Server Support Contractor For An Insurance Company
Job Title: Server Support Specialist
Type of Company: My company is a leader in information technology in many areas including technology development, hardware/software design and global service delivery.
Education: certificate, Data Processing, Computer Processing Institute STCC, HCC, Microsoft, New Horizons, Sun - various network/systems related courses
Previous Experience: I've worked in data processing and IT for twenty years, mostly on the cutting edge as technologies were developed. I was working at large insurance company's corporate office when they outsourced their support to a major Service Delivery company and I was hired by that company to specialize in one particular area of support.
Job Tasks: I am a server support contractor working for an insurance company's IT department and monitoring over 3500 Intel-based servers. I build, maintain and fix them, sometimes physically, most often remotely using software tools. I work on various projects to upgrade or replace particular types of servers, fixing known issues or converting them to virtual servers, a collection of files that "pretends" to be a physical server. I monitor the health of these servers and respond when there are problems. I work in conjunction with other teams to resolve issues quickly and report them to the customer so they can continue with their work. I train these other teams in the working of Intel systems and help them identify where a problem lies when a customer calls in with a problem, eliminating the need, wherever possible, for contacting many different support groups.
I attend technical training on a fairly regular basis to keep my skills honed and expand my expertise. I work during the night and on weekends, when changes to the servers will have the least impact and US usage is lightest. (It also happens to be the time when off-shore customers need support because of the time difference.)
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is keeping up with new technology. I love learning new things and then applying it. This also helps me grow within my job and allows for other people to use me as a resource, which I also love, as I love helping people.
The worst part of my job can be the hours, since I work nights and weekends, although I don't always mind it because it's the time I can get a lot of work done.
Job Tips: There's so many different areas of IT support you need to determine the area that interests you the most. Also, I would select the region of the country where you want to live and check their classifieds to see what jobs are offered and what kind of qualifications they require. Do you like to travel? Most IT jobs will clearly state how much travel is required. If you like to travel, a contracting position would be best as most times you will not be limited to one area or one customer.
Additional Thoughts: If I could change anything, I would stay in school and finish my bachelor's in Computers instead of switching to a technical school. Although I had limited interest in the English and science back then, my lack of education has hindered my attempts at advancement. Get as much education as you can before seeking employment. This allows you to enter at a higher level of responsibility and pay.