IT/Helpdesk/SysAdmin Talk

Discussion in 'Technology' started by chuckwagon, Jan 16, 2015.

  1. chuckwagon

    chuckwagon TF2 Admin Contributor

    Steam:

    Background:
    I made the decision last spring to quit teaching. I felt like politics were getting in the way of education, and for the sake of my blood pressure, I resigned my position. I really loved doing tech stuff in my spare time so I decide to pursue that as a career.

    I checked out books from the public library and read up and passed the 801 and 802 to get my A+ certification. A month later I passed the Microsoft Technology Associate Certification in Networking Fundamentals. I was still having trouble finding a job though because I didn't have experience. At the end of October I started at a training facility in my area (I drive ~140 miles a day round trip) it is a four-month course. I am a week away from finishing the IT Admin track. I then have a Security+ course and a Cisco course, and if I pass the exams I will have those certs as well.

    Now:
    I have learned all this cool tech suff, and will continue to be learning, so I was curious if there were any folks on Skial that enjoy these subjects, or are maybe also learning these things. Outside of class, I really don't have a lot of people that I can talk to about this stuff. So I would be excited to find another group of people to talk tech stuff with.

    In our IT Admin track we are dealing strictly with Microsoft Server 2008 R2. We are using their RRAS even though we know in the real world most places use Cisco. The idea is to learn how it works with what we have now, and our apply that to the 3rd party hardware later. We have mostly being building on virtual machines, it hasn't been until this past week and a half that they have given us about 25 machines to install servers and build our infrastructure. If there is anyone interested in this I can talk about out our project, it is a hotel corporation, with the corporate domain as the parent, two regional child domains (East and West) and a two-way trusted forest with an International Domain.

    Subjects we have to cover in our presentation:
    Active Directory, DNS, WINS, DHCP, RRAS w/VPN, Relay Agents, IPSEC, RDC, OUs and OU delegation, Batch files and scripting, GPOs, Backup, File/Print Servers, Disk Quotas, IP Address scheme, RAID, Trusts, Forests, Naming of Objects, Home folders, Shadow Copy, Firewall.

    My subjects are:
    AD, OUs, Scripting and Home Directory. Because I wrote the scripts and batch files that create the OUs and enter the Users by looping through a CSV in Powershell. The script also designates the user's home directory, so I will talk about that, and throw in Roaming Profiles too because why not?

    tl:dr I am learning Help Desk/Sys Admin type stuff and love it, looking for people to talk about it with.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2015
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  2. PsychoRealm

    PsychoRealm Australian Skial God Contributor

    Steam:

    Hate to be a bearer of bad news but:

    1. W2K8 Mainstream Support ends this year and Extended Support ends in 2020. SOURCE.
    2. Certifications with no relevant Bachelor (at least) Degree in Computer Science don't mean a lot nowadays, especially if you have no experience.

    When I came to the US in 2008 I had 8 years of experience in system and networking administration yet I still had to start from scratch so I wen to ITT Technical Institute. It's expensive, I know, but it has paid off. ITT's name is well known in industry and it has opened a door for me to. I started as a Support Analyst at Lakeside Software (software development company) and helped me grow to Citrix Architect III.

    I'm not managing multiple Citrix farms now - I'm also managing AD, DB and File Server clusters, Exchange servers, ESX hosts and datastore clusters.I'll be glad to answer any questions you may have (at least, I'll do my best).

    PS. Sticky'd by the way.
     
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  3. chuckwagon

    chuckwagon TF2 Admin Contributor

    Steam:

    Yay!

    It was obvious that you were very knowledgeable in the area, but I wasn't sure that it was your career.

    I understand that 2008 R2 is kind of old, but from my understanding is that there are few major differences from 2008 to 2012. I feel like I understand the concepts, so I can make the change to 2012 easily if needed. It seems like business in my podunk, midwest area are clinging onto 2008, so I am in ok shape for the market that I am in. (Hell some are sill on 2003 tbh)

    The training center place that I am at has a 90% job placement rate, so they have a good relationship/reputation with area businesses. I realize that I will start at the bottom, but the scary thing is that the bottom salary-wise is about were I left off after 15 years of teaching.

    edit: Also thanks for the Sticky!
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2015
  4. PsychoRealm

    PsychoRealm Australian Skial God Contributor

    Steam:

    First and foremost under no circumstances you should rely on these fancy "90% rates". YOu are the only one who is responsible for getting yourself a job. The best Career Services department at your Training Center could do is to find you an entry level position (and you'll be lucky if they have one).

