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IT departments in different sectors

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by DapperDan, Feb 23, 2010.

  1. DapperDan

    DapperDan Nibble Poster

    Hello all.

    All my IT experience comes from working in a law firm, but I have always wondered what it would be like to work in another IT dept where the main sector is different. I have always liked the idea of working at a college/university. In some cases, I would say the users that you support are different in terms of what they expect out of you.

    But the question I want to ask is that do some of you have experience working in IT depts in different sectors? And if so, what did you find different? I have worked for two law firms now, and the mindset of the users are pretty much the same.

    Certifications: ITIL v3; A+, Network+
  2. GiddyG

    GiddyG Terabyte Poster Gold Member

    You haven't really said what your users have been like.

    I've spent all my working life in public sector, and 20 years in IT or IT-related roles. Bottom line is we're a service industry, whether it's public or private sector, providing support and installing hardware and software. Personally, I have developed some really useful and happy working relationships with a lot of my 'customers'.

    However, as with any service industry, where 'we're there to serve', you do get the characters who expect you to 'do it now'.

    They all expect you to resolve their issues; however, the level of expectation and noise from some is often greater than others. That can make things fraught from time to time. But hey, it pays the bills!

    I assume this sounds similar to your users?
  3. DapperDan

    DapperDan Nibble Poster

    Oops, no I haven't :). Yes, the users I support are demanding at times. And I have found more so lower down the 'food chain' so to speak. In general terms, I have always found that if you keep users informed of ongoing issues, they are generally fine.

    I agree with the service industry part. We had this term for some users who require 'the moon on a stick' on occasion :biggrin. I think what makes it worthwhile is the nice email messages I have got on occasion for sorting certain issues out. And that is partly the reason why I can put up with the occasional arms-waving-in-the-air types.

    Where I used to work, I heard a lot of moaning that we did not get enough notice on certain things (i.e. AD account, PC/Laptop to be configured for tomorrow etc). My answer to that is that this is the nature of the business and us as an IT dept will seldom get 'time' or good 'notice' for requests unfortunately.
    Certifications: ITIL v3; A+, Network+
  4. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

    Snap Dan! We used to find out about new staff when they were waiting at the end of the desk for a network logon. Oh, mustn't forget the GAL which would change daily. :biggrin
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  5. Rob1234

    Rob1234 Megabyte Poster

    First company I worked for was a touism company most were the standard user type did'nt know much about PCs but they needed it fixed quick and it was never there fault etc.

    I now work for a data centre company supporting the employees who support our customers still get the same type of employees as the tourism company but now i also get employees that think they know more then me (some do tbf) and they all want admin rights :twisted:
    Certifications: A few.
  6. DapperDan

    DapperDan Nibble Poster


    At our last place some departments would interview the Monday and they would start work Tuesday. Then we'd end up getting a new starters account request through that same day. And a few times I'd end up not spelling a user's name right because HR took the name down wrong when giving out the letter of employment.

    Oh what joy :)
    Certifications: ITIL v3; A+, Network+
  7. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

    I've done IT support for a few different types of companies now, from on-site permanant to contracted in. In the education sector I've dealt with primary up to Higher Ed (college/Uni), home users as well as the private sector.

    Users are users, same problems with different software/hardware and budgets. You get nice, not so nice, easy going and demanding users. Almost all of the IT depts were (what I would class as) understaffed. I don't know what else to say :)

    Certifications: CITP, PGDip, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: MSc in Tech Management
  8. Big Bad JV

    Big Bad JV Bit Poster

    I once worked in the infrastructure department of a well known bank, and I have to say that it was the worst place I have ever worked bar none. The term infrastructure department was just a posh way of saying desktop dogsbody, and out of 8 people in the team, only 2 of us had worked out in the real world and had any real qualifications. The other 6 people had moved into the team from the call centre part of the bank and in most cases were drinking buddies with the depatment team leader.

    Every day at work was a minefield of office politics and back stabbers, who in most cases were too thick to do it properly and would spend more time trying to do nothing than actually do the job they were payed to do.

    I left that job after just 10 months, and heard that a couple of months later the other good guy in the team dropped dead at work of a heart attack brought on by stress :ohmy .

