- 26 Nov 2010
A Day in the Life of System Support Technician David Pollard
Ellie: As part of Retail Assist’s regular ‘Day in the life of’ feature, I’m about to interview System Support Technician David Pollard, who is based at our Data Centre in Northampton. Hi David, my first question as ever, is how long have you been at Retail Assist?
David: I’ve worked at Retail Assist for 4 years now.
Ellie: In 4 years I’m sure you’ve had lots of different experiences, but would you be able to describe a typical day at work here?
David: For me a typical day can vary greatly, on a typical support day it will start by checking the unassigned technical services calls in Ambercat (our specialist call logging software). Those with a higher priority will be reviewed and resolved first, and then I will assign those that will require more attention to the support queue. For the rest of the day I will work on the calls that are in the support queue and monitor the unassigned calls queue for any new support calls.
On non-support days I will typically assist with projects that other Systems Engineers are working on, and carrying out planned maintenance on a range of servers that we host at the Data Centre as well as at the Hub (Retail Assist’s Head Office). I will also be assigned resource work that people (internal and external) will have booked my time for – such as PC/Server Builds, software testing/implementation and other project work.
In addition, I carry out a number of weekly/monthly tasks such as ensuring Anti Virus is up to date on all servers and clients, checking for inactive domain accounts, as well as assisting with desktop support at some of our client sites.
Ellie: So what’s the best bit about your job then?
David: I like the variety and the challenges each day can throw at you. I also find it quite rewarding when a fix I have implemented resolves a call.
Ellie: What aspects of your role do you find most challenging? I know I may make your life difficult by logging a fair few Ambercat calls myself!
David: Oh that’s just part of the job Ellie! There can be busy days where I am trying to resolve multiple calls simultaneously whilst keeping numerous people updated and fully informed of progress, those days can be particularly challenging. Obviously giving people answers that they really didn’t want to hear can be difficult. However, the most challenging aspect of the role for me is when there is a problem and I know the solution, but have to implement about 10 other solutions to get to the point where I can implement the solution that fixes the problem. On days like that the old rhyme about the old woman who swallowed the fly springs to mind.
Ellie: For anybody who was thinking of applying for a job here, I think it would be useful for them to know what previous experiences helped prepare you for your role. How did you get into working in Technical Services?
David: Prior to joining Retail Assist I had an IT A-level, but opted not to follow that route at University. Once I left University and visited a number of Graduate fairs I decided to take up a Microsoft course (studying to become an MCSA) with a company called Advent. They offered a training and careers service in which they put me in touch with Retail Assist. Initially I started off working the night shift in our Operations department and continued my training whilst gaining on the job experience. After 2 years in Operations I was offered the opportunity to step up to doing Desktop Support at Adams Childrenswear in Nuneaton and putting some of my training to use, as well as moving into the Technical Services department where I now work.
Ellie: Thanks David, that’s been really interesting. If anybody would like to be a good sport like David and let me interview them, please drop me a line. Otherwise, keep checking the Retail Assist blog for the next installment of this feature.