(Part 1 of 3)
Sometime last year, the number of personal computers in the world passed the two billion mark. That’s about one for every three people. Each of those computers has several thousand individual components, which come in various brands, models, and types. In addition to that, depending on your operating system (and there are hundreds), there are millions of applications available for download and installation. This means that, at any given time, when someone calls me with a computer problem, there are more than one trillion possible variables in play, possibly contributing to the issue.
And I know how to fix every single one of them.
You see, my job as a technician is not actually to know what the problem is, or even how to fix it. Most often, my job is simply to figure it out. With this many variables, it’s impossible for a technician to know about every conceivable issue. But it is possible to hone a set of troubleshooting skills that will allow us to find the solution as quickly as possible. Thus, the technician’s job is not to excel at knowing how to fix something, but to excel at finding out how. We do it daily.
A day in the life of a tech begins like any other legendary day of human accomplishment: with caffeine. Proven by the European Food Safety Authority to increase alertness, attention, and memory performance, coffee is the most important tool in a technician’s toolkit.
Second to java is the technician’s computer. Usually a laptop, often a PC – and never without a few dings and scratches – the laptop is the battle-hardened weapon that enables us to fight spam, slay malware, and emerge victorious from the server room time after time.
First order of business: review our assignment. We might be onsite at a client, rolling out new equipment or troubleshooting a critical workstation issue. Or we could be at the home office, attacking issues remotely. Regardless of the scenario, the same formula will apply: Gather, Troubleshoot, Diagnose, and Remediate.