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  1. Member
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    Default Does a job like this exist?

    I'm currently a Help Desk / Desktop Support technician and about 50-60% of my day is down time. Sure in that time I can study or seek additional opportunities at work, but I am looking for a job that will keep me engaged most of my day at work.

    So here are the specifications I am looking for.

    1. Constant engagement ( Typing, moving the cursor, cause and effect, etc)
    2. Little down time of just sitting and twiddling thumbs. (Having to constantly use problem solving skills, engage with people on the phone or remotely)


    I was thinking web development might be an option, since that requires coding but I am terrible with JavaScript.

    Any tips or questions please go ahead.

    Thanks,

    Q
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    #2
    In IT, downtime is your friend. Use it to your benefit, and start getting better at what you don't know. Interested in web development? Start learning Javascript. While you are at it, also pick up C# and PHP. You can get good in all of them relatively inexpensively, and they will all make you more marketable.

    I think you will find the majority of IT people have self-taught a large portion of their skills. It also doesn't hurt to have the boss seeing you trying to improve your tech skills.

    The other options is do all of the stuff around your current job that isn't being done. Have you verified the equipment inventory? Have you created a knowledge base documenting the correct way to resolve all of the common tickets? How about the uncommon ones? Have any ideas on things that can be optimized? Pull your ideas together and present them. From 20 years in the field, my biggest take away is that initiative is everything.
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    #3
    Step 1. Increase your skillset so you can apply your knowlege to more areas.
    Step 2. Go to a bigger company.
    Repeat step 1.
    Repeat step 2.
    .....
    .....
    No more idle time after a few years.
    Simple.
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    #4
    Thanks for the reply Jibtech.

    To answer your question, I have verified equipment inventory, I have created knowledge base documentation.

    I hope you understand though, I cannot stand down time, which is why I'm seeing if there ARE any positions out there with little to no down time.
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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Quench24 View Post
    Thanks for the reply Jibtech.

    To answer your question, I have verified equipment inventory, I have created knowledge base documentation.

    I hope you understand though, I cannot stand down time, which is why I'm seeing if there ARE any positions out there with little to no down time.
    I can understand your frustration. Oftentimes, companies move at the speed of the slowest person. It makes things frustrating for those who want to move faster. Unfortunately, I have only seen a few solutions.

    The first is moving to a role that is busy. Really busy. It might not be at the same company. There are a lot of companies that don't have a realistic IT budget, so they make do with far fewer people. Those people are busy. Really busy. That said, the IT budget also hurts them, because the money may not be there to pay competitive salaries.

    Second would be redefining your job yourself. Find out what isn't being done or isn't being done well, and take it on. Be professional about it, and try to not step on toes, but there is almost always something needing done, that isn't getting done.

    Third option is to fill the downtime with something that improves you, and can be beneficial for the organization. Personally, I prefer this option, because it is beneficial in the long run. Learn to code, learn to work on networks, take on those "special projects" that always seem to arise.

    It really boils down to what you want to fill the downtime with. Realistically, it isn't going to be more of what you are doing at the same company. Find something other than your current duties at your current job, or start looking for another position somewhere else where you would be busier. Fair warning though, a job that is busier doing what you are already doing isn't necessarily going to feel like an improvement. Being swamped and not able to do anything to grow can also feel like a special kind of hell.

    If you choose to look for another position, you might want to look in the non-profit sector. Frequently, they don't have the budget for a full scope IT department. The work tends to be more varied, and you will definitely have more to do. Some are competitive with salaries, some aren't. But, you tend to be busy, and the mission can also be a "feel good" as well. I was at a non-profit for several years in an IT department of two, supporting about 300 users. I did break-fix, web development, system administration, compliance and database administration. It was a good gig, and I learned a lot from it. Might be worth looking into.
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by jibtech View Post
    I was at a non-profit for several years in an IT department of two, supporting about 300 users. I did break-fix, web development, system administration, compliance and database administration. It was a good gig, and I learned a lot from it. Might be worth looking into.
    I started my IT career that way. A bunch of offices and just me, ran around like a nutter a bunch but also got very well rounded experience.

