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Old 03-17-2015, 01:52 AM   #1
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Default IT Job Question?

Hey guys. So today at my course it is Support day so we run our helpdesk and I was doing a job that was organizing desktops into piles based on models from a major redeployment project we did last year that involved wiping a range of servers, desktops and laptops that we have been given. My question is does anyone here have any experience or works in a position where you are deploying new machines out and if it is good as I'd like to get a job doing something like this.

Here is a picture of the machines before I finished sorting them, Some needed hard drives that were put into old P4 & Celeron machines for some stupid reason. These machines range from CPU's with Core 2 Duo's to i5's and various amounts of ram but will be really good for our pracs..

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Old 03-23-2015, 05:12 AM   #2
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Default Re: IT Job Question?

I have worked doing desktop deployments before...

And to be honest I'm glad that I don't any more:

here's why.

pros:
working with end users: Just about everyone is happy with their shiny new desktop, invariably it works better than their last one did. so they feel like they are more productive. you get plenty of thanks.

You can automate 90% of your work. (with unattended installations, policy based software installations, using either software install settings of GPO or SCCM/SCOM or complete disk image solutions like Altiris - and if you do a good job and lock things down sensibly, nothing really breaks...

if you work on a campus (like I did) then you get a little fresh air when you're wandering about with your trolley full of computers actually setting them up.


cons:
working with end users: as thankful as most people are, there is always that one ass who complains like mad about how crappy his computer is, and then acts like you resolving the "my machine is crap" problem by giving him a new faster machine is somehow the biggest inconvenience of his life. and that you must somehow personally want to stop his work (that you frankly don't care about anyway)

once you've automated 90% of your work (especially if your predecessors didn't) then there is not a lot to do. you end up looking for work, taking on "special assignments" but nothing can cure the boredom.
When I was doing desktop support I'm told that the guy before me was rushed off his feet...
I automated all I could and spent a lot of work hours sleeping in my office. regardless of how much "extra work" I could take on. nothing could cure the boredom or lack of things to do.
that's largely why I left.

Fresh air is over-rated when it's cold/wet/raining/snowing etc.


There are guys where I work now that do desktop deployments, unless you work somewhere "massive" desktop deployments will not be a huge part of your job.
-and when I say somewhere massive I mean...
I work for a managed services company -this is a company that people "outsource to" we look after companies that employ tens of thousands of users. and even then desktop deployments are just something to do, along side other support activities.
And when there is a big hardware refresh, - when you're big enough to be buying a whole office at once, then you focus on a single supplier. (in our case our clients seem to like Dell) you send Dell a DVD of your build image. Dell supply you with pre-built computers.

(because that is more cost effective than employing people specifically to build machines.)

if you work in a "uber secure" focus, where you don't want to send out your build image to a third party, or you;re not quite big enough to tell vendors that you want PCs supplied with your own image... Then you look at deployment tools like Altiris, where you pxe boot a small kernel that gets data and writes and image to a disk... (desktop deployments are reduced to entering the MAC address of a desktop into a group of machines, and then pressing a power button, (maybe pressing and F key to tell the machine to boot from network).

essentially my advice is this:

if you want to work in desktop deployments, then most of your time is going to be spent actually setting up desktops (so on your knees under desks getting dirty.) or opening cases and reseating RAM.
you may get a couple of "technical days" in a month largely dedicated to applying windows updates and AV updates to your "main image".
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Old 03-23-2015, 08:03 AM   #3
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Default Re: IT Job Question?

Quote:
Originally Posted by root View Post
cons:
working with end users: as thankful as most people are, there is always that one ass who complains like mad about how crappy his computer is, and then acts like you resolving the "my machine is crap" problem by giving him a new faster machine is somehow the biggest inconvenience of his life. and that you must somehow personally want to stop his work (that you frankly don't care about anyway)
And you'll just never understand how important his job is!
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Old 03-23-2015, 10:17 AM   #4
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Default Re: IT Job Question?

"Open your mouth again, and my rates will double." Works every time.
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Old 04-07-2015, 07:53 AM   #5
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Default Re: IT Job Question?

In any IT role, you're probably going to be asked to do things like this. I prefer a role in higher level management (I'm a CIO / CTO), as my role includes more diversity. I would often delegate tasks like system deployment, but don't mind "getting my hands dirty" from time to time.

As many have mentioned, working with end users is a blessing and a curse. It's often that they don't understand, or may be unappreciative. I've worked with several demanding end users, and used to allow that to govern my day. Now, a little older and wiser, I don't allow that to happen anymore.
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