Got job as System Administrator

jebrown21jebrown21 Posts: 20Member ■□□□□□□□□□
So I just signed the offer letter for the position of System administrator. Before this, the company has never had a formal IT person and previously contracted work out for anything that couldn't be resolved themself. The company has about 120 employees.

I recently got my CCNA and am about to graduate WGU in the next month or two. I have about 2 years of experience working in the IT department of a clothing distribution center. I worked on anything from workstations to printers, sometimes on windows server to add users, reset passwords.

I was up against 2 other people and didn't think I was fully qualified for the position but I must have made a good impression during the interview.

This companies expectations are as follows:
  • Support networks and servers
  • Install and integrate new server hardware and applications
  • Keep eye out for updates
  • Ensure network connectivity
  • Monitor network performance
  • Set up user accounts, permissions and passwords
  • Resolve problems reported by end users
  • Define network policies and procedures

A lot of this I will be learning on the job. I have a home lab at home (3 routers, 3 switches, and a windows 2012 server) where I plan to lab up their setup to see how it is configured in my off-time.

I am looking for advice from those in similar roles. Any and all advice I would appreciate greatly. I would like to hit the ground running with this position.

Comments

  • scaredoftestsscaredoftests Security +, ITIL Foundation, MPT, EPO, ACAS, HTL behind youPosts: 2,716Mod Mod
    There will be some 'unknowns' that you can't practice for. Just study their network, take screenshots and ask alot of questions. Too bad you can't ask the outsourced networking service for info (see if they left on bad terms..and also check if they left something 'nasty').
    Never let your fear decide your fate....
  • Russ5813Russ5813 Posts: 123Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    See if the external provider left behind (or can provide) system docs that may help familiarize you with the network.
  • jebrown21jebrown21 Posts: 20Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    The company currently keeps track of all of their equipment in an excel spreadsheet. I was thinking about recreating it as a MySQL database for easier querying. Do other system admins usually use sql databases to keep track of equipment (workstations, monitors, printers, switches, routers, etc.) or is there any software anyone would recommend?

    Good points about the external provider. Its a person that use to work there awhile back and has been helping out whenever they had issues. I was planning to create a network map but it would be nice if they already have an up-to-date one already created
  • dhay13dhay13 Posts: 580Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    i was in a similar role at my last job. i would say about 80% of my day was end user support. but we used a spreadsheet to track all equipment, updates, licenses, etc. we did use access to make notes of unusual issues and the solution just in case we ran across it again. good luck
  • NotHackingYouNotHackingYou Posts: 1,460Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Implement a ticket system with asset tracking first. Something like Spiceworks.
    When you go the extra mile, there's no traffic.
  • RoyalRavenRoyalRaven Posts: 142Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    jebrown21 wrote: »
    The company currently keeps track of all of their equipment in an excel spreadsheet. I was thinking about recreating it as a MySQL database for easier querying. Do other system admins usually use sql databases to keep track of equipment (workstations, monitors, printers, switches, routers, etc.) or is there any software anyone would recommend?

    There's a zillion ways to manage your inventory, but remember the most important thing is to keep it accurate. Before developing anything, make sure there's no garbage information. Whatever you use, just make sure others can use it too without major hassle (how to use it is documented).
  • alias454alias454 Posts: 648Member
    First off congrats on the new role. Don't try to come in all gangbusters and make a lot of changes your first week or two. Observe what is going on then start to make suggestions. Another thing, do not bad mouth the previous people who did the work, it's unprofessional. Even if you think something they did was dumb, keep it to yourself.

