mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

I think I need a new career...

So a few months ago, the college I work in tech support for got a new CIO. We have "all hands" meetings monthly (often called "all hands on cookies" by staff for the cookies served at the meetings). We had one a few days ago, and the new CIO delivered her 60-day report of what she has observed and what she wants to change.

I work in our desktop support group, which is basically myself and two other people who are responsible for supporting faculty, staff, and administrator's machines.

It's not that the presentation was negative on the group I work for - "desktop support" was actually listed as one of our strengths. But that was the only mention of desktop support - the rest of it focused on big-picture stuff - upgrades, process management, trying to do a better job of handling large-scale upgrades and making sure that other departments don't implement systems without our department's involvement.

Which pretty much has nothing to do with what I do, which is day-to-day support. The closest I get to a project is people requesting, say, a half-dozen computers and a couple printers. Most of what I do is small stuff - replacing parts, replacing single computers, ect.

The thing about desktop support is it doesn't get a whole lot of attention unless we mess up. Computer hardware, software, and operating systems have gotten stable enough that that they generally just work, and when they don't they can easily be fixed or swapped out. Computers are like electricity. When you plug something in, it turns on and works, and you expect it to. If your power goes out, it's a crisis, but it's also rare.

It's gotten to the point that people are shocked when their machines break - they haven't figured out that there are still moving parts in hard drives, that capacitors sometimes fail, that sometimes things break and it's not that they or someone else did anything to cause it.

I enjoy desktop support - I get to play with technology, I get to meet people, I get to solve problems. But aside from managing the department, there isn't a whole lot of places for me to go, because I'm not really involved in big-picture stuff.

I like my employer, and I don't have any plans to leave. So I need to find a way to somehow get involved in the bigger-picture, project-planning type stuff. But I'm not sure how to go about doing that, besides just trying to increase my skill set and do a good enough job doing what I do - but a lot of moving up seems to be being at the right place at the right time - which I have been in the past. I do have my MBA, so that will help, and I'm trying to make sure that I go to P.M.P. (project management professional) training that my employer is offering. So we'll see.


At 4:37 PM, Blogger tralatrala said...

The majority of the folks in our dept aren't involved with the bigger picture stuff. My job is day to day support of a system that most of the campus hates in some way...and often gets forgotten about. That's just the way we roll, day to day support is just as important as the big picture projects, I think the reason the focus is on that now is because we have day to day support down pretty well, and do it without many issues.


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