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"A Day in the Life Of..." First Line Support

Discussion in 'A+' started by Arroryn, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

    I'm an A+ and Network+ certified tech, working on the MCDST.

    I've worked under the job title 'First Line Support Analyst' since landing my first IT job just over two years ago. I work in the legal sector.

    With a lot of debate going on recently about what First Line work could entail, I thought I'd post up a "standard" day for me (ie, today).

    Maybe some others would be encouraged to do it, to give people a taster of what the nitty gritty world of IT can involve, no matter what level you're labelled at being :)

    A Day in the Life of "First Line" - Arro

    3:25am - Wake up five minutes before my alarm. Lay there in zen-like silence thinking buggerbuggerbuggerbugger before turning off the alarm so it doesn't wake up the snoozing other half.

    3:45am - Leave house to drive to work. My main route in is closed, so I have to take a detour - it takes about 10 minutes more than usual.

    4:35am - Arrive at work. Lights on, bag down, kettle on.

    4:55am - 1.00pm (no lunch - voluntary - grab something to eat at desk whilst working on calls) - Log into helpdesk to check any calls from overnight. Start going through mail traps. Get three laptops I set to image overnight renamed and on the domain so I can start working on 'em for deployment to different departments.

    Take a few sundry support calls mainly related to one of the reimages I'm doing.

    Upgrade the RAM on 6 laptops I have sitting waiting for me to check asset records and AD before allocating out to users. Check each for basic functionality before bagging up.

    Drink about 2 litres of coffee in 3 hours.

    Compile a memo scheduling a reimage of every PC we have in the building for an up and coming project. Check the WIP for the team and helpdesk tickets for the rest of my first line guys as they start rocking in.

    Check on a couple of minor projects I've been involved in, including software rollouts and an office relocation.

    Drink another 2 litres of coffee in 3 hours.

    Keep an eye on helpdesk and mail traps throughout the day.

    Do my first ever telnet session helping 3rd line, who are working off site

    Take sundry calls, including working on our phone switch, NT profile issues and document creation problems.

    Shout at people for not making me enough coffee.

    2:30pm - Get home. Sit down. Check Blackberry.

    2:30pm - 10pm - Will probably check the Blackberry (Crackberry) at 5 minute intervals to make sure I don't miss anything client related.

    Tomorrow: 6am - up to get a train down to London, for a weekend of working :)

    Yep. First Line. zzzzzzzzzzz.

    I would be more detailed, but I'm sure that's about as detailed as I can get without my boss seeing it and going *tut tut THWACK* as they all know my online addy at work :rolleyes: :biggrin

    Anyone else "brave enough" to flesh out their working day?
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, 70-410, 70-411
    WIP: Modern Languages BA
  2. drum_dude

    drum_dude Gigabyte Poster

    Seems more 2nd Line to me...or have I been out of 1st line for so long that I've forgotten what was involved?
    Certifications: MCSA , N+, A+ ,ITIL V2, MCTS
    WIP: MCITP 2008 Ent Admin, Server Admin, Exchange 2010, Lync 2010, CCNA & VCP5
  3. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

    I'm more going along the lines of "a job title is just a job title" - what your manager actually asks you to do within that job role can vary incredibly wildly from place to place. So it would be interesting to see what kind of days other "First Line Support Analysts" have at their places of work.
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, 70-410, 70-411
    WIP: Modern Languages BA
  4. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

    id give mine, but im a softie
    Certifications: ITIL Foundation; MCTS: Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010, Administration
    WIP: None at present
  5. drum_dude

    drum_dude Gigabyte Poster

    Ah yes I see what you mean.

    Well for me 1st line was:

    Answer Call

    Log Call

    Get bollocking from power crazed female supervisor

    Repeat the above 100 times over an 8 hour period.

    and then go home.

    Certifications: MCSA , N+, A+ ,ITIL V2, MCTS
    WIP: MCITP 2008 Ent Admin, Server Admin, Exchange 2010, Lync 2010, CCNA & VCP5
  6. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

    Great post ! Rep given

    I came over all tired about half-way thru' reading :p

    Seriosuly tho, you wanna cut back on some of that coffee drinking (unless it's decaf) - it's not good for you longterm.

    From what you decsribe you deserve to be in the ranks of IT Pro most definitely !
    Certifications: BA (Hons), MBCS, CITP, MInstLM, ITIL v3 Fdn, PTLLS, CELTA
    WIP: CMALT (about to submit), DTLLS (on hold until 2012)
  7. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed


    As far as 'power crazed female supervisor' goes I'll advise she probably drank too much coffee :tune:

    I've never actually worked out how much of the stuff I drink (a bit scared to, tbh!)

