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Career Advice

By sparkycrc ·
I have recently been asked to take over the position of the IT Job at my work. I have fairly good computer background but also will be learning a lot more. I need advice on where to start and what I need to do to be sucessful. I would like to create a template of items that need to be done daily, weekly, monthly etc. Can anyone help me out....

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what are your

by CuteElf In reply to Career Advice

Responsibilities?

There seems to be about 3 or 4 sides to IT:
System Admins
Network Admins
Hardware Techs
Management people

What exactly are your responsiblities? When you find that out: JOB DUTIES OUTLINE
you can start to focus on your studies.

There are so many things to learn about this whole field its not even funny.

I'm a student, and for the curriculum, we have to learn a bit bout everything. I'm mostly hardware and network-ish, I hate mgmt. Some of the other students are better at mgmt and software etc.
But for us noobs to get a job, we have to have fingers in everything.

What are you supposed to do?


CuteElf

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What is the scope of your IT position?

by davidpmartin In reply to Career Advice

Just saying "I have been asked to take over the IT position" doesn't give me a lot to work with, but I'll make a couple of assumptions, and then lay out some ideas and suggestions to help you get started.

First, by saying that you have been asked to take over the IT Job, I have to assume that you are working for a fairly small business. If you are not, and you do not have a good staff of IT professionals, you will find yourself absolutely overwhelmed.

Having worked in almost every aspect of IT for about 11 years now, plus having finished my Master's degree in Computer Information Systems (mainly to verify my work experience), I think IT can be broken down into five major areas - IT architecture, programming, system administration, network administration, and security administration.

Why do I start with the overall IT architecture? Because you success or failure as a IT person ultimately depends on how well (or poorly) you integrate ALL of your IT with the business processes at your company. It requires that you work with others in your company to learn what are the key business processes in the company, and how does IT help enable these processes? Do you have key financial or HR apps? Do you own/maintain a web site? What are the key applications your employees use to do their job? etc, etc

Once you learn or are familiar with how the business uses systems and the network, you are now in a much better position to decide what you need to do and where you need to go in terms of system, network, and security admin for your network. I won't go into programming, because I am going to assume that all your work applications will be off-the-shelf commercial applications.

The first thing that I would suggest if you have a network of any size is to install and configure a hardware firewall. Why? If you are using a network to link your computers together and you need to use or depend on the Internet - a protected, stable network is the most important thing you can have. In addition to a good firewall, you will certainly need to ensure that your router configurations are correct. Additionally, in order to ensure that everyone has a reasonable amount of bandwidth, you need to have a good 100 mbs switch (or switches) in your network configuration).

Once your firewall and router installation and configurations are complete, you need to make sure all your computers have the latest patches to their operating system.

Once you understand how the company will use the systems / network, all of you applications are properly installed, all your computers have the latest patches applied - then it becomes a matter of monitoring all of your computer / firewall / router logs to optimize the systems and networks. One of the best ways to do this is to buy system management tools. A great tool to monitor all of your networks remotely is a system admin tool called Hyena. It is relatively cheap and will allow you to do all of your management remotely.

I could go on and on (because there really is a lot to cover) but I will end by saying that it is really important that you have a very solid understanding of systems, networks, and network security to do this job right. If you are strong in these areas, I say go for it. If not, I would not go into this position without negotiating some good continuing education with the company to bring you up to speed on your weak areas.

Good Luck.

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A Good Start.....

by spamsux2 In reply to What is the scope of your ...

Over all David is correct, however I'd like to offer a good launching point for yourself.

Distaster Recovery - Start with your backups. Make sure that you have a good backup rotation that complies with company policy and test them on occassion. If you can recover to a needed point if a disaster (server failure, user accidentally deleting files, etc) you will shine!

What to do next? Security vs. Stability
While these two areas go hand in hand, I would determine the stability of the servers and pcs that the users are working on.

-Stability-
The first step is would be automating the virus protection as much as possible. Depending on your environment you may have/need an enterprise level system. TrendMicro is a great job and up front and renewal costs tend to be less than Norton.

The next step is system patch management. If you are in a Windows shop you can go with Microsoft SUS (software update server) to automate the installation of patches with no user intervention.

-Security-
As David mentioned, a hardware firewall is the best solution for security and performance to secure your environment from the external threats. If you can cover it, Cisco makes some wonderful products. It may take a bit of convincing for the cost, but Cisco just works when setup.

If you are still learning and need to implement quickly, you might want to have an audit performed by an outside consultant. It can be expensive, but a good review will give you the strenghts and weaknesses of your environment as well as what changes to make.

-Stability Continued-
Once you've got a clean running environment, shift your focus towards automating system deployment and get your pcs to a clean and uniform state. Products like Ghost are a blessing for system reloads.

Good Luck!

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