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Software depolyment VS 2nd line role :S

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by Asterix, Feb 5, 2010.

  1. Asterix

    Asterix Megabyte Poster

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    I have currently working in a first line (Helpdesk) position for a rapidly growing company and have 2 options (within the same company) of moving into a 2nd line position or facing the unknown with a software packaging role using a new solution the company are implementing; 'Altiris Deployment'. From a quick job search there are some high paid jobs for 'Software packaging', 'Software deployment' and ''Altiris Deployment', Both roles offered would pay the same salary in the beginning, but im confused which to choose, I was originally planning on the 1st->2nd->3rd->projects route, whereas this role would situate me with the projects team. Other job roles incorporating software deployment also seem to require in dept knowledge of other packages and advanced concepts. I have been informed that formal training would be provided in all required areas but without years of experience would i be able to grasp all concepts and be able to mould a career out of this?? any suggestions would be appreciated.
     
  2. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    Software deployment is different to software packaging although there is obviously some crossover.

    I am a System Center Configuration Manager consultant (SCCM 2007 is the successor to SMS 2003).

    I have to have an understanding of all aspects of SCCM which includes some packaging and some OS and software deployments. One thing I always stress however is that I am not a Software Packager, this is a full time job that requires a good understanding of a number of different technologies and isn’t something that’s just ‘picked up’.

    One of the things you will probably get involved with (as Altiris and then obviously Symantec as they bought out Altiris) is Wise Package Studio. It’s not an easy piece of software to get to grips with though.

    It can be a good area to get into however, it’s niche and there could be money in it however if you have never done it before I would be hesitant in directing someone down that route.

    I would perhaps see about getting more involved with the Systems Management side of DS rather than the App Deployment side of things but that’s because I am a Systems Management guy.
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  3. derkit

    derkit Gigabyte Poster

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    I'm not in the same ball park as Simon, but our software distribution guys aren't a huge encouragement. Whether they can't use their skills in the best possible of whether they don't have them I'm not sure, but either way I'd see the deployment role as limiting, especially after the short term of learning a new technology and new environment but after a while I could see it being same-old etc.

    I do agree with Simon though on going down the System Management side of the role and I would head for the 2nd line support. you may be able to
     
    Certifications: MBCS, BSc(Hons), Cert(Maths), A+, Net+, MCDST, ITIL-F v3, MCSA
    WIP: 70-293
  4. Asterix

    Asterix Megabyte Poster

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    Thanks for the responses, I think this is more of a software packaging role, as of yet we have one contractor working on this project and the plan would be for me to work alongside and go on some sort of formal training (they have not yet expanded any info on training) and possibly take over the contractors role in the future. As this is new Tech for the company i thought that this may be a great break into personal specialisation in the IT game and put me in good steed for my future career. Can anyone expand on the kind of tasks this role would amount to?there is not that much info available on these roles (and im not too sure of the differences between the deployment and packaging roles)! I am hoping to pass the last exam for the MCSA (70-291) within the next couple of months, would this be of benefit to the role and is there any overlap? sorry if i seem rather vague and asking too much but want to find out a bit more information to base a decision on! is there any similar job roles advertised that could help give me a better idea or a guide on expected salary if I followed this route?
     
  5. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    Software packaging is pretty much what it sounds like, you would be tasked with packaging up your applications with the specifics for your company, if its an msi based setup you would be creating mst files (transforms) that basically contain the instructions for the software to follow.

    You would be expected to basically package up and test all of the software that your company would require from a software deployment side of things, it would be your task to ensure that everything installs correctly, is licensed properly and works.

    You would be expected to work with tools such as Wise (already mentioned), Orca (Microsofts own MSI editing software) and perhaps even ORK (Office Resource Kit - used for versions prior to Office 2007 which now uses an Admin tool and now creates msp rather than mst files). You should also expect to work with various vendors own packaging tools, for instance Adobe utilises various Wizards to allow you to package\customise their software.

