Andrew Richardson joined Transcendit in September 2018, as a support engineer working in our Durham office. We caught up with him to find out how he started out in IT, and what his first few months with us have been like.
So, how did you get into IT?
I'd always been interested in IT but I'd never really looked at it as a career, I always thought of it as a hobby. Then the month before my 24th birthday, I started an apprenticeship - if I'd been a month later, I wouldn't have been allowed to start. But then I got into work in IT, and never looked back.
What have you been working on at Transcendit?
I've gained my MPN in Windows 10, and I'm currently working towards the MCSA/E - which is basically a more in-depth look at Windows, the best way to get it installed, updated, little tips and tricks and things like that.
Other than that its lots of varied support engineer stuff! I've done a few meetings with new customers. Going on site, seeing what kit they might need, figuring out how we can improve their systems, that kind of thing. Last week I put a new wireless network in for a customer - it changes every day!
What's the best part of your job?
How friendly everyone is, definitely. Everyone is happy to help each other, everyone has loads of knowledge across lots of different subjects - so if I don't know the answer to something, someone else will. And if not we have our good friend Google to fall back on!
What's been your biggest challenge at Transcendit so far?
I've just got my head around Prism, which is our internal software for our support and development teams. The WiFi installation was a bit difficult because we were working with a third party. It can be difficult when you're going between a client and someone else, but for the most part it's just really enjoyable to be on site, working with our customers.
What's the funniest thing you've ever been asked by a client?
Something funny that I've been asked at an old workplace, was that a client had been sent a wireless printer, unboxed it and asked why it wasn't turning on. After a pretty short conversation, we realised they hadn't plugged it in - they thought it didn't need to be plugged in because it was wireless.
On occasions like that, you always have a good laugh with the customer - you have to remember that although we live and breath IT, the vast majority of people don't. And it's great to know that you can help.
The one piece of advice you wish every computer user knew?
Turn it off and on again! It's a running joke but it's a valid one! Sometimes a program that is stuck won't be able to reboot and the only way to do it is cut power - and turning it off and on again is the best way to do that.
It sounds silly, it sounds basic, it sounds like a stupid thing to say - but you'd be surprised at the amount of times it actually works. Before you ring up IT support, try it - it fixes so many things!
What would you say to someone wanting to be a support engineer?
If you're still quite young, consider work trials - it's worth shadowing people to see what its like, what the job is about. That should get rid of any misconceptions you have, and help you figure out whether it's the right direction for you.
IT now is more about doing, rather than sitting in a classroom. It's a lot easier to pick up than when I was a child. You don't need to do a specific course or qualification, there are so many routes into IT. And there is so much you can learn just on your own, messing around with a computer. If you put in the time, and the effort, you'll pick it up.
Tweet us @TranscenditUK