I like to think of myself as a Tech guy who never followed the crowd in terms of how a Tech guy should live. Previously, I worked as a Manager in Restaurant Business, joined the US Army as a Truck Driver, and even became a Security Supervisor. Nothing about my previous experience would lead anyone to look at me and think, this guy is a complete nerd. Atleast, not until they actually met me. Take a look at my life and you’ll see years of development, buying any and all computer parts I could at yard sales until I had money to buy premium devices, and seeing the hundreds of projects and freelance jobs I’ve done to make a buck. So it was no surprise to me that when trying to hit the Job Market, I had Security and Restaurants lining up, but Tech companies were nowhere to be found. Atleast until 1&1 Internet came knocking. Now a little thought on the matter, I probably knew that they weren’t looking at me for my experience, they were hiring Server Support Techs and really, it doesn’t take much to be one. My resume doesn’t scream “Hire this nerd”, so I was fortunate to be interviewed and asked tech questions. Almost everytime that happens, employers have to do a double take and scratch their heads wondering why I know what I know, but don’t have the background on paper. Needless to say though, 1&1 took a chance with me, and thus far, it’s paying out great.
Obviously, my work environment is completely different from that of a Security Officer for Crozer Health. I now provide Server Support for 1&1 Worldwide, American, and UK customers who own a server package (Dedicated, VPS, and CloudServer). I’ve thought in all my years of working with Windows and Linux that I’ve seen it all, but day in and day out, I see some new issues and I see alot of old one. The unfortunate part of my job though, is my scope of support is really around the Hardware we provide, and not the Software or more specifically, the Administrative aspects of the server. That appears to be the greatest need of our clients, they’ve moved up from a shared environment because business has expanded, they jumped aboard a Dedicated Server or VPS/Cloud, and now they’re faced with a Command Line prompt and are completely lost. Some know enough to cause damage, others know enough to just need to check in a few times on what they’ve done, and others have never seen just the white blinking cursor. I would love to provide them all with Admin support that they need, but unfortunately my official answer is that it’s out of our scope of support and for good reason.
Administrative Support isn’t really something you should just grab once you made a mistake, and then shop around to different admins with each new error. Admins need to know what’s been done to get to this point, what’s running, why it’s running, etc. If you call 1&1 or any hosting company to Admin your server that runs your business, you’d want to get someone that knows you and your business and what they’re doing for you. Unfortunately there’s no way to do this, without restricting your access and ability to the server, which is why we have Managed Servers that remove your Root access and ability, and leaves you to only manage your website code and a few higher level functions.
This is also where my freelance work comes in. Outside of 1&1 I continue to put myself out there to pick up contracts to help be a PHP developer or a Server Admin. Unfortunately I work off of word of mouth which is a slow process to say the least. Furthermore, I’m not able to advertise my services or call my 1&1 Clients as it’s a conflict of interest. Plus it leads to so many variables, especially if they call 1&1 looking for me during my 1&1 shift.