Back during a previous life, when I was still in school learning to be some kind of software engineer, I worked to pay the my tuition and other bills by providing IT support in a medium sized corporation.
If you’ve never done it, you might not realize the amount of patience it takes to be an effective IT support tech. You deal with the most mundane issues on a day to day basis, along with some of the most complicated and technical problems that large networks can encounter.
Along with that, you’re usually interacting with people who are impatient, frustrated, and expect you to solve all their problems at a moments notice, regardless of your workload or the reality of the issues at hand.
This makes for some very dicey situations, and requires real professionalism and skill under high-pressure situations. I am not exaggerating when I say it was one of the best experiences of my life.
Because of that, I’ve kept a special place in my heart for those folks who do this work on a daily basis, and make life so much easier for all of us involved. Even more technically adept (one hopes) folks like myself would be lost without high-quality IT support.
I guess I’ve been thinking on this recently since talking to an old school friend who now works for an excellent IT support company in England. I love my work currently, but my hat’s off to those who keep the backbone solid.
The main difference between what I do as a software engineer and coder and what IT support people do is that it’s very unusual for me to have to deal with pressure like they face. I pull an all nighter here and there even now. But, broken networks with the CTO breathing down my neck…no thank you.