and have no desire to leave.


Now if my environment wasn't so great, or I did not have the potential to move up I would leave, but you can enjoy a nice career with a company. It is possible. I wouldn't mind working here another 10 years to be honest. I can probably get a 'Lead Sys Admin' title in the next 2 to 3 years which would cap out my earning potential without going into management or consulting. I will say I make an effort to stay on top of technology. Don't be that guy who specializes in something and doesn't keep up with current technology trends. You want to keep a relevant skill set in case something happens to your job.

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


You have to get a feel for the place you're applying. East coast is more conservative than west, job function makes a difference as well. A finance or HR person I would expect to show up in a suit. IT or Programmer I would expect non jean pants, a button down collared shirt and good shoes with a tie being optional.

You can't go wrong with a nice pair of slacks, a clean crisp button down shirt, good leather shoes, and maybe a tie. Since you all are a bunch of goony bastards, clothing items should be clean, pressed, and fit well. It helps present an overall positive image. Seriously though, make sure the clothes fit properly. Too big/tight shirts, too long pants, inappropriate shoes.. they can make someone look less put together than they intended too.

It is always funny seeing programmer interviewees talking to the guys wearing t-shirts and flip flops.

skipdogg fucked around with this message at 22:59 on Aug 7, 2014

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


scanlonman posted:

Does anyone have any adivce on their favorite network/server vulnerability scanner? Does anyone here even use one?

We use Qualys at our company for weekly scanning and reporting. I use metasploit and Nmap when needed.

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


Don't even try a 580. It's not safe. I can rack a fully loaded 380 by myself but those 580's can push 80 pounds. There's a reason those have handles (at least mine do) Unless you have one of those rack assist machines it's just not smart. Bring a strong friend.

Seriously it's not worth hurting yourself

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


MC Fruit Stripe posted:

There in lies the problem. I am in charge - this poo poo does need to get sent to another datacenter. I just don't know how. I suppose I'll need to hire professional services - I'll need two guys and a lot of padding.

If I was doing this, this is what I would do: Get a pallet and get with FedEx Freight and ship them LTL. Take the drives out obviously, label and ship them separately. Try to find appropriate boxes for the servers if possible, if not wrap them in moving blankets. Throw the boxes on a pallet, put your padding and shrink wrap on, call them up and they'll take it away from the loading dock.

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


I rarely move poo poo around for work. I drive a Taurus SHO, and it has a cavernous trunk so I could put whatever back there no problem. The back seat would work as well, but I have 2 car seats back there and they're a pain in the rear end to put back in. Getting it out would be a hassle as the trunk is pretty deep. My wife has a Ford Explorer Sport and the one time I moved a bunch of servers I just took her car and put the 3rd Row down flat. I do love my Ecoboosted vehicles.

The CX-5 is supposed to be a nice little CUV.

psydude posted:

I'll be replacing my C5 Z06 with a WRX STI. Server carrying capacity has not factored into my purchase choice.

oof... I hope your commute isn't long. I've heard those things can be a bit 'punishing' after a while. I'm getting soft and old but I couldn't do a stiff suspension on a daily driver these days.

skipdogg fucked around with this message at 18:29 on Aug 11, 2014

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


NippleFloss posted:

CTS-V wagon is the logical and practical choice.

I like your train of thought! A big wig in the office building I work in has a stable of nice cars and he has one. Only see it a couple times a month. He rotates between his Audi R8, CTS-V Wagon, BMW 535i, Mini Cooper S, and a F-150 Platinum. (At least that's what I see in his parking spot) It must be good to be the CEO and a car guy.

Sepist posted:

Oooh I just went from a Focus ST to a Ford Explorer Sport (Dealer was as weirded out as everyone else when I mention this), dat twin turbo yo

I love that car, I've heard a tune makes it even better. We lease my wife's car so I don't want to mod it, but supposedly a tune makes it so much nicer.

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


Misogynist posted:

My mother had a Lincoln in the late '80s that had multiple programmable presets for the mirrors and the driver's seat. How is this not a standard feature on cars in 2014?

You tend to only find it on the upper trim models of the car. With my Ford's I have the seats programmed to specific keys. If my wife opens the car (by remote or handle) the seat moves to her preset. If I open it, it moves to mine. The only thing it doesn't adjust is the rearview mirror. Pretty slick

psydude posted:

I would own the poo poo out of a Model S if they were a bit cheaper.

