Peek – a – Boo

Let’s first start with a collection of responsibilities I’ve not only identified, but advertise on my LinkedIn Profile

(Excerpt from my LinkedIn Profile)

Client Technology Specialist

Netflix

Los Gatos, CAThe Netflix Client Technology Specialist combines the responsibilities of the Help Desk Support Technician and the Desktop Support Analyst.

The Client Technology Services team is responsible for over two thousand systems globally which include all client technology platforms and services throughout the company. In addition, the team is constantly challenged with corporate offices located in Los Gatos and Beverly Hills, Call Centers in Oregon, California, and some remote offices. The team is also highly encouraged to be innovative and constantly review and refresh the technology in Netflix’s unique “fast paced environment.”

As a Client Technology Specialist at Netflix, you serve as the first point of contact for every IT issue that employees encounter. These requests will come in via tickets, email, walk-ups, phone calls and automated alerts. This position will involve tasks like password resets, access requests, printer issues, projects, documentation, deep troubleshooting, and problem resolution. Daily duties consist of researching, prioritizing, resolving, routing and scheduling all incoming internal IT Support requests. The Client Technology Specialist must also set expectations with the ticket requester, provide exceptional customer service and make sure all ticket information is entered correctly.

Distinct responsibilities that differ from the Netflix Help Desk Support Technician role are inclusive of, but not limited to the following:

-Participating in an On-Call rotation to support urgent issues end users encounter after hours.
-Provide On-Site support at remote offices (as needed)
-Scheduled appointments to assist end users directly
-Deploy/Retrieve computer related equipment
-Assist with employee relocation requests

 

Help Desk Support Technician

Netflix

Los Gatos, CA(July 2, 2012 – August 1, 2013)

The Help Desk Support team is responsible for routing and scheduling all internal incoming IT Support requests and phone calls. Triage IT issues and provide support for quick fixes, password resets, access requests, printer issues, etc. Determine the nature of the requests, understand prioritization, and then route requests to the proper IT support organization. Set expectations based on SLA’s with the ticket requester, provide exceptional customer service and make sure all ticket information is entered correctly.

Technical Duties:

Troubleshoot issues for PC, Mac, Ubuntu, Smart Phones. Inclusive of, but not limited to:

-Diagnosis
-Domain Binding
-Active Directory Lockout Research
-Virus Protection/Removal
-Software installation
-Operating System Installation/Repair
-Virtual Machine Installation/Configuration/Conversions
-Hardware upgrades / part replacement
-Data Backup / Migration (PC, Mac, Smart Phones)
-Email Client Issues: OST/PST Profile rebuilds, (Exchange, Outlook, Mac Mail, Thunderbird)
-Deploy New Hire Equipment
-Mobile device activation
-Remote Desktop Support (via RDC/Landesk/JAMF/join.me/TeamViewer)
-Assist with Submitting RMA requests for Apple & Lenovo products
-Assist with Inventory scanning for tech stock rooms

Network Support:

-Configure Aruba Remote Access Points
-Configure Soekris Routers
-Cable tracing/port identification using StatSeeker
-VPN Troubleshooting

Administration:

-Active Directory / LDAP
-Exchange
-Google Apps + FlashPanel
-Box
-Crashplan
-Confluence + Documentation
-Sharepoint + Documentation
-Oracle Apps
-ServiceNow
-Geosurf
-Vendnovation
-Avaya

I’m actually quite amazed that I now understand all of that. It was only a year ago, I was a Geek Squad Agent who thought he had a firm grasp on the IT world. Looking back on this collection totally blows my mind, but forgive me, I’m rambling.

Back on topic. Along with all of the above listed responsibilities, each Client Technology Specialist typically will take on additional projects that are usually aimed at improving the team or our end users’ experiences as a whole. I’ve decided to dedicate this post to outline some of the things I’ve either already completed, or am currently working on.

Documentation

This one’s a pretty big one. In order to better facilitate training, I’ve come to realize that there are a lot of new procedures that I’ve learned that the rest of the team hasn’t yet as they haven’t had the chance to perform said duties. I’ve made it quite a focus of mine to ensure that I’m not “hogging the wealth” so to speak and have been creating helpful documentation that breaks down procedures as I understand them. If the resource is there, the task can be learned! Some of my documentation projects have included…

Malware Remediation Steps
Rogue DHCP Server Identification
Installing and Binding Ubuntu machines to a Domain
Performing expedited termination access cuts
Configuring Remote Access Points
Common troubleshooting steps
SOX Audit Procedures

List goes on…

Refreshing Tech Inventory (Vending Machines)

I admit, this wasn’t a project I was excited to take on, but I ended up with it anyways. I’ve been trying to balance stock levels so that multiple end user vending machines can remained stocked with beneficial tech items such as mice, keyboards, phone chargers, etc. It’s quite a daunting task as the goal is to make sure each Vending Machine is restocked weekly. Rather difficult as the tech items get depleted so quickly.

