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Being the only IT person...

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by reverb, Sep 12, 2010.

  1. reverb

    reverb Byte Poster

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    Hey all,

    Has anyone here worked as the only (more or less) IT/anything with a plug person in a small company before? If so, share some of your experiences.

    Although I'm thinking far too ahead, such a role is kind of exciting but also nerve wracking to someone who has limited real world experience as an awful lot of pressure would be rested on my shoulders. I know it's kind of silly to be worrying as I have not been made a offer but this particular important issue was raised to me as to how I would cope especially as I'm used to an environment where work is usually delegated to me. I suspect a further grilling on this. Although I think I came across as confident (of course I want a job!) but deep down I'm a little worried :biggrin

    Share some non fictional inspirational stories and put my mind at ease folks! :):biggrin
     
  2. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    I was the only IT guy in my second IT job and it was a big step to take as I worked for a big corporate before that.

    Take the time to learn whatever systems you are supporting and also make sure you are confident restoring any of the servers from scratch.
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  3. dalsoth

    dalsoth Kilobyte Poster

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    If you are a little bit worried, perhaps you can outsource help when required for big jobs or when you are stumped. Remember there are plenty of sites on the net including this one that will provide help and suggestions when you are facing a difficult task.

    Nobody knows everything and even those with a huge number of certs will rely on good old google from time to time. It is just a case of knowing where to look sometimes.

    Be confident and take the opportunity if it comes your way. See my sig for inspiring words :biggrin
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCP, MCDST, MCSA, ITIL v3
    WIP: MCITP EA
  4. ChrisH1979

    ChrisH1979 Byte Poster

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    There are plenty of people working in education in that kind of situation. I was on my own for nearly 5 years before we employed someone to help me out and I was looking after 200 desktops, 50 laptops, servers, wireless 800 users etc etc. That kind of situation makes you very good at scripting and automation :D
    Make sure you have plenty of good documentation. Make yourself guides to disaster recovery so you can just follow them when the pressure is on you may not being thinking straight. Get all the cabling documented if it isn't already.
    Make hard copies of your plans as well as electronic ones.
    Always remember there are plenty of willing people on here and other forums that will help you out. The good folks at www.edugeek.net are very good at answering any and all questions and can sympathise with your situation.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2010
    Certifications: MCITP:SA, MCSA, MCTS:Win 7, Application Infrastructure
    WIP: MCITP:EA
  5. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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  6. Dazzo

    Dazzo Byte Poster

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    I work for a Doctors surgery and I am the only IT person here.

    If you get the opportunity go for it, I did and have never looked back. Sure your going to come across issues that stump you, make you frustrated or seem impossible to fix but there are resources everywhere! And you may just need a break from the problem come back to it and you could solve it in 10 minutes.

    Not going to lie, was very nerve wracking for a while :)
     
    Certifications: A+, MOS: Master 2010, Network +
  7. reverb

    reverb Byte Poster

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    Alright thanks guys for sharing. Makes me feel better :biggrin
     
  8. _it_

    _it_ New Member

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    I'm currently working in such a position - I'm responsible for all servers, the network, the phone system, desktop support and on top of that do some developers work, software testing and support our clients. We've currently only got 40 permanent employees (in two locations) and about the same amount of contractors.

    I moved into that role straight from a helpdesk role without any server support and fewer than two years IT experience and yes, it's sometimes daunting and google will soon be your best mate :D

    Go for it - there will be days you'd just like to run away, when everything just seems to go wrong and everybody wants something from you at the same time but all in all it's great!
     
    Certifications: MCDST, MCSA (2003), MCITP SA 2008, Enterprise Support Technician
    WIP: MCITP 2008 EA
  9. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    I've relied on Google just about every day for the past 10 years. It's the best tool a tech can have.

    I've been the "only guy" or the "last line of defense" in several IT jobs, and although it can be stressful at times, it can also be incredibly rewarding as well. You end up learning a lot when you're the one responsible for everything.

    Look at it this way... if you're the only IT guy, there aren't any other IT guys who you have to clean up after. 8)
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  10. jezza1970

    jezza1970 Nibble Poster

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    I have worked as the only IT guy for the last 5 years and yes to begin with it was very daunting. But there are so many advantages too - the main one being personal development
    I work for a publishing firm with around 35 users and am responsible for the network, servers, workstations, websites, routers and yes the effin phone system (I still dont know how they landed that on me too!) - even responsible for the laptops of employees teenage kids !!
     
    Certifications: BEng (HONS); MCP 70-290; 70-291; 70-270; 70-680
    WIP: ACSP, 70-648
  11. _it_

    _it_ New Member

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    Only the one whose job you've taken over and who left a huge mess behind :rolleyes:
     
    Certifications: MCDST, MCSA (2003), MCITP SA 2008, Enterprise Support Technician
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  12. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    And that's a GOOD thing. They keep us employed. 8)
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  13. AgentDRL

    AgentDRL Nibble Poster

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    I've often liked the idea of being the only IT guy at a company, only from a learning perspective mind you. The chance to get involved in everything sounds appealing.