So would I. I commute 150 miles round trip 2 or 3 days a week sometimes and dropping 130 bucks a week in gas loving sucks. I'm hoping the Model 3 has enough range and is affordable enough to swing.

skipdogg fucked around with this message at 19:57 on Aug 11, 2014

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


That blows. Great project managers are worth their weight in gold, lovely ones can doom a project.

Tab8715 posted:

I'm driving a '97 Nissan Maxima, it works but I'm thinking I'm going to wait until all my student loans are paid off.

You're a smart person, definitely do that. I love my cars but they're a stupid as gently caress financial decision.

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


I can't do tech podcasts while I drive.... I use my car time to relax, last thing I want to think about is tech stuff. My go to podcasts for my long commutes (up to 3 hours a day in the car 2 or 3 times a week)

Nerdist
Rich Eisen Podcast (If you love the NFL)

occasionally I listen to Adam Carolla or Sklarbro Country if they have someone interesting on. Bill Simmons BS Report isn't bad. I also subscribe to SiriusXM so I'll get really interesting Howard Stern interviews from time to time.

I may check out Run As Radio though, as I'm a MS guy.

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


NippleFloss posted:

Find jobs at companies that aren't terrible? Take time off when you want because it's part of your compensation and if they don't let you take it then they are stealing from you?

Pretty much this. I just took the last 7 business days off and didn't once check my email or get a phone call about stuff at work. The other guys on our team are more than capable of taking care of things while I'm gone. I took the kids to the beach and had a blast.

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


Dallas is a healthy IT market and I would expect a market rate for a job there. Obviously without a high COL bump, but still, a healthy salary would be expected.

Is this for Toyota?

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


jim truds posted:

What sort of info is out there for staffing levels on a helpdesk? I'm currently working on a helpdsk that handles about 300 tickets a day split between phones and emails. We support 10,000 users with about 16,000 devices. I was curious what sort of numbers we should have for staff compared to how many we do have.

I don't think there is a hard and fast rule. For a company of our size we have a relatively small IT department, but over half of our end users are engineers and aren't very needy when it comes to IT help.

Personally I think the organization should set certain SLA standards, and then evaluate the work load. If you're not meeting SLA you need more staff. There are tons of blogs and articles that say 400 employees = 1 helpdesk and .5 admins or some poo poo, but really though, every environment is different.

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


CLAM DOWN posted:

They might not be needy, but engineers are sneaky as gently caress.

Yeah they are. They hate our corporate VPN solution and I'm almost sure they built their own OpenVPN server on a network they control and are using it. I can't be sure though, and I'm not going to start some poo poo with them.

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


Yeah, I didn't want to go down the entire rabbit hole, there's lots of things to look at. End user training, self service options, process improvements, blah blah blah

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


Nope... that's strange. I always spec and buy the equipment I need so I know it's done right.

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


Good for you dude. I started my career with a 2 year degree. Got my foot in the door and showed them what I could do. I've been fine ever since, but I will finish my 4 year degree soon at the age of 33...

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


In our org, titles are tied to pay-bands, so if you want to pay someone X, they need to have an appropriate title. We have quite a few 'Director' level people with no direct or indirect reports at all. Our ace Linux guy actually has a Sr. Software Developer title to fit his well deserved salary into the appropriate pay band.

Orgs are weird.

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


My opinion keep looking and don't take job a. 5k isn't worth it

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


drat Nips, you're going to leave NetApp? Isn't that one of the best places to work in the country? Pre/Post sales can be fun I guess, I would get tired of the meetings and power points though.

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


Pfft my boss told me last week he doesn't expect us to 'work' a full 40 hours. He's all "I check Facebook and look at stuff online during work hours, I don't expect you all to work a solid 8 hours a day"

I do mostly project based work. As long as the projects get done, he doesn't give a crap what I do or when I do it. Stroll in around 10AM? No problem. Duck out for a couple hours for an appointment, no worries. I'm beyond loving spoiled at this point.

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


jaegerx posted:

I know a guy that does elevator repair. He makes $500 an hour on weekends. I gotta get into that racket.

Is that what the company bills at, or is that what he earns? We had an Avaya person come out and bill us 400/hr for some poo poo, he wasn't making anywhere near that.. maybe 10% of that.

