This is the story behind Tech Support Science and why we exist.
Why We Exist
Tech Support Science was created to provide a safe place for geeks to congregate, share information, learn and grow. It takes a different type of person to provide technology support to users who many times have no idea how technology works. We are the superheroes, the magicians, the geniuses who know how reboot, press the ON button, and make a computer sing so that people can have a productive day.
The About Us Timeline
My First Exposure to Computers
My name is Ray aka the “Head Geek”, I am a long-time old school geek that came up during the advent of the computer age.
During my senior year at Workman High School (1984), it was the very first time that computer classes were offered at my school. I remember being amazed and astonished at what these Radio Shack TRS-80’s could do and the world that was opening up to me. And, Yes, these computers didn’t even have floppy drives, we used standard cassette tapes to store data.
This was my first exposure to computers and what they could do, in this class we used the Basic programming language to make very simple programs.
Computer Lab Consultant
So, I fell in love with technology and found my calling. Right out of high school I attended Mt San Antonio Junior College, where I worked in the Computer Lab and studied computers. This is what a computer lab looked like in 1985, complete with IBM PC’s and Mac Toasters. I worked odd jobs during the day and attended college during nights and weekends.
I eventually graduated with an Associates Degree in Data Processing in 1988.
Next, I went to Cal Poly Pomona to work on a Bachelors degree in Computer Information Systems. I worked as a Computer Consultant full time for a Construction Company and attended classes during the nights and weekends, and whenever possible I also worked in the Computer Lab on campus.
I eventually graduated with my Bachelors degree in Computer Information Systems in 1995.
Distributed Systems Analyst
As I graduated from Cal Poly, I also landed my dream job as a Distributed Systems Analyst at the Northrop Grumman Corporation. This was a great time as I had the opportunity to support rocket scientist and aerospace engineers. These users were very tech savvy which forced me to up my game and become an expert in technology support.
The entire technology department was eventually outsourced to IBM, so I spent the second half of my career at Northrop working as a Senior Distributed Systems Analyst for IBM Global Services.
My next career move took me to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles where I worked as a Network Manager. This was a big move as I went from working at a Fortune 50 company that built weapons of mass destruction to a non-profit Hospital whose mission was to save children’s lives. I helped bring up a very redundant network infrastructure, setup all types of servers, including bringing up the very first website at CHLA.
The user base that I supported was also very different, I was now supporting doctors and nurses instead of scientist and engineers. This was interesting as the priorities were very different and actual lives were at stake in this position. I learned a great deal about supporting a different user base in a different environment.
Director of Technology Infrastructure
My next move led me to my future alma mater, USC. I went to work at the Marshall School of Business in 1999 as the Director of Technology Infrastructure. I was responsible for three technology support teams, including help desk, desktop support, and network support.
Once again the user base was very different at the Business School, my end users were business professionals, professors, and students. This user base was tech savvy, innovative, and they liked to stay at the cutting edge of technology.
Once I was settled into my position at Marshall, I applied to the Executive MBA Program. I received my MBA in Technology Management and Strategy in 2005.
Associate Dean of Information Technology
After receiving my MBA, I made another career move and accepted a position at the USC Gould School of Law as the Assistant Dean for Information Technology. This move made me the Head Geek where I was responsible for all things related to technology for the Law School. Including: Help Desk Support, Desktop Support, Student Technology Support, Classroom Technology Support, Network Support, Web Support, Development Support, and Instructional Design Support.
This was still an academic environment, however, the user base was once again very different. The users consisted of lawyers, professors, and future lawyers. This user base had a different set of priorities than the business school. The emphasis in this environment is reliability and stability.
During my free time while working at the Law School, I decided to go back to school one more time. In 2015, I graduated from the USC Rossier School of Education with a Doctorate in Educational Leadership.
As of the writing of this About Us page in 2019, I have now been with the Law School for 15 years, which makes a total of 20 years working at USC. In addition, I was promoted from Assistant Dean to Associate Dean for Information Technology.
Learn from My Experiences
So, my first actual job in IT was as a Computer Lab Consultant in 1985 at Mt San Antonio College. In 2019, I have worked continuously in IT Support positions for almost 35 years. Damn, I am an old Geek!
So, in the past 35 years, I have worked in many tech support positions, in many industries, with many different user bases. My hope is that this blog will help the tech support professionals coming up the ranks to avoid some of the mistakes I have made and provide valuable insight, so that they can move up the tech support ladder.
Ultimate Guide to Succeeding as an Tech Support Professional
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