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Ready For Network Admin Position


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#1
magusbuckley

magusbuckley

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Hello:

When I was very young, my aunt passed away. My uncle, who collected on the insurance, purchased a PC. Until then, I had never heard of such a thing. I loved playing those text-based games with him and thought that noisy dot-matrix printer was amazing. I wanted a computer...and bad. My uncle started getting pretty good on his own machine and decided he wanted to build one. Mom and Dad funded the projected and together, my uncle and I built my first PC. So, right out of the gate, I had a great advantage and a vast knowledge of PCs. I've been doing it ever since. During high school, I spent my afternoons fixing computers for friends, family, and Office Max customers (where I worked). Then, it was off to college. I did a year and a half of programming and decided it wasn't for me. Prior to dropping out, I wanted more than anything to become a video game programmer. What I found out, though, is that the programmers don't necessarily have any input into what the game will be about or how it will function. They simply write code all day. I changed majors and earned an Associates degree in networking. Just before graduation, I earned my CNA (Certified Novell Administrator 5.0). My girlfriend and I were currently living in the country in Mississippi. I knew I wouldn't get a job there so we moved to New York. They ate me alive. We rode it out for a year, but I never could get a computer job and we were having trouble making ends meet. We wound up moving back to Mississippi, but this time, we came to the gulf coast. I finally landed an entry level IT job at a casino here in August of 03. I was in the process of getting a promotion when Katrina hit in August of 05. When I returned to work, I was no longer Night IT Operator, but now was Systems Technician. I was grateful for the promotion, but I really wanted the Network Administrator position. After all, that's what I got my degree in. The lady who use to do the networking, held the title Systems Specialist, not Network Administrator although that's really what she did. She didn't come back to us after the storm. Her position was eliminated. Can you imagine that we, a Casino on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, don't have a Network Administrator? It's unreal! During the last two years, our old servers have started to fall apart. The lady who creates network accounts doesn't understand how rights get inherited. She can't use enough common sense either to know that the Director of a department should have access to the Managers folders, but not vice versa. In addition, our File Server has less than 3 GB of free space now and our Micros servers are worse. I've mentioned this to the boss who did, surprisingly order three new servers for us. Still, he isn't interested in making the Network Administrator position.

Now I'm stuck. I don't know what I should be doing. I only have a certification for Novell (which nobody around here uses any more...actually, I doubt anybody anywhere uses Novell). I can go get my MCSA or MCSE and try for the Network Administrator position with another company, or I could get in our Server Room and get to work hoping the boss will take notice of my hard work. I have a feeling, though, that I won't get a raise for working on these extra duties.

Where should I start?

Any and all information will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Magus
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#2
sari

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You say you have 3 new servers - do you have any input on how they're configured or anything? Do you have the opportunity to help define your group policies, or design security? I don't know your boss, obviously, so I don't know how he would take notice of your initiative, but perhaps you can put together some plans for how the servers should be configured and managed. If you can show him that you know what you're talking about and provide convincing evidence that this position is needed, you may be able to change his mind. If you like where you're working, then there are advantages to staying there. If nothing else, by taking initiative to suggest and/or implement changes, you'll be giving yourself valuable experience that will help you in the job market. I think going into a potential new employer and being able to give concrete examples of how you developed and implemented solutions in your current job would provide a better chance of getting the network admin position you want, as opposed to just walking in and saying 'Look at me, I have my MCSE'. Your other option would be to do both - work on your certification while also taking initiative at your current job to implement changes.
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#3
Johanna

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Take a piece of paper (no this can't be done on a keyboard and screen, I don't know why, it just doesn't work!)
List all the things you woule be interested in doing
List things that you do NOT want to do

List the things you are competent in.
List your weaknesses.

Now you have a pretty good idea of where you want to go, and an even better one of where you do not want to end up.