    Hang on a sec and I'll have a go. I have a venti-sized Starbucks china mug at work. Google tells me a "venti" is 20oz of coffee (which makes linguistic sense!) and that is, therefore, a pint. I'll have one an hour at least, a minimum of 6 in a day. So that is around 3.4 litres of coffee (O.M.G. :eek:)

    I drink it just black, no nothing. But man, I didn't realise I drank that much. I'm having a green tea with citrus now, but I'm guessing I need to start some kind of caffeine cutback... ack.

    Damnit UKD you're quite right!

    **warning to entry level techs - first line can be damaging to your caffeine intake**
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, 70-410, 70-411
    WIP: Modern Languages BA
  8. scott-jordy

    scott-jordy Bit Poster

    Hi this is a great thread, its what i was after finding out when i posted the other thread Thanks:D
    Certifications: Ecdl A+ Mcp 271
    WIP: Network + Mcdst Then ????
  9. AJ

    AJ 01000001 01100100 01101101 01101001 01101110 Administrator

    Ok here's mine.

    I work at a private school which has 800 odd borders and 200 or so day pupils. I am the system administrator for the school and I also look after the telephone system as well.

    Drive into work normally takes 45 mins or so after queueing at a roundabout for 10 mins and . Find a parking space when I get there and rush into the office. First job, computer on and then whilst it's booting up make the coffee. Check may voice mail (red light on my phone), fire up my email and check that there is nothing urgent there. Drink coffee.

    Now to check the backups have been done OK and if they haven't then find out why. Depending what part of the month it is will depend if I'm doing test backups/restores. Next trawl through the event logs on all of the servers ZZZzzzzzzzzzz. More coffee. Then I'll log into CF to see what you lot have been upto over night and deal with anything that needs it, but if it is going to take more than 10 mins I'll leave it to lunch time.

    Next is to check on the technitions software (we use something called TrackIT to log calls) to see if anything has been added on there for me to deal with. Normally I'll have some telephone jobs to do, small re-programming of the meridian.

    Today I had to go and sort out a crossed phone line problem, that was fun. Don't mind those jobs too much as it gets me out of the office. Now it's getting onto lunch time and at the moment me and the techs are playing GTA2. I know an old game but it passes the time (BTW I'm rubbish at it).

    After lunch I had the pleasure of BT coming round to fix a phone line in one of the boarding houses. Then when I got back I started on writing the schools Disaster Recovery Plan. Hmmmmm Tea this time

    %pm and time for off. Nothing is happening so I make a move whilst the going is good. 45 min drive home trying not to get p****d off at the slow lorries and shouting at the old git towing his caravan doing 40mph Grrrrr.

    OK I know it's not 1st line support but I thought it would give you a different perspective.
    Certifications: MCSE, MCSA (messaging), ITIL Foundation v3
    WIP: Breathing in and out, but not out and in, that's just wrong
  10. Josiahb

    Josiahb Gigabyte Poster

    Heres mine then:

    I work as tech support for a small travel firm in the UK (~52 employees) so I probably have a quieter day than many others!

    Day starts in the office about 8:30, I start out by going through checking backups and server logs to make sure everythings been behaving overnight, then its on to the fun job of clearing the mail trap. Once thats all done its a case of dealing with any outstanding user queries (and any new ones which come in of course), most of these are fairly generic and can be dealt with, some require a bit more work and some leave me totally baffled. Any that come under the heading of 'totally baffled' get escalated to an outside support company who act as our second/third line.

    In amongst the user queries we normally have a collection of small projects that we're working on, for instance we're currently:

    • Shifting photos to a seperate area on the system so they aren't scattered wherever people feel like putting them
    • Move our website to a new hosting company, resulting in a saving of £3k a year.
    • Deploying a new reservations system.
    • Coding and distributing Eflyer campaigns to subscribed customers.
    • Building and deploying a new intranet based on DotNetNuke
    • Producing instructional documents on a variety of different IT topics including:
      • IT security and staying safe when browsing.
      • Advanced Excel 2007 features
      • refer a friend voucher production and mailing
      • Eflyer production and mailing

    All of this is normally accompanied by the consumption of large amounts of tea and the build of large amounts of stress.

    Then at 5pm I get out while the gettings good unless there are any out of hours jobs which need doing (unless these are vitally important they are normally left until there is a decent list)

    All of this results in a nice wide skills base for me, apart from preparing for my 602 exam followed by the Network+, I'm also learning ASP.NET, SQL, SEO skills and Web design to name just a few.
    Certifications: A+, Network+, MCDST, ACA – Mac Integration 10.10
  11. craigie

    craigie Terabyte Poster

    Thought I would give you an idea of what I have done so far today in non particular order. Pretty much, I get calls placed into my queue to deal with which have been vetted by First Line, so far I have had:

    - Customer was not able to login to a Terminal Server session. The Allow Logon Right was not ticked in Terminal Services Profile

    - Activated a customers BlackBerry and ensured synch with BES.