    The expectations you listed above don't sound too bad. Since you have your CCNA and some experience, I'd say you got this. Be humble and honest when you don't know something and be sure to take initiative to solve it.
    “I do not seek answers, but rather to understand the question.”
  • Fulcrum45Fulcrum45 Posts: 600Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Sounds like fun. Coming into a new network and making it your own. Will you be completely by yourself in terms of tech support?
  • techfiendtechfiend Posts: 1,481Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    External management typically means no or limited documentation which makes the job much more difficult than it should be. Hopefully they did a good job and it'll be easy to figure most of it out. Do yourself and the company a favor and learn to document everything that's beyond common sense. For example if you implement a linux cluster, document the structure and commands of how to add, remove, failover etc. Spending a few minutes to document this will be gold for the next person.
    2018 AWS Solutions Architect - Associate (Apr) 2017 VCAP6-DCV Deploy (Oct) 2016 Storage+ (Jan)
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  • SteveLordSteveLord Posts: 1,717Member
    Look into Spiceworks for sure. Community, ticketing and inventory.
    WGU B.S.IT - 9/1/2015 >>> ???
  • greg9891greg9891 Posts: 1,174Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    Sounds Like Fun!........Great Opportunity just take it one day at a time.
    Certs Gained 2018: CCENT ,210-255 ( Cyber Security Operations)
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  • jebrown21jebrown21 Posts: 20Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Working in the IT department at the distribution center previously, my hands were tied on a lot of things and all I could think of multiple times was, "If only I was in charge, I would do ____ differently and we would be more efficient because ____." Happy to say that I will be the only IT person and I get to finally make a difference with my decisions.

    I have a feeling there won't be much documentation so everything will need to be researched and documented from scratch probably. My biggest concern is I'm not really familiar with Windows Server Backup. I understand the concepts of backing up (incremental vs differential). Also not really familiar with when to update the servers (assuming the day after every 2nd Tuesday). Lets just say I have a lot of reading and research from now until my start date. :)

    I have been hearing a lot about Spiceworks recently. I will need to do research when I get some free time.
  • alias454alias454 Posts: 648Member
    Don't update production stuff the day after patch Tuesday either. Update your test systems first and verify nothing breaks. Another good word of advice is to have a strict change control strategy. Even though it sounds like you will be the only person don't take documentation for granted. Not only will it come in handy 3 months from now when you realize something broke and can trace it back to a specific change. It will also be handy to CYA in other scenarios too. I also agree that setting up a ticketing system will help you keep track of issues. Using your inbox as a ticket system will get old real fast.
    “I do not seek answers, but rather to understand the question.”
  • techfiendtechfiend Posts: 1,481Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    The IT guy with 120 workstations? Work, work, work, work, work! I hope the end users are knowledgeable.
    2018 AWS Solutions Architect - Associate (Apr) 2017 VCAP6-DCV Deploy (Oct) 2016 Storage+ (Jan)
    2015 Start WGU (Feb) Net+ (Feb) Sec+ (Mar) Project+ (Apr) Other WGU (Jun) CCENT (Jul) CCNA (Aug) CCNA Security (Aug) MCP 2012 (Sep) MCSA 2012 (Oct) Linux+ (Nov) Capstone/BS (Nov) VCP6-DCV (Dec) ITILF (Dec)
  • SvobodaSvoboda Posts: 95Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    As someone that has had this same exact job, while your title is Systems Administrator, you're effectively IT. Odds are you're going to walk into a really poorly maintained situation as I've got little faith in MSPs after the last 5-10 of them I've dealt with. YMMV.

    I'm not sure of your location, but after you get settled in, if you're in an area that has local colleges, create an internship program and get yourself some desktop support/grunt people.
  • markulousmarkulous Posts: 2,389Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Do they have any support contracts for anything or does it 100% fall on your shoulders for everything before the Demarc? If it's the latter, I think you're going to need some help. At least someone to deal with the low-hanging fruit for basic desktop support. I'd also recommend implementing some ways for end-users to help themselves with common issues. Nothing worse than being woken up at 2am for a password reset.
  • jebrown21jebrown21 Posts: 20Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Luckily for me, its a first shift only type of job. I would imagine the only time I will be contacted after hours is notifications from the servers, routers, and switches.

    Thank you for all of the advice so far. I'm excited for the job to start.
  • SvobodaSvoboda Posts: 95Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    jebrown21 wrote: »
    Luckily for me, its a first shift only type of job. I would imagine the only time I will be contacted after hours is notifications from the servers, routers, and switches.

    Thank you for all of the advice so far. I'm excited for the job to start.

    Hahahahaha.
  • Dakinggamer87Dakinggamer87 Gaming Tech Expert Silicon Valley, CAPosts: 4,012Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Congrats!! Wishing you the best of luck keep us posted. :)
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