    You mentioned not really wanting to fill your downtime with studying. Are you working towards any sort of goal outside of just being more busy?
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    #7
    MSP should take care of that. You are usually overworked, but paid well too (in the cases I have seen). Might be something to consider.

    ***I managed a large service effort for a fortune 500, and while the guys / gals were overworked they were also paid 30% higher than the market median. There was usually 0 downtime and trust me when you get it, you loved it (it was soooo rare).

    The position was application support, true application support. Reviewing bugs in the code, database review and updates (changes) in some cases. 0 downtime.....
    Last edited by DatabaseHead; 04-21-2017 at 12:10 PM.
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    #8
    Study. I got my MCSA by studying exclusively at work.
    Now I'm with another company. Same story, but with VCP6-DCV. Study as much as you can on their dime...then leave
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Danielm7 View Post
    I started my IT career that way. A bunch of offices and just me, ran around like a nutter a bunch but also got very well rounded experience.

    You mentioned not really wanting to fill your downtime with studying. Are you working towards any sort of goal outside of just being more busy?
    Goal: To pass the WIN10 MCP Today
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by DatabaseHead View Post
    MSP should take care of that. You are usually overworked, but paid well too (in the cases I have seen). Might be something to consider.

    ***I managed a large service effort for a fortune 500, and while the guys / gals were overworked they were also paid 30% higher than the market median. There was usually 0 downtime and trust me when you get it, you loved it (it was soooo rare).

    The position was application support, true application support. Reviewing bugs in the code, database review and updates (changes) in some cases. 0 downtime.....
    What is MSP? I don't have much experience with coding..
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    #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Quench24 View Post
    Goal: To pass the WIN10 MCP Today
    Great, but super short term. What's your long term career goal? Figure that out and start working towards it in all your free time.
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    #12
    I'm sorry, but if you are in IT, and are constantly engaged, you are doing something wrong.

    Downtime should be used to improve you skills. And in that case, it is not downtime. It is being proactive.

    A job where you are constantly engaged is a recipe for burnout.
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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Danielm7 View Post
    Great, but super short term. What's your long term career goal? Figure that out and start working towards it in all your free time.
    System Administrator. Lately I've been thinking about Web Development though. More engaging probably and less downtime with constant coding.
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  15. They are watching you NetworkNewb's Avatar
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    #14
    Downtime? You mean the time you should be working on improving processes, improving your knowledge, and finding better ways to help your company? What you consider downtime is the time where some people choose to really shine.

    Granted I just did simple website editing for a large company and didn't get too in depth, but I found web development kinda boring.
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  16. Went to the dark side.... Moderator networker050184's Avatar
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    #15
    You can find something to fill your time up at any position. Even Web Developers have down time. What you choose to do with it is what will make the difference.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
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  17. Senior Member IronmanX's Avatar
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    #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Shane2 View Post
    I'm sorry, but if you are in IT, and are constantly engaged, you are doing something wrong.

    Downtime should be used to improve you skills. And in that case, it is not downtime. It is being proactive.

    A job where you are constantly engaged is a recipe for burnout.
    ^This is so true.

    If you don't like downtime and you don't like to learn your in the wrong field.

    A place with little to no down time is a place that is not run properly.
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    #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Quench24 View Post
    System Administrator. Lately I've been thinking about Web Development though. More engaging probably and less downtime with constant coding.
    I want to make a different suggestion. Rather than thinking about specific roles, think about the skillsets you want to apply in the job you want. System Administration can mean a lot of things. I have seen everything from Application Specialists to Network Engineers doing what I would consider system administration. Same goes for web development. Instead of thinking about web development, think about development in general. It doesn't all have to be coding a web page or an application. With the trends in enterprise services bus and master data management, along with the push towards devops, there will be a lot of work for developers for a long time to come.

    Basically, think bigger, set a target and go knock it out.
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    #18
    Quote Originally Posted by jibtech View Post
    I want to make a different suggestion. Rather than thinking about specific roles, think about the skillsets you want to apply in the job you want. System Administration can mean a lot of things. I have seen everything from Application Specialists to Network Engineers doing what I would consider system administration. Same goes for web development. Instead of thinking about web development, think about development in general. It doesn't all have to be coding a web page or an application. With the trends in enterprise services bus and master data management, along with the push towards devops, there will be a lot of work for developers for a long time to come.

