Career Story: Senior Network Administrator At A Large Engineering Company

Senior Network Administrator At A Large Engineering Company

Job Title: Senior Network Administrator

Education: Certificate of completion from Palomar Technical Institute

Previous Experience: I was the director of the IT department at a medium size law firm. Now I am second in charge of the IT department at a large engineering company.

Job Tasks: I am in charge of running the telephone system for the entire company. The system we use is called Astrix, it is a linux based operating system (linux means the programs the system uses to run are open source, not proprietary technology like Cisco or Avya who require you to use their technicians to make changes).

Because the phone system is open source, it requires that I learn how to write the computer commands to make everything work the way the company wants it to. For example, an employee in our Birmingham office can pick up the phone and dial a four digit extension number to reach another employee in the Tampa office, they do not need to make a long distance call to reach the Tampa office and then be transferred. I am tasked with writing the proper code into the Astrix system to allow that to take place.

All of the other aspects of the phone system like how many times the phone will ring before it goes to voice mail, or if an employee would like for their calls to ring at their desk and if they don't answer there, have the call forwarded to their cell phone, are controlled in the same way, by my entering the proper commands to tell the system what to do. Writing the codes and commands are relatively simple, however, if there is just one incorrect letter or number entered into the string of code, it can cause problems that are very hard to identify because of shear volume of letters and numbers in any given code. It is very important to pay close attention when writing codes in order to minimize mistakes.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is when I have to make major changes to the telephone system and everything goes smoothly and works properly. I am proud of being capable of maintaining such a large and important system for the company.

The wost part of my job is when there are problems with the telephones. Because communication is such a vital part of any company, if someone is unable to pick up their phone and reach their intended party, it can cause major delays in whatever project is being worked on. It is extremely important to have the phones working with as little down time as possible, when a problem arises it is stressful trying to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it as quickly as possible.

Job Tips:
1. It is important to start with learning the most basic computer skills. Without a solid understanding the basics it is impossible to understand the more complex aspects of how a computer works and how to make it do what you want it to.

2. When you have the opportunity to watch someone else work on a computer in ways that are new to you, make the most of it, watch closely and ask questions when you see things being done that you don't understand.

3. Always document the changes you make, that way if you find something doesn't work correctly, you can trace your steps backward and try a new solution.

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