What would you like a newbie to know?

BokehBokeh Posts: 1,635Member ■■■■■■■□□□
I have been asked by two individuals to help them get into IT. One has a background supporting Office suite, the other is just starting down a computer science path. They both plan to start with A+.

If you are hiring, what would you expect a new person to know, who is brand new to the field? I've asked a few folks and gotten quite a lot of different answers. So if you were hiring for help desk, break/fix, etc what would you like to see? Curious as to what the TE community thinks.

Comments

  • networker050184networker050184 Posts: 11,962Mod Mod
    Understanding of communications with TCP/IP and a solid troubleshooting methodology would be the two biggest factors for me. Most things can be trained at the entry level, but if they just don't have the knack for logically thinking through an issue they probably won't do too well troubleshooting.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Posts: 6,780Mod Mod
    YES! I am dealing right now with a temp who just lacks a thorough thinking process and can't be creative at all. This guy is fairly good at following directions but the minute something falls outside of what we showed him, he freezes. I'm talking not even looking stuff up on Google. Ridiculous.

    Another important thing is attention to detail. If you are new at any place you should carry a notepad everywhere you go. I will gladly sit with you as long as required to show you how to do stuff. I expect you to take notes. If you need a refresher the next time you do it no problem. Coming to me the third time is just pushing it, especially when the process I showed you is well documented. If I explain something and you don't get it ASK questions right there. Don't wait until I need you to go do it to figure out you had no idea what I meant by "reimage that laptop".

    Last thing, we all want to learn, but there's an order of things. If you are doing desktop support don't start asking about routers, switches, ESX, Hyper-V and other things that fall outside the scope of your position. That is OK later on but at the very beginning you should focus on the immediate needs of the company that hired you. There's a lot to absorb in regards to departmental operation and processes to be worrying about that. The individual referenced above asked me 3 days after he started to show him how to do Cisco stuff (I'm no expert myself, just the basics). He doesn't even know what the OSI model is or for that matter much about TCP/IP.

    So to sum up, attention to detail, basic networking knowledge, take notes, ask questions, and be creative.
  • HypntickHypntick Posts: 1,451Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    When to ask for help when you're over your head. We deal with a ton of stuff being an MSP and we don't expect people to know everything, it'd be dang near impossible. Since we either bill the client for our services per hour, or they're an all you can eat flat rate for the month, you never want to get to deep into something that someone else could have resolved in 10 minutes. Also, check the documentation and look for an answer yourself before giving up and asking for help. If someone else fixes your issues for you, you don't learn anything and you become worth less as an employee.
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  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Posts: 4,153Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Know how to find an answer. I always hated when guys would ask me something and not at the very least Google before talking to me. Come to me with some options and then I can steer you in the right direction. Other than that, just have a zeal for learning. I'd rather people ask me questions and want to learn then just skate through and get the paycheck.
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  • damsel_in_tha_netdamsel_in_tha_net Posts: 75Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    i agree with most of the above. understanding the process of troubleshooting, importance of documentation, and the virtues of patience and humility go a long way in an entry level candidate for any job.
  • kriscamaro68kriscamaro68 A+, Net+, Server+, Security+, Win7 MCP, Server 2012 Virtualization Specialist, MCSA 2012 Posts: 1,186Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    the_Grinch wrote: »
    Know how to find an answer. ...snip....

    THIS!!! I can't tell you how annoying it is when I deal with helpdesk at my work. They don't even try to find a fix for it first before coming to me about it. I hate it.
  • mikedisd2mikedisd2 Posts: 1,096Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    Someone with a good attitude. Technical skill can be learnt; I'd rather someone who knows that they have a job to do and will own calls not just freeze up and hope the problem disappears. I'm all for newbs asking questions; if they don't, it might mean that nothing is being done towards resolution. And then I'll have to clean it up.
  • JDMurrayJDMurray Certification Invigilator Surf City, USAPosts: 11,339Admin Admin
    A positive attitude, eagerness to learn, and talks about technology like it's sports.
  • N2ITN2IT Posts: 7,483Inactive Imported Users
    I think you all hit the main key topics. Eagerness, listen to directions, ask questions that you don't know where to find it, and to learn where to find the answer cough cough Google JK.

    One that I didn't see is documentation and the willingess to share information. I like when I see someone who is organized and who documents their findings. Nothing to precise, just capturing important items and then sharing them with the team. Another trait that really impress me is someone who is not afraid to get outside their knowledge area. I love that, from a management stand point I just gush over that. No cowboys or gunslingers, but people who can adapt and aren't afraid to step outside their comfort zone. That shows willingness and courage, two attributes I rate highly.
  • CodeBloxCodeBlox Posts: 1,363Member
    the_Grinch wrote: »
    Know how to find an answer. ...snip....

    Also don't play the blame game... "The issue is on your end"...
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  • JayTheCrackerJayTheCracker Posts: 169Member
    in terms of certificates, A+ and a MCTS:Windows7 would help
  • SteveLordSteveLord Posts: 1,717Member
    Need to get fundamentals down. When a problem happens, what should you explore first? How long as it been doing this? Does it only affect 1 user or many? Is it critical to continued operation? Is there a temporary workaround that can/should be applied until the full solution is figured out and in place? Is the program or hardware not up to date?

