A little about me
I’ve always been interested in IT from a very young age and have always liked to tinker with anything electronic. I first got into IT when I got my first laptop and was amazed by the possibilities it presented. I swiftly focused my education towards IT and haven’t looked back since. My Dad has always worked within the IT industry and as such he helped me along the way.
During my college course, I started my IT career with a voluntary job managing servers for a small Internet radio show in Bognor Regis. This gave me a real feel for working in the IT industry and I wanted to progress further. After college I moved on to my first full time role as a 1st line support engineer in Billingshurst. After 18 months I left this job to join Optima.
What exactly is a network support engineer?
A network support engineer is responsible for maintaining the technology systems that allow organisations to function and communicate both in-house and externally on a daily basis. Network support may extend from testing and troubleshooting problems to regular maintenance. Tasks may include upgrading the company’s communications infrastructure, installing a new system, or general technical support.
Regardless of the type of business, as a network support engineer you’ll be responsible for designing, installing and maintaining the communications, file sharing and general IT resources used by the organisation.
What skills are required for a network support engineer?
As a network support engineer problem solving abilities are a necessity to keep your clients and employers’ networks running at their best. The best support engineers are fuelled by their passion for learning everything there is to know about IT systems. They use this knowledge to analyse network performance and solve performance problems as soon as they arise. The most important skill required by a network engineer is good communication skills, as they help all employees and clients solve their issues, whether it be over the phone, via email or in person.
What qualifications do you need to be a network support engineer?
For an entery level role as a network support engineer, a basic knowledge of IT, and a college course will get you started. As you progress you will mainly learn on the job but will be able to progress on to more qualifications, such as several CompTIA qualifications, which are great to get started with, and eventually progress onto qualifications like Microsoft's MCSA and other Microsoft Server qualifications.
My day-to-day experience as a network support engineer
As a network engineer my responsibilities can be anything from performing backup tasks to helping customers with general IT issues. Daily duties have included: Logging tickets, receiving emails / phone call requests about IT faults and issues. When necessary, site visits can be required to resolve some issues, this involves scheduling with clients when is a suitable day or time to visit.
My plan for next steps to increase my skills
I hope to start getting some qualifications under my belt, both for general knowledge and career progression. I would like to start with getting a Windows Server Qualification, this will help me in my day to day role, diagnosing issues with client servers and help me along during my career.
The future of the role
Is the demand for the network support engineers increasing or decreasing?
As the IT world is constantly expanding, I can only see an increasing demand for Network engineers. More and more companies are switching to paperless schemes, which means they are even more reliant on computers in their daily work schedules, which in turn means a higher demand for technical support.
So far, I have enjoyed working in IT. It has presented more opportunities and challenges than I originally imagined it would. It is easy to progress and generally interesting as one day is never the same as the last. I enjoy speaking with Clients and solving their issues. At the end of the day it gives me a sense of achievement. I enjoy going out on site when required and being face to face with the clients I help and speak with, sometimes daily!
From my experience so far, the IT Industry is almost as I anticipated. With the continuing growth of the industry there are always new problems to overcome, new things to learn, and new roles to fill. There is never a dull moment when working in IT and that makes me love it even more! As the industry continues to expand, there will be a increased need for IT support and more problems to overcome.
Tristan is a Network Engineer here at Optima Systems. He has always had a keen interest in IT, studying throughout School at The Weald, in Billingshurst, before moving onto an Extended IT Diploma at Chichester College. After a successful application he joined Optima Systems in January 2020.