Remote Access Point Update

The current devices I normally deploy have gone EOL. I’ve been working closely with our Network Engineering team trying to device an upgraded replacement to our existing solution. Hope to have this completed soon so I can satisfy the existing/awaiting requests.

These are just a small sample of items I’m working on.  There’s so much more. The point I’m getting at is imagine all of the projects that the entire team is tackling as a whole. I’d assume it’d end up being a pretty profound list. Hopefully this provides a better insight of just some of the responsibilities my team tackles.

If these sort of things happen to spark an interest in you, then guess what?

We’re hiring

C T S

It’s really only been just about a year since I’ve started in enterprise and already my position and title has evolved. No longer am I just a Help Desk Support Technician. The needs of our end users has changed and in order to run a more efficient enterprise, the team changed along with them. Gone are the days of having a separate help desk and desktop team. In this fast paced environment each member of “Desktop Support” really must be able to offer an end to end solution individually. That being said, we’ve been re-branded into a new team known as Client Technology Services.

Each Client Technology Specialist must be adept at performing the duties of a Help Desk Support Technician along with a Desktop Analyst. Believe me when I say that’s quite a bit to take on. With the Help Desk primarily strong at performing access requests and first line troubleshooting, I feel that the former members of our help desk will have a slightly easier time transitioning into their new roles. From my understanding of enterprise, the Desktop role traditionally served as the Help Desk’s escalation point when a sense of urgency was required. That point of view is totally flipped around now. Being that Desktop hasn’t had a hand in performing access requests in a while, with so many systems to learn and understand, it’s going to take some time for them to adjust.

I have total and complete faith that the desktop team will be able to successfully learn the ways of help desk. I mean, look at me. I came in knowing zero. These guys have at least touched on what Help Desk performed so they’re totally familiar. What I’m waiting for is to see the day when our entire team is fully adjusted. That would definitely be a sight to see.

First Year (Part II)

…or so I thought.

Boy was I wrong. I should re-phrase that last post and edit it to say, “…during a Best Buy interview”, but then that wouldn’t be accurate to my mindset at the time. I thought I’d be able to use at least some of the techniques that I had learned during an interview with enterprise. Looking back, I feel like true passion was the key to grabbing my spot. Going through interviews in the past isn’t what warmed me up. If I could attribute one thing that made my interviewers give me the green light, I would like to think it’s because of passion. I remember fondly that when I got the Geek Squad gig, I was incredibly excited. I did my due diligence and researched multiple “entry-level” type computer repair positions and I just totally fell in love with the Geek Squad Brand. I wanted so badly to be a guy who could fix a computer and doing so in a Geek Squad Uniform…EVEN COOLER.

I knew my next move would have to be something that would be totally worth it. I suppose word got out and one of my former Geek Squad Agent colleagues (who had left to bigger and better things) found out I was finally looking to jump ship. I am forever grateful that he put in a “good word” for me as I know my resumé at the time was not going to get me an interview at such a big name like Netflix. If I was going to associate my name with another persona other than Geek Squad, it had to be something that I respected and Netflix definitely fit the bill.  I was (and still am) a Netflix Customer because I totally love Movies & TV. Netflix totally spoils me by putting out entire seasons for me to binge upon! What could be better than working for a company that you totally admire already? Who wouldn’t want to be part of something like that? I didn’t think I stood a chance, so I never applied. It wasn’t until my colleague spoke to me about Netflix’s culture that I started to believe in myself. I think him believing in me gave me the confidence I needed to actually go forward and pursue…

First Year (Part I)

Today officially marks my one year anniversary as a Help Desk Support Technician at Netflix, Inc. The experience has been nothing short of amazing! To this day, I still cannot believe I was able to land such an extraordinary position. I often ask myself how did I manage to make the (in my opinion) successful transition from Retail IT to Enterprise IT? Hopefully I can shed some light on that. I’ve had an entire year to reflect back on this question and well here’s my thoughts on the matter. Hopefully this may be of use to others who want to make that daunting jump.

For nearly seven years of my life, I had been known as “Agent Cabuco”. Clients and co-workers alike would come to me for technological solutions and I was more than happy to deliver. I really had no intentions of leaving the Squad. Why would I? Sure, I didn’t make a great amount of money, but I loved what I did, especially because I was pretty darn good at it. Where else would I find another place where I could do what I love and just so happen to get paid for it? Coming into the Geek Squad I was a high school graduate entering college with little to no experience in professional computer repair. Who else would hire me? I had no certs, no degrees, and zero experience in Enterprise IT. This presented another problem within itself. My job became very routine to the point where I could pretty much do my job with my “eyes closed and an arm tied behind my back”. It was getting far too easy and was starting to lose its excitement. Unfortunately, the career path (at least when I was at the Geek Squad) for an Agent was you become a Supervisor or Store Manager which meant that you’d be less hands on actually repairing and more into leading. Not exactly my cup of tea.

