Finally the interview of a Microsoft Certified technician “Alakshendra Chauhan” Co-Founder at Tech Squad Today Pvt. Ltd a leading remote support company in United States.
Karan: Tell us about your computer/IT career. Where did your interest in computers start?
Alex: My interest in computers started in 2002 when my friend helped me assemble my first “good” pc. I had always owned a computer, but was never fully captivated by them until I was involved in putting one together.I am currently employed as a computer technologist and have approximately 12 years of experience in this field of industry.
Karan: What made you decide to change careers to computers?
Alex: I decided to change my career choice to computers, because I see everything in our world migrating to computer-based automated components. It seems like the computer industry has the greatest potential for growth and opportunity to learn. Plus, I never get tired of playing with computers.
Karan: How You Became a Computer Technician
Alex: In 2002, personal computers were not yet very common. The Internet was new and exciting. After seeing the computers of some friends, I bought one and enjoyed using it very much. The more I learned about using the computer, the more I wanted to know. I soon became interested in how computers worked. I wanted to learn how they were built, what all of the individual parts were, and how to replace them. I also enjoyed working with software. Learning about the operating system and installing software such as programs for sound and video cards was fascinating to me.
Karan: How have your experiences in previous positions contributed to your success?
Alex: I had previously worked with brands like Dell, Amazon, iYogi, and had to deal with people on a daily basis. I believe that my communication skills matured considerably during that time. That being the case, I feel that I am able to explain difficult concepts to computer end-users on a level that is easy for them to understand. This makes people feel comfortable with me, which is important. My job is to fix and install computer systems. This particular position entails correcting problems as well as providing my client with the tools they will need in order to optimize their production. A common misunderstanding that people may have about my profession is that computer technicians are all geeks who consider pocket protectors and thick-rimmed glasses as fashion accessories. Although uncommon, some of us actually have a personality (and even know how to dress).
Karan: Do you have any special certifications? How is such certification important to your career?
Alex: I am MCITP certified and am also a Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP). Having these certifications gives potential employers confidence in your abilities, as one must pass difficult exams to obtain certification status. There are chances to become certified in many more areas as well. Having these certifications can bring more employment opportunities. But i have something the new techs do not: many years of experience. I have excellent troubleshooting skills that stem from my work experience, not from a textbook. I would prefer to have someone with outstanding troubleshooting abilities work for me rather than a person who has a bunch of letters after his or her last name.
Karan: What are some of your personal and/or professional goals for the future?
Alex: I hope to get my CEH — Certified Ethical Hacker. I also would eventually like to become a network administrator for a larger company. The ECH certification will lead me in the right direction.
Karan: Any funny anecdotes about life as an “IT guy”?
Alex: On a particular house call, I had to set up a home network for a woman who spoke mostly German. It was very hard to understand her with that thick accent. When her file-sharing program failed to work at first, due to the Windows firewall, she freaked out and started swearing (I think) up and down in German. It took all my strength not to bust out laughing!
Karan: Do you feel that is important for someone to be passionate about computers/IT in order to be successful in the field?
Alex: It is very important to be passionate about computers in order to work in the IT field. Heck, you’ll be sitting in front of one for most of the day. If you don’t love the ins and outs of computers and how they work together on a network, don’t bother with an IT career.
Karan: Tell us about your computer/IT education. How did you initially decide to study computers/IT
Alex: I decided that a career in the media recording industry just wasn’t feasible for me, and some services was not personally rewarding, so I decided to go with computers. I absolutely love computers and had used them extensively for entertainment, so I then wanted to make a career using computers in some fashion.
I did some research on the internet about what types of computer job opportunities existed, then did more searching to find out exactly what training and education was required. I read about some local schools on the internet as well. I then visited a few of them to determine which one would suit me best.
Karan: In retrospect, what do you know now that you wish you knew before you pursued your computer/IT education?
Alex: In retrospect, I wish I would have gone to school for computers initially, instead of switching majors in college, graduating, and then still having to attend a technical school. To put it simply – I wish I would have chosen computers right off the bat.
Karan: Are there any different considerations for those who know that they want to specialize in a certain area?
Alex: There are many software and hardware vendors that offer their own specialized certifications. If you want to concentrate on using one of those vendor’s products, a vendor-specific certification is in order.
Karan: Describe a typical day of work for you. What exactly do you do?
Alex: I face many challenges at work each day, from PCs not turning on, to Firewall and e-mail issues, to printing and logging in, but the issue that really has me pulling my hair out is that people still get infected with viruses they know they should not open. One client had her new computer for a total of four hours before it was badly infected. It took almost two days to clean it. On a typical day I start out by checking the help desk application for end-user trouble issues. Then I call each person who has an issue and gather more information about the problem. If I can solve it over the phone, great; if not, I schedule a time with the person to help with the problem. After this, I change the nightly backup tape. Then I check my e-mail for any other issues that may need my attention.
Karan: What are your key responsibilities?
Alex: My key responsibilities are resolving problems that end users are having with their computers. Basically, I am a help desk worker — I solve people’s problems.
Karan: On a basic level, what skills does your job demand?
Alex: My job demands that I be good at communicating with people. Whether it is in person, over the phone, or through e-mail, I have to be kind, courteous, and attentive. I also have to have a lot of patience. Not everybody knows how to use a computer very well, so I have to be tolerant to people who make mistakes. Everyday is different. I never know what I am getting into each day when I go to the office. Sometimes there are issues that I cannot immediately figure out. For these times, I get suggestions from the internet or coworkers. It’s all about teamwork.
Karan: How has the popularity of the Internet affected your profession?
Alex: A computer that cannot communicate with other computers is useless. With the internet growing in popularity everyday, there are more internet service providers. These ISPs can be a starting place to seek employment. Furthermore, with more and more people using the internet at home and at the office, problems arise. This is where help desk workers come in – another great start to an IT career.
Karan: Is there anything else you can tell us about yourself, your career, or the computer/IT world that would be interesting ?
Alex: In addition to my computer certifications, I have a college degree. This makes me even more marketable to a prospective employer, as it shows that I can complete a well-rounded, rigorous course of study. It also demonstrates that I can complete a wide variety of tasks.
I also love high-end gaming computers and am very knowledgeable of the hardware required for such machines. This can be great information to know for certain entertainment-related computer jobs, or can be a great conversation starter. People like to talk with others who have similar interests.
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