    - Moved two customers Active Directory accounts to different servers with Mailboxes (inside the same domain) along with TS Profiles

    - Vetted a P1 issue (multiple user) stating sight was slow. Checked Servers and Network and told them to live with it!

    - Vetted a P2 issue (multiple user) site router down. Spoke to onsite contact, no power to router, sending out replacement router and PSU.

    - Vetted 2 x Printer calls, gotta love Reset to Factory Defaults in HP Web Admin!

    - Vetted 2 x PC hardware issues, faults at start-up and the other had a loose fan inside. Passed to hardware for On Site Engineer to install a new hard drive and reseat fan.

    - Done a couple of password resets for my colleagues who cannot access the system due to security clearance.

    - Added and removed various customers into various Active Directory Groups.

    - Advised a V VIP (true story!) on how to share a Personal Folder by putting a IT Service Request to export the Personal Folder into a Public Folder which can be locked down and only visible to them to allow multiple user access.

    - Surfed Cert Forums

    - Done a MS Readiness Review Test for 70-293 and scored 71%

    - Just done an email to all 2nd Line informing them how to use dsget to return and export all members from an OU, as we get these requests quite often. The syntax is:

    dsget group "cn=Users,ou=Groups,dc=Test,dc=com" -members -expand > c:\Output.txt

    Oh forgot to say, work starts at 08:00am and finish at around 16:30 with an hour for lunchie poos.

    Edit: Worked out a Circuit Training Program with one of colleagues who is ex military (gotta love the burn), which is as follows:


    Warm Up 20 Mins On Cross Trainer
    Stretches 5 Mins

    Circuit Training

    One minute per exercise x three circuits:

    1. Press Ups
    2. Squats With Dumbbells
    3. Standing Shoulder Press With Dumbbells
    4. Sit-Ups
    5. Standing Bicep Curls With Dumbbells
    6. Jumping Lunges
    7. Triceps Dips
    8. Chin-Ups
    9. Leg Rises
    10. Narrow Press Ups


    Warm Up 20 Mins On Cross Trainer
    Stretches 5 Mins

    Circuit Training

    One minute per exercise x three circuits:

    1. Jumping Squats
    2. Sit-Ups
    3. Standing Reverse Triceps Curls With A Dumbbell
    4. Press-Ups
    5. Chin-Ups
    6. Burpees
    7. Lunges With Dumbbells
    8. Standing Bicep Curls With Dumbbells
    9. Tricep Dips
    10. Side Lateral Rises With Dumbbells

    Warm Up
    20 Mins On Cross Trainer
    Stretches 5 Mins

    Circuit Training

    One minute per exercise x three circuits:

    1. Press Ups
    2. Squats With Dumbbells
    3. Standing Shoulder Press With Dumbbells
    4. Sit-Ups
    5. Standing Bicep Curls With Dumbbells
    6. Jumping Lunges
    7. Triceps Dips
    8. Chin-Ups
    9. Leg Rises
    10. Narrow Press Ups

    Saturday or Sunday

    30 Minute Run
    Certifications: CCA | CCENT | CCNA | CCNA:S | HP APC | HP ASE | ITILv3 | MCP | MCDST | MCITP: EA | MCTS:Vista | MCTS:Exch '07 | MCSA 2003 | MCSA:M 2003 | MCSA 2008 | MCSE | VCP5-DT | VCP4-DCV | VCP5-DCV | VCAP5-DCA | VCAP5-DCD | VMTSP | VTSP 4 | VTSP 5
  12. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    Here's mine

    I work for a local newspaper that suprise suprise produces the local newspapers for Cumbria, we also do contract printing for newspapers such as the Leamington Observers etc

    I work a two weekly shift pattern. Day shifts have hours of 7am - 14:30, 16:00 and 17:00 dependant on the day. NIghtshift is usually 14.30, 16:00, 17:00 - 2am, 3am or 3am dependant on the day.

    My main responsibilties are to:

    configure the system to accept files for the various newspapers being produced on that day.

    I have to monitor the RIPs as we accept PDFs which are split into CMYK by the rips and rasterized.

    I have to setup the FTP server so clients can upload their files to us or we can log in to the servers and take them.

    I have to use programs such as Quark express to resize pages and re-PDF pages

    Monitor filght checking software and report errors in files to manager and clients.

    Output pages to plates and pair up pages for printers.

    Perform server failover procedures every once in a while to check stability.

    Weekly backup of server configs.

    deal with clients.

    There are many others but those are my main duties.
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?

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