    Basically, think bigger, set a target and go knock it out.
    What_are_some_skills_examples
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  20. Questionably Benevolent Moderator Slowhand's Avatar
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    #19
    I'm going to echo the same things others have said: build your skillset and get bigger, better jobs that will keep you busy. Go with what you're interested in, look at job-descriptions for jobs in those fields, and build up the skills you find. If you want advice from the forum on specific things to work on, then you'll need to give us more specific goals, (like if you want to work as a sysadmin, with cloud technologies, etc.) One thing is for sure: the more senior-level you get, the less free time you'll have.

    For example, if you're serious about web development, then there are some absolute must-have skills:
    • HTML5
    • CSS3
    • JavaScript
    -
    Other skills are things like server-side technologies, so you'd be learning either C#/ASP.NET, Java, PHP, Ruby on Rails, or something along those lines. You'll also need to learn about web servers, the most common of which will probably be IIS, Apache, and Tomcat. There are related technologies, like understanding databases and data connectors, AJAX technologies like JQuery and DOJO, technology-specific stuff like Wordpress and various Google tools. The list goes on and on, so start with the fundamentals and then start making decisions about what appeals to you and what you need for the types of jobs available in your area.

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  21. Member
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    #20
    I'm thinking about saving for something like this :

    https://generalassemb.ly/education/f...%20%2Bbootcamp

    IDK though, IDK...
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    #21
    I have to admit, I am a bit confused. Are you looking to get into front end, which is primarily design, or are you wanting to get into development which is more focused on code? Both have a lot to offer, but they are definitely not the same thing.

    If you are wanting to get into front end, start learning HTML5, CSS3, Javascript for starters. Once you have those pretty solid, learn jQuery. It is important, but get a solid foundation on the first three. Start with the basics on W3Schools. Once you have those down to where you can do it with your eyes closed, get a Safari membership at OReilly Press. Start working your way through each of the books on those subjects. As you go build a portfolio of sites you have designed. There is also a lot of work around WordPress. Opinions on WP aside, it is a marketable feather to have in your cap.

    If you are wanting to get into more development, still start with HTML5, CSS and Javascript. Next, jump into PHP and C#, with some jQuery thrown in with it. Expertise in PHP, C# and jQuery will set you up with a solid base. Personally, I would learn both object oriented PHP, and procedural PHP. Once you have a procedural language down, and you have an object oriented language down, everything else becomes almost trivial to learn.

    If you want to get more into software development, start with C#. From there expand into C++. If you have a Navla Surface Warfare Center near you, and that is a direction that interests you, look into a language called Ada. An Ada programmer doesn't make a bad living.

    If you want to get into System Administration, you need to decide on a first platform. Linux or Microsoft. If Linux, pick a distro and use it as your everyday computer. While you are learning it, start looking at a Linux+ cert. It won't be the cert that gets you the job, but if you understand the content well, it will position you well for a Junior Linux Admin job. Linux guys take it serious, so they will expect you to know it. Oh, and decide on vi or emacs. It matters. (The right answer is nano or pico, but the Linux guys won't want to hear that.)

    If you choose Microsoft system administration, MCSA is your first step. Everything branches from there. Microsoft Virtual Academy is a pretty great resource.

    If you are more into network engineering, start saving your pennies and build a small lab of Cisco gear. Start with the CCENT/CCNA track and build from there.

    If you are more interested in Cybersecurity/Information Assurance, go download a copy of Kali Linux. Go through the tutorials at kali.org and master them. Then start playing. If you want to do it as a career, Security+ is your first stop, working up to your CISSP. There are others as well, but by that point you will have a better idea of what is more valuable to you. IF you want to be the baddest Leroy Brown on the block, OSCP is the place to start. It is a 24 hour effort in which you have to get root. It doesn't get much more real than that, and the OSCP is well respected. Save the CISM for later down the road.

    If you are more interested in compliance, start again with the Security+, followed by either the CISRCP or CISA. CISA would be my preference.

    That is as thorough an answer I can give right now, on how to get started in the broad categories of IT. There are always niches, and working your way through one of the above will help point out those niches to you. All of the above are going to require solid effort and studying. You will never stop studying in the IT career field. This is where the downtime helps.

