Bio – Ben

Ben

Hi everyone, I’m Ben,

Like most kids, starting out after leaving school. I got myself a job as a trolley boy at one of the local supermarkets. This not only provided much needed income. But gave me the opportunity to study for Cert IV in Networking. Until joining Masterlink in 2016, I gained some I.T. experience doing various jobs for other I.T. companies and myself, specialising in laptops and mobile devices.

Rather than write more about myself. I thought it might be of more interest to give an insight into how things are done, for the benefit of other school leavers wanting to break into the industry.

When a customer comes into the store, it’s the responsibility of the first available person to serve them… it’s not all about fixing computers. The client is asked for details, and the job is booked in. From here the system determines what type of job it is, which workshop will be attending to the job (Torquay, Urangan or Townsville), and is then posted on the status board. All items left with us have an ID sticker attached, and a copy of the job sheet. While the customer is given a receipt for the items they’ve left.

I guess because we’re an I.T. company. It’s no surprise much of our systems are automated. The job sheet system tracks the jobs and automatically increases their priority the longer they remain in the queue, from green when they first arrive, through amber and finally red, which is urgent.

Although we have all the equipment to accurately diagnose and repair an issue, such as power supply testers, M.2 converters, duplicators and multi-meters. As a technician you see many of the same issues over, and over again. So often it becomes more “instinct” than “diagnosis”.

Another aspect that’s sometimes overlooked is the large number of utilities available. I can count 7 on our system for recovering data, 4 for partitioning hard drives and 19 just to repair windows updates. That’s not to mention a whole library of packages to carry out all the tasks we run into every day. It’s the responsibility of all the techs to be familiar with all the software, and be able to decide which is best for each situation.

The workshops also run on procedures. For example if a hard drive is taken out of a pc, it’s labelled, and backups are performed on a specialised server, in a way that all other techs can locate data. This isn’t just to keep things tidy and ensure we don’t mix up customers drives. It ensures we remain compliant with

Before computers or laptops can leave the workshop. The tech may need to use an air compressor with a water vapour arrester to clean out dust and possibly a wipe down with a sterilising agent. Only then can the tech invoice the job, which automatically releases it from the job status queue.

In this contribution I haven’t touched on things like quoting, dealing with companies like Microsoft, helpdesks, remote support, phone queries, counter service, onsite callouts, documentation and a multitude of other tasks. Although my main function is the workshop. I’m expected to do all of these tasks as required, and most importantly…. Keep smiling while I’m doing it.

Currently while writing this article I have 8 jobs in the workshop being worked on simultaneously. 2 computers not turning on, 1 laptop tripping power fuses, 1 computer that locks up after 5 minutes, 1 new pc being prepped to go out, 1 laptop touchpad not working, 1 data recovery and 1 replacement laptop screen.

So yes, it’s always very busy…. And yes, I love it.