Thursday, January 27, 2011

Help & Support

So there is something on my mind and I was looking to get some input from others in my field. I'm currently working alone in IT. I have 200+ users and 40+ servers to support. Some might say that this is a good thing for job security but it is A LOT to handle. There is so much pressure on you that sometimes the easy tasks become difficult. You have to turn into Ralph Dibny sometimes and stretch yourself thin. I feel like I'm always running around and every time I think I'm making a little headway, I get 10 more requests that need to be done ASAP. You get where I'm going with this. I've had discussions with my boss and his boss (one of the owners of the company) about hiring an additional body. They finally agreed with me that we should get someone else but that is where things get fuzzy.

As I said earlier, they believe we should hire someone as well but they want to go as green as possible. They want to hire someone for 30k or less and have them be my right hand man. I on the other hand feel we should go a little hire up the food chain. I'm not saying that my company should go out and hire another person at my level (although that would be nice), I was thinking more of a Senior Desktop Support/Jr. Admin role. If I had to estimate, I'd say I'd be looking in the 50-65k range. The advantages are certainly warranted in my opinion. You would get someone who can hit the ground running. All they would need to know would be the environment specific data, such as IP Addresses, Hostnames and Passwords (if needed) and they can do their job. You don't get that with a lower level person. In most cases you would have to hold their hands and look over their shoulder. I experienced it at this company where I wasted so much time redoing the work that the desktop guy supposedly took care of that I actually became less productive even with another body. I'm not saying that every entry level person is going to be a liability but the good majority of them will be, at least at first. Here is the other disadvantage of hiring a low level tech. It would take at least 6 months to a year to get them up to speed on the various technologies (assuming they put in the effort to learn them). Now that they have these additional skills, why would they want to stay in a low level position? 99 times out of 100 they would try to leave and probably get an additional 20k just for walking in the door somewhere else. That is, unless the company ponies up the extra cash which is not something they have done in the past here and why we're in the situation of looking for a newbie to begin with. I'm well aware of the fact that even a Jr. Admin level person would probably leave for the same reasons I just listed, it just makes more sense to me to hire someone that could be productive during their time here than to just hire, train and wave goodbye to someone else.

Maybe I'm being selfish in wanting someone who already knows what they're doing but I think that I am also looking out for the company's best interests. This new guy is going to have to step in when I am not around. Do you want to put someone in charge of your multi-million dollar investment in IT who has never worked on half of the technologies? Or do you want someone who has some familiarity with them? What is your take on this? Am I crazy for thinking we should hire someone with a clue? Or am I just being a big ol' Weineken. Please comment below.