    Bootcamps are fun as a refresher, right before a big test. I did it for my MCSE back in 2006, at Todd Lammle's facility. (Lost opportunity, I know.) But, I wasn't trying to learn it cold. Bootcamp are exam prep. They are not training.
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  23. Member
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    #22
    Quote Originally Posted by jibtech View Post
    I have to admit, I am a bit confused. Are you looking to get into front end, which is primarily design, or are you wanting to get into development which is more focused on code? Both have a lot to offer, but they are definitely not the same thing.

    If you are wanting to get into front end, start learning HTML5, CSS3, Javascript for starters. Once you have those pretty solid, learn jQuery. It is important, but get a solid foundation on the first three. Start with the basics on W3Schools. Once you have those down to where you can do it with your eyes closed, get a Safari membership at OReilly Press. Start working your way through each of the books on those subjects. As you go build a portfolio of sites you have designed. There is also a lot of work around WordPress. Opinions on WP aside, it is a marketable feather to have in your cap.

    If you are wanting to get into more development, still start with HTML5, CSS and Javascript. Next, jump into PHP and C#, with some jQuery thrown in with it. Expertise in PHP, C# and jQuery will set you up with a solid base. Personally, I would learn both object oriented PHP, and procedural PHP. Once you have a procedural language down, and you have an object oriented language down, everything else becomes almost trivial to learn.

    If you want to get more into software development, start with C#. From there expand into C++. If you have a Navla Surface Warfare Center near you, and that is a direction that interests you, look into a language called Ada. An Ada programmer doesn't make a bad living.

    If you want to get into System Administration, you need to decide on a first platform. Linux or Microsoft. If Linux, pick a distro and use it as your everyday computer. While you are learning it, start looking at a Linux+ cert. It won't be the cert that gets you the job, but if you understand the content well, it will position you well for a Junior Linux Admin job. Linux guys take it serious, so they will expect you to know it. Oh, and decide on vi or emacs. It matters. (The right answer is nano or pico, but the Linux guys won't want to hear that.)

    If you choose Microsoft system administration, MCSA is your first step. Everything branches from there. Microsoft Virtual Academy is a pretty great resource.

    If you are more into network engineering, start saving your pennies and build a small lab of Cisco gear. Start with the CCENT/CCNA track and build from there.

    If you are more interested in Cybersecurity/Information Assurance, go download a copy of Kali Linux. Go through the tutorials at kali.org and master them. Then start playing. If you want to do it as a career, Security+ is your first stop, working up to your CISSP. There are others as well, but by that point you will have a better idea of what is more valuable to you. IF you want to be the baddest Leroy Brown on the block, OSCP is the place to start. It is a 24 hour effort in which you have to get root. It doesn't get much more real than that, and the OSCP is well respected. Save the CISM for later down the road.

    If you are more interested in compliance, start again with the Security+, followed by either the CISRCP or CISA. CISA would be my preference.

    That is as thorough an answer I can give right now, on how to get started in the broad categories of IT. There are always niches, and working your way through one of the above will help point out those niches to you. All of the above are going to require solid effort and studying. You will never stop studying in the IT career field. This is where the downtime helps.

    Bootcamps are fun as a refresher, right before a big test. I did it for my MCSE back in 2006, at Todd Lammle's facility. (Lost opportunity, I know.) But, I wasn't trying to learn it cold. Bootcamp are exam prep. They are not training.
    As_of_today__I_want_to_be_a_system_admin

    I did code academy .com and parts of freecodecamp.com

    I failed the MCP exam yesterday with a 680.. Looking to take it again next weekend.

    I'm just not sure if I want to be a system administrator
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    #23
    Which exam was it?

    MCP is an automatic designation when you pass any of the qualifying (non-MTA?) exams.
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    #24
    Quote Originally Posted by jibtech View Post
    Which exam was it?

    MCP is an automatic designation when you pass any of the qualifying (non-MTA?) exams.

    70-697

    Working towards MCSE Windows 10
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    #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Quench24 View Post
    What is MSP? I don't have much experience with coding..
    Manage Service Provider
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