Reflections on Years as a Support Engineer

After many years with my previous company as a Developer Support Engineer for commerce platforms and content management systems, I’ve moved on and joined a company that specializes in big data + cyber security. However, my role is essentially unchanged as my title slightly changed to Technical Support Engineer as I no longer work directly with developers and coders, but rather with IT staff and security analysts. The work and technology is different, but the methodology of support customers – especially big, important ones – hasn’t changed one iota.

The greatest challenge I have being a support engineer is having to become, essentially, a “jack-of-all-trades.” You have to know a little bit of everything at the minimum. It’s not for everybody as many of us want to be experts at one or two things. Supporting a highly technical and ambitious product is difficult as is and since support means working with customers, you are working at the speed of their business, not yours. So don’t expect the luxury of being able to have “free” time to learn what you want – you’ll have to work around it.

If you have a background in the software industry, working in support is one major way to build your people skills and a fast way to learn something you’ve never worked with before. I’ve finished three weeks so far and I know I still have lots and lots, and LOTS to grasp and learn.

It’s a great feeling to be useful.

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