    Been in my current position for the last 3 years and although it is a small company that provides support to other companies, I get to do loads of different things with both servers, and network equipment, for the most part it's pretty good and the end users are very easy going.

    Not like the bank, that, was definately 'more than a feeling' :eek: .
    Certifications: MCSE
    WIP: CCNA, CCNA Voice
  9. Josiahb

    Josiahb Gigabyte Poster

    I've got a winner for that one (very recent occurence this) new staff member employed on the friday we were informed but couldn't begin setup thanks to dithering over which department she'd be in, started on the following monday and user setup was frantically completed while she shadowed other staff and then.......

    ..... she left on the tuesday.

    I'm in the Travel industry and this is a fair description of all of my users, either don't know much or just enough to be dangerous. Had a fun discussion recently with one user as to why he wasn't allowed to install his hooky copy of Photoshop onto our Terminal Server. He started talking about going to the IT manager and I made it clear that he would come to me to check and I'd say no (in many ways I have more power than my boss, and none of the responsibility :twisted:).

    Users are the same everywhere really, the trick is learning to deal with them without failing to resist the urge to slap them when they use the words 'high priority'.
    Certifications: A+, Network+, MCDST, ACA – Mac Integration 10.10
  10. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    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!
  11. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

    I currently work in the public sector IT dept and can say there are users that are grateful and those that are just trouble. I suppose it's like this every where and also would be nice and make life easier if your colleagues are nice:)
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell
  12. Colloghi

    Colloghi Kilobyte Poster

    Ive worked in 2 different IT sectors, previously on a NHS contract and now supporting users within a goverment department. There is a difference to the kind of the users we get, particular when I think back to some of the NHS calls, which were life and death compared to the current calls whos PA's seemed to think the world will end

    NHS call - Hi, our computer controlling our Xray viewer (PACS) has gone down, and we have a patient on the table awaiting an urgent Xray. We need this fixing ASAP

    Office Calls - Hi my printers broke at bay 50001 and I cant print off the lottery results and it needs fixing NOW. yes, yes, there is another printer, but its in bay 50002 and I really dont want to walk there...........Besides Susan is printing of her ebay invoices

    Love them really:D
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2010
    Certifications: A+, MCP 270, 271, MCDST
    WIP: 290
  13. DapperDan

    DapperDan Nibble Poster


    I had an interview with the NHS Sheffield Primary Care Trust back in the summer of '08 for an IT Support Engineer post. Didn't get it unfortunately, but met some of the people I would've been working with and supporting. And to say that they were some of the nicest people I met would be doing them a disservice. About a dozen people came up to me in the kitchen (where I was having a coffee before there to wish me good luck in my interview and I hope I get it. Could've been something to do with having a Denzel Washington lookalike around the office :biggrin!

    I remember being gutted about not getting that job as I've never performed as well in an interview as I did that one. And the feedback was brilliant. Oh well.
    Certifications: ITIL v3; A+, Network+
  14. bokawel

    bokawel Bit Poster

    I have been in my current job in an NHS Trust for nearly a year and suffice to say I love it. I used to work for a private company in desktopt support and on a broadband company as a technical support officer.

    What I can say is that on broadband support you deal with the general public and they are one of the most demanding people in world. Though they understand that it is not your fault but their frustrations for the company spills over to you and sometimes you get the brunt of it all. Specially if you work for an ISP with one of the worst image in the country! Only lasted 4 months on that one.

    Working for a private company was one of the most horrible times of my life. As a contractor I was thrown in deep into the fire and was sometimes unable to help users. It also did not help when your co-workers wouldn't care less about you and only one or two seems to care. The general ambiance of the place is horrible and you could not learn from each other. 1st line support takes everything from calls to emails, 2nd line wouldn't care less what happens as long as they sit on their chairs, server teams I cannot find them, network team all they do is chat and SAP team they keep to themselves. Users were also demanding to the point that they need IT issues to be fixed right away. I completed my contract and did not renew.

    As for NHS IT, not exactly bliss all the time. But the users are some of the most nicest people to talk to. They are polite and very appreciative to what you can do. Maybe because most of them are professionals that they seems to have this politeness about them. A few users here and there are a bit irritating but can be controlled. Doctors are also excellent, though so far I had one Doctor who seems to think he is all that just because he is a doctor. Typical doctor attitude I guess. But the nurses, corporate members, PAs and secretaries are great. We do not get life and death situations as I think it only happens in an Acute trust(Hospitals and Infirmaries).