    Secondly, while W2K8 is not going out any time soon (shit, a lot of enterpises are still running W2K3) it would be beneficial to get familiar with W2K12 since the interface changed significantly and Microsoft's attempt to make their interface "Mac-alike" was not the greatest move on their end. I got used to W2K12 real fast just because I'm still using command line to launch most of the snap-ins and consoles (e.g. dsa.msc for AD Users console, gpmc.msc for Group Policy management and so on), but their new interface is rather confusing (especially when it comes to Disk Management).
     
  5. chuckwagon

    chuckwagon TF2 Admin Contributor

    Steam:


    I am not relying on them, but using them as one of my resources.

    I will start building some 2012 Servers to poke around and get used to it, thanks for the advice.
     
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  6. chuckwagon

    chuckwagon TF2 Admin Contributor

    Steam:

    • Informative Informative x 1
  7. Nothing_Much

    Nothing_Much Gaben's Own Aimbot Contributor

    Steam:

    Does anybody have websites with plenty of information with NetSec and Sysadmining stuff, I got a job at a call center and I love it, except that I'm stuck using IE8 which cripples the majority of the systems I have to use. So.. I would love to move up and gradually help my company move to free software.. or secure customer's data with more than just firewalls.
     
  8. chuckwagon

    chuckwagon TF2 Admin Contributor

    Steam:

    Reddit has netsec and sysadmin subreddits.
     
  9. chuckwagon

    chuckwagon TF2 Admin Contributor

    Steam:

     
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  10. chuckwagon

    chuckwagon TF2 Admin Contributor

    Steam:

  11. Bewbies

    Bewbies Mildly Menacing Medic

    Chuckwagon, what ever happened with your grand entrance into the world of IT?
     
  12. chuckwagon

    chuckwagon TF2 Admin Contributor

    Steam:

    @Bewbies sorry to not update this post. On a side note, you can mention other people with an @ sign in front of their name. For most people it'll give them a notification. (unless they turned them off like @KillerZebra)

    I have been working as a Desktop Support Technician since last April. It has been a level 2 postion. (i.e. helpdesk escalates to my team). I have enjoyed it, and have been glad to learn that I can 'cut it' in IT. However, I am think I am ready for new challenges. For the most part, my job consists of walking user through re-flashing winterms, creating new Outlook profiles or deleting Lync SIPS, imaging computers for redeployment, or installing software. Right now I have been studying for the CCNA. I completed the ICDN 2 course through an online training portal through my employer. I am studying up for the exam and look to try to take it in the next few weeks. Hopefully with that under my belt I can move on to a network position, which I think my passion is.
     
  13. chuckwagon

    chuckwagon TF2 Admin Contributor

    Steam:

    Going back to re-read this has made me laugh. I hate Citrix tickets because there is rarely anything I can do to help. All the Citrix settings are locked down, even with my domain privileges. We use Xen desktop for some apps on laptops and desktops, and we also have a lot of Wyse winterms deployed that are solely Citrix environment. Usually when I get a Citrix problem, I know I am just calling the user to tell them I have to transfer them to the Windows Server team, since they are control all the Citrix clusters.
     
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  14. DaivdBaekr

    DaivdBaekr TF2 Admin Contributor

    Steam:

    If you don't mind going into detail, how rough was it getting hired without a CS BS? What was the application / interview process like?

    All I think I'll have to my name in a few months is a CS AS, 3 programming-related certs (C/C++/Assembly), and CCNA. I'd like to export and work with a VM of Server 2016 R4 also since that's available, but I would only have bragging rights as far as that goes. I'd prefer doing pretty much anything but continuing full-time for a CS BS since all I have left to do before I'm good to transfer is a half-dozen or so math and science courses, which have already put a huge dent in my GPA as it is (3.4). I could bite the bullet and take them, but that would probably dip me below a 3.0 which is a death sentence for transferring in an impacted major like CS anyway and I am very very bad at math.
     