My passion had been threatened. That’s when I realized I needed a change of scenery. I needed to find a better path that would compliment my desire to simply “fix things”. I started looking around, spruced up my resume. I was actually being very picky and going against the saying “Beggars can’t be choosers”. In my mind, I had seven awesome years of hands on experience with consumer electronics. I didn’t feel like a beggar anymore! I started to get more and more ambitious. Being a former Geek Squad Senior, I had the unique opportunity to be on the other side of a Technical Job Interview. I already knew what it felt like to be in the hot seat. Having the chance to grill others from the other side was a tremendous benefit. Gaining that perspective helped me realize what interviewers wanted to hear and how an interviewee should say it…

 

Facebook

Facebook.

Nearly everyone I know is on it, including myself. We live in a time where information runs rampant and updates are constantly flowing. Many times your colleagues know what you’ve done even before they’ve had a chance to even speak with you in person about it. Why? It’s on Facebook. Conversations are on Facebook. Everything you do or think is public knowledge. Is that a good thing? o_O

I can’t even fathom the amount of countless hours I’ve spent just mindlessly reading Facebook posts from people who have added me as a “friend” even despite the fact that I seldom speak with them in person. It’s just so addictive. I stand back sometimes and wonder, why do I care about what you ate today? Why do I care about what you bought? Yet I still look!

I feel that the same questions should be posed to me. Why do I post mindless pieces of information? Why am I adding to this?! Who cares that I got ranked in Starcraft II! (I do actually, but that’s besides the point). I honestly think I can devote more of my time to doing something far more productive. I haven’t quite figured out exactly what that would be yet. With that being said, I’ve deactivated my Facebook.

My hope is that this will spark some sort of change within my “internal wiring”. I don’t know what it is yet, but I’m sure spending a good chunk of my time on Facebook has slowly changed something in me.

Let the timer begin! (Technically I deactivated my account late last night, but forgot to set a timer) oh well, what’s a few hours, right?

WFH

Three little letters that I never knew the meaning of until I made the transition to enterprise. Simply put, WFH = Work From Home. During my Geek Squad days I had always craved the ability to get more work done outside of work. I’m not sure what it is about me, but I love staying busy. I can keep working until my heart is content! It’s so amazing! I consider this to be one of the biggest perks of where I work now. I’m fully equipped with a work laptop, a mobile phone that keeps me organized about my day, and the ability to access internal resources all from practically anywhere!

Here’s a recent happening…(incoming side story).

I was driving down the freeway one day on my way to work. The road that I drive on every morning is currently under construction. They’re pretty much expanding the road and re-applying asphalt. That being said, driving down that road has caused my car to get a whole bunch of dings as loose asphalt jumps up and catches my car. I didn’t think much of it until I heard a big thud across the roof of my car. I swore it sounded like a rock the size of a baseball came and smacked my car’s sunroof. Low and behold, I open up my sun roof slider just to take a peak and my sunroof is completely shattered. It wasn’t until I parked at work that I got to take a better look at the mayhem…

5e69f060a6af0130f48f72fe54c19690

Poor car. Anyways, what I’m getting at is, I was able to freely schedule time to get this repaired AND get work done. The repair shop I went to had wireless and that’s pretty much all I needed to get work done. So instead of losing out on maybe 4 hours of my work day…I only lost maybe 40 mins (the commute it took me to get to work from the repair shop). I must say, having the ability to WFH or in my case, work from anywhere that gives me internetz is pretty awesome!

I suppose for some this can be a drag as work will never leave you, but I’m not too concerned with that. I imagine one day I will be, but until that day comes….


“Do work son”.

Windows 8 + X1 Carbon + Multiple Displays

I have an end user who we deployed the infamous Lenovo X1 Carbon to with Windows 7 installed. The darn thing kept blue-screening so in order to stabilize the machine I had it upgraded to Windows 8. Sure enough, the blue screens seem to have stopped, however it has introduced a new problem. While the machine was running on Windows 7, it was able to connect to a USB Display Link adapter that would allow the connection of multiple monitors. Ever since the Windows 8 upgrade, this feature stopped working.

I intend on tackling this issue myself tomorrow in hopes of getting it working. Let it be known…

Tomorrow is… Cabuco v. X1 Carbon.

