IT Training Tips

IT Support jobs

There's many adverts and websites touting so called well paid careers in IT, carrying out support. This is all fantasy!

Working in IT Support is

- horrible,

- it pays poorly (in comparison to other IT paths),

- is very stressful and most importantly,

- it's the easiest job to get rid of people from (many companies get rid of support staff first to cut costs),

- it's the easiest job to outsource to places like India

I've seen so many IT support jobs outsourced to India at the various companies I've worked at, in fact many projects I've worked on have explicitly involved me working on designing systems so outsourcing can take place.

This rush to outsource to India has led me to think,

"If there are so many jobs going abroad, surely there's a highly skilled workforce here looking for work in IT support?"

Too right, there's thousands of highly skilled IT support professionals looking for work. IT support is incredibly competitive to get into and this has driven the rates down considerably. There are so many skilled IT support people looking for work and you'll need to be better than them if you want to get a support job.

1st line support

1st line support is nothing more than answering telephone calls and working through a script (just as they do in call centres) to see if the problem can be fixed, otherwise the problem is passed onto somebody else, generally 2nd line support.

2nd line support

2nd line support will take a more technical look at the problem and try to fix it. It may be a problem involving a computer system used by many people and this could result in

3rd line support

3rd line support people are more involved in making sure systems are functioning correctly. They monitor and assess how systems are behaving but can also come to the aid of 2nd line support if the issues they're trying to resolve require further expertise and/or impact on a far wider scale the internal systems.

The last thing any responsible 2nd line support person would want to do, is make a change to a system which affects other systems and the users using those systems. This course of action could be catastrophic and could cause the loss of millions in revenue.

Support complaints

Many support people who I've met during my time working for many different companies, mostly moan about the uninteresting nature of the work. The 'Business As Usual' stuff, BAU as its commonly known, isn't inspiring, it's just the same drudgery day in day out, a bit of a 'groundhog day'.

Many are disillusioned because they can't see the light at the end of the tunnel and see an escape from working in support. This really does make support jobs demoralising.