General Chat Thread, Starting a new job as a "Network Manager" in General; Well, my job title is ICT Technician/Network Manager. It's at a Primary School.
Their current mananger was no longer there ...
25th August 2008, 09:09 PM #1
Starting a new job as a "Network Manager"
Well, my job title is ICT Technician/Network Manager. It's at a Primary School.
Their current mananger was no longer there for some reason or another.
(which i really should of asked, i'm pants at interviews)
So put yourself in my shoes. It's your first day, you're shown to your desk. No one knows where anything is....where do you start?
25th August 2008, 09:22 PM #2
Put the kettle on, and spend the first day or so talking to people, get a feel for their thoughts on IT, and more importantly how they regard its current use in the school.
There's plenty of time to sort out the nitty gritty techy stuff, but there's not normally enough time once you've been there a while to take stock of the current feelings/impressions.
Congrats though, make sure you invest in a good notepad to write everything down
Thanks to kmount from:
Little-Miss (25th August 2008)
25th August 2008, 09:25 PM #3
Wow ... good luck with it all.
Ok, a couple of things to start with and hard to put them in order.
1 - Assets: find out what the school has, where it is, who is using it and how they use it. This should allow you to be able to look at how old things are, how much investment is made and ifi it is being made in the right areas.
2 - Licences: An easy one to get caught out on when someone leaves before you arrive. If the school doesn't know then try and speak to the bursar about where things have been ordered from in the past and speak to your suppliers. Don't panic about it, most suppliers can help you get back on track.
3 - Network: Working out what plugs in where can be a lengthy process, even in a small primary, but it saves time when trying to track down what is wrong.
4 - Other school: Make contact with the other schools in the area and find out if they have previously worked together ... it is surprising what schools know about each other.
5 - RBC /ISP: get to know these people ... if you get any services from them they can be your best friend in helping you out.
6 - FITS Primary: Moving to a more long term solution, then look at the FITS and FITS primary materials from BECTA. This will help you with setting some better targets for the school and helps to make the school realise the need for planning.
If there is anything else .. you know where we are
Thanks to GrumbleDook from:
Little-Miss (25th August 2008)
25th August 2008, 09:35 PM #4
As grumbledook says.
Inventory - make sure you have a list of all the IT gear, serial numbers, MAC etc. (inc. licences, any support contracts, warranties, Operating Systems in use...)
Ethernet Connections - check the patch panel, number all the ethernet ports if not already done. Make a network map.
Disaster Recovery - What is (or isn't) in place, can you afford to lose said data and how long would recovery to full operation take. Plan your DR.
Current IT use + where they want to go today™
25th August 2008, 09:36 PM #5
Thanks all....made me feel a little calmer...
25th August 2008, 10:06 PM #6
first couple of days spend talking to people, after that do a swot analysis (strengths, weakness's, opportunities and threats), update any policies that need updating with the relevant staff (aup, how to prioritise jobs, how to make purchases, how to log support calls) then crack on with updating all the paperwork and filling in any holes. also bare in mind the work you would like to carry out at half term.
25th August 2008, 10:30 PM #7
Good luck with your new job.
When meeting new people try to work out who is going to be a PITA.
25th August 2008, 10:33 PM #8
Within first week find cupboard that has not been sorted in months (we all have one) and clear it out will impress everyone big time as all they see if someone coming in clearing something the previous person wouldn't.
It wins you respect and friends every time...
25th August 2008, 10:40 PM #9
When i started my job the boss was kind enough to give me a gentle easing in. What i mean by this is that he said that i did not need to worry about issues that users had and i should just concentrate on getting to know the network and how things are being run and what could do with improving etc.
Maybe your boss could do the same. I must admit it does help as you can get on with sorting out the important things before worrying about the users trivial matters (obviously not all issues would be trivial) but you may also find that sorting out some long-standing issues as you find them, if they are simple to eradicate, could remove the users issue anyway.
I for one am with grumbledook with the licensing point. I am still trying to sort out the licensing mess, whilst also trying to get my head around MS crap that is their licensing model. I've only been here nearly 2 years now.
Any way good luck. It is actually quite hard in a primary school due to the limitations of their age range. If you work out the best way to give them individual user names and password whilst making it easy for them to remember for the 5-6 yr olds then let me know.
25th August 2008, 11:08 PM #10
An important tip is to 'Not Change Anything Yet' if everything appears to be working. It is all to easy to break an unfamiliar network until you know what lives where and what is doing what.
25th August 2008, 11:11 PM #11
All of the above, but if the old manager has been gone a while, expect to fight a few fires and just get stuff working before you get a chance to play/learn the setup.
26th August 2008, 02:05 AM #12
Have to say I agree with GrumbleDook and others. I took over as NM for a secondary school and Im starting to make my way through what licences we have. Im actually looking for a program to help me figure out what is what and how many machines each software can be installed on. Looking at what we have here, seems like it could take a wee while. My very best of luck to you and congrarulations
26th August 2008, 02:09 AM #13
I totaly agree here, I learnt that at first hand. imo the legal stuff comes first. Changing bits of the network is not perfesional and should be a graduale proccess working with staff where needed.
Originally Posted by Dos_Box
26th August 2008, 07:16 AM #14
Yes the popular thought is leave everything as is for 90 days.
26th August 2008, 08:46 AM #15
When I worked in a primary (in the same kind of role as yours) it was very much the same prediciment. I was shown to the computer room and told nothing else. Likewise, the previous employee left and I never thought to ask why. Duh.
Anyways, the first thing that I did was implement a backup plan (as one wasn't in place) and it's just as well I did as the servers failed 2 weeks later. After that I sorted all the licenses out and did an inventory of the network. I know it sounds boring but it's the stuff we're all employed to do and once out the way it's easy to keep on top of.
After this I started sorting out the mess of the network.... Cabling nightmares, AD hell and all that.
Through time the school had me teaching in the classroom by myself (not what I was employed to do). I made some good friends (teachers) who told me stories about the old tech and the hell he went through. It seemed the same was slowly happening to me and I decided to get out before it was too late.
I enjoyed the experience but if I was to go near a primary now it would only be as part of a secondary school team who support feeder primaries.
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