**Update May 1st, 2013**

Alright, wasn’t able to solve it within 45 mins. Looks like I’m going to have to build my own little lab and run some tests. This is going to be fun. I’m pretty sure I can and will get this to work. Be on the lookout for some documentation on how I get it working soon…

**Update May 2nd, 2013**

SUCCESS! Got the X1 Carbon on Windows 8 to work on multiple displays (in my lab at least). Now all I need to do is to get it working with the end user’s setup…

**Update May 7th, 2013**

Mission Complete! Turns out that driver posted on that website was for an older version of that DisplayLink adapter. Grabbed the older version and plugged it in. Worked like a charm. ^__^

Weapon of Choice

Behind every great technician is an equally amazing set of tools. I’ve always been intrigued by all of the fancy gadgets that an IT Professional decides to equip themselves with so I figured I’d share some of my own.

It’s not everyday I fall in love with a tool…(that totally sounded better in my head), but when Leatherman announced their Skeletool CX, I did exactly that. It was incredibly lightweight, stylish, and fully capable to take on the needs of most basic computer hardware repairs. The Skeletool CX features a carbon fiber frame which allows it to be much lighter than many of its Leatherman colleagues; a one-handed releasable knife with serrated edges; a Philips and Flathead interchangeable bit head; a set of pliers inclusive of wire-cutters; and finally (my personal favorite) a carabiner /bottle opener so you can conveniently keep it looped around your belt loops for easy access. I’ve had mine for a few years now and it has been very solid. Totally recommend it!

This next item is a bit cliche and shouldn’t really be a surprise, but it’s definitely a critical aid of mine. My iPhone. I currently am equipped with an iPhone 5, but I’ve had every iPhone release since day one. There are a ton of reasons that make my iPhone a great device, but the biggest one for me are the incredible apps. I’ve got apps that allow my device to handle personal finance, notes, entertainment, and best of all my appointments (and oh yea, it’s a phone). It’s such an incredible aid in keeping me organized, I’d be so lost without it. In an effort to try and make it a true all in one device, I’ve even replaced my wallet with Hex’s Axis Wallet / iPhone case. Keeps my credit cards and my phone all in one place.

The final “tool” I’ll share isn’t really a conventional one. The greatest tool I’ve come to possess is “humility”. Anyone can be trained to fix things, but I don’t think anyone can teach personality. IT Support is a field where people openly admit they need your help. Part of delivering world class customer service is making your client feel confident in coming to you for assistance. The best technicians are the ones that everyone loves going to. Nobody likes an egotistical technician who totally ridicules you for not knowing what you know.

Some rhetorical questions for reflection:
What tools come in handy for you?
What do you think of the “non conventional tool”?

Links to items mentioned in my blog:

Leatherman Skeletool CX
Apple’s iPhone 5
Hex’s Axis Wallet/iPhone Case

That’s all I’ve got for now.

2+2 = 4

Now, this may sound silly, but this should shed some light as to why I totally love doing what I do for a living. I am constantly on the hunt for this sensation that I have yet to define. All I know is that I first experienced it the day I discovered that 2 + 2 =4.

Allow me to elaborate by taking you back about 24 years ago…

I was in my family’s living room watching cartoons when I found myself looking at my hands. For some reason I kept staring at them trying to understand this concept I had just seen on the television about counting to ten. Using my fingers, I kept counting each finger, slowly understanding that I had ten fingers. I don’t know why, but I just sat there ever so curious about the different numbers I could count up to. It wasn’t until I held two fingers up on each of my hands (doing that oh so familiar “bunny ears” pose) that I realized I had discovered something.

I slowly counted each finger on each hand, “One, two. One, two…”

It was not until I put my two hands together that I came upon the profound understanding that two and two was four! At that exact moment, something totally sparked in my mind. My eyes widened with the same excitement I’d normally get when my father brought home a new action figure for me to play with. I started clenching my hands and anxiously looked around as to inspect my surroundings wondering if anyone else knew what I had just found out. I didn’t know how to react other then to start galloping around proclaiming, “TWO PLUS TWO IS FOUR!” I was shocked, amazed, inspired, and filled with incredible joy from this simple realization that I understood something totally new that I had never understood just moments ago.

Til this day, I savor every single moment I have the opportunity to relive that same sense of enlightenment as it’s a never ending cycle of catch and release. Being in IT gives me a chance to tackle these “puzzles” on a daily basis. I always say, the only thing constant about IT is that it’s constantly changing! Change breeds challenges. With every solution, the puzzles get increasingly more demanding, as does my curiosity. Rest assured, knowledge is a vast, never-ending sea and I’ve got a thirst to match it.

First Post

I really couldn’t decide what my first post should be about, so I’ll kick this off with a happy coincidence.

August 10, 2005 – I started my career as a Counter Intelligence Agent with a 24 Hour Rapid Response Computer Support Task Force better known as “The Geek Squad”.

Nearly seven incredible years later, I laid rest to my badge to venture out into the enterprise world of IT

July 2, 2012 – Started my role as a Help Desk Support Technician stationed in an office named the Netflix Emergency Room (for) Desktop Support. (NERDS).

Who knew? From Geek to Nerd! ^__^

I couldn’t be happier!