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AD and Exchange?!?!?!

Discussion in 'Software' started by orangepeeleo, Mar 11, 2010.

  1. orangepeeleo

    orangepeeleo Nibble Poster


    I have just finished my A+ and whilst searching and applying for 1st Line jobs i have found a number of them require experience of active directory and exchange??? Now i know what they are in so far as knowing that AD=User accounts related and Exchange=Mail server related, but i have no experience of using them, which brings me to 2 questions.

    1. I have 2-3 years experience of helpdesk support, doing break/fix type stuff along with XP/2000 and Office support, now today i received a phone call with someone basically giving me a quick basic technical questions interview, stuff like do you have exp working a helpdesk, do you have exp working with peripherals etc etc, all of which i can say yes to confidently, then he dropped the dreaded Active Directory and Exchange experience phrase and i ofc said no, b/c i don't....... the line went kind of quite for a sec and then he carried on with what i detected as a hint of dissapointment! Now i'm not sure what the civilian IT support structure in a company is like i.e. who does what, but i've worked in a military first line environment and i have never worked with AD or exchange, have civilians that do the same role get hands on with AD?? Do companies think i'm lying about my experience when i say that i dont have exp of them?? Kinda like, "well he SAYS he has 3 years exp but he's never touched AD!!!! Next candidate!"

    2. How hard would it be for me to learn the bare basics of AD and exchange, enough that i can say that i haven't worked on them but i know how to use them and how they work, I have VirtualBox running on my linux partition (trying to set a few things up before i can fully leave microsoft 8)) and was thinking that i could learn about them in there, but what would i need with regards to OS's and programs, i really dont understand much in the way of whats running on servers so don't have a clue where to start :rolleyes:

    Thanks for any help/advice guys
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: N+
  2. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Premium Member

    Interesting question... I find it odd that they need someone experienced in AD or Exchange to do first line support. However this could be explained in many ways I guess... I would say the only access that a first line user would have in AD is to lock and unlock accounts, maybe add users to groups. As for exchange, again, it's also could be intergraded with AD where you could be adding and removing users from email groups, or doing forwarding. All of this is basic AD/Exchange work I would say. I don't think you would touch these technologies beyond that point so you shouldn't have to worry about that.

    If the first line job is not actually a first line job, than that's something else. What's the job description?
    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
  3. JamieKitsonUK

    JamieKitsonUK New Member


    Answering Question 2:

    AD is very simple management tool to use from a desktop support perspective. Im guessing they would only want you to do password resets and create accounts and if thats the experinece there after then you could learn this by wathcing a video on youtube. If there asking you to deploy software via Group Policy then things get a littlebit tricky but still possible to learn with determination. Exchange is whole different ball game....You also have the problem with 2 possible versions to be playing with 2003 and 2007. I would ask this question back:

    What specific experience will i need for Exchange?

    If its just for creating mailboxes then its similar in 2007 to creating an account in Active Directory.....The only difference is your adding a box to a user account which has already been previously made...or you can create a user in exchange along with a mailbox.

    Sorry if i been confusing but i hope you can understand what ive said so you know questions you need to ask.

    Good Luck and Let us know how you get on :-)


    WIP: CIW
  4. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

    From my own experience, this is probably a role where the title is nothing more than a cursory marker that puts you in the IT team. I'm a "First Line Support Analyst" and trust me, it's anything but! :biggrin

    If it is truly a helpdesk role though, it would be most likely that you'll be using AD with delegated control, so they'll possibly be expecting you to do basic core tasks such as password resets, distribution group updates and so forth. Creating new users isn't that daunting (especially if you litter your OUs with "dummy" users at each level that you can just copy off). Then to mail enable it's a simple matter of hopping on to the Exchange server and adding the mailbox.

    With 3 years of helldesk experience under your belt, you should pick it up no bother :)
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, 70-410, 70-411
    WIP: Modern Languages BA
  5. zr79

    zr79 Byte Poster

    AD is simple enough, Exchange is a bit more complex, why don't you install a trail version of server 2008 and try out AD i think there are trail for exchange also. But as said password resets or adding users onto (or back onto) the domain would common tasks, or creating roaming profiles.

    The thing about exchange though is that it would not be of much use to a company having someone who has only dabbled it in, they could easily cause many problems.
    Certifications: A+
  6. orangepeeleo

    orangepeeleo Nibble Poster

    Cheers for the advice guys, I'm due to be having a technical competency interview next week with "someone who has worked on the site in the past and knows what goes on there" so hopefully that goes well, i'll just get server 2003 on a vm and practice adding users in AD as that seems to be the basic knowledge needed.

    Hopefully with me just coming off of the A+ my support and break/fix knowledge will be sharp enough to impress over the phone on the technical interview.
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: N+
  7. nugget
    Honorary Member

    nugget Junior toady

    Don't forget to mention neyt week that while you didn't have any experience with it, you did check it out and learnt about it in the meantime.
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP (270,271,272,290,620) | MCDST | MCTS:Vista
    WIP: MCSA, 70-622,680,685
  8. orangepeeleo

    orangepeeleo Nibble Poster

    Yeah, this was my exact thinking, if i get server 2003 on a vm and learn the basics of it up until the technical interview then i can show them that i'm willing to learn and better myself, which is going to look good. To me it says, this guy didn't have exp of AD and instead of doing nothing about it he got some home experience of it on a virtual machine (something else that might be used in their workplace) purely to get this job!
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: N+
  9. orangepeeleo

    orangepeeleo Nibble Poster

    This is exactly why i love IT as well fwiw, just finished my A+ and 2 days later i'm looking into books for an N+ and setting up VM's to learn about AD + Exchange :D
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: N+
  10. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

    Well done on the interview. Enthusiasm and a genuine passion for something goes a long way - for your own career and for interview purposes. Good luck to you. :thumbleft
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT

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