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1-03-2009 @ 11:52AM
This is an interesting question, and I think, from the comments, we can see the wide variety of folks that have an interest, or have done something like this (and have less interest).I started an ISP *way* back in the 90s, just two of us. I did the networks, hardware, kept it running, learned on the fly how to do all this - my partner did the business side of things. He was good at it, having owned a very successful bulletin board for a number of years prior. When we grew to the point where we needed help, it was on the support side, something I knew I didn't want to do. We interviewed and hired folks based on their ability to know what they were responding to. I pointed out that the folks that called them were a different breed now, than either my partner or myself had engaged before - these folks did not understand the technology they were using. To call us in frustration basically was admitting they were 'stupid' (as one put it) and that was a large part of their anger. To admit to us they were stupid and couldn't understand or fix their issue. The requirement I laid out for our support folks was to identify that, earnestly engage the person to defuse that, and show them that you were working together to fix and issue - remove the confrontational part, become partners. It's a very hard thing to do, day after day, and I, for one, *know* I cannot do that. I wouldn't want to do that. Problem solving, yes. Later, I was hired away from my own company to work for Cisco Systems, in network security (a job I thoroughly enjoy), and met another sort of human problem - the ones that cause (intentionally or not) vulnerabilities. This, tempered with the corporate need to support 'profit to the shareholder' gave me a very different point of view on support. Again, I thought I wouldn't do well with it - risk assessments, investigations, forensics, all this was the fun part. The engagement with the entities that needes to still do their work, but needed to be more secure about it, became the very same support issue I had at my ISP. They were often very defensive and reluctant to engage - thinking, as one put it during a meeting for an acquistion, that I was the guy 'that says you can't do it the way you are used to'. This is how the meeting started. That was a surprise to me, as this wasn't my job, nor my intent - but gave me insight into what folks *thought* we were all about. I realized they didn't know who I was or what I did at all, and first I had to show them that I was the front end of a huge amount of resources that could be brought to bare on a secufirty issue to *make it work*, not a guy that just flat says you have to do it my way. Perspectives. This is an interesting question here, because I've thought about what it would be like to work for Blizzard, both from a career point of view and from a potential that I'd be getting into something perhaps just as surprising as the previous two examples. Believe me I've done enough jobs to tell the blindsides will come, regardless. We become fixed in our ways, and industry moves right along.I"ve done beta testing on hardware and software since long before I started my ISP - my tneacity at trying to wrest out a solution from a sticky problem is very strong. I enjoy the puzzle and solution cycle. I, from my networking side, am very good at documenting and stepping through a problem to try and get past the '20 questions' that precede the actual work on the problem. For me, that part would be very interesting working at Blizzard. I'm a gamer, yes, but not so avid or silly to think that a job at Blizzard would grant me work time to sit around and level up another character in Wrath. I, like my time at Cisco, or at CERT/cc, would probably have *less* time to particpate, in the game. Though, this is pure speculation.Would I? In phone support - no. In the background, working on what has to be one of the cutting edge network environments in the world - in a heartbeat. /shibumi
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