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


GreenNight posted:

I'm salary but I can't remember the last time I worked late or weekends. The worst it gets is if I spend an hour at home updating servers at 10pm while drinking a few beers and watching Netflix. Not too bad.

Yeah, this is how I am as well. The company I work for is global though, so we can have the guys in the UK or India patch our systems while we're all at home getting a good nights sleep, and then we can return the favor for them. It's rare I have to work late, probably happens once a quarter. I don't even check my email once I get home. I have little kids and from 6PM to 9PM it's kiddo time. No one ever regretted spending time with their kids instead of working, that's for sure.

I'm kind of in that IT sweet spot to be honest. Big enough team and budget to get things done, but the company isn't so big it's a bureaucratic nightmare to deal with.

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


Yes sir. That is how it's done. Awesome!

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


The only other thing I would have tried for is extra paid time off. I'm super spoiled by having 10 years in with my current company, and I get something absurd like 22 vacation, 8 sick, and 7 paid holidays off every year. No way I could go work someplace with only 10 vacation days. I've heard an extra week of vacation is pretty easy to negotiate as it really doesn't cost the company too much, but means a lot to the employee.

Echo'ing what others have said, make sure it's all in writing of course

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


Sarcasmatron posted:

is now official: I start at Blizzard in 4 weeks.



You're a brave man. I couldn't work for a gaming company. Job security is less than non existent.

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


Tab8715 posted:

I thought it had to be literally exact, the slightest amount of clock drift will potentially break everything. Or is there a little leeway?

Depends on the service. Active Directory and the underlying Kerberos require the times be within 5 minutes of each other or poo poo starts breaking. 5 minutes is a ton of leeway in the year 2014.

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


I'm a big fan of the Plantronics CS series headsets for work purposes. Most of the folks with an office have one. I have a basic wired headset on my phone, it works for me.

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


Canemacar posted:

So, after trying for three months, I finally managed to land a job in IT. I had been unhappy in my previous career and decided to make a change so I studied and obtained my A+ cert with the help of some of the resources in the cert thread. I had some difficulties actually landing a job due to my lack of experience in the field, so I was in the process of studying for the Network+(got about as far as learning to subnet) when a recruiter called me back with an offer. I've got a one year contract as desktop support at a local hospital.

Since this is my first time working with computers in a professional setting, specifically a hospital, does anyone have any advice or suggestions on what to brush up on before I start in just under two weeks? I'm a little nervous and want to make the transition as smooth as possible.

This sounds pretty entry level, they're not going to be expecting much from you. Show up EARLY... 10 minutes at least. Show up well dressed and groomed. Ask questions if something isn't clear. Take notes. Hospital environments are probably going to have a lot of application support, printing support, less hardware support.

Seriously though, the first couple weeks of a new job set the impression of you for a long time. A guy that shows up clean/groomed and 10 minutes early will always leave a better impression that a guy that shuffles in a couple minutes late looking shaggy. Work quality doesn't even matter, it's that initial subconscious impression that you leave.

BooDaa posted:

The director of my department, whom I have worked under for the past 11 and a half years, has very suddenly been replaced. We actually thought he was fired last week but today we find out that he has been moved to a different dept in a non director position and will be replaced by the director of IT from the small private health care facility we bought a couple years back.

So my question is am I right to think that I am basically starting over here? The nearly 12 years of work and trust that I've built up is meaningless now since this new guy doesn't know me or my skills? I'm not at all afraid he will just walk in and start firing people but I'm sure he will want to put his stamp on things so it looks like he is doing something. And some of those things may not even been bad but I'm thinking I need to get my resume up to date and start looking around the area for new jobs since if I'm going to start over working for someone else I may as well do it someplace that is gonna pay me more. Or am I just being paranoid?

I'm not sure what the org culture is like at your joint, but I think you're being a little paranoid. Odds are the guy is going to be looking at you, as a tenured experienced guy in the department as someone he can count on and go to when he needs something done. It really depends on the personality of the guy, but I wouldn't expect him to start rocking the boat much. Most people will get to know the lay of the land before they start making changes. There are guys that come in and gently caress everything up though, so it's not a bad idea to get your resume up to date and maybe see what else is out there.

It would be helpful to know why your old boss was removed from his position, and the new boss was brought in. Was your old boss not getting things done?

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


FISHMANPET posted:

But in that case I'm the one on the other end of the issue. I'm the "user." I choose the route that gets me the fastest resolution, and I'd think everybody would want the fastest resolution.