    It really is a specialised area and no disrespect to you but don't expect to replace a decent packager after a week long course using one vendors package.

    A couple of other products to be aware of (because you could also be using them instead of Wise) would be Flexera Softwares' Admin Studio or InstallShield or InstallAware Studio

    Either way these are not something you can just learn over a couple of weeks.

    You should also expect to do a lot of testing, ALOT of testing. After all it's your job to ensure the package is correct for when it's deployed out.

    Oh, and learn about the registry and also you will have to understand the routine to uninstall the apps as well (although hopefully an msiexec /x will do it for you but you can never tell). You would need to know exactly how to uninstall everything you installed. For instance I have a package (SQL Express) that needs to be installed using a settings.ini file, to uninstall it it's not simply a case of uninstalling it tho, it's a two phase approach to remove the extra components installed via the settings.ini file and then removing the application.
    Way too much work and you won't just be working on one app, you would be working on multiple ones all the time.

    As I said earlier, I do a little app packaging but I sure as heck wouldn't do it full time.
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  6. Asterix

    Asterix Megabyte Poster

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    Why not?
    Thanks for the great informative response, I think this role is just software packaging although not sure of whether there is any room for progression! I have no experience in this sort of thing and work are looking for someone who has the drive to progress and learn. I understand the increase of learning of concepts and packages available but i feel it is a chance too good to be turned down (as its not often you get different opportunities presented). i am assuming that if this did not work out it be possible in more of a 2nd/3rd line position at a later stage without too much difficulty or adapt knowledge learnt into a different direction!
     
  7. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    Because I would find it boring as ****, you are stuck in an office with the packages making sure they are configured and packaged correctly so that they can be deployed. The packagers we use at the moment sit in their office all day, they very rarely get involved with anything but packaging, they don't actually use SCCM to deploy the software (that's down to me to actually test that it will work correctly during deployment, often times the packages I get don't actually work and they get passed back up to the packagers).

    Good luck to you, perhaps this is something that you can adapt to and master nice and easily, me I would rather play with the technology to actually deploy it than just package it.
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  8. derkit

    derkit Gigabyte Poster

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    Sitting from the outside of this area of knowledge, especially compared to Simon, if we had any of our packagers or even deployers to do desktop/server support - which is no where near 3rd line - they really don't have the skills as we are having to advise them all the time on what can and cannot be done.

    It may be different in your workplace, but I don't know of anyone from that team who has progressed elsewhere apart from leaving the company! I'd still look for a 2nd line job that may involve deploying/packaging.
     
    Certifications: MBCS, BSc(Hons), Cert(Maths), A+, Net+, MCDST, ITIL-F v3, MCSA
    WIP: 70-293
  9. Asterix

    Asterix Megabyte Poster

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    Thanks Dirkit & Simon, you guys have really help shed some light on this field! I have not made any decisions as i have not been provided with any further information to base this decision, the impression im getting (from you guys) is that this might not necessarily be as great of a move as I first thought, if good training is offered, further responsibilities will be involved (within the role) and im allowed to try-out the role for a week or 2 then I might consider this as i see this as a faster route to specialise and earn further $$ , (I know that is not all in life but me and my family are kinda stuck in a rutt until our financial situation improves) Ill keep you guys posted on any further progress. :biggrin
     
  10. derkit

    derkit Gigabyte Poster

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    Good luck with whatever you decide! 8)
     
    Certifications: MBCS, BSc(Hons), Cert(Maths), A+, Net+, MCDST, ITIL-F v3, MCSA
    WIP: 70-293
  11. Asterix

    Asterix Megabyte Poster

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    hi Dirkit & Simon,
    Im still waiting to hear back about theses opportunities! Everything takes so long in large companies! but i think i will take the Desktop role (if they ever return with the salary info i requested), thanks again for your help
     
  12. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Best of luck mate. :thumbleft
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  13. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    Good to hear mate :)

    Best of luck
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).

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