As far as jobs, there is an old saying, "It's not what you know, it's who you know." Work on your social networking skills. Hand deliver resumes to companies that you would like to interview for. Shake hands, make eye contact and smile. People remember people with confidence and manners. It might take some searching, but you already identified and eliminated time wasters with your list. Seems to me that with your initiative and skills, you can learn whatever you've set your mind to know. If you need more education, get it. To quote Sir Thomas Moser, "Education costs money, but, then, so does ignorance."

What kind of work does your girl friend do? Is moving an option?

From experience, it's nice to wake up in the morning and look forward to going to work. I hope you find a job like that- it makes life that much sweeter.
Best of luck,
Johanna
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#4
magusbuckley

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Thank you both for the information.

sari - Yes, I do like where I work. I like the people I work with and the people I work for. I may have come off strong about my boss, but he is actually a great guy. He's laid back, funny, and easy to get along with as long as he knows you are working hard. However, doing away with a Network Administrator (or in our case...System Specialist) is just a very bad idea. Actually, I think he's making a lot of bad calls right now. All of our Casino Gaming Data is stored on an AS/400. That's what he is...a 400 guy. He doesn't know much at all about Windows and I'd like to think this is why the position was done away with in the first place. You are right though, I should get in there and get my hands dirty and let him know what I'm fixing. I just hate the idea of being stuck with those duties without getting a new title and/or a pay raise.

Johanna - My wife is a dealer. We've been in the industry long enough to know that most of you are raising your eyebrows after hearing such a thing, but it's the truth. She is a "Table Games Card Dealer". Could we move? Sure, as long as there are casino's near by. Right now though, I think we both like it here. Not too small, not too big, and the beach is slingshot distance from our house. Not bad.

I know I need to be getting my MCSA and/or MCSE. My problem with that is that I don't have time to study for it. I'm at work during the day and have two little girls (one is two years old, the other is three months old). I don't get enough sleep as it is. To stay up and study would make it dangerous for me to drive I think. Ha. I bought training videos for the MCSE from the TurboCert website. I think they are informative videos, but I can't imagine that they are going to help me pass any of the tests.

I'm going to continue watching the videos, but do either of you recomend a different vendor for training purposes?

Thanks,

Magus
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#5
dsenette

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man...sounds like you're a victim of circumstances....if you were at a hospital or something like that...i'd say they just hadn't recovered from the hurricane and couldn't afford to remake the "admin" position...but with a casino on the gulf coast of mississippi...i'm pretty sure their cashflow is doing well....

i personally would set up a meeting with your boss and SHOW him the problems you're seeing, why you think their problems...and that you've got the knowledge to make them "not problems"...some times when someone specializes (especially anyone insane enough to specialize in 400 management...) they can't see the importance of things that don't fall under their scope...you might be able to convince them of the need for the position

i know you say you like your job etc...but it's gonna get pretty hard to like working on a network that's sinking fast like what you describe....at some point you wont want to be the admin of it because it will be such a struggle to get back to the best working order
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#6
magusbuckley

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dsenette:

Of all the casino's here on the coast, we were the third one to reopen. We've made more money since the storm than we ever have. Money shouldn't be the issue.

My boss is old school. He was a programmer on the 400 for many years before coming here to the casino. Somehow, that's all he's ever done. Unfortunately, every casino here uses the AS/400 because the Casino Software we all use is ACSC by Bally. That, of course, runs on the 400.

So, we lost our network administrator after the storm (05). It's been almost two years since anyone has administered our servers. See why we're fixing to be forced to close our doors? Sure, we all take turns fixing this or that when we have time, but the four of us stay really busy. Too busy to hang out in the MDF all day, that's for sure. I mean, fixing this stuff and keeping these servers running is full time job. It isn't something you can just work on in your free time.

I'm going to try what you all are saying though. I'm going to put in the extra effort and get some information to present to the boss man. Wish me the best.

Thanks,

Magus

Edited by magusbuckley, 30 July 2007 - 10:07 AM.

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