And in a lot of cases, it's not like we're leaving people out in the cold. I'm sending then an email to keep them updated, which makes perfect sense to me since email is the medium through which they contacted me. Even if they won't see how me physically visiting them effects how long it takes to resolve their issue (though they may see how it interrupts them), may managers should be able to see that. I'm not keeping them in the dark, I'm just corresponding with them via email.

In Tab1875's example, it's as if instead of sending an email that Tim is working on the issue, Tim should go up and visit the user and tell them he's working on the issue. A user may not see how that wastes Tim's time, but Tim's manager should be able to.

There is a lot to be said about positive face time in the corporate world. I know it's hard for some people to wrap their head around, but it is important and does have it's place.

A co-worker of mine, a very smart and capable person was asked by his manager to take some time every morning and just walk around the building and see how people were doing. He's a great employee but he sits in the office with his door closed and does his work. He had a perception of being very standoffish and unfriendly to many folks in the building. The fact is he is not standoffish or unfriendly, he just likes to get his work done in quiet without interruption when possible.

Every morning when he gets his second cup of coffee he 'makes his rounds' and checks in with folks. Hey, how are you this morning? Everything going OK? Probably takes him 15 to 45 minutes depending if he runs into any issues or not.

Now I know you're thinking what a complete waste of time....but the perception of the IT support in that building really improved once he started 'making his rounds'. Now people see him as friendly and approachable and have a higher overall opinion of IT support than before. His technical work didn't change, in fact one could say he's wasting up to 5 hours a week on non technical work, but the SOFT SKILLS are just as important as the technical work.

You've mentioned 'fastest resolution' several times. People in general are very patient as long as they know whats going on. For example imagine you're at a busy restaurant eating dinner. Generally it takes 15 to 18 minutes to cook and serve an entree. It's now been 40 minutes since you've placed your order and you still don't have your food. You're probably a little pissed off right now... no one has said anything, no one has kept you in the loop, and 5 minutes later your food finally arrives. 45 minutes after ordering, and 25 minutes after you would have expected the food to arrive. You complain to your waiter, and they apologize after the fact and offer you free desert.

Now imagine that at the 20 minute mark, when you're expecting your food to be delivered your waiter comes up and says "I'm really sorry but the kitchen is short staffed tonight and we're super busy, you're food is not ready yet but I'm going to go see how much longer it's going to be".... then the server comes back 5 minutes later and says "I talked to the chef and he says its going to be another 10 to 15 minutes on your entrees.... I'm really sorry about this I'd like to offer you a free desert after your meal to make it up to you".

At this point you know whats going on, you feel kept in the loop... you're not really pissed off that your food is late. You can understand kitchens get short staffed. Your experience in this scenario while not perfect is definitely less lovely than 45 minutes of no information and no contact.

Soft skills are important in the workplace. I don't do much end user support anymore, but I still follow up with folks I do things for. It doesn't even have to be in person, if you have some kind of chat system, you can use that. Hey Jim did that password reset take care of your problem?


When you get a ticket it would take 20 seconds to send the following IM

"Hey Betty, just wanted to let you know I got your ticket... I have a few in front of yours but I should get to it in the next couple of hours"

Yes they'll get the automated helpdesk email saying "YOUR TICKET HAS BEEN ASSIGNED TO FISHMANPET" but that's not the same experience as a quick little IM.

Another reason work soft skills are important. Say it's promotion time, and there are 2 of you going after a senior position. Let's say you actually are more technically qualified and do better work, but you come across as standoffish and unfriendly. The other guy does good work but is more friendly and well liked. 95% of the time he's getting that job and not you.


TL;DR - you may think soft skills are stupid and a waste of time but they're actually important in the real world. It would be wise to understand their importance and try to work on them even if you don't like it.

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


Every new technology puts a panic into some folks. Virtualization didn't kill the sysadmin, SDN won't kill the network admin.

It's simple, keep your skill set up to date and you'll never have a problem finding work.

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


I couldn't recommend using TP-Link for anything important to be honest. Linksys used to make a decent small business VPN router, the RV something something, but it's been a while, and I'm not sure whats up with Linksys these days after Cisco sold them.

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skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


Get whatever knowledge you can get and get the hell out of web hosting would be my advice. It's a stepping stone, not a career.

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