  15. chuckwagon

    chuckwagon TF2 Admin Contributor

    Steam:

    I found a job within a month of finishing the trade school program I went through. They pay was way under where I needed to be to have the income for my family, so I had to bust my butt to justify getting raises. I am still not at the salary I was when I was teaching, but much closer. I am not sure if you will have more flexibility of being able to take an entry-level position with a lower salary to get experience, since you are young and don't have kids. (I presume)

    The conventional wisdom that I kept hearing was that a degree is not necessary if you have the experience, and experience is not necessary if you have a degree. So when I was job searching I felt pretty screwed. I was also in a different situation because I had a bachelor's degree and master's degree in education. Granted, not in CS, but proof that I was educated presumably had the communication skills to interact with other human beings. Also the fact that I was a teacher and was a part of the workforce with all the qualities that implies. There are some people that don't think that certification matters either. One of my bosses says that the certs are just hoops you have a jump through, that what is important is that you have the knowledge, not necessarily the piece of paper. I understand what he is saying, but he hasn't had to job search for a while, and I feel like certs are almost mandatory to get through HR. You need a combination of the right certs, right experience, and/or right degrees to get through the HR screening. Then the interview process is about your character and your knowledge. These are the certs I had when I was job hunting: A+, Security+, Microsoft MTA- Networking, and CCENT.

    I am a lot like you in that I have a broad interest in IT, I like coding, server admin, networking, all of it. Unfortunately, for the most part in the corporate world everything is segmented. I would suggest finding one area to focus on. Maybe at first decide if you want to do coding, or administration, then go from there. For me I ended up doing admin side because I am not sure if I could sit and code all day. With the admin side there is more human interaction it seems. I thought that I wanted to be a Windows admin, until I got to Cisco. The networking stuff seemed to be the most challenging. Since I am a nerd, that is what I was drawn to.

    Sorry that was kind of a rambling mess. If there is anything more specific you are looking for, let me know.
     
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  16. Meowcenary

    Meowcenary TF2 Admin Contributor

    Steam:

    I thought I knew a thing or two about computers then I stumbled into this thread and realized I'm still at the "confused grandparent calling their grandson for tech help" level of knowledge
     
  17. chuckwagon

    chuckwagon TF2 Admin Contributor

    Steam:

    I will let you in on our secret...

    come closer...

    closer

    closer

    closer

    We Google to find the answers if we don't know it right off hand. Granted, part of it is knowing what to search for, knowing the terminology for effective search results. But essentially, its G.T.S
     
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  18. DaivdBaekr

    DaivdBaekr TF2 Admin Contributor

    Steam:

    Yeah, that's where I got most of my C syntax and nearly all of my bash/assembly programming knowledge. IMO it's better and more engaging than sitting in a class learning it.

    I'm expecting and ok with low DOE play to start. Although I'll definitely be putting pressure on myself to do some ass-busting and get that pay up as much as possible before I get too close to my 30s. Most people I know with kidlets tell me they wish they had them sooner.

    Neat, I'll look into Security+ and the Microsoft ones. I've got an online class using Microsoft's 70-413 book for MCSE, along with a physical class doing lots of hands-on work with Server 2012R2 / 2016 RC4 and virtualization tools, so something at MTA level could go by pretty smooth for me afterwords. A+ I'll most likely do after CCNA.

    Actually, nearly all of that applies to me. I don't find coding especially difficult, but networking more interesting and probably better job security. I've heard one too many horror stories of programmers getting shafted. Usually by getting mass-replaced with H1B hires.

    Do you think the demand for Cisco experts is higher than Microsoft?
     
  19. chuckwagon

    chuckwagon TF2 Admin Contributor

    Steam:

    Cisco builds higher demand because of their certs, they are among the hardest in the tech industry. So yeah, IMO Cisco is higher demand. We I went through ICND1 last year the instruction said once you get higher than CCIE there are only around a hundred people int he world with those certs because they are so hard.

    I had a network engineer interview last spring. I wasn't qualified for it but I gave it a shot anyway. They flat told me that they don't even use Cisco gear, but they expected a CCNA because it is the industry standard.
     
  20. PsychoRealm

    PsychoRealm Australian Skial God Contributor

    Steam:

    Amen to that. Actually, being able to find answers by using Google is what distinguishes good IT fella from bad :D

    Amen to that too. I started as a Wintel admin switching to a network management but then I realized that Citrix in particular and virtualization in general makes my blood run faster and poses more challenges for me. So here I am now.
     
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