    Had a few friends who have had jobs like this. One mate said that on occasion, he never talked for the full 8 hours he was in work! Not because he was flat-out busy or anything, but because it was a slow day with no calls to his phone and all his communication was done over e-mail. And in his last job he was working in a team of 7 people, so when he left there he took it for granted that he didn't need the office banter and team camraderie in the work place, learning the technologies that he wants to learn will make up for that - admittedly he realises how wrong he was. Here, we talk about everything from work issues, office politics, females (in a tasteful way :D), Chilean miners, sports etc.

    It helps makes the day go faster and keeps stress levels low. With everything, there's pros and cons.
     
    Certifications: ITIL v3, A+, Network+
  14. nugget
    Honorary Member

    nugget Junior toady

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    How good is it when they have cocked everyting up and you spend all your day just putting out the fires and keeping the status quo that you dont get to do anything useful and productive?


    In my current job I'm the only IT guy for around 40 people. Desktops, laptops, firewalls, switches, the telephone system and even the coffee machine. You'll learn a lot, you'll be pressured a lot, you'll be stressed a lot but it's all good because it's IT.
     
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP (270,271,272,290,620) | MCDST | MCTS:Vista
    WIP: MCSA, 70-622,680,685
  15. Rover977

    Rover977 Byte Poster

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    A PC power cord will actually fit some kettle types, I have actually done this at home, when the kettle lead became frayed. It looks a bit weird being black though, but it works. I have on occasion managed to fix things like phones thanks to knowledge gained during IT study. :)
     
    Certifications: A+, Network+, Cisco CCNA
    WIP: Maths
  16. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Depending on the company of course I think it's a great experience... if you have good managers who are understanding then it's great place to get lots of experience... Sometimes we end up working for a company who's managers are always on your back and don't give you much resources to work with, this is where you will need to figure things out on your own.

    I've experienced this for a short period of time when the senior admin was on paternity leave and I was pretty much in charge of the whole network for 5 weeks, and during those 5 weeks things went wrong. From Citrix, to file servers, BES, etc... so I had to figure out a way to fix it. I didn't know how to fix every single issue but I just ended up calling support and working with them on getting the issues resolved. In those 5 weeks I've learned more than I did in 1 year.
     
    Certifications: A+ | CCA | CCAA | Network+ | MCDST | MCSA | MCP (270, 271, 272, 290, 291) | MCTS (70-662, 70-663) | MCITP:EMA | VCA-DCV/Cloud/WM | VTSP | VCP5-DT | VCP5-DCV
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  17. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Because...

    1) ...then YOU look good. 8)
    2) ...you get paid. 8)8)
    3) ...you are retained or called back or promoted because of it. 8)8)8)

    Personally, I believe that putting out fires is "useful and productive". If you're just keeping the status quo, it's worth spending a few more hours - not all the time, but once in a while - to set things right.
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  18. _it_

    _it_ New Member

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    It certainly makes you look good but you really don't get the time to do what you're supposed to do - for example, if you all of a sudden notice that that bloke has given full control over important folders to a hell of a lot of people AND has told the MD he could change permissions himself. Yap, spent a lot of time resetting permissions on nearly every single folder on our file server which I could have done more productive things in...
    It also doesn't help if he hasn't done his routine tasks for a good year and you need to catch up on that - took me a while...

    And all that, while you've got a couple of big projects on your plate, together with the day-to-day stuff, and need to get up to speed on C#, SQL and software testing as somebody thinks you haven't got enough to do yet and could help out with software developing.

    Nope, I would prefer having taken over a properly functioning network and not a mess - might not have made me shine that much (but then, it's not difficult, seeing that they still bitch about the one who had the job before me) but would certainly give me time to do what's important at the moment...

    I think the biggest "problem" being the only IT person is that you've got nobody to discuss things with. There is nobody you can ask if you don't know something, there is nobody you can discuss an idea with, there is nobody who can step in and stop you if you're doing something stupid :biggrin etc. etc. etc. Sometimes I miss that - just sharing the thoughts and through that developing new ideas and maybe thinking into different directions.
     
    Certifications: MCDST, MCSA (2003), MCITP SA 2008, Enterprise Support Technician
    WIP: MCITP 2008 EA
  19. westernkings

    westernkings Gigabyte Poster

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    What's important is that you keep it running, as long as it works most of the time without falling over, then it is a fully functioning network and anything else is improvement.

    What will really make you worth your weight in gold will be whether you leave that place with a spot on network or not. Put it this way, I've been working all weekend for free to document the networks I own, that's visio diagrams, change logs and configuration records and overviews because well documented means less problems when other people deal with the issue, and less problems means happier client.

    I put in a lot of free time because at the end of it, I should be able to sit back for the most part and the service desk will take care of the rest for 90% of the time.

    Don't look at it like a problem, fire-fighting is important because putting projects in whilst something is still clearly not working or the place is on fire, is a waste of time. All it means, is that you have one more thing to support on top of the creeky old network. You will get there eventually mate.
     
    Certifications: MCITP:VA, MCITP:EA, MCDST, MCTS, MCITP:EST7, MCITP:SA, PRINCE2, ITILv3
  20. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    For bigger projects you could call an IT company and get some advice. A few hours consultancy could help you decide how you are going to tackle a project and if you need any additional resources to do it.
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010

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