    Just sharing.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2010
    Certifications: BEng Computing, Java Cert, A+, MCDST
    WIP: MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support
  15. cosway

    cosway Nibble Poster

    I live just on the borders of about 4 Local authorities, for some reason there are 2 new big hospitals being built within a 20 mile radius of each other, I thought I would apply for a job there when they advertise hoping to fast-track my career a bit - I didn’t think that far ahead. :rolleyes: I don't think I could relax in a job where someone could actually say something like "yeh the tech guy killed the patient by not getting here quick enough to fix my PC"...:blink

    I think I'll stay where I am - (I work in a School) - the worst that ever happens to me (quite regularly) are students accidently deleting all their work form their network space. :rolleyes:
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2010
    Certifications: MCDST, MCSA, A+
  16. Colloghi

    Colloghi Kilobyte Poster

    Although I have had that exact situation, its very rare as there are multiple backups in place to prevent a situation like that to be honest.

    That particular call was a case of the system being supported by a 3rd party support team. So essentially, the call came in, log as a high priority, and then pass to the relevant team, and send out a few SMS and thats my role in that particular job pretty much done, apart from monitoring the actual call.

    However, really with any call, you should be dealing with it straight away either way if you can. Its pointless getting a issue and then going for a poo, or whatever before you actually action the call. Ive seen many guys here do that..............

    I would highly recommend the NHS support jobs if you can get it, its great experience, and you should never let your brain rack into the fear of this or that might happen. It could happen in any role and thinking this or that could happen if i dont do this correctly........well simply deal with the issue at hand as you can, pass the call when needed and everything will be fine:D

    Unless you get that call saying a nuclear bomb has erupted over your hospital, and Dr Bob cant get onto his Pc to play solitare..........then your pretty much buggered:blink
    Certifications: A+, MCP 270, 271, MCDST
    WIP: 290
  17. cosway

    cosway Nibble Poster

    Have to agree with you there Colloghi - I personally like to deal with an issue as soon as I’m aware of it, I feel that this attitude makes the working environment that much happier and relaxed. I too have known techs who will sit on a call for a while before looking at it, they tend to end up stressed out running around, playing catch-up and complaining about being constantly nagged about unresolved issues.:cry:

    Fair point :oops: I guess I've been a bit pathetic here, and had let my fear of failing hold me back. I'll send in a letter of introduction this weekend expressing an interest in any future IT jobs that may become available when the hospitals are completed. :biggrin
    Certifications: MCDST, MCSA, A+
  18. Becki

    Becki Byte Poster

    Ive been working in the public sector; local government working with everything inlcuding mainframe pda's laptop desktops bespoke software written by the authority for the authority!
    Certifications: NVQ IC3 A+ Network+ MCDST MCITP MCTS Vista & 7
  19. derkit

    derkit Gigabyte Poster

    I'm working in central government, life and death issues can arise here too! You just get use to it and do the job.
    Certifications: MBCS, BSc(Hons), Cert(Maths), A+, Net+, MCDST, ITIL-F v3, MCSA
    WIP: 70-293
  20. SimonD
    Honorary Member

    SimonD Terabyte Poster

    I have worked for charities, public sector, Investment Banks, Insurance Brokers and central government and to be honest they are all pretty much the same, you have the know it alls, the bossy ones, the quiet ones, the problem ones and the good looking ones.

    Treat them as you want to be treated and life generally goes well, get walked over and you can expect a world of hurt.

    As an example, I once worked for an investment bank where I had worked all weekend changing the traders monitors to allow them to use 3 monitors (using arms on the desk), as well as moving them from one floor to another. I finished work at 10.30pm on the Sunday and was back in the office for 7.30, I had one trader complain to me about the fact that the monitor was too far away (by 3 inches). My response... Don't mind me, I only spent all weekend sorting this out, of course I don't need your thanks for this.. no noo, please, it's my job to be at your beck and call.. here let me move the monitor forward for you.

    This was infront of 10 of his colleagues, all who laughed at that. 5 minutes later he came up to me and apologised for his outburst, he then thanked me for all my hard work. I never had any issues with the traders after that.
    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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