    There's a new IT guy next door to me and I am drilling him regularly about finishing his A+ so he gets some of the basics down.
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  • RoguetadhgRoguetadhg Posts: 2,472Member
    Troubleshooting. Think of it as a video game, full of sound effects (People yelling "I can't get to my hotmail"), and drama (Flashing switch lights), and the cold environment (Really Really cold MDFs!). Like a spy. Go James bond on the issue, and swoon your way into the cable ios like a japanese television show ...icon_confused.gif:

    Documentation - Tossed into a loop with no one to help you, you'll understand the importance of road guides. Also, RAID 1 the information. Use Microsoft Office + Visio. Yeah. It hurts to pay out of pocket for it, just to make sure you know what goes to what. Make sure the documentation is up to date, because you'll be asked. Learn to use Excel, Visio. Document everything, everyone's phone number, check and doublecheck to make sure that A port goto A on the patch panel. If not, find out where it goes.
    -- There's a port here that caused me an hour of troubleshooting just because I couldn't find (didn't have a line toner) what port went to the main printer was connected to.
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    Become a Geek - I spend hours looking at things that would otherwise bore lesser people. Sometimes it's hard for me to stay awake. I find myself talking to my MAC crazy friend in pittsburg about the unix servers she has for her work place.

    I find myself in best company of those that don't mind me yelling "Nooo, my puter!" when GNS3 causes my computer full of VirtualBoxes to seize. If you can find yourself thinking "star wars" and "star trek" is cool, and you think that buying the lazer-keyboard that really prints out a keyboard on the desk (Uber awesome, by the way!) is well worth the pain of typing... Yes.

    Codebox came up with a good point. Blame Game. Troubleshoot it, why is it not your problem? If you didn't troubleshoot, whose to say the next person won't just toss it to someone else? At some point the problem needs to be looked at, troubleshooted. Afterall, it may be your problem and you've just wasted people's time. It annoys me that my department does this as well icon_sad.gif
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  • jdancerjdancer Posts: 480Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    I look for something more fundamental:

    Do they have self-initiative? Can they solve a problem on their own? Can they work alone without supervision?

    You'll be surprised how many require "help" and "guidance".
  • RoguetadhgRoguetadhg Posts: 2,472Member
    What's your idea of "Help"? Im sure we're all a few fries short of a full happy meal...

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  • gr3g0reegr3g0ree Posts: 4Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    jdancer wrote: »
    I look for something more fundamental:

    Do they have self-initiative? Can they solve a problem on their own? Can they work alone without supervision?

    You'll be surprised how many require "help" and "guidance".

    Just FYI I only have my A+, and N+ and not working in IT, but plan to find an entry level role rather soon.

    I have a theory: U just sit down someone in front of Google, and make up a scenario where he needs to "google" the info. Reading forum thread with the same problem - is he/she able to find it? And able to find technical specs???

    And then u turn the tables, asking something about his/hers hobbies, area living at the moment, music listening, movie quote etc, something that is non technical but still requires !creative! solution to a problem he/she supposed to be familiar with, to see the way of action taken.

    I would also add from my point of view the importance of knowing your responsibilities-> escalating correct issues, following the common way of solving/asking others. E.g. not to make decisions alone if someone else need to know about them, even if u done that a 100 times ;) (and then to try and blame others).

    + I think if someone cannot google, then is unable to troubleshoot as well.
    What do you think???
  • pikachuuupikachuuu Posts: 9Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for this info, I got certified in Security+ this morning. I have A+, N+ and now S+ certifications but no work experience in this field since this is a career change for me from Semiconductors/Aerospace - so far it from the people I've talked to, there is more emphasis on knowing N+ and oddly the people whom I considered "IT Gods" that I know of basically don't' have any certifications and know they won't get paid much more unless they stop being lazy and get their certs , but I'm just trying to get a decent entry-level job and pay to gain experience and move up from there where ever it'll allow and take me.
  • SUBnet192SUBnet192 Posts: 63Banned ■■□□□□□□□□
    mikedisd2 wrote: »
    Someone with a good attitude. Technical skill can be learnt; I'd rather someone who knows that they have a job to do and will own calls not just freeze up and hope the problem disappears. I'm all for newbs asking questions; if they don't, it might mean that nothing is being done towards resolution. And then I'll have to clean it up.

    100% agree. Attitude and aptitude. Knowledge and skill come naturally with these two :)
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  • N2ITN2IT Posts: 7,483Inactive Imported Users
    THIS!!! I can't tell you how annoying it is when I deal with helpdesk at my work. They don't even try to find a fix for it first before coming to me about it. I hate it.

    1st and 10 let's punt!
  • whatthehellwhatthehell Posts: 920Member
    How about, the ability to handle stress well, and have proper outlets for stress?
    After a 12 hour shift of escalated situations, sometimes video games won't cut it (though I play as well) .... proper physical activity and proper sleep seem to be the best.

    Butt yes, patience, eagerness to learn, and someone that actually tries to find